5 Off the Beaten Path Ski Destinations

December 13,2011

With the cost of lift tickets rising each year at popular North America ski resorts and crowds continuing to grow, a ski or snowboard vacation can include its fair share of headaches. Look off the beaten path for some unique ski resorts and take advantage of fewer crowds in these quaint mountain towns.

Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen, Japan

Japan’s ski industry has been steadily growing, with places such as Hokkaido becoming a popular stop on Japan tours. Myoko Kogenis one of Japan’s oldest skiing areas, but is typically less crowded than other skiing destinations. Located on the slopes of Mt. Myoko, Myoko Kogen offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Japan. The mountain town is popular for more than just mountain sports, including delicious food, unique restaurants and bars, and onsen hot springs which are perfect for relaxing after a long day on the slopes!

Oukaimeden, Morocco

Skiing doesn’t typically come to mind when planning a Morocco eco tour. Oukaimeden Resort is one of the few places it is possible to ski in Morocco. It is Africa’s highest ski resort and has lifts that cater to all levels. Oukaimeden is about an hour drive south of Marrakech, located high in the Atlas Mountains. The resort has 1 chair lift, with 5 runs to take you back down again. The best time to go skiing in the Atlas Mountains is typically in January and February. The resort has ski rentals, ski schools, unique restaurants, and beautiful hotels. Enjoy the sun, sand, and snow in Morocco!

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Holiday Travel Tips

November 18,2011

Whether you're driving a few hours to visit family, or escaping for a Tanzania safari, travel during the holidays can be difficult to say the least. This is the time of year with the greatest chance for travel to go wrong. It’s the most crowded, chaotic, and expensive time of year for trips. While some difficulties are unavoidable, here are a few tips to help you avoid some of the headaches encountered during holiday travel.


Book in Advance

Contact a travel agent to book your holiday travel in advance. This will allow you to secure your hotel rooms and get the lowest priced airfare. Keep in mind prices will generally rise during the holiday season, with the high demand. For some airlines and accommodations, booking early may help you qualify for a discount.

Pack Light

With the rising baggage fees and the hassle of checking your bag during the holiday season, it may be beneficial to travel with just a carry on if possible. Some airlines place special restrictions during the holidays and allow only one carry-on. So, if you need to check a bag, make sure it is less than 50 pounds to avoid additional fees. Avoid being the frazzled, stressed-out family unpacking and reorganizing their bags in the check-in line. Keep your things in order and ease the check-in process by printing your boarding pass before leaving for the airport and knowing the carry on restrictions. Liquids must be kept in containers of 3 ounces of less, the containers must be in 1 clear quart size zip lock bag, and only 1 bag is allowed per person. Flying may mean taking public transportation. By packing light you avoid the frustration of carry around a heavy suitcase or two.

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Matava- Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort

June 21,2011

We were recently visited by our partners in Fiji, from the luxury eco lodge Matava. Located on the remote island of Kadavu, Matava offers privacy, comfort, incredible views, and a wide range of activities for guests. The hotel was designed to blend in with the natural environment of Kadavu and consists of traditional thatched Fijian bures set among the lush tropical rainforest surroundings. Matava Resort is ideal for those looking for a unique insight into the traditional practices and Fijian customs that still play a part in everyday life.


Accommodation and Meals

The traditional thatched Fijian bures have timber floors, louvre windows, timber four post beds, and private decks with superb ocean views. Oceanview bures are located across a stream and offer beautiful panoramas of the Great Astrolabe Reef and surrounding islands. The honeymoon bures are located on the hill behind Matava, ensuring complete privacy and stunning views from the full length windows. Solar power provides the lighting in all of the bures, and hot water is supplied to all the bures by an eco-friendly solar hot water system.

All packages include meals, which is comprised of breakfast, lunch, and a three course dinner. On the menu you'll find local delicacies, fresh produce, and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Matava Resort has an extensive organic garden with fresh vegetables and fruits such as coconut, pineapple, guava, banana, mangos, eggplant, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Delicious lovo feasts, an authentic Fijian meal steamed in an oven pit over hot stones, are held once a week at Matava. The resort offers vegetarian options and can cater to those with special dietary requirements. Dining takes place on the balcony of the bure levu, one of Fiji’s largest traditional structures where guests can gather to enjoy meals such as papaya salad, mango chicken, coconut curries, and fresh fish.

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