10 Tips for Staying at an All-Inclusive Resort

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Here are 10 tips to all-inclusive resorts; some will seem like no-brainers, but others are  learned the hard way.

1. Don’t forget about airport transportation.

2. Keep your valuables safe

3. Tips aren’t always included  

4. Bring a brand new bottle of sunblock

5. Take it easy with the food.

6. Plan some downtime. 

7. Bring your own cup and watch the pour. 

8. Look into Kids’ Camp. 

9. Plan ahead for excursions & other activities.

10. Be prepared to disconnect from WiFi. 

Grand Teton National Park Easy Hiking Tips and Trips 

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No matter what your fitness level, there are many hikes to be enjoyed in Grand Teton National Park. Best of all, you do not have to be a mountain climber to enjoy the beautiful vistas, canyons, and waterfalls in the park.

Be Prepared
Weather can and does change rapidly in the mountains. Take along extra clothing when hiking into the higher elevations, wear sunscreen, and take plenty of water and high energy snacks. If you are planning a long hike, start in the morning and keep your eye on the time. You do not want to be caught on the trail after dark.

Be Bear Aware

You will notice these signs everywhere in the park. Take them seriously. At certain times of the year, some trails may be closed due to increased bear activity. Park rangers put on bear safety presentations which you should also consider attending.

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Whenever you are hiking in the park always take along bear spray, know how to use it, have it immediately available, and talk or make noise while you hike. Never hike alone.

Lakeshore Trail Hike at Colter Bay, Jackson Lake

This flat, 2.0 mile loop trail follows the shoreline along a peninsula in Colter Bay. You will enjoy beautiful views of Mount Moran across Jackson Lake and reflections in Colter Bay. The trail begins on a paved service road near the boat docks at the Colter Bay Marina.

Heron Pond and Swan Lake Hike

If you enjoy waterfowl, wildlife, and water lily covered ponds, this hike is for you. Look for trumpeter swans, beaver, moose, and bears. This relatively flat hike starts at Colter Bay Village and is a 3.0 mile loop.

Willow Flats Shuttle or Loop Hike

When snow still covers the mountain trails in the spring, the Willow Flats area west of Jackson Lake will be snow free and ready for hiking. The willows and marshes are prime habitat for a variety of wildlife. Look for moose, sandhill cranes, beaver, bears, and other wildlife. The area is, as the name suggests, flat and it can get rather warm trekking through the flats and open meadows due to the lack of shade trees so you may want to choose a cooler day for this hike.

The shuttle hike is 4.9 miles. You can start the shuttle hike from either the Colter Bay coral or at the small parking lot on the south side of Jackson Lake Lodge. For the shuttle, you will need to park your car at either end and get a ride back to the trailhead. The loop trail is 8.3 miles starting at the Jackson Lake Lodge trailhead. The shuttle and first part of the loop trail are actually an abandoned dirt service road.

String Lake Hike

Nestled between Jenny Lake and Leigh Lake, what String Lake lacks in size it makes up for in beauty. This relatively flat 3.4 mile loop hike is wheelchair accessible for approximately 0.3 miles and we maneuvered a sturdy stroller through the entire hike with an occasional lift by Mom and Dad. You’ll enjoy beautiful mountain views reflecting in a placid lake, footbridges, and streams. Begin your hike at the String Lake Trailhead parking lot by turning west at the North Jenny Lake Junction turnoff from Teton Park Road.

Taggart Lake Hike

This 4.0 mile loop hike. Park your car at the Taggart Lake Trailhead parking lot (off Teton Park Road) and follow the path to your right (north). You will soon be crossing the footbridge over Taggart Creek, the perfect spot for your first picture. I can not exactly call this hike easy as it is a gradual uphill climb to Taggart Lake. You may need to make a few pit stops to catch your breath but continue on. You will be rewarded with splendid views of the Grand Teton over the lake. Once you cross the footbridge at the outlet of the lake there is a little bit more of a climb but the rest is all downhill. Be sure to turn around to catch the view overlooking Taggart Lake.

Jenny Lake Hike

Some consider Jenny Lake to be the most picturesque lake in the park, and it is gorgeous. This 7.7 mile loop takes you all the way around the shoreline of Jenny Lake. Start your hike by parking in either the String Lake Trailhead parking lot or the parking lot at the South Jenny Lake Junction off of Teton Park Road. I recommend starting at the String Lake Trailhead in the morning. This way you will be arriving at the south end of Jenny Lake around lunch time where you can grab a bite to eat, enjoy the visitor center, and use the facilities before completing your hike. A worthy side trip while on this hike is the loop up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.

Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point Hike via Jenny Lake Boat Dock

If you are not up for the 7.7 mile loop around Jenny Lake, take the boat from the South Jenny Lake parking lot. The boat departs approximately every 15 minutes and is a beautiful ride across the lake. Once you disembark, it is only a 0.2 mile hike to Hidden Falls and another 0.4 miles on to Inspiration Point where you’ll enjoy sweeping vistas of Jenny Lake and the valley below. This is a gradual but simple climb on a well traveled trail. If you are afraid of heights, you may not be able to complete the last section of trail up to Inspiration Point as the trail is on the side of a rock wall although the drop-off is not as high as it seems. Looking out over the valley makes you feel like you are way up in the air. There is a very nice lookout point just before this last bit of trail so you can still enjoy the view from up here.

Cascade Canyon Hike via Jenny Lake Boat Dock

The Cascade Canyon hike continues on past Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. The is the perfect opportunity to get into the back country with mountains soaring above you on either side. After leaving Inspiration Point, the trail climbs steeply for about a mile but once you get past this it becomes a gradual climb through the meadows of the canyon. You will hear and see crystal clear Cascade Creek roaring through the canyon to Hidden Falls below. The trail is 9.8 miles round trip if you go all the way to the junction with the Lake Solitude and Paintbrush Canyon trails. If you are planning to take the boat back across Jenny Lake on your return be sure to check the last departure time before you leave. If you miss the boat you can follow the Jenny Lake Trail and additional 2.1 miles back to the parking lot. Due to the higher elevation of this climb and lingering snow, the best months to complete the hike are July and August. Check with a park ranger for trail conditions.

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This is by no means an all inclusive list of easy to moderate trails within Grand Teton National Park. There are many more and several of the above trails have off-shoot loops taking you to an additional lake or hidden mountain treasure. If you love to hike, buy yourself a book on the trails in the park. Most hiking books have graded the trails according to difficulty level so all can enjoy the splendor of Grand Teton National Park.

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How can we help you travel?

Here is an example of a trip prepared by one of our travel planner/advisors. This is a very basic plan. A more detailed plan would have reservations to any and all events you would be attending during your stay, including dinners.  If you think we can be of help for any of your travel needs contact one of our travel planner/advisors to help you plan your next adventure. Exampleimg_4284-25

Stylebook the packing App

Article by Jess Atkins

Leaving for a unexpected trip at the last minute means rushing to pack, but it doesn’t have to be stressful if you use Stylebook’s packing feature!  Don’t have much free time to plan what to pack. If  your wardrobe was cataloged in Stylebook, you could use the pack-by-outfit method to quickly put together a packing list.

Stylebook.  Can help you become a packing superstar – in fact, It can show you how to fit twelve outfits inside a carry on! Even with advance notice, overpacking can be your number one problem – seriously. If  you are a “what if” packer: what if it rains, what if it’s hotter than I expected (or colder), what if we go to a fancy dinner?  You will just toss a million random items in your largest suitcase and pray it was under 50 lbs. The worst part is you usually wound end up wearing only a small fraction of the clothes You packed. With current airline baggage fees, this isn’t the best approach. You definitely would rather use the $25 fee on a dinner out at your destination – and skip the wait at the baggage carousel. Thanks to Stylebook’s method of packing by outfit, you  can make sure everything inside your bag will be worn .

You can still be a “what if” packer to some extent, but now each item that you pack has a purpose. With Stylebook it’s so easy. Start by creating a new packing list and then begin browsing your saved outfits. Select an outfit for each day. Then, if you still have room, allow yourself one or two “what if” looks. 

Always make sure to pack an outfit for dinner at a fancy restaurant, casual looks, and something suitable for an outdoor excursion. Once you selected the outfits  the app automatically generates a checklist of the individual clothes you need to bring. That’s it! It takes just a few minutes to select what you want to pack. Here are some things you might consider while looking for outfits:

Is the outfit in season for the destination? Is it weather-appropriate?

Have I worn this outfit on previous vacations? Did it work out?

Can I use any of the items in this outfit in other looks as well?

Are any of the clothes included easily wrinkled or uncomfortable to wear?

Number three is the most important. If you choose multiple outfits that use the same item, you can save space in your bag and have more options. It’s easy to find outfits like this inside Stylebook by viewing the “Used In Looks” screen on the notes page of a clothing item. This will show a list of every outfit that you ever saved that uses that clothing item.

Allow yourself one “what if” outfit, which is an look for a rainy day. Check the weather report before you leave and see if there is any chance of rain.

Other advantage of packing with this method is you can reference your outfits while on the trip. Stylebook’s packing list doesn’t require an internet connection, so you can use it even if you don’t have any cell service. This makes getting dressed fast and easy and ensures you won’t forget why you packed something. 

Finally, here is how you can actually fit all 12 of your outfits inside your carry-on, along with your shoes, accessories, and toiletries. Below are some suitcase packing tips and tricks!

Use a large packing cube to pack your clothing items into one flat container – Basically, you fold your items to the size of the cube and velcro or zip it shut. This prevents clothes from flying out if you need to take anything out of your bag in transit and it compresses everything so you can fit more items.

Use a small packing cube for undergarments and swimwear – You can layer three pairs at a time, roll them up and place them in your narrow packing cube.

Use negative space – Stuff the crown of your hat with extra clothing items that didn’t fit in your packing cube to help the hat keep its shape and to use the space more efficiently. You can also fill the  space  around your hat with bags of toiletries. If you don’t bring a hat, you can also fit your toiletries into your shoes or next to your packing cube.

Consider flat shoes – Flat shoes can fit right under the packing cube and basically don’t take up any space. Plus, you know you’ll be comfortable wearing them.

Minimize your liquids – To minimize and prevent prevent any unwanted spills, try to substitute solid sticks or wipes for liquid toiletry items (deodorant, makeup remover, face wash, etc)

Use your Stylebook checklist – As you pack your bag, check off each item inside Stylebook  so you don’t forget anything!

Using your virtual closet and packing by outfit makes it easy to pack confidently and quickly. You’ll know that everything you’re packing is there for a reason, and can be used as part of a well-planned outfit. And once you’ve made your choices, the checklist feature will help you quickly pull together the different clothing items you’ll need on your trip. Try Stylebook the next time you travel!

Utah & Arizona’s National Parks Road Trip Itinerary

Starting in Salt Lake City and ending in Las Vegas.

Highlights: Arches National Park, Monument Valley Navajo Park, Antelope Canyon and the Grand Canyon National Park

Utah and Arizona hit the jackpot when it comes to National Parks and natural wonders. We have outlined an extensive road trip itinerary for exploring Utah. There are so many natural wonders to see in this part of the USA. If you love alien landscape, rich red rock and hiking then this is the road trip for you.


This itinerary can be done in one week or expanded up to two weeks if you want to spend more time exploring each park or in Las Vegas at the end of the trip. You can start this itinerary in Salt Lake City and end in Las Vegas or do a round trip from Las Vegas.

Start in Salt Lake City, UT – Utah Natural History Museum and Antelope Island State Park

Moab – Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park

Page, AZ – Via Monument Valley Najavo Park, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon tour

Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon, UT – Bryce Canyon National Park at sunset and sunrise

Zion – Zion National Park

Here’s Where Budget Travelers Actually Go On Vacation

Article Contributer Anne Daly

Some places are farther away than others — meaning the plane ticket is more expensive — but they’re all still amazing budget destinations overall. We highly suggest you steal these affordable itineraries.
1. Croatia

The American dollar is very strong there. “I stay in a beautiful villa with a pool on the coast of Croatia for about $23 (20 euros) a night. Food and alcohol is also very cheap. There are a lot of beautiful beaches on the coast, and the water is fantastic. Google it … the water looks that great in person!”

2. Kraków, Poland

It’s clean and safe, with tons of fascinating history. Exceptionally affordable, too: Most meals cost less than $5, and the beers are super cheap!”

3. Marrakech, Morocco

Stay at Kaktus Hostel in Marrakech, and it’s only $7 a night. The staff is  so friendly, and makes  delicious breakfast for everyone each morning. A three-course meal for three people in the medina is  under $20. This is an incredible country to explore, and will not require a huge budget!”

4. Prague, Czech Republic

“It’s like being in a fairy tale with cheap booze and food. Stay in an awesome Airbnb.”

5. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

Spend  7 days roadtripping down the Blue Ridge Parkway, camping in national parks and forests the entire time.  Camping, hiking, and eating under the stars and engaging with travelers from all backgrounds is  well worth the less than $20 a day that you will pay  for lodging.

6. Macedonia

For any Western traveler, this country is as cheap as it gets! The best place is Ohrid Lake. In summer, you can party on small beaches in Gradiste hidden under rocky cliffs, with DJs on every beach and super cheap bars. It’s definitely still a hidden treasure! Ohrid also has a beautiful old town dotted with historical churches. It’s hard to find meals that cost over $6, and drinks are cheap and plenty.”

7. Istanbul, Turkey

The city has something for everyone, and truly lives up to its reputation as the cultural and geographical ‘bridge’ between Europe and the Middle East. Its prime attractions are all either free or cost about five to seven dollars, and lodging is affordable and centrally located. It’s also connected by clean, cheap, safe, and efficient public transit, and bartering for souvenirs at the Grand Bazaar means you can get that kitshy potholder your mom will love for three dollars. Plus, there are ferries that locals use as we would city buses.”

8. Guatemala

Most hostels are $10 or less, and you can find nice, budget-friendly private rooms if that’s more your style. Exposure to Mayan culture in Guatemala is second to none, where substantial portions of the population still speak a Mayan dialect as their first language. It’s also a great place to study Spanish and buy [affordable] handicrafts if that sparks your interest. Visit the ruins at Tikal, and Lake 

9. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina and Tennessee

 Hicking  in the Great Smoky Mountains for a week . Its incredibly beautiful and peaceful, and the views are spectacular. Tent camping and grilling out most meals will  save you  hundreds!”

10. Curaçao

Curaçao in the Caribbean has amazing snorkeling, cheap Airbnbs, and the groceries are super reasonable, too. Plus, the locals are awesomely friendly. Make sure to splurge on a day trip to Klein Curaçao (little Curaçao) for shipwrecks, an abandoned lighthouse, and, if you’re lucky, an amazing sea turtle encounter.”

11. South Dakota

“It’s actually an incredible vacation spot! Going to a rodeo is super cool, pow-wows are genuinely beautiful, and the landscape itself is gorgeous, too. There are lots of [affordable] sights, like Custer State Park and Badlands National Park, to explore. 

12. Vietnam

Yes, the ticket was pricey — but you barely spend any money while you are there! There’s fresh food for less than a dollar; You spend at most  $10 on an expensive meal. The beaches are beautiful, the people are accommodating, and you’ll be able to experience life across the world without cringing at your bank account.

13. Bocas del Toro, Panama

Certainly not as cheap as Southeast Asia, but when you factor in the cost of a flight and length of time to get there from North America, you still come out ahead. It’s got cheap drinks and day tours, very reasonably-priced private accommodation and hostels, and water taxis to the surrounding islands.

14. Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo in Uruguay! It has great , restaurants, bars, and clubs, friendly people, and cheap everything.

15. Portugal

Both Porto and Gaia! have  a fully furnished apartment for just under $900 for three weeks. Live and eat like a local; it was wonderful.

16. Umpqua Hot Springs, Oregon

“It’s completely free to camp, as long as you don’t park in the lot. Gas is usually very affordable in Southern Oregon as well. The pools have over 80 natural minerals, making it the cheapest soak around! The other visitors are usually very friendly, and there are many camping spots next to the rushing river.”

17. Kootenay National Park, Canada

“Super cheap if you have a travel trailer, or are cool with tenting. Kootenay is just as beautiful as [much more touristy] Banff, but there are almost no tourists — which is awesome when it’s a busy travel year.”

So you see? Going to an amazing place without breaking the bank really isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Now get out there!



Start planning your Spring and Summer Beach Vacation today.