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Adare Manor, in County Limerick

 

 

Christmas and the days leading up to the holiday are a magical time to visit Ireland, according to Siobhan Byrne Learat, founder of Adams & Butler, a Dublin-based company selling trips to Ireland.

"The Irish go all out for Christmas with décor and celebrations, and the mood is cheerful and generous," she said. "And over the years, it has become more of a cultural holiday for us than a religious one."

Ms. Learat said that while pubs and restaurants throughout the country are full of revelers, hotels have a lull in business, which means that enticing, amenity-inclusive deals abound for a Christmas-themed Ireland getaway.

 

Rebekah Nicholson and Casa Brujula

The House that the World Built!

 

The Caribbean sea and snow make Santa Marta a difficult place to forget. The city is located on the shores of the Bay of Santa Marta on the Caribbean Sea, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, whose peaks can be seen on clear days from the beach. The capital of the department of Magdalena, which was founded in 1525, is one of the oldest cities in South America, but if you are looking to go off the beaten path just a little further up the coast you will find Rio Ancho, where Rebekah Nicholson is living her dream to build Casa Brujula.

Casa Brujula (or Compass House) is a project that has years in the making. Rebekah was looking for a way to combine my love of travel with a way to earn an income and inspire people. After a long grueling year of working double overtime to pay off college, she decided to take a backpack tour of Colombia South America, where she found magic on the Caribbean coast north of Santa Marta, miles of virgin sea shore to adventurous travelers.

With small Colombian towns rich with seafood, salsa, and natural untouched wilderness just steps away from the birthplace of the Andes, the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta.  Four incredible months later Rebekah returned to the states to work again, this time to save for her dream of building and operating a small hostel on the coast of the department of the Guajira Colombia.

 

3 Signs You Need A Vacation (& How To Get A Free One)


If your last vacation (a.) didn't take you farther than your couch cushions, (b.) included more work email than working on your tan, and/or (c.) consisted of spending the holidays with your in-laws, it's time to get away — for real. We're teaming up with SHEFinds and Rosetta Stone to help you do it. Win a trip to Budapest, Hungary's capital and a can't-miss destination for amazing food, beautiful sightseeing, live music, and relaxing thermal baths.

20 Glorious Beach Breaks



Virginia Beach, VA

One of the most popular beach towns on the east coast, Virginia Beach sits at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. There's plenty to do here, even in the off-season. The busy Virginia Beach Boardwalk is one of the area's main attractions and is the perfect place for walking, biking, and enjoying live music and views.

Cost Of Getting There: Roundtrip flights from most major U.S. airports start at around $300. You'll fly into Norfolk International Airport, which is about a 20-minute car ride from Virginia Beach.


Where To Stay: Beach Spa Bed and Breakfast combines Southern hospitality with a chill beach vibe. The cozy rooms start at around $160 during peak season. Off season rooms run in the low $100 range. Treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment if you can.


Maui, Hawaii


Home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world, Maui is the place for your fantasy paradise vacation. If you like adventure, try your hand at snorkeling or windsurfing, or simply relax in the sun. But don't miss the opportunity to hike Haleakala Crater, the dormant volcano that is Maui's highest point.

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