Your recent grad likely already has bunches of blank journals sitting in some dusty corner. If you want to inspire them to fill them, then help them create the experiences they’ll never want to forget. Do this by making it easier for them to love traveling around the suddenly wide open world. No more classes to attend doesn’t mean they still don’t have a ton to learn. As you send them off to explore the places they’ve only read about, here are a few gift suggestions to make the experiences even better.
Anyone that’s experienced jet lag knows it’s no fun and can take days away from loving your new destination if you’re walking around like a zombie fantasizing about your hotel bed. You can take that agony away from your new traveler with the UpLift app that will reset his Meridian Body Clock to the time zone in which the body has just found itself. It’s why scientist Dr. Charles Krebs invented Uplift — he too got tired of the time it took to adjust to new time zones after flying around the world for his speaking engagements. The process is simple. All a traveler does is input his departure and arrival details into the app when he arrives at his hotel, or quiet space, and follows the videos the app generates that show him how to use acupressure to realign his bodily functions into his new timezone. This big gift comes with a little price tag of only $9.99 through the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Let’s face it, another travel hassle are long airport lines you encounter when you arrive back into the United States. Give her the gift of strolling past security with a little wave of her pre-screened passport at the short Global Entry kiosk. Plus, if she qualifies for this Trusted Traveler program, she also automatically gets TSA PreCheck for domestic flights. Global Entry is $100 and good for five years.
Previous generations of this camera had users taking video and pictures on faith and hope. Hope the screenless camera was actually capturing the shots you hoped to preserve. No more! Since the GoPro 4, this spiffy little camera has included an LCD screen. The newest model, GoPro 7, is even better. It has higher audio and video quality and some models offer the kind of image stabilization that allows your traveler to bungee jump off the Eiffel Tower, if he could, and still retain a smooth picture. The best is the little cameras will let your graduate capture all the action but still hold tight to their straps for safety because the units attach to helmets and chest straps so your daredevil won’t lose his grip on his smartphone while zip lining across the Amazon. Prices vary depending on model, but the Hero 7 White is $199.
The days of quaint internet cafés are over. Now you can help your grad stay in touch by having him carry around his own WiFi signal. Skyroam Solis is about the size of a smoke detector but what it does is detect the WiFi signal in 130 countries and lets users connect up to five devices to its hub for $9.99 per day. If he doesn’t use it, you don’t pay for it, but when he needs it, he gets unlimited data for 24 hours. Buy the hub for $149 or rent it for the duration of the trip.
Eurail Global Pass/Amtrak USA Rail Pass
She can visit 30 European countries at her leisure and explore to her heart’s content in each one with the Eurail Global Pass. Options include a wide range of travel days with the longest maxing out at three months. Or, if she prefers to wander around the American landscape, the Amtrak USA Rail Pass is the one for her. The railway pass allows her to pick how long she wants to explore the United States, from 15 to 45 days. Either of these gifts will be the cherry for all that hard work she had to do in school and let those books finally breath in the many classrooms she’ll find along her railway journey. Passengers 27 years old and younger get a discounted rate with the Eurail Global Pass that starts at $195 for three days out of a month and up to $800 for three months consecutively. The USA Rail Pass starts at $459 for 15 days and goes up to $899 for 45 days. Restrictions apply.
While large areas of Colorado are experiencing exponential growth with far too many trees being clear-cut (it’s one of the fastest-growing states in the country), it’s still the home for great businesses striving to make the world a little greener. Those businesses include Sherpani, creators of women’s day bags, backpacks and travel bags, including a line of sophisticated, beautifully crafted items made from recycled plastic.
This summer, family travel at The Peninsula receives an upgrade with the debut of Camp Peninsula, a children’s experience that recreates the spirit of camping right in the heart of Beverly Hills. The journey begins with a special welcome from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot, at check-in. After taking a picture with the life-sized teddy bear, kids will be whisked away by a Peninsula Camp Counselor to a luxurious guestroom where a charming teepee awaits. An afternoon of camp-themed games and activities, including a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, rounds off the family-friendly experience, fun for children of all ages. Whether it’s a luxe staycation or an extended holiday, Camp Peninsula is an ideal way to ensure the little ones are happy campers.
It’s been almost three years since Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc on the island and leaving most residents without electricity and clean water. Tourism, which accounts for 6.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, took a beating, with hotels closed for year-long repairs, airlines cutting service and cruise lines shifting itineraries to other Caribbean destinations. Timing for the hurricane couldn’t have been worse, coming on the heels of the government’s announcement in May 2017 that it was unable to pay more than $70 billion in public debt and thus forced to file for bankruptcy. Large protests and a change of government would follow. Then, in January 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the south side of the island, forcing San Juan restaurants to close while power was restored. And as we write this story, coronavirus runs rampant across the globe with severe economic implications for all destinations, including Puerto Rico.
My youngest daughter and I arrived from Barcelona on the high-speed AVE train (in less than three hours) and entered Westin Palace Madrid in time for the Sunday Opera Brunch — which takes place under the stained-glass cupola of La Rotonda, where daily breakfast and cocktails are served. I’d heard about this event on several occasions when I toured the hotel in 2015, and when my granddaughter and I stayed there in 2017.