It's almost time! With Spring Break around the corner, the travel bug is real. If you no longer have Spring Break (*le sigh*), who says you still can't pack your bags, leave the kids with the husband and getaway for a long weekend? Just tell him you'll come back refreshed and better than ever, ready to resume mom/wife duties upon arrival. If you need something sooner, get a GALentine this February and go GALavanting. Sorry, couldn't resist that one.
With so many popular cities in the USofA, it’s hard to tell which is the fairest of them all. Since Miami takes the cake for best weather year round, it only makes sense that locals, domestic and international travelers alike storm the various beaches of America’s sexiest city. This is where beach bodies come to lie no matter the season – which tells the tale of these Floridians’ toned physiques 24/7, 365 days of the year. Let the juice cleanses commence!
My favorite luxury rental company, Oasis Collections, hosted a Bachelor reunion for Catherine, Robyn and me once upon a time, and to be honest, they know how to party in the city where the heat is on. Oasis prides itself on providing a fully curated experience for guests, offering the service and style of a boutique hotel but with the comfort and privacy of your own home, or in our case, an incredible apartment overlooking Brickell Bay.
When to go: Anytime!
Where to stay: Oasis Collections
People can't stop talking about how Colombia got its groove back. The seaport of Cartagena has emerged as the country's belle of the ball and thus, has become not only a safe LatAm city to visit, but a South American must-see.
For anyone coveting an eternal summer, I suggest you start packing your bags for southern skies. It's just a short flight from the U.S. (direct flights from JFK, Miami and Fort Lauderdale), and I don't know anyone who'd choose a polar vortex over a tropical breeze and warm sands. Lucky for you, I've done the leg work. Check out my 48 Hours in Cartagena post.
When to go: Anytime!
Where to stay: Tcherassi Hotel + Spa
Cusco & Machu Picchu, Peru
Oh, Peru. How I love thee. If you and your girls are more adventurous than say, promiscuous, then this is your spot. Due to Cusco's elevation, altitude sickness is real. Standing tall at over 11,000 feet high, many tourists find themselves the victims of massive headaches and stomach issues. My advice: quit the alcohol, drink lots of water, and chew tons of coca tea (found on every street corner in Cusco). Obviously, I learned the hard way as you can see from the photo below. I ate all the fried empanadas and drank all the alcoholic beverages on offer. Oops. Read my Quick Guide to Cusco.
The thing about traveling to Machu Picchu is that it turns all walks of life into equals. The history buffs, the outdoorsy type, the luxury adventurers, the backpackers, the hostel goers and the aggressive and non-aggressive hikers alike stand in awe at this new World Wonder and feel beyond miniscule. Hell, even the homebodies feel compelled to embark upon the expensive endeavor. There's something here for every woman in your party.
When to go: Machu Picchu is open year-round, however keep in mind that the Inca Trail is closed during the month of February. For those hardcore hikers who get off on trekking for days at a time among beautiful mountainous scenery and stunning cloud forests, take a mental note that the classic 26 mile 4-day hike is closed during this time. November to April is the rainy season, although it's not uncommon for Mother Nature to throw showers down all year round. Peak season is in July and August, but one thing is for sure...you can always expect crowds.
Where to stay: Machu Picchu Pueblo
Alternative Spring Break Abroad
Allow me to introduce something entirely different than getting tipsy on a beach or hiking with your besties. If you're tired of abusing your BAC or want to do something for the greater good, think about partaking in a volunteer program overseas. Projects Abroad curates various packages all over the world combining travel, adventure and multiple opportunities for personal and professional growth by giving back to communities everywhere. In destinations like Jamaica, Argentina, Belize, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana and Mexico, you could make a huge impact on underprivileged kids and adults alike.
Zion National Park, Utah
Last October, I set out for Zion by way of Vegas for a girl's getaway weekend in the great outdoors with a loose itinerary. We knew what we wanted to accomplish, but we deviated from the plan when we wanted. It was one of my favorite trips to-date simply because I've grown to love being in nature. Gimme ALL the trees, mountains and canyons. You have full permission to copy/paste it all...no travel agent fees required.
When to go: The park is open year round, but peak season is April - October
Where to stay: Mystic View Lodge
I've always found London to be such a badass city. The locals are friendly, the public transportation is good, the service is top notch, there's always something to do, and despite the general consensus, the food is tasty. Okay, okay...so fish and chips may not be my favorite thing on the menu, but there's plenty of variety across the pond.
If you wanna get real crazy, take a ride in the London Helicopter, chug champagne on The Eye, dine in the Shard, tea time it up, shop til you drop, visit as many museums as you can muster, and get SKETCH (pictured in the colorful bathroom, and yes the pods are toilets). I compiled all of the London-y things... touristy and then some.
When to go: Anytime, but spring and fall are lovely
Where to stay: The Milestone
Does this need any introduction? I didn't think so, but here are some photos to get you excited anyway.
When to go: Anytime!
Where to stay: Budget: The Jane; Mid-range: Ace Hotel, The Standard; Treat yoself: 1 Hotel, The Ludlow, The Carlyle, The Pierre
Cabo San Lucas, MX
Is there anything that gets you in a girl's weekend mood more than a Señor Frogs style beverage? Didn't think so. Girls gone wild, the Cabo San Lucas edition, is now on offer this Spring Break season. Just kidding, sort of. While Cabo Wabo is alway open for business, if you're looking for something a bit one the tamer side, there's always sun, sand and scuba. Whatever you do, don't miss margs at The Office.
When to go: Anytime!
Where to stay: Chileno Bay Resort and be one of the first to stay here (just opened Feb 1!) and take advantage of their special offer (3rd night free!)
Vancouver and/or Whistler, British Columbia
Being the indecisive human that I am, I simply couldn't decide between these two cities. Good thing they are only an hour and a half from one another so you can do BOTH. Vancouver is outdoor bliss in all its glory. Best experienced during summertime, the city exudes adventure as it offers hikes, parks, markets, walkable neighborhoods, sea planes and ferries all over. Whistler shines 365 days of the year. I visited last winter to take advantage of its unreal slopes, spa, s'mores and apres ski, however, all the locals told me to come back during summer. Twist my arm...