Girls Getaways to Italy’s Amalfi Coast!


Girls Getaways… get on it! has just created a dream trip for single ladies looking for an exclusive week long “Girls Getaway” combining great food, wine and scenery with lots of free time to shop, dine and explore two beautiful locations in Italy, Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast.

The journey will commence with a three night stay at one of the oldest hotels in Italy, NH Porta Rossa, a four-star hotel located in the historical center of Florence. The first full day will be spent visiting three characteristic villages of the Cinque Terre, a unique area suspended on steep cliffs overlooking the sea and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The next day guests will embark on a full day tour of Chianti, an area known to have one of the best wines in the world and indulge in a fabulous wine tasting at a local farmhouse, followed by a traditional Tuscan lunch.

NH Porta Rossa

En route to Sorrento, guests will visit the city center of Naples to taste the original Pizza Margherita and enjoy a short stop in the picturesque town of Positano. In the evening, guests will arrive at Grand Hotel La Favorita, a four-star hotel situated on the corner of Sorrento’ s most famous alley ways where guests will embrace spectacular views of the gulf of Naples and the grand volcano Vesuvius. The next two days, guests can look forward to sublime shopping opportunities on full day excursions to the island of Capri and the Amalfi Coast. The last night in Sorrento guests will learn how to prepare a typical Italian Mediterranean dinner from a great local chef at Esperidi.

The view from Sorrento's Grand Hotel La Favorita

This hosted trip is $3,499 per person, double and is scheduled to depart the U.S. on Thursday, April 19, 2012 and return on Friday, April 27, 2012. The prices include all costs aside from gratuity for the guides: Round-trip airfare from New York (JFK) to Florence – return from Naples to New York on group flights; fuel surcharges and air taxes; arrival and departure airport transfers; three nights in a four-star hotel in Florence; four nights in a four-star hotel in Sorrento; seven breakfasts; first class train tickets from Florence to Naples; pizza lunch in Naples; cooking class with dinner in Sorrento; full day visit of Cinque Terre; full day visit of Chianti and vineyards; one day visit of the Amalfi Coast cities, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello; visit to Capri, with jetfoil to/from Sorrento; all hotel VAT taxes.

And let me just say… I did a very similar girls getaway to Italy when I was in my 20s and it was as amazing as I thought it would be!

Tel Aviv: The Sunny Gay Friendly Haven of Israel

Max Kelerstein - Social Media Expert & Travel Aficianado

This week, Max Kelerstein, Social Media Expert, Chilango (Native of Mexico City), and Travel Aficionado living in NYC, brings our readers the gay friendly side of Israel. Kelerstein currently works for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide within their 360 Digital Influence group and you can follow him @TheMaxK.

When you think of Israel, you may not think of Tel Aviv as the gay friendly capital of the Middle East, but it certainly has developed itself as the most tolerant city in the region.  Quickly becoming much more popular, especially now that tourist destinations are realizing the spending power that the gay demographic represents. With a staggering spending power of $743 billion in 2010, according to Witeck-Combs Communications and Packaged Facts, destinations are finding that catering to the gay traveler can also be very profitable.

I recently traveled with my family to Tel Aviv, Israel this past September. Although we weren’t there to partake in the gay travel scene, I ventured out to see what gay-related things there were to do in the city. Normally I do this for every new place I go, simply in the off chance that I want to go to a venue where I can meet people I can relate to, and to get a sense of how gay-friendly the area is in case I want to go with my partner. To my surprise, Tel Aviv is a booming gay-friendly destination.

Safety First! (Note: Protection in their shorts) (c)

With a simple Google search, I was able to find one of the best gay destination sites I’ve ever encountered. Gay Tel Aviv Guide promotes GLBT tourism to the city and does a fantastic, even fabulous, job at it. It lets you know what things are happening in each calendar day, what kind of people go to each place, it even goes as far as to let you know what each bar and restaurant is good for, if it has specials, and which hours are the best. If I had any questions about where to go, this site had all the answers. Another convenient website is, Guide Gay Tel Aviv (

Shpagat - Tel Aviv

Did I mention they even have a map of the gay spots in the city? I was able to find the nearest spots to where I was staying. All in all, this website showed me how great and easy it is for a tourist destination, like Tel Aviv, to attract and convince gay travelers that they should visit. One thing is for sure, Tel Aviv has jumped to the top of my list for when I want to vacation with my partner. Now if only other destinations can take Gay Tel Aviv Guide as an example, it will surely boost their favorability with gay travelers.

Travel Lotion… in a Stick!


Coconut Mango - Skin Stick

Whether on a plane, a train, car, or just at home, we found a moisturizer that’s good enough to eat with 99% natural Skin Sticks. So here’s the story: Heather Swanepoel, founder and chief formulator at Rinse, dreamed up the perfectly portable lotion stick straight from her own fiascos.

From lotion bottles exploding in her purse to TSA nightmares, Heather knew there had to be an easier way to stay moisturized on-the-go. With lip balms being so common and handy, she wondered why a regular lotion hadn’t made its debut in the format?

Soon, the Skin Stick recipe was perfected and ready to wow. Cocoa and Shea butters paired with soothing scents and oils, create a rich yet non-greasy lotion that is great for cuticles, knuckles, elbows, and anywhere else. It’s even helped with some user’s eczema and psoriasis spots as well. Each batch is handmade from premium ingredients and are gluten free.

With birthdays always on the horizon, and the holidays rapidly approaching, Skin Sticks and Pucker Sticks are a great stocking stuffer. Choose from fun scents like Ginger Lemongrass and Coconut Mango, or go with something more decadent like Chocolate, Almond and Honey, or Fresh Fig. For gift recipients with special lifestyles, Rinse also has a whole line of Vegan Friendly products they can feel good about using. Rinse Bath & Body Company all began in 2002 when Heather Swanepoel, a national account manager for Supercross, (yes that’s Supercross….meaning nothing but dirt bikes and man-made race tracks!), needed a more creative outlet. A simple class in soap making soon turned into an obsession that had friends and family members requesting her special concoctions. In 2003 the company was launched and now operates out of Monroe, Georgia with the help of other stay-at-home moms. Rinse Bath & Body products can be found in salons, spas, and boutiques nationwide, and at the International Food & Wine Festival and Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot.

Babymoons: Travel Tips for Expecting Parents

Here's to your babymoon!
Dear Expecting Parents: Before you dive into the world of dirty diapers and sleepless nights, take advantage of your current freedom and go on a babymoon! This pre-baby vacation helps you connect as a couple while relaxing and rejuvenating before the stress of parenthood hits. If you’re planning on having more than one child, make sure you take an extra long babymoon, since you may not have the luxury of traveling sans children for many more years. Consider the following tips to ensure comfort, value and fun as you plan this important getaway.
1. Travel During Your Second Trimester
This is the most comfortable part of your pregnancy. Hopefully morning sickness has passed and your growing belly isn’t making you feel like you’re coming apart at the seams. Keep in mind, however, that some cruise lines won’t sell tickets to women who are pregnant beyond 24 weeks, so check out this comprehensive list of cruise line policies before booking.
2. Visit Child-unfriendly Locations
Find a location you won’t visit when children are part of your family. For example, a Disney Cruise is easy to do with little ones, but a spa and shopping mall is next to impossible with a toddler. A two-hour flight is relatively easy with children, but a flight to Hawaii or overseas will bring parents to their breaking point.
3. Eat Together
Plan plenty of quiet meals with your partner and cherish those uninterrupted adult conversations. It gets significantly harder to have a relaxing meal when a toddler is throwing food and screaming at the dinner table.
4. Visit a Spa
During your second trimester, you can again indulge in a relaxing massage and planning this during the beginning of your babymoon will help set the tone for the rest of your trip. Pedicures are also great, since it will soon be increasingly difficult for you to reach your toes.
5. Use Gift Cards
Save on your babymoon costs and buy gift cards at a discounted rate for your airfare, hotel stay, dining, car rental and spa treatments. Sites like have hundreds of travel-related discount gift cards for purchase, from airlines to bed and breakfast websites. Remember to buy your gift cards a couple weeks in advance to account for order processing and mailing time.
6. Be Adult-only Active
Participate in adult-only activities, such as going to a movie, dancing the night away, visiting museums, catching a theater show, going to a sporting event, or eating in a nice restaurant. Basically, think of everything you would not do with a squirmy toddler in tow, then plan on doing those things. Read “8 Best Babymoon Trips” from Parents Magazine for destination ideas.
Delight in being adults; you have plenty of years ahead to enjoy being a kid with your kid. Take advantage of this time to do grown-up activities.
Parent and Partner Expert, Maisie Knowles

Author Maisie Knowles is a working mother of two with three-year’s experience writing on parenting and partner issues: