Destination Spotlight-Cozumel

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Cozumel has been a destination in which many of you have requested information for, and it is on my bucket list as well.

Cozumel is filled with rich history and natural wonders. It has beautiful beaches along with an amazing Mayan culture. If you are visiting Cozumel, you will want to make time to explore the ancient Mayan ruins on the north side of the island. While there, you will also want to visit the sanctuary of the fertility goddess Ixchel at San Gervasio.

Cozumel is the largest island in Mexico and is known as “the Land of the Swallows”. It offers some of the most spectacular diving and snorkeling in Mexico with the second largest reef in the world. If you don’t dive, that is okay because Cozumel also offers a lot to those who are looking for fun, sun, and relaxation. There are a numerous amount of tours and day trips offered such as: snorkeling, fishing, swimming with dolphins, and catamaran tours. If you are staying in Cancan, Playa Del Carmen, or the Riviera Maya you can take a day trip over to Cozumel, as it is just off the south east coast.

Cozumel has something for just about anyone.

It hosts about a dozen resorts with the majority of them being all inclusive and family friendly. However, they do also have an adult only resort as well. With its many incredible features and excursions, Cozumel is an experience you won’t want to miss out on.

Fun Fact: The Mayans first settled on Cozumel in the 1st millennium A.D. They considered the island sacredx and dedicated it to Chel, the Mayan Moon Goddess. Many temples were built there and were places of pilgrimage, especially by women seeking fertility.-Travel Impressions


Andrea Ward is an independent travel consultant of Boomerang Escapes, who is based in Wisconsin.

She has been planning vacation escapes for the company since 2013 and specializes in Caribbean Destinations. Her primary focus is on the all-inclusive vacation experience for adult or family getaways for individuals and small groups. Sandals and AMResorts are among the specialist certificates she holds.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Andrea WardDestination Spotlight-Cozumel
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Flight Survival 101

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Air travel is probably one of the most incredible forms of transportation we have. Being able in one day or less to be on the other side of the world or in a completely different hemisphere is incredible. Air travel has not only become one of the most popular forms of travel, but also one of the safest. However, flying can cause health discomforts and issues, especially on your longer flights.

Here is your Flight Survival 101 list of the top issues plaguing passengers and what you can do to combat them.

Dehydration

It is highly unlikely that are bodies will become seriously dehydrated while flying. However, due to the drop in humidity levels that our bodies are most comfortable with we will experience symptoms such as dry eyes (especially for contact wearers) and dry throat. While the dryness resulting from the lower humidity levels in the plane is a discomfort, it can also leave us more prone to infection.

To prevent flying dehydration drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Try to avoid the coffee, tea, and alcohol which all have a diuretic effect, unless you plan to balance with additional water consumption. Don’t make avoiding a trip to the loo prevent you from keeping hydrated. You will also feel less tired and less prone to any jet lag when your body is properly hydrated.

Germs

Airplane cabins are a perfect germ breeding ground. Lots of people from all walks of life in an enclosed space with recycled air.

To stay healthy in close quarters there are a few things you can do…

Boost your immune system before you go with Vitamin C or an immunity booster such as Airborne.

Use hand sanitizer. You can get one of the little travel sizes to take with you in your carry-on and use before eating or drinking.

Use the air vent above you to help blow germs away from your inhalation. Set the vent to low or medium so you can feel the air flow on your hands in your lap. The vent will create a current to help blow anything away from your immediate space.

Pressure

The change in altitude and the pressurization of the cabin can wreak havoc on your inner ear. It actually has been appropriately been give the name airplane ear. This same issue can be experienced when you are swimming/diving or driving up into the higher altitudes of the mountains.

To help relieve the pressure or clogged feeling of the ear there are several approaches. Swallowing or yawning can help ease the discomfort because it allows air flow to the middle ear, thus equalizing pressure. Chewing gum often helps to facilitate the same effect during take-off and landing. And of course, back to our fluids, if you a drinking your water, you are swallowing, so you solve two issues at once. Last, you can take a sinus decongestant like Sudafed before flying to dry up the mucus membranes.

Swelling

Leg and foot swelling is common during flying and usually harmless. It is often the result of sitting inactive for such a long period of time, especially on your long haul overseas flights. The bent seated position of your legs also contributes to the issue by increasing pressure on your veins.

Swelling can become an issue if it lasts for a long time and is isolated to one side or the other. In this case you may need to worry about a more serious condition such as a blood clot. There is higher risks for clotting if you have recently had major surgery or take birth control pills. In such cases as this, you should consult your physician before flying as he may prescribe medication or suggest the wearing of compression stockings.

For the average flyer, here is a list of things to do during your flight to relieve swelling…

Wear loose fitting clothing
Get up and walk every hour or so
Do foot exercises while sitting where you flex, extend, and rotate the ankle
Change your position in seating often and avoid crossing your legs
Drink plenty of fluids, avoiding alcohol

Be mindful of your body, before, during, and after travel! No one wants to start their long awaited vacation feeling sick. Following a few simple tips and being prepared for your time in the air will make a more joyous you upon arrival.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslFlight Survival 101
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Passport for Your Palate-Tahitian Vanilla Vodka

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When you think of vanilla, do you think of French Polynesia? I do. My memories are filled with the aromas and flavors of the South Pacific. These islands are truly a full on sensory experience and must be visited at least once during your lifetime.

One aroma and flavor that was infused throughout my experience was vanilla. I spent a glorious two weeks among the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and Le Taha’ a, which are part of the Societal Islands of French Polynesia. These are the most well-known and visited by tourists, but the country is actually made up of 118 islands and atolls. While visiting, I found vanilla in my lotions, oils, meals, and cocktails.

While Tahiti is no longer a major exporter of their vanilla, it is considered a “luxury” vanilla due to its properties and rarity. Unlike other countries that grow vanilla, the vanilla in Tahiti has the distinction of being hand pollinated. It has become a very distinct part of the culture. The best known location for the cultivation of it is Le Taha ‘a, otherwise known as the “vanilla island”. The bean is highly sought out by Parisian chefs and visitors as well.

I brought home my own beans from Le Taha’ a to replicate the infused vodka that I fell in love with at the resort bars. They had a variety flavored infusions, but truly the vanilla was my favorite. Infusion of the bean into the alcohol is easy. The only hard part is waiting for it to be ready to drink!


How to Make Tahitian Vanilla Vodka
Ingredients:
750ml of your favorite vodka (go for good quality, not the cheap stuff)
1 Tahitian Vanilla Bean (can be ordered online, but I think a visit to the islands is the best way to obtain)
Directions:
You’ll need a lidded jar or bottle. You can use the bottle as is. Place the bean in the vodka and seal. Let stand for 1 to 2 weeks, shaking gently every other day. Let sit until your desired flavor strength.
The longer the bean sits in the vodka the stronger the flavor will be. If you accidently let it sit too long, just add more vodka. Easy peasy right?
When you are ready to pour, simply enjoy on the rocks with your favorite cola or with your favorite fruit juice. My preferred choice is pineapple. Be creative and see what you can come up with. Cheers!

Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslPassport for Your Palate-Tahitian Vanilla Vodka
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Destination Spotlight-Riviera Maya

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Do you look for adventure when you’re planning your vacations?

A destination that might be of interest to you is the Riviera Maya, Mexico.

The Riviera Maya offers an abundance of different areas that host all kinds of different adventures that you can explore. There are over 70 resorts that you can choose from, and I’m sure there is one to suit everyone’s desires.

Here is a week’s worth of adventures you could try while on your vacation:
1) Swim in a Cenote: Cenotes are large natural sinkholes, and an iconic feature of the Yucatan Peninsula. In Mayan times, they were used for fresh water supply and religious ceremonies, but nowadays make the perfect place for tourists who want to swim, snorkel and relax in a unique environment.
2) Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: The Great Maya Reef is home to some of the best snorkeling in America. One of the best places is off the beaches of Akumal. Akumal is a nesting ground for turtles, but you will also see several tropical fish, making it a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers alike.
3) Xcart Park: The park offers more than forty different attractions. You can explore jungle ruins, forest trails or float along the underground rivers in a raft. There is a wild bird aviary, an orchid greenhouse, and an aquarium. In the evenings, they have an on-site theatre that depicts Mexican culture through song and dance.
4) Tulum: Tulum has picture-perfect sands, and turquoise blue waters that leave you with a laid-back vibe. It is a town like no other and offers you the inspiring Mayan ruins that are a must see.
5) Playa del Carmen Nightlife: The nightlife is centered on the beach, and one of the biggest night time attractions is the flamboyant Coco Bongo, where the shows are comparable to those of Las Vegas. One can enjoy the Riviera’s finest cuisine, sip cocktails in beachside bars or dance the night away in the popular clubs.
6) Chichen Itza: Hailed as one of the Seven Wonders of the New World, the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza truly deserves their status as the second most popular attraction in all of Mexico.
7) Relax: After all this is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
photo credit: Adventures of Cancun Tours

While the Riviera Maya has all the incredible activates, it’s also a brilliant place to relax and unwind.

It offers stretches of white sand beaches fringed with palm trees. The beach is quiet due to the protection of the coral reefs. The waters are calm and portray a turquoise blue. The long stretches of white sands are home to sea turtles and crabs. I think no matter who you are or what level adventure you desire, the Riviera Maya is sure to deliver.

Fun Fact: Xcaret is a popular 250-acre tourist area in the village of Playa del Carmen. It includes an aviary, Dolphinarium, turtle sanctuary, beach, and a Mayan village with ruins. With so much to see, visitors often spend an entire day there.-Travel Impressions

Main Photo credit: Chichen.com


Andrea Ward is an independent travel consultant of Boomerang Escapes, who is based in Wisconsin.

She has been planning vacation escapes for the company since 2013 and specializes in Caribbean Destinations. Her primary focus is on the all-inclusive vacation experience for adult or family getaways for individuals and small groups. Sandals and AMResorts are among the specialist certificates she holds.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Andrea WardDestination Spotlight-Riviera Maya
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