Touring the Greek islands can be an exhilarating way to spend a vacation, but it can be a difficult and daunting task to an inexperienced island-hopper. The better prepared you are for your island adventures, the more fun and memories you and your family will have. The following suggestions should turn you and your family into pros.
Pick an island chain and stick to it. The Greek islands are grouped into several different chains, each with something unique to offer. For example, the islands known as the Cyclades, such as Mykonos and Santorini, are picturesque with whitewashed buildings and cobblestone streets. Dotted with churches and windmills, these arid islands provide the classic Greek island experience. In contrast, the Ionian Islands, such as Corfu and Zakynthos, are lush and green with a milder climate. Devote some time to researching which islands best meet your family’s needs.
By sticking to islands within one group, you can maximize your time visiting as many islands as possible, taking advantage of simpler transportation routes. Visit the websites of some ferry lines to plan your routes. While you can purchase your tickets online, you must still pick them up in person from a ticket agent. Some of the main ferry lines include Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways and Aegean Speedlines. Visit online to check out special deals, such as the Greek Island Pass and the Inter Island Pass currently offered by Hellenic Seaways, allowing you to visit several islands for the price of one.
Plan ahead. Boarding ferries can be chaotic and confusing, especially with early morning departures, so your best bet is to visit a travel agent ahead of time. They are plentiful all over Greece, especially in port cities. For summer travel, it is especially important to buy your tickets early, don’t wait until the morning of your trip to Crete to find tickets. Greeks have a saying that in the summertime, Greece calls its children home. Locals and Greeks living abroad love visiting the islands during the summer months just as much as tourists, so those ferry boats can sell out quickly.
Pack for fun, not for a fashion show. Packing light is key for successful island hopping. The purpose of visiting the Greek islands is to relax and have fun. That’s tough when you injure your back lugging your suitcase up and down narrow alleys and steep staircases. Not to mention the ferry boats — what you pack, you must carry. These ships are meant to transport large groups of people, not to provide luxury. Don’t expect a porter to help you with your suitcase.
Have a back-up plan. Greek ferry workers are famous for going on strike. Luckily, these strikes are usually planned in advance. Ask ahead of time when purchasing your ferry tickets. If a possible strike is expected on your travel dates, you may need to adjust your vacation plans. Unfortunately, they aren’t always announced ahead of time, so your ability to be flexible is a must. The weather can also throw a wrench into the most carefully laid plans. When the winds get too strong, ships aren’t allowed to sail, so don’t plan your return to the mainland too close to your departure from Greece unless you don’t mind missing your flight home. Although missing flights is a huge inconvenience, there could be worse things than getting stranded on a Greek island for a few days!
Overshadowed by nearby Portland and overlooked by tourists bound for the popular coastal towns of Camden and Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick is not on the radar of most family travelers in Maine. But couples looking for a cozy getaway will find fine dining, antiques, art and quiet streets for strolling, many lined by distinguished homes and well-kept gardens.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Not quite ready to say goodbye to summer? If the weather is forcing you to head indoors, you can still take advantage of a few opportunities to splash around in the waves, without even being that far from the beach — thanks to the world’s largest indoor beachfront waterpark, which opened this summer in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means its time to start making plans for spooky and scary stops for having fun with the family this fall. New York’s Cayuga County is always a fun visit for family travelers, but if you plan on being in the area this October, you will definitely want to explore its haunted history with some choice spots along New York’s Haunted History Trail. This curated list of haunted and spooky stops throughout New York features incredible locations showcasing the perfect combination of the state’s beautiful charm and fascinating history.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.