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Showing posts from November, 2017

Let's get real about The REAL ID Act

Let's get real about The REAL ID Act
By Damien Martin



One of the simplest ways to ensure a great vacation is having all the proper documentation. Everybody knows you need a passport to travel internationally, but several countries also require U.S. citizens to have visas to enter. For residents of certain states, it’s domestic travel that might get a lot more complicated in the coming year, thanks to varying degrees of compliance with the REAL ID Act. The last thing you want to do is show up at the airport and be surprised to learn you don’t have what you need. You can always buy a toothbrush if you forgot yours, but if you don’t have the proper identification, you’re in real trouble.
Passed in 2005, the REAL ID Act set minimum standards for state-issued identifications in order for them to be accepted by federal agencies, including the TSA. As of now, 27 states are in compliance with the federal requirements. Six states (Illinois, New York, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri and Rhode I…

Top Trips for Foodies

Top Trips for Foodies By Damien Martin 

It’s Thanksgiving week, time to stuff your face with abandon and enjoy all your favorite foods. While 2017 has been a tough year for travel in a lot of ways, especially hurricane season, there is plenty to be thankful for, such as the lifting of the laptop ban on certain flights. One of the best things about travel is sampling foods from all over the globe and experiencing different flavors, smells and atmosphere throughout the culinary world.

Sometimes you find amazing dishes in unexpected places, like on Celebrated Experiences’ Dublin food walking tour, featuring traditional and contemporary fare from a range of bakeries, food halls and cheesemongers. Wherever you go, there’s always a new taste to be discovered, and below is a rundown of some of the best Virtuoso-preferred companies for going around the world in 180 plates.
EXO Travels

Asia is a tapestry rich with unique spices, vegetables and styles of cooking. EXO can please your palate in a va…

Unique Accommodations Around the World

Unique Accommodations Around the World
By Damien Martin


Sure, the top suite at a hotel is glamorous. But it still has four walls and a ceiling, just like every other room you’ve stayed in, right? Unless you’re watching fish and rays swim by in one of the underwater suites at Atlantis the Palm in Dubai or the Underwater Room at Manta Resort on Tanzania’s Pemba Island, that is. Maybe you have a pretty state-of-the-art aquarium at home and that’s still a little too domestic for you. No worries, there are plenty of unique accommodations that can take you out of your comfort zone while still making you feel warm and cozy.
An inflatable bubble

Iceland’s Buubble bills itself as a “5 million star hotel” and is a perfect spot for viewing the Northern Lights. Most bubbles are fully transparent, but privacy is not a problem, as trees separate each from bubble from the next. The hotel doesn’t even tell you where it’s located until you book, so there aren’t a lot of gawkers milling around. The bubbles…

Villas and Apartments

Take your Villa or Apartment Renting To The Next Level With VirtuosoBy Damien Martin


Taking the whole family on a beach vacation this summer? Want an apartment in the big city for a long weekend? Why, you’ll need to book an Airbnb rental for that, right? Sure, if you want to run the risk of being secretly filmed by your host, as one couple recently discovered was happening to them at a Longboat Key, Fla., rental. Or if you’re OK with the possibility that your host might cancel your booking at the last minute for no reason or because of your race, as occurred in February with a Big Bear, Calif., rental. Or if you don’t mind that the place you’re renting might not have the proper insurance, safety measures or even be legally available for short-term rentals.

Or, you could utilize the vast resources of the Virtuoso network and stay at a place that has been properly vetted, offers services such as housekeeping and lets you enjoy your experience instead of worrying about what’s actually wait…