Friday, August 20, 2010

-With Labor Day Weekend coming up, a lot of travelers will be heading out to the beach. Want to know what our picks are for great beaches? Read on our Diva Beach Guide for some great ideas!

1. South Beach, Fl
Located in Miami Beach Fl, it is no surprise that millions of people flock here any chance they get! There is a lot to do in South Beach--try any watersport to stay cool and grab some cool garments from local boutiques.

2. Pensacola Beach, Fl
Located in North Fl along the Gulf Coast, Pensacola Beach is ideal if you are looking for white pristine sand, summer concerts, and great food!

3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Located along the Atlantic Coast in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach is becoming a top destinations for a lot of beach goers. Want to see other sites in Mytrle Beach? Try their amusement and water parks, or go shopping at Broadway on the Beach!

4. Galveston, TX
Located in the southern tip of Texas along the Gulf Coast, Galveston just may be Texas' best kept secret! With over 30 miles of beach to enjoy, head down to Texas to see it in a way you've never seen before!

5. New Smyrna Beach, FL
Located right outside of Daytona Beach Fl, New Smyrna Beach is definitely one of Florida's best kept secrets! Its a great location if you don't want all the hustle and bustle of busy Daytona Beach--you'll be able to catch some waves! After you're done with the waves, catch a bite to eat at Chase's on the Beach.

6. Virginia Beach, VA
Located along the Atlantic Coast, Virginia Beach has been a top destination among many beach goers for years. Why? There are miles of beaches which include the Chesapeake Bay Area, Resort Beaches, and Sandbridge. So if you are looking for a mini getaway have your way in VA!

7. Key West, Fl
Located at the southern most tip of Florida (past South Beach), Key West is great if you want to get away from the crowded beaches of South Florida, and just enjoy the picturesque views of beaches in Key West!

So now that you have our DIVA BEACH GUIDE, which one would you visit? While this list doesn't include beaches from places like Hawaii or the Hamptons, these are still some great beaches. We wanted to list beaches that are close to home. None of the above are in your vicinity? Tell us about some beaches in your area!

♥Happy Traveling! ♥

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our Travels

♥ We love sharing our photos and travel stories with our readers! Here is a collage of some photos from past travels. We'd love to get photos from you to start a collage of Reader Travels! ♥

Happy Travels!

The JetBlue fiasco with flight attendant Steven Slater has been getting a lot of publicity. For those who don't know what's going on with Steven Slater, in short-he was a flight attendant who lost his cool on a flight. He was being rude to passengers before and during the flight-and then took 2 beers and the emergency slide exit once his performance was over. What an ending?!While we will never know exactly what happened, it's important to remember that both the flight attendants and passengers HAVE to respect each other--even if it's been a long layover, flight or what have you. This fiasco is the reason why we're doing a post on Flight Etiquette.

So whether you are an experienced traveler or a beginner, here are a few things to keep in mind to make the flight go smoothly-for you and your flight attendants!

Tip 1- Pay attention to the flight attendants!
-So what you've flown 15 times and know how to buckle your seatbelt, where the nearest exits are in case of an emergency etc. It's rude to talk over people while they're talking and plus there may be some passengers who don't know this information! Let them talk. Besides, I'm sure they're tired of repeating the same lines every few hours!

Tip 2- Keep the noise down
- It's always good to have an Ipod or mp3 player to listen to your music to get through the flight, but don't have it sooo loud to where it may disturb the person sitting next to you. You have headphones for a reason!

Tip 3- Control your children
- There is nothing more aggravating then trying to sleep or relax during a flight and someones toddler is hitting your headrest or kicking the back of your seat. Try to keep an eye on your little one.

Tip 4-Be polite
- Sure long flights and layovers will wear you out; but how do you think flight attendants feel? Try to be mindful of this and manage to be polite. It doesn't hurt to smile, say thanks, or no thank you.

Tip 5- Help other passengers
- Putting your carryons in the overhead storage can sometimes be a hassle-especially for women and the elderly. This can cause a back up of boarding passengers. If you can, help the next person and boarding will go by faster.

Tip 6- Don't Litter
-The worst thing to do is to leave trash behind! Don't leave behind your Subway sandwich wrapping or potato chip bag. When the flight attendants come around to ask if you have trash--just give it to them! If you miss the trash go round, bring your trash and empty it in the nearest trash can! No one wants to come behind you and use your seat pocket, only to find you left junk behind!

Well these are the tips we fly by! What else should travelers remember when traveling? We'd love to hear your ideas!

Happy Traveling!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Once a month we spotlight the JetSetter of the month. This month, Lynn is our spotlight JetSetter. Check out what Lynn had to say about her trip to Italy. Maybe next month the spotlight will be on YOU!

JSD: Tell us about how you ended up in Italy and how long you've been there.
LYNN: I went to Italy last October when the tourist crowds were smaller and the weather was magnificent. Before I went, I studied the Rick Steve’s Guidebook to make sure that I would know about the cultural and entertainment highlights of the three cities I wanted to visit(Venice , Florence , and Rome ), the best hotel buys, the best food in my price range, and the top problems to avoid.

JSD:What are your favorite Italian hotspots?
-Restaurants: La Spada restaurant (The restaurant offers all kinds of roasted meats and good pastas. You can get a plate with three different kinds of pasta or the fantasy menu with all kinds of meat and 3 kinds of bruschetta + dessert (25 euros) The bruschetta with fresh tomatoes is to die for because the tomatoes are 100 times more flavorful than any you will find in the USA.)
-Salons/Spas: I didn’t go to any spas because I got all my exercise by walking.
-Nightlife/Bars: Piazza San Marco- I paid around $15 to drink Sgroppino (champagne, vodka & lemon sorbet )
-Culture/Museums: Baptistry, the Duomo, the Museo dell Opera del Duomo (the cathedral museum), the Bargello, and Santa Maria Novello. If you want to see the statue of David, you need to go to the Academia Museum .
-Other: General recommendations: eat all the gelato & sorbetto you can, try to find free concerts in the churches.

JSD:What areas or neighborhoods are best for first time travelers?
LYNN: *In Rome , I rented an apartment in the Trastevere section, which is like the French Quarter—very colorful and old and like a village. There were lots of students staying in this neighborhood and lots of good, inexpensive restaurants. Since I had my own kitchen, I could make salads or order “to go” items from delicatessens. The apartment was actually cheaper than any hotel and had a living room with flat screen TV (no English programs)

*In Florence , I stayed at a very cheap hotel that overlooked the Duomo (cathedral). Location, location, location.

*In Venice, I stayed at the Casa Favaretto. It is on the water with a beautiful view of the lagoon and San Grigorio Church. It was spotless, well-priced (about 100 euros- $140- with continental breakfast)

JSD: What makes Italy different from any other place?
LYNN:All of Florence is like a museum—it is fairly compact and every street is full of interesting things; the streets and canals are so charming

JSD:Tell us about the fashion and current trends in Italy.
LYNN:The thing to buy in Florence is leather- purses, belts, shoes, briefcases. As in Venice , I saw lots of high fashion clothes in the shop windows. I took photos, but I didn’t buy any.

JSD: What are some of your travel must-haves?
LYNN: My must-haves for travel to Italy :
(1) a converter to convert 220 Volt Italian electricity to 110 volt used by my cell phone & camera battery charger
(2) adapters that would fit into the round Italian wall sockets.
(3) A secret wallet that I could wear under my blouse to thwart pickpockets—a very big problem in Italy .
(4) An easy Italian language kit—2 CDs and a booklet to cover basic phrases like “On which track is the train to Florence ?” “Where is the toilet?” Most people speak some English, but not everyone.
(5) I, Mona Lisa- a very enjoyable novel about a girl living in Florence during the time of Leonardo da Vinci, the Medicis and Savonarola . Lots of violence and sex and a painless way to learn some Renaissance history.
(6) A wardrobe consisting of all navy blue so that my jackets, blouses, slacks, socks, and scarves all matched. (Blouses are striped, checked, patterned to add variety but still blue) I travel as light as possible because there is often no porter to lift suitcases onto luggage racks in trains and no bellhop to carry suitcases to rooms.
(7) LL Bean travel purse. I use the small size to go about town. I can keep my city map in the outside pocket, my water bottle in the mesh pocket, my handi-wipes, pocket Kleenex, guidebook, and mini-umbrella inside. Money and credit cards are in my secret purse.
(8) Good walking shoes

JSD: What advice do you have for the rest of us Jet Setting Divas looking to travel to Italy in the future?
LYNN:Don't wear shorts or sleeveless blouses to St. Peter’s Basilica because you will not be admitted. I looked at the Eyewitness Travel Guides for the color pictures and maps. Go to Tourist Information in each city to find out what current events are happening- concerts, special exhibitions, parades, etc. Most Venetian hotels are MUCH MORE expensive. Agency for my apartment in Rome :

“I think any diva would have a wonderful time in these cities although her interests might be a little different than mine”- Lynn

Buon viaggio!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Windy City: CHICAGO!

Unknown to many-Chicago aka The Windy City has a lot to offer to vacationers! With its huge skyscrapers, great shopping and DEEP DISH pizza, Chicago has won the hearts of many tourist both young and old. Don't think Chicago has what it takes to be a hot vacation destination? Read on....

What to Do:
-Definitely take in all the sites! If you're from a relatively small city take a deep breath---and enjoy the scenery!

- If you're into museums, aquariums or things of that nature- you can definitely check out The Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, or The Sears tower. HOWEVER, prices are not cheap! For adults you'll pay about $28 dollars per person.

-Visit the Navy Pier if you want to have fun along Lake Michigan. With plenty of rides, restaurants and entertainment to last all day, Navy Pier would be a great day or night activity.

-Shop! Most of the great shopping is located on North Michigan Ave aka " The Magnificent Mile" which
includes a stretch of stores and restaurants to Ralph Lauren, Filene's Basement, H&M, and 3 main shopping centers: The 900 Shops, The Shops at North Bridge, and Water Tower Place.

-Love Chocolate? Visit the Hershey Co. Store on North Michigan Avenue to satisfy that craving. Get souvenirs personalized, get sweet treats and enjoy the scenery of North Michigan Ave.

Where to Eat:
- Giordano's- Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza, and Giordano's is THE place to go. Depending on how many toppings you get, the pizza can be pricy (I only eat pepperoni so mine was relatively cheap!) There are many locations around the city, so choose one close to your hotel!

-UNO's-Another famous deep dish pizza spot you can't go wrong with! For a small pizza (about 8 small square slices) you might pay about 10 dollars. Not Bad!

-ESPN Zone- Not unique to Chicago, but if you want to eat and then have fun definitely check it out.

Where to Stay:
- Staying close to North Michigan Ave would be the ideal location-you can walk to a majority of the locations. We Stayed at the Omni Hotel located off of North Michigan Ave, which was perfect.

DO's and DON'Ts:
DO: Catch a CAB! Chicago is TOO big for you to try and get around by driving. Catch a cab and make your vacation go by smoother!
DO: Bring a jacket! We went in mid-July and although it was summer time, it was STILL WINDY lol. So keep a light sweater handy.
DON'T: Leave without trying their pizza! You'll be sorry you did.
DO: Try a Chicago Style Dog. Chicago is also known for its Hot Dogs dressed with crazy toppings. So stop a stand and grab a chicago style dog to go!