5 Ways to Make Memorable Experiences Abroad: Summer Edition

Greetings, fellow travelers!!! It’s been some time since we last connected, but I am excited to share a previously written piece, posted on Black Enterprise, on the best ways to,” Make Memorable Experiences Abroad.” It’s summer here in the US, and many are looking for new and exciting places to visit and want some creative ideas on how best to enjoy them. Please click here to learn more about how you can enhance your next overseas journey and create lasting memories. Happy travels and hope to see you in an airport soon!!!

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Travel ABCs

Bon Bini, Bon Bini fellow global citizens and friends! Our 2016 Global Expedition continues. Today we’re going to discuss the ABCs of travel…. by reviewing the ABC Dutch islands in the Caribbean, which are comprised of- Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. I spent time in two of the three islands in February and had a spectacular time.

My first stop was to Aruba, where I experienced everything from deluxe spa services, to fine dining. I also intermingled with other guests from across the globe and lounged by the sea. I danced my way through the butterfly farm, which helps protect the vast number of species they have housed, and said a prayer atop the hill at the oldest church, Alto Vista Chapel, on the island. I was also blown away by the splendor of the natural bridge remnants and the pristine white beaches. I slept peacefully in plush amenities at Divi Golf & Beach Resort and Divi Phoenix each night, and relished in a variety of gourmet dishes each day at Windows and pureocean between outdoor activities. From the management down, staff and service was superb and amenities were plentiful! In Aruba, you can relax on the gorgeous white sand beaches, explore the magnificence of the marine life within the depths of the sea, dine on tantalizing cuisine from fresh seafood to gourmet pasta dishes, and make new friends along the way. It was one unforgettable time on the beautiful island of Aruba!

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Natural Bridge Remnants- Aruba

My next stop was to Bonaire, by way of Curacao. My flight from Aruba was routed through the fantastic final leg of the trio of islands (Curacao,) which we’ll address after Bonaire. When I think of Bonaire I automatically think of tranquility. Everything about this land speaks peace and incomparable beauty. It’s like a hidden diamond in the rough, peaking out from beneath a cover. It’s a conservation haven and brilliant underwater idyll. It’s so remarkably wonderful and calming, but has the option for big adventure- like diving throughout the island or windsurfing over at Jibe City! One of the primary reasons tourists visit Bonaire is for the diving! The clear sea waters provide direct access to the colorful sea life, which are synonymous to a box of crayons, making for a photographer’s dream. After long, full days, I rested peacefully, seaside each night at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino, and chomped down at Chibi Chibi and pureocean. The entire staff, including the resort manager, was just wonderful. Get your underwater and above sea cameras ready for one unforgettable time. Bonaire undoubtedly leaves a lasting impression on everyone.

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Jibe City- Bonaire

The last and final leg of the trio is Curacao. I first visited this island some years back and was completely smitten with its offerings. I enjoyed everything from the acclaimed, Queen Emma swinging bridge, to the chilling exhibits found at the Kura Hulunda museum, which takes you on a journey back in time, to the Dutch slave trade. I was captivated by the range of activities available to guests of the island. I was so visually excited by all the colors of the buildings to the lovely flamingos at the aquarium, which can be found on all three islands. Their rich color is reminiscent of that which typically only meets you in your dreams. While there, I stayed at the fantastic Hilton hotel and filled my belly with all sort of delectables at Aqua Restaurant and at Captain Bligh’s bar each day. The entire staff was great and I was super excited to earn all those international Hilton points. Can’t wait to go back to Curacao!

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Queen Emma Bridge- Curacao

Now that you’ve learned your ABC’s won’t you sing along with me….”The Dutch Caribbean is ahhhh-mazing.” Make plans to spend your next holiday at one or all three of these magnificent islands- for one enormous adventure packed time! Until next time, safe and happy travels to you!

 

3 Travel Must Haves – My 2016 Global Expedition

Greetings travelers! This 2016, Candacetravels kicked off a Global Expedition. The tour commenced in Dallas, TX, in January and was followed up by a 3 country visit in February to the Caribbean. With several more destinations on the horizon, I wanted to share my 3 must-haves for each trip. So…without further delay, here are my 3 travel staples for a smooth and successful journey!

  1. My camera- I am the proud owner of a Canon Rebel T3. I love it. It’s easy to use and the Rebel EOS series is a great starting point for amateur and new photographers. It takes high quality photos and feels good in my hands. It’s not overly bulky or painful to transport either. Recently, I invested in a multi-purpose (18mm-200mm) Tamaron Promaster lens, at the advice of a friend who is a photography guru (helping a newbie feel her way through,) and I haven’t regretted making the purchase since. The great thing about having a multi-purpose lens, is that it eliminates the hassle of having to carry multiple lenses. I can shoot objects up close, as well as at a distance. It was a fantastic find on Ebay- brand new, out the box and missing one end cap for a mere fraction of the retail price. My Canon is my baby and me love him (yes, my camera is a he) long time!
  2. My Laptop of choice- I’m always excited when I get to travel with a fresh out the box convertible. For my Caribbean leg of the expedition, I had the pleasure of using a Lenovo Yogo 900. This 2-in-1 is everything!!! I am a super-fan of the Yoga line, as it just works incredibly well for the person-on-the-go. The flexibility and ease of conversion is always a HUGE plus for me. The watch-band hinges allow me to flip between standard laptop mode to tablet or tent in just seconds- and it’s prefect that it’s touchscreen. It’s functional, the colors are rich and vibrant and it’s a great size- at 2.8 lbs, with a 13.3 inch display. I used the multi-touch during a couple meetings and it worked magnificently. It’s also slim and takes up minimal space in my often ridiculously full tote bag. This trip, I transported it in my sleeve. Depending upon the length of stay and amount of items I need to accompany me, I alternate between my sleeve in tote bag, to my Genius Pack Entrepreneur bag, which is more than a basic laptop bag. This particular journey called for quite a few extras, so I needed the tote space. The Yoga fit right in like a glove.
  3. My Iphone-  It’s difficult to believe that once upon a time I was a droidy.  I used to always say I can’t understand what the fascination is with everyone and Apple. Then one day, that old android of mine gave way, and I became the proud owner of an Iphone 5. I found it quite functional and easy to use and became so accustomed to it, that even after my first one was stolen in Rome, Italy, I found myself ordering a new one upon return to the states. Surprise- Candacetravels had officially become a member of team Apple. Go figure. Truthfully, I think I was hesitant to try because of my experience with their laptops.  I must admit that I’m still working on my comfort level with them, but have certainly converted over to the phones. I can take incredible pics on my Iphone, transfer pics between phones with fellow Iphoners by just tapping them together and Siri…well she answers just about every question that I toss out to her. I also do a great deal of business from the phone and it just works well for my busy lifestyle. I don’t leave home without it.

I’ll also be sharing some more travel info and tips throughout the coming months about best travel clubs, reward programs, credit cards and bank accounts to avoid fees for avid and new travelers. So…you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. Until then, I bid you safe and happy travels.Continue to follow, to read more about the “Epicness” of the 2016 Global Expedition that’s underway! Peace and blessings to you all.

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Shot with my Iphone- In St. Maarten

Candacetravels’ Year In Review…

This is a republish from a December 2015 post! Remember to stay tuned for more epic adventures to come!!! The first destination for 2016 will roll out later this week.

Greetings fellow travelers and friends. As this year comes to a close, I am reminded of what a spectacular travel year it’s been! Together we reviewed some amazing (travel) products, as well as visited some of the most beautiful destinations around the globe (to learn more see the links below and this past year’s previous posts.) We looked at everything from best Lenovo laptops to take, for business and leisure travelers, to some of the tastiest gluten-free snacks to pack in our tote bags. It’s been one incredible journey and I’m so grateful to have taken it with all of you!

Now that our suitcases are all packed and ready to go (again,) thanks to our “Best Items to Pack: 2015 Suitcase Series,” it’s now time to review some new and exciting places to go. Stay tuned for Candacetravels’ epic, “2016 Global Travel Diary- Expedition.” Together we will uncover some  “must see” places around the world! You didn’t think we were just going to review all of those incredible products for our suitcases for nothing did you? Of course not! We’re rounding them all up again and preparing for our upcoming destinations. So…get ready… because we are about to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime!!! Our first stop in January will include a southwestern, USA favorite. No, I’m not giving it away today, so you’ll just have to come back to find out more next month! 🙂

A HUGE thank you goes out to all of you for your support this year. It’s been my honor to serve as your travel guide and leisure expert. Let’s make 2016 a year to remember!!! Happy New Year and Happy Travels!!!

Review some of our favorite products and destinations for 2015 below!

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Sint Maarten

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Cannes, France

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Rome, Italy

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Pisa, Italy

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Florence, Italy

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Palma de Mallorca, Spain

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Isle of Capri, Italy

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Norwegian EPIC

For more info on some of these destinations, you can read about my experience at the links below:

http://upscalelivingmag.com/basking-grandeur-french-riviera/

http://globallivingmagazine.com/solace-by-sea-on-the-isle-of-capri/

http://upscalelivingmag.com/majestic-splendor-st-maarten/

http://globallivingmagazine.com/lenovo-yoga-3-pro/

The “Genius” Bag That Every Business Traveler and Entrepreneur Should Have

My suitcase series continues. My first September pick is a fantastic edition to our 2015 travel list. Find out more about this incredible product below!

How many times have we all rummaged through our laptop bags and carriers in search of earbuds or some other vital travel necessity during a trip? If you’re anything like me, then I’m sure you replied, “Often.” Have you ever wondered what life on- the- move would be like if you had a carry-all that was specifically designed to accommodate all of your travel essentials? Well… I have discovered the solution for you.  The answer is “Genius Pack.”  I first became acquainted with this remarkable luggage this past July, and have felt no compunction over our meeting since. It’s a well thought out line that is not only “genius,” but as their tag line boasts, is “Extremely Functional Luggage,” too.

For the past 6 weeks, I’ve had the satisfaction of carrying the Genius Pack Entrepreneur bag. It’s their standard, business carry- all bag that is perfect for  the local professional, just as much as it is for the staunch road warrior. At first appearance, you might compare this bag to a typical laptop bag, but it far surpasses any normal standards. For starters, it’s incredibly durable, and comes with water-proof protective coated zippers, a wide removable/adjustable padded shoulder strap and neoprene comfort-grip handles. It has ample interior padding and a specific compartment for just about every “thing” that one could imagine. There’s not only space for a laptop (up to 17”x4”x12”,) but also a dedicated section for a tablet. Additionally, there’s designated space labeled for each of the following; pens, business cards, headphones (earbuds,) the genius portable charging station, a pocket for a cell phone, room for the genius micro travel umbrella, or a comparable sized pop out one, an additional exterior front zip pocket and a back velcro- close pocket that runs the length of the bag. There is even a compartment for eyeglasses. Yes, eyeglasses! The Entrepreneur also comes with battery pack and speaker integration. This multifarious pack is indubitably the most considerate ever of the business professional and traveler’s needs.

Throughout my last assignment I was able to stay organized, locating every item I transported with simplicity. I didn’t have to go on a treasure hunt for an ink pen or business card, and could easily access my sunglasses once the sun set. It was an absolute dream. The Genius Pack team, whose luggage line rightfully lives up to its name, thought of it all- and this entrepreneur couldn’t be more satisfied. The Entrepreneur Genius Pack comes in two colors; Black and Ltd Edition Charcoal, it’s moderately priced and also comes with a 5 year warranty. This ultra functional bag can also be purchased in a leather version, for a more elegant look. For more information, visit www.geniuspack.com

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Genius Pack Entrepreneur bag- padded shoulder strap

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Entrepreneur bag compartments

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Water-proof protective coated zippers on the Entrepreneur bag

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The “Entrepreneur” Genius Pack