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Showing posts from December, 2018

New Year’s traditions around the world

New Year’s traditions around the world By Damien Martin
     As we say goodbye to 2018 and welcome in 2019, we have a lot of travel plans for the coming year. We’re celebrating 50 years of helping clients make their travel dreams come true, and along the way we’ve picked up some favorite New Year’s Eve traditions from around the world. Here’s wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2019. Use some of these tricks from other cultures to ensure a prosperous new year.

     At the clock hits midnight, Spaniards eat a grape at each chime. The 12 grapes represent good luck in each month of the coming year. After midnight, the party really begins, as Spaniards take to the streets and pass around bottles of cava. In large cities, especially the capital of Madrid, they gather in the main squares and celebrate deep into the night. As the sun rises, they drink hot chocolate and eat churros before heading to bed for most of the day. Sounds like something we can get behind.

     It b…

Christmas traditions around the world

Christmas traditions around the world By Damien Martin
      No doubt your family has cherished holiday traditions, and we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season filled with on-time connections and free of travel delays. As much as you enjoy your traditions, we thought we’d share some of our Christmas favorites from around the world.


     Every year, the city of San Fernando plays host to the Giant Lantern Festival. From humble beginnings, the festival has expanded to the point where San Fernando is recognized as the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines” and the party lasts the second half of December. The lanterns have gotten bigger too, now 15 feet in diameter. Lantern makers wrap 5,000 light bulbs around steel frames. The frames are placed on barrels that serve as rotors to turn the lanterns in a shimmering display of light.


     Thirteen boisterous brothers known as the Yule Lads come down from the mountain cave 13 days before Christmas to delight and f…

Give the gift of travel

Give the gift of travel By Damien Martin
     Perhaps someone on your Christmas list who’s impossible to shop. Or maybe they’ve been dropping hints all year about how they need to get away. It could even be a white elephant gift you’re hoping ends up back in your hands. Whoever it’s for, the gift of travel will make for a lifetime of memories. You can contact us at or 800-322-9481 to get your gift certificate. In the meantime, here are some suggestions for what to use it on.

European cruise
     Set sail for the enchanting cities of Europe and immerse yourself in history. You can get a taste of several different cultures in one fell swoop or select a cruise that concentrates on one area, such as Italy or the Greek Isles. A longer departure can bring you from one end of the Mediterranean to the other, from the charms of Lisbon in the west to the ancient cities of the Levant in the east. In the interior, river cruises can take you through Eastern and Central Eur…

Top cooking classes

Top cooking classes By Damien Martin
     We’re smack in the middle of cooking season. Thanksgiving has come and gone, and with it the first round of feasting. Maybe you’re still working your way through leftover stuffing or making soup with turkey stock. If you haven’t already started, you may soon be deep in the throes of making Christmas cookies and other goodies. With Hanukkah under way, perhaps you’ve already churned out several loaves of Challah or several batches of latkes. Whether you’re trying to keep your skills sharp on vacation or learn how it’s done in a different culture, you’ll love these cooking classes with Virtuoso partners.

     Eatwith lets you start your morning by meeting an Italian grandmother in Florence’s central market, shopping for ingredients that you’ll make into a wonderful meal that afternoon. Spend time discovering Florence with a local and stop off for a nice glass of wine or coffee before getting down to business. Learn how to make homemade pas…