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Can't Wait to Travel Again? Here Are Some Budget-Friendly and Safe Trips You Can Take During COVID-19
The pandemic has killed economies worldwide and changed our lives in ways that were unimaginable before. Especially when it comes to travel, the newly-implemented measures seem to make venturing out almost impossible. However, as the lockdown regulations start to relax around the world, people cannot wait to go out for a breath of fresh air and explore places they dreamt of.
Traveling During a Pandemic
Travel will and has started to be possible again. It is essential not only to stay healthy and safe but to respect local, state, and national protocols and mandates wherever you travel. Whether you plan the voyage yourself or book through Donna W Watson Travel, you must inform yourself regarding the protocols and rules of the place you want to travel to. Following are some safe and budget-friendly travel ideas during COVID-19 to consider, as well as tips on how to stay safe throughout your entire trip.
Stay Safe and Know What to Pack
To avoid exposure and stay safe, plan as many outdoor activities as possible. Besides being safer than indoor activities, getting out in the sun has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress and benefit your overall health. On top of your sanitizer — which should have greater than 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol — masks and disinfecting wipes, you should bring a selfie stick if you want to take pictures that you would ask a stranger to take in a different circumstance. Before you sit, use wipes on your seat and armrest if you travel by plane or train to stay safe.
Traveling does not have to be expensive, especially in such uncertain times. When shopping for and packing your essentials, make sure you take advantage of various options, such early booking bonuses and promotional codes. Also, look for hot deals and other special offers from our travel agency.
Going camping is one of the safest and budget-friendly types of travel during COVID-19, more so if you're socially distanced from anyone not belonging to your household. To be safe, wear masks, especially in common areas where you may meet other campers. Backpacking or rafting are also some good ideas — the less you pack, the less you have to disinfect. The bonus point here is that outdoor areas will probably be less crowded than ever. Call us we can help book your camping experience.
Hit the Beach
The beach is another safe option for a summer vacation or even an outdoor picnic. Ensure you maintain social distancing in places required and avoid crowded areas such as restrooms, restaurants, and boardwalks.
Hop on a Road Trip
Pack your household in the car and hit the road together. Ensure you're maintaining a safe distance from other tourists as you take pictures in front or of any landmarks you visit. Pack lots of snacks and some cushions and listen to your favorite music to make the road trip more fun and comfortable.
Visit Local or State Parks
Parks are probably underrated and underused germs. Most of them have playgrounds for kids, lakes for swimming, and large areas where you can play and have a picnic. If you're within driving distance of a state park, you should definitely give it a go and enjoy the scenery around and to it.
Budget-Friendly and Safe Travel During COVID-19
Travel is possible during a pandemic, but you must make sure you follow the regulations and mandates of the places you plan on visiting. Check the rules, browse through your options, save money with promo codes or coupons and ensure you're staying safe. This way, you get to take advantage of the opportunities and have a great time after a lengthy lockdown. We are here to help you plan your travel adventure.
The 7 Most Charming European Christmas Markets to Visit This Winter Including Copenhagen, Munich, Salzburg Among Others
Christmas markets in Europe host some of the world’s most beautiful cities, creating the perfect setting for settling into the holiday spirit. From the sweet aroma of mulled wine in Munich to cinnamon spice, the echo of Christmas jingles in the air and glögg in Gothenburg, European Christmas markets are a haven for festivities and fanfare.
As the nights draw in, we highlight the best places to travel and explore in winter European Christmas markets this year from opening dates, to accessible travel solution, what to buy at each market, where to stay, the best cruise deals andriver cruises and of course local delicacies to sample.
They say, the early birds catches the worm, so if you haven’t yet booked your holiday to these delightful European travel destinations for their Christmas Markets delights, then you are already missing out on a lot bearing in mind that traveling to these destinations during winter festivities is way cheaper compared to other seasons.
If you are not sure where to start, simply visit https://www.dwwatsontravel.com, your trusted travel consultants to handle your itinerary be it, hotel stay or booking the best cruise deals orriver cruises at the best market prices. In addition, we welcome travelers with special needs, so everyone is catered for. You can also call us to discuss your options.
Let’s dig in!
Salzburg may be the city of Mozart, but it is also the city of Josef Mohr (1792-1848), the local composer behind the world-famed Christmas carol, “Silent Night.” hymn. With a spread of stalls, cathedrals, set pieces and cozy crannies, Salzburg seems tailor-made for frosty-breathed festivities.
The famous Salzburg's Christkindlmarkt happens around the cathedral, where choirs regularly perform outside the Cathedral, with huts gathered at the foot of the postcard charming Hohensalzburg Fortress.
What to Eat, Where to Stay
A Christmas delicacy in Salzburg are the sausages with sauerkraut and potatoes. The bratwurst (fried sausage) is eaten with many different side dishes. The Mirabell Palace and Gardens or the Mozart's Residence is a must-stay for every first-timer.
How: Take connecting flight to Munich, a two-hour drive from Salzburg. Ski charters also fly direct to the city. No visa required; however, Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond period of stay.
When: November 22 to December 26 yearly
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague’s stunning castle, Old Town and Charles Bridge lit up like Christmas trees sets the perfect tone for Christmas festivities. And who can forget the city's central tree –shipped as it is from the Krkonose Mountains and mounted right at the heart of the main markets in the Old Town Square, a sight to behold!
Prague is also the place to go for your seasonal exhilarating store shopping in and along the cutesy stuff at the markets for Bohemian Crystal, scented candles, wooden toys, ceramic mugs, hand-made jewelry, and decorative ornaments.
Where to Eat, Where to Stay
Enjoy Prague’s mulled wine; renowned Czech beers, possibly alongside klobása; barbecued sausages sold amongst the trdelník (stalls). Prague’s delectable chimney cake is simply sinful!
Be sure to check in at the Alchymist Prague Castle Suites offering seven luxurious rooms and lavish suites in a great location right below Prague Castle.
How: Get connective flights to Dublin then Prague. No visa required; however, Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond period of stay.
When: December 1 to January 6
Copenhagen, home to the world famous amusement park that turns into a winter wonderland with copious amounts of Christmas sparkle; the lake that also transforms into an ice rink; coupled with the smorgasbord of New Nordic cuisine makes it the place to be. It will cost you an arm and a leg, but it will be worth it. Yap, a Copenhagen Christmas is not cheap! Call Us and Ask About Our Layaway Plans.
The main market in the heart of the city is the Tivoli Gardens set alongside the old harbor. Visitors can experience traditional Danish fairy lights, old-school rollercoasters and reindeer rides - with the magical ambiance overlooking the dozens of food and gift stalls in the Tivoli garden. This culminates in several nights of spectacular fireworks displays.
Where to Eat, Where to Stay
The traditional Danish Christmas meal is roast pork, red cabbage and gravy, boiled potatoes, and, roast duck and goose. For dessert, the classic dish is ris à l'amande; cold rice pudding with whipped cream, almonds, vanilla, 'risengrød' (hot rice pudding) or hot cherry sauce.
Enjoy breakfast at the Andersen Boutique Hotel in Copenhagen Centre, Tivoli Hotel, Scandic Palace Hotel among others.
How: Get connective flights (Ryanair and SAS) at Dublin to Copenhagen. No visa required; however, passport must be valid for 6 months beyond period of stay.
When: November 17 to December 31
Munich offers the quintessential Bavarian market with a mind-blowing 24 markets! Way to get into the Christmas spirit! The medieval Wittlesbacherplatz market conjures up the sights and smells of some of Europe’s original markets complete with traders in costume and traditional mead or Feuerzangebowle served in wonderfully designed goblets.
Christmas markets in Munich are organized around the must-see 100-foot Christmas tree in Marienplatz in central market. Also, get festive at the vast Tollywood Winter festival at Theresienwiese.
Where to Eat, Where to Stay
Munich Christmas delicacies include the famous sumptuous pork chops with red-cabbage dumplings. And just for good measure, Munich throws in their hot-to-hold pretzels, badass bratwursts and tankards of frothy beer and Glühwein (mulled wine).
Most booked hotels near Munich include the Hotel Sendlinger Tor, Hotel Concorde and Hotel in Altstadt-Lehel among others.
How: Get connective flights (Aer Lingus, Lufthansa and Ryanair) to fly direct to Munich. No visa required; however, passport must be valid for 6 months beyond period of stay.
When: November 27 to December 24
Vienna oozes elegance all year; however, at Christmas the city overflows with Gothic stylishness lit up with fairy lights. Seasonal markets here are a tradition ever since Emperor Albrecht I granted Viennese traders the pleasure of holding a December market for their customers back in 1296.
However, the main Christmas event, the gaudiest of markets, with the biggest Christmas tree, is Christkindlmarkt in front of the Rathaus, by Vienna's Town Hall, and the Weihnachtsmarkt Schloß Schönbrunn offering among others, live carol singing.
Where to Eat, Where to Stay
Austrians adore their gemütlichkeit (cosiness), as evidenced in their city's classy cafes and even markets that serve up delectable roasted chestnuts, spiced biscuits, gingerbread, and roasted almonds with hot punch and mulled wine. For your stay, try the Hotel Rathaus Wein & Design.
How: Get connective flights (Aer Lingus) from Dublin to Vienna. No visa required; however, passport must be valid for 6 months beyond period of stay.
When: November 16 to December 30
The Germans certainly know how to do Christmas! In Berlin, visitors can choose from some 50 or so of their finest Christmas markets in the city, offering fairground rides and ice-rinks, seasonal delicacies, traditional festive wares and exciting nightlife.
Make your way to the Alexanderplatz Christmas Market, one of the biggest markets in Europe with the largest Christmas pyramid with over 5,000 lights.
Where to Eat, Where to Stay
This German city will fill with delicious-smelling food and drink including Wurst (German sausages), Reibekuchen and kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) knoblauchbrot (garlic bread), pommes (fries), champignons (mushrooms), frothy beer among others. Book your stay at the Orania, for modern convenience.
How: Fly direct (Lufthansa, KLM, or American Airlines) to Berlin. No visa required; however, passport must be valid for 6 months beyond period of stay.
When: November 26 to December 26
Head on over to the traditional Skansen Christmas Market in Stockholm, to get a taste of how Scandis do Christmas. Be sure to also visit the cheerful stalls near the Royal Palace to shop for ware made only in Sweden, such as jewelry, pottery and glass.
Where to Eat, Where to Stay
Traditional Swedish Christmas food “Christmas table” is essentially a smörgåsbord with typical Swedish food on it -- Christmas ham, pork sausage, an egg and anchovy mixture (gubbröra), herring salad, pickled herring, homemade liver pâté, wort-flavored.
If a Nordic Christmas market bundled up during light snow fall with a cup of glögg (mulled wine), pepparkakor (gingersnaps) and traditional sausages is your forte, then head on over to the north to visit the Skansen's Christmas Market.
For a genuine Stockholm Christmas, the world-famous Christmas market in Gamla Stan (Stockholm's old town) is a must. Be sure to Book Now!
How: Fly direct (Lufthansa, KLM, or United Airlines) to Stockholm. No visa required; however, passport must be valid for 6months beyond period of stay.
When: November 24 to December 16, on weekends only
Senior Travel - Top Popular Spots For Seniors To Visit In Italy
The saying "See Rome and Die" rings true for most people, young and old alike. Italy is in the bucket list of most people for places to visit. And for seniors who get more enchanted by history as they age, Italy offers popular spots to visit.From the medieval treasures hidden in Tuscany; the Colosseum in Rome, the ancient Pompeii, the stunning highlights in Venice and Florence and the breathtaking views of the Sistine Chapel.
If you haven't crossed Italy off your bucket list of the places to visit, then it's time you make a trip to this beautiful ancient, yet modern city.
While Italy may have a few accessibility challenges owing to some of its ancient architecture, most often than not, there's always a way around the city to make it work. It is advisable to do a bit of sleuthing of your own prior to visiting Italy to learn about the likely challenges you may bump into as you navigate Italy. This will help you be better prepared even mentally for what is ahead. In the long run, you will have a more seamless and enjoyable trip focusing on having the time of your life, rather than trying to steer clear off obstructions.
That said, quite a number of tour companies, hotels and vacations destinations in Italy go out of their way to make accessible travel possible. Most also provide value vacation packages beyond just basics to cater to the different needs of visitors to their establishments. So whether you are retired or still working, planning to travel solo, with family or other like-minded companions, with a little research you will find a wealth of senior vacation ideas to suit your needs.
We have made it easier for you to plan your vacation by putting together some of the most popular spots for seniors in Italy. From Venice, Florence to Rome, seniors will enjoy lavish Tuscan sceneries, wine tasting, romance, art and Italy's best preserved ancient history.
Rome tops our list of places to visit as it embodies the past and present having been the Capital City of Ancient Rome and still the Capital of City of present day Italy.
Top sights to see are the dazzling Spanish stairways of the Piazza di Spagna, with the spectacular Fontana della Barcaccia, overlooking the epicenter of Rome. This is the arena, where the famous Agoni Capitolini contests - horse racing, athletics and musical contents- used to take place. Grab a bite and a drink at the Pantheon, a very dynamic and lively place to connect and mingle with other seniors.
At night the Piazza Navona home of breathtaking fountains in Rome will serenade you with among others, the Trevi Fountain that hosts the sculptures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Beautiful Amalfi Coast And Capri
Considered a tourist trap owing to its beautiful scenery of the 'Garden of Eden', the Amalfi Coast was once home to emperors and the seat of famous monasteries. This is where tourists come to experience a mix of elegance and cultures on the backdrop of spectacular rocky coastline.
Because it is so famous with tourists, the best time to visit Amalfi and enjoy the full scenery of this paradise is during the off-season when tourist crowds have diminished. Her highlights include the Bay of Naples and the Vesuvius on the North of the Island. The town of Capri enjoys warm sunshine throughout the year, so you never lose out no matter what time of year you visit.
Seniors can embark on a sailing adventure aboard the small ship cruises to explore the Amalfi Coast and experience her beauty while sipping fruity cocktails.
Florence is Italy's representation of style, culture and art. Her elaborate Florentine architectural designs like the Palazzo Vecchio set the town apart. But you haven't been to Florence if you haven't visited the Piazza della Signoria, the oldest market squares where you can gaze at the most beautiful ancient architectural designs to date.
Be sure to visit the grand Palazzo Degli Uffizi palace home to Uffizi Gallery. The palace was designed by the renowned architect Vasari on behalf of the Medici's family. Here, seniors can take in famous paintings by the likes of Giotto, Leonardo, Caravaggio, Raphael and Titian.
Opera lovers are not left out; get serenaded at Florence's new opera house - the most modern opera house in the world.
The 'Cinque Terre' Villages
Small ship cruises are popular among senior vacation packages. A popular tourist destination to experience this is the Cinque Terre which means 'The Five Lands'. It is literally a set of five floating villages: the Riomaggiore, the Manarola, the Corniglia, the Vernazza and, the Monterosso. These five historic villages, including the shoreline are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The charming and colorful Cinque Terre villages are linked together along a stretch of a panoramic trekking trail, known as the Sentiero Azzurro or "Light Blue Trail". The trails lie along diminutive cliffs on the Italian Riviera. The trail connecting Riomaggiore to Manarola village is called the Via Dell'Amore of "Love Walk". The stretch that links Manarola to Corniglia is the easiest to trek. However, of noteworthy is the main trail into Corniglia that ends with 368 steps climb!
Forget cars when you get to Venice, as it has no roads! It was constructed on a lagoon packed with canals. Seniors can take a tour of the lagoon or the Po Delta in greater depth on board the easily available local small ship cruises. These short cruises are a great way to explore and learn about the rich historic sites in Venice.
Be sure to catch the famous Carnivals of Venice. Seniors can also explore the pilgrimage town of Padua with her artistic treasures, visit the San Marco square, view the Venetian gondolas, hike the 8 bridges of Venice with their unusual names and, finish by visiting the grand palaces of Venice. It truly is the home of art, poetry and romance - home to the setting for Romeo and Juliet.
About The Dominican Republic
Did you know that Dominican Republic required a fee to enter the country? This fee was not included in the price of your airline ticket? Upon arrival to the airport you had to wait in a line to purchase a tourist card for $10USD per person Cash Only!
Clients can now purchase the tourist card via a credit card online prior to departure and bypass the long lines when they arrive at the airport.
If you prefer to do this you can use the link below.
Here are the steps to follow if you decide to purchase your tourist card online :
- Select "Buy your tourist card"
- Translate to English
- If you are not a citizen of one of the listed countries press "Select and Continue"
- Fill in all applicable information
- Accept the terms and conditions
- Confirm your purchase using a credit card
- Be sure to print out both portions of the tourist card and present it when you go through the airport.
If you are not going to purchase your tourist card online, remember to bring $10 USD cash with you to purchase it at the airport upon your arrival.
Puerto Rico, officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico), is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
Puerto Rico is only 100 miles long by 35 miles wide, making it the smallest island of the Greater Antilles. Puerto Rico (Spanish for "rich port") cosists of an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and several islands: Vieques, Culebra, Mona and numerous islets.
San Juanis the capital of Puerto Rico and the most populous municipality in Puerto Rico, with a population of two million. The city was founded in 1508, by Juan Ponce de León. It iPonce, Caguas, Mayagüez, Bayamón, Carolina, Arecibo, Guaynabo, Cayey, Aguadilla, and Fajardo.
San Juan, Bayamón, Carolina, Guaynabo, Trujillo Alto and Caguas.
Climate:The climate is Tropical Marine with an average temperature of 80°F (26°C).
Time Zone:Atlantic Standard Time (AST), which is one hour later (+1) than Eastern Standard Time (EST) and four hours earlier (-4) than Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Puerto Rico does not observe Daylight Savings Time.
Puerto Rico's main port of entry and has one of the best harbors in the Caribbean.
What I love most about Puerto Rico is the inhabitants. They are friendly, charming, and engaging. I also love the wonderful climate, natural beauty, and it’s beautiful beaches. Last but not least, I also love the wonderful food that can be inhaled and tasted at many points while touring around this Island.
Puerto Rico is a wonderful place to vacation with your family, and build memories to last a lifetime. Grandparents, parents, children and friends can get in touch with nature at the many spectacular parks and beaches and share learning experiences at historic and cultural sites, towns and small villages; or, the can get away from it all on the off-shore islands of Vieques and Culebra.
- United States PASSPORTS are not required for U.S citizens!
- No Customs Check.
- Just a short trip by commercial air from major U.S. cities (as little as 2.5)
- Easy to explore
- U.S. currency & postal service
- Great Restaurants
- Beautiful Beaches
- Fun For All
- Shopping (unique shops in the Old City)
Couples Build Memories That Will Last a Lifetime!
Puerto Rico is also one of the easiest places to plan a Destination Wedding & Honeymoon. Getting married in Puerto Rico is now easier than ever, and far less cumbersome than many other destinations. We can help you plan your Destination Wedding & Honeymoon in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico is also a wonderful place to go for your Babymoon!
Singles enjoy activities for every night of the week. San Juan’s nightlife has a reputation that combines the hip of New York with the hot of Miami.
Puerto Rico for the Business Traveler. Meeting Facilities in Puerto Rico includes the Puerto Rico Convention Center. It is the largest in the convention center in the Caribbean. Around the island, including the Convention Center, Puerto Rico has 1.3 million square feet of meeting space.
Why do I recommend Puerto Rico? Because it is one of my favorite Islands. I first visited this island over 40 years ago when I was 17 years old.