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Travel Safety Tips for those with Wanderlust!

When wanderlust visits, it’s time to travel! The world is huge and awaits you with millions or beautiful sights and destinations. Traveling is one of the most satisfying endeavors we can look forward to. With more and more people roaming the world in the age of globalization, it is more important than ever to practice safety. Below, find some of the top tips to make your trip as enjoyable and unforgettable as it can be. Research your destination Perhaps the most important tip of all, it is important to know as much as you can about your destination before arriving. There are millions of online traveler reviews. Additionally, if possible, consult with locals for the best information in real time. Someone who lives there can let you know location specific issues you should know about. Another fantastic resource is the State Department’s website for country updates and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Know who to call Make sure you are aware of whom to call in an emergency. Get the contact information for the nearest embassy or

Italian Days: Amazing Food & Wine

Fine food adventures await you in little gems across Italy. When you think of Italy, what comes to mind?  There are many answers to this question, ranging from Julius Caesar to Nero to the Coliseum to Vatican City, and we still haven’t left the magical city of Rome. We could go south to Naples and Pompeii and Sicily, or north to Pisa, Florence, and Venice.  We may think about Lamborghinis and Ferraris, or the stunning Amalfi Coast.  And way up north, we can visit Milan or Lake Como. There’s just so much to explore. Food, Glorious Food Italy has always been about one highlight after another.  But, when I think of Italy, the first thing that pops into my mind is FOOD! And there’s a little secret that isn’t so secret any more, not since earning 1,590 5-star reviews out of the 1,613 that have been posted on Trip Advisor since debuting several years ago, a stunning 98.5%! A couple years ago, I made plans to visit a variety of cities in Italy, including Bologna, which would be a base for our

The Islands of the Mediterranean

Ker & Downey’s Journey to the Islands of the Mediterranean is the perfect way to experience the beauty of island-hopping. Over the course of 12 nights, uncover the cultural treasures and natural wonders of three of the Mediterranean’s most enigmatic islands: Sardinia, Sicily, and Malta. Suggested journey at a glance: 13 days/12 nights in Sardinia, Sicily, and Malta This suggestion is just one of many ways to see the Islands of the Mediterranean on your own customized Ker & Downey itinerary. Our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible. Sardinia Your exploration of the Islands of the Mediterranean begins first in Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean and a haven with some of the most beautiful turquoise waters in the world. You will have every opportunity to explore these waters from your sun-soaked and celebrity-studded hideaway at Cala di Volpe. Your four days on the island are highlighted by a private sailing expedition through the secluded paradises of

Antarctica: An Unforgettable Journey

Satisfy your wanderlust with an ultra-luxury cruise to an otherworldly destination where icebergs churn, mountains tower, and glaciers reign. It was like a dream. A couple of years ago, I received a phone call offering my wife and me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Antarctica at a vastly discounted rate, provided we could travel 30 days later.  Fortunately, my wife and I had the flexibility to say “yes,” and we did.  Wow, to this day, we remain thrilled by the experience! Embarking on a Great Adventure In a matter of weeks, we were on a plane traveling to one of our favorite cities, Buenos Aires, Argentina home of some of the world’s best steaks and pizza (yes, pizza). It’s also where we were mugged a few years ago, but that’s a story for another day. Following our one-day stopover in Buenos Aires, we traveled to Ushuaia, the southernmost city on Earth, also known as “The End of the World.”  I was somewhat familiar with Ushuaia for two reasons — Leonardo DiCaprio had filmed The Revenant there several years ago. And in a

Ker & Downey: Perfect Pairing: Chile & Argentina

Ker & Downey’s Luxury Chile & Argentina journey strikes a unique balance between the finest luxuries and most stunning landscapes these two countries have to offer. From the lakes and deserts of Chile to the vineyards and tango halls of Argentina, this inspirational itinerary is only a taste of what this region of South America has to offer. Suggested journey at a glance: 14 days/13 nights in Pucon, Atacama, Santiago, Mendoza, and Buenos Aires There are many ways to experience luxury travel to Chile & Argentina. Our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible on a handcrafted trip. Pucon Luxury travel to Chile & Argentina begins first with a helicopter ride to the waters of Chile’s Lakes District. One part working hacienda and one part Relais & Chateaux hotel, and Beyond Vira Vira acts as an idyllic retreat in the shadow of Volcano Villarica. Over three days, you’ll kick off your journey with a myriad of bespoke adventures through this

Europe’s Christmas Markets Destination Winter Wonderland

There’s nothing quite like ushering in the holiday season than going on a multi-stop European yuletide adventure. Travel in Wintertime In December 2019, my wife and I spent nine nights in Romania and Poland. We looked forward to enjoying seasonal festivities, munching on holiday specialties, and strolling in streets filled with happy holiday-goers, all in an old world setting steeped in traditions and history. Ok, ok. I know some of you must be thinking my wife and I are out of our minds. Traveling from the sunny confines of South Florida to the sub-freezing landscape of Eastern Europe does seem ludicrous. Believe me; you would not be the first person to ask why on Earth did we decide to travel to Eastern Europe in the heart of the winter? Well, I always wanted to visit the Christmas markets, and if you share this interest, that means you need to travel in December.  And, in spite of the frigid weather, we had a great time visiting the fabulous cities of Bucharest, Warsaw, and Krakow.  We had such a good time that we

Ker & Downey: Support Australia Now and in the Future

When a crisis like Australia’s bushfires dominates the news, much-loved travel destinations can quickly be labeled no-goes. In recent years we’ve seen it happen after unrest in Egypt, natural disasters in Nepal, and fires in the Amazon, even when safe travel is possible. There are things you can do (and yes, even places you can visit right now) to support Australia and their recovery from the ongoing wildfires. We invite you to join us in helping our friends “down under”—they’re going to need us, and you. What to do now Ker & Downey is proud to support the NSW Rural Fire Service and their ongoing efforts to control the bushfires. Through April 15, 2020, we will match every new Ker & Downey booking with a $100 donation to the NSW Rural Fire Service. Regardless of where in the world you choose to travel, Ker & Downey will support Australia on your behalf with this gift. Join us and make a secure donation on their website Where to go now While the threat of wildfire is lowest in these areas, it’s

La Pitchoune: “Toujours Bon Appétit!”

If you have an appetite for life, you’ll love a stay at Julia Child’s summer home in France. A House Built on Friendship Nestled in the idyllic landscape of Provence, France, the quaint village of Plascassier holds a gem of a place, La Pitchoune. The modest stucco cottage was built in the early 1960s by Julia Child and her husband, Paul. It was constructed on the property known as Bramafam belonging to her culinary friend, Simca Beck, and husband, Jean Fischbacher. The deal was sealed with a handshake and an understanding that the red tile-roofed cottage would be turned over to the Fischbachers after they were done staying there. La Pitchoune means “the Little One” and Child often used her shortened nickname for it, La Peetch. Summers were spent at La Pitchoune as a serene getaway amidst olive trees and lavender bushes for nearly 30 years. The Childs loved to entertain, often hosting the most influential culinary chefs such as James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, and Richard Olney. In later years, Paul’s health was failing and her long-time friend Simca had

Start 2020 With a Botswana or Tanzania African Safari

What better way to begin the new year than on safari? Consider a journey to Botswana or Tanzania to experience the best safari in January or February. Both safari hot-spots are crowd-free and wild as can be.Pair Kanana and Dinaka New for safari-goers in 2020, Kanana and Dinaka will stay open year-round giving travelers more opportunities to get their fill of outdoor adventure. These two camps pair perfectly, with varied experiences in two of Botswana’s very different environments: the Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari. If The Lion King has you inspired to see a safari for yourself, Botswana is a great place to start. Kanana and Dinaka are among the safari properties that contribute to Bana Ba Letsatsi, a project based in Maun focused on supporting at-risk youths through education and meeting their social needs. When you travel with Ker & Downey to these camps, and on our Botswana Family Safari suggested itinerary, you are directly impacting the lives of these children and ensuring their positive future. Contact our experts to learn more about giving back in Botswana, and to

Visit Europe in 2020 – Our Top Picks

With 44 countries in Europe, travelers have plenty of choices. You want mountains? Check. Chic beaches that meet sparkling seas? Check. Delicious food? Check. Vast varieties of culture and history? Check. Since there’s so much to see, we are helping you visit Europe in 2020 with confidence. Keep reading to narrow in on where to go in Europe 2020. Greenland Iceland’s much bigger neighbor is having a moment in the well-deserved spotlight. Go in search of polar bears and the vivid Northern Lights as you circumnavigate the large island. Discover old settlements dating back more than 4,500 years as you hike through the UNESCO-listed Sermermiut Valley. Glide through the ice fjords by kayak or take flight above the Isua Glacier, spotting whales down below. And when your weary feet need a break, settle in for an Arctic sauna experience or chit chat with locals over coffee and cakes in their home. Albania Long left under the radar and in the shadows of Greece, many travelers are surprised to learn of Albania’s equally beautiful beaches. But what makes Albania different is