Posts tagged with "family travel"

VeriJet illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Verijet Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet

VeriJet: Transforming short-haul private travel with efficient point-to-point jet charter service

By: Heather Skovlund × Armon Hayes × Vaughn Lowery

Envision reserving a private jet in the same manner you would reserve an Uber or Lyft with a ride-sharing app. Richard Kane, CEO of VeriJet, has made that possible with the Cirrus SF50 (Vision Jet) equipped with a small carbon footprint jet and next-level safety features. With Verijet, an individual can search for a private flight and get a response instantly that includes time frame and cost.

VeriJet is the culmination of a decades long journey to increase the effective speed door to door, reduce carbon and noise footprint and open private aviation to more people – unlocking the fourth wave of high-speed travel” – Founder’s Vision: Richard Kane

Affiliates of 360 Magazine had the opportunity to test the smooth ride and specifications of the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet.

The Vision Jet is a single-engine, very light jet that is often referred to as a personal jet with large windows and the lowest carbon footprint in the world for an airline, saving 1800 pounds of CO2 per flight segment. Designed to fly low and slow with no metal fatigue. The AI Software enables point and click booking with transparent simple pricing for private charter convenience and cost effectiveness. This enables individuals to fly on their own schedule with direct flights to airports closer to their destination. There is no hassle, no TSA to deal with and more importantly, no COVID. VeriJet’s Chief Medical Advisor monitors the COVID-19 Safe travel protocol including testing the pilots routinely for the virus. The aircraft’s cabins are cleaned and disinfected with Ultraviolet C and Ozone between each flight. Each aircraft cabin is also equipped with a special filter that uses nanotechnology to destroy pollutants at a molecular level, including VOCs, viruses 1000x smaller than HEPA filter standard testes, bacteria, mold and allergens, with no ozone by product.

The Vision Jet has a proven Airframe with industry leading safety features focused on all weather capability, safe return automation, and the Cirrus Aircraft Parachute system in addition Autoland – a feature that will calculate the nearest airport and prepare for landing along with contacting emergency services. The engine is strategically placed on top of the jet. The V tail reflects noise up and away for quiet operations at local airports making the jet good for the environment, in addition to the use of biofuel. VeriJet is a green eco-friendly company and is the most environmentally friendly business jet. The Vision Jet has infrared vision which allows the aircraft to get the pilot a reading of what may be on the runway at night. The top speed of the aircraft is 345mph and the top height is 31,000 feet.

One of the better perks to flying with VeriJet is that you have the entire aircraft to yourself or you can bring up to four adults, two children, light bags and pets. Dogs do not need to be in a carrier; however, cats, raccoons and skunks should be on a leash or in a carrier. There is no membership to uphold enabling you to book a flight when you need it at your fingertips. This in itself offers the best private flight experience. There are quite a few family-based flights along with business. There is Bluetooth available to the headsets along with texting and calling for a meeting or a loved one.

VeriJet currently offers Southeast regional travel with plans to expand to the west coast. VeriJet will also be certified to fly to the Bahamas soon and hopefully Canada by the end of the year as well. The Vision Jet’s first flight was on November 2, 2020 from the South Hamptons to Florida. The company was established in July of 2019, received the first aircraft in September of 2020 and its certificate issue on October 29, 2020. There are currently around twenty pilots to help assist with your flight process. There is intensive training for the pilots and customer service type rating to fly in this specific aircraft.

Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes
Pilot of Vision Jet
Dash of Vision Jet
Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes
High Shot of VeriJet
Croatia by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Christmas In Croatia

By Patrick T. Cooper

This year has been anything but ordinary. Extraordinary would even be an understatement! Most who dare to read this article are grappling with the thought of where your first travel destination will be post-pandemic. Well, forget pulling out all of those dusty ornaments and slaving in the kitchen to prepare the family meal. Croatia is calling you to blend your love of travel with holiday traditions to make your season a memorable one.

Croatia offers a unique old-world feel with a hip awareness that locals will eagerly share while illustrating the countries fair and flare. The gift of travel is evergreen and never antiquated. Give the gift of lifetime memories well beyond the impact of material goods. This past year should be your throttle boost to knock off the destinations of the world that you have always hungered to see. Christmas in Croatia is not just a catchy title but a rhythmic vibe that will have you singing in the city streets.

The aha moment is forthcoming once you maneuver through the city cafes at the center of Zagreb. Beyond the city’s annual Festival of Lights is a community that is welcoming, warm, genuine and excited to educate you on the rich culture of this region in the world. While travel has been practically extinct this year, this story gives you ample time for planning to experience The Ultimate Holiday Gift – Christmas in Croatia.

Christmas in Croatia by Patrick Cooper for 360 mag

The Bucket List

Positioned on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a country at the intersection of Central and Southeast Europe. The Croatian economy is dominated by the services and industrial sectors as well as agriculture. Tourism is the paramount source of revenue, ranking Croatia among the 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country measures 21,851 square miles and a population of 4.07 million, most of whom are Catholic.

Zagreb, Croatia’s northwestern capital, is riddled with distinguished 18th and 19th– century Austro-Hungarian architecture contributing to your eyes dancing as you wonder about the city. Most infatuated upon my arrival, I, of course, had to make the 13th-century St. Mark’s Church and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as my initial stops. From the colored rooftop of the church to the edifice of the cathedral, I hastened to mark three destinations off of my travel bucket list.

At this point, I have piqued your curiosity, similar to anxious adolescents on the night before Christmas. Never fear, I will be the calming hand to give you a Croatia travel cheat sheet. The path is now lit!! Continue reading and start preparing to soar into the unknown and craft memories to enhance your personal journey.

Lights in Zagreb

By day, Zagreb’s main square is perfect for people watching. A brief stop in Dolac’s open-air market will intensify your cultural submersion. Prepare to indulge in the ultimate Christmas experience by evening. The city literally lights up!! The splendid display of the holiday spirit is like no other in the world. Advent on European Square, Advent on Zrinjevac, Ice park, and Advent in Tunnel are all close in proximity and offer an array of souvenirs, decorations, food and beverages to heighten the beginning of your fairy-tale in Croatia.

Truffle Hunt in Istria

Everyone loves a day trip to Istria which includes phenomenal hunting. Fetching some of the world’s most renowned mushrooms is quite an adventure. Prior to exiting the field, fuel up with your personalized truffle cooking class at Karlić Tatufi. Opting for the scrambled truffled eggs and a variety of truffle-infused pastries is the perfect breakfast to start the day. Excitement ensues watching the eagerness of canine energy to hunt the delicacy of the Croatian culture. The benefits of eating, education and exposure culminate in creating a magical endeavor.

Truffle photo by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Rest in Rovinj

From the sleek curbside appeal, the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is perhaps one of the sexiest hotels that I have visited. Modern, yet minimalist furnishings and features make this property award-winning. Beyond the architecture, you prepare to be rewarded with elegantly appointed seafront views overlooking St. Katarina Island and the Old Town of Rovinj. Completed in 2019, this hotel represents a collaboration with Milan studio Lissoni Architecture by Piero Lissoni. From its beaches, pool, dining and spa the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is an unforgettable designed stay.

Grand Park hotel photo by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Chocolate in Opatija

A chocolate Santa Claus is such a treat!! Literally one of Opatija’s sweetest events happening the first weekend of December is when you should be ready to taste and experience the finest chocolates from the world’s best chocolatiers. Everywhere the eye can wander, you shall see white, milk and dark chocolate creations that elevate from edibles to works of art.

By all means, secure your global selfie stamp by posing with famous individuals like Gustav Mahler and Isadore Duncan of Opatija at the Open Air Theatre at the Park Angiolina.

Chocolate Santas by Patrick Cooper for 360 Magazine

Castles in Rijeka

Korzo is the main promenade in Rijeka. It is the focal point to capture the hustle of the city and a quick coffee in a multitude of cafes. At nightfall, it is the climb to the Trsat Fortress that will illuminate your love for Rijeka, Croatia. Never before have I seen such a delicate display of holiday savoir-faire. From carriages to castles dripping in bright lights, prepare to spend your upcoming holiday in this historical winter wonderland. Croatia is certainly worth planning an entire year in advance.

Cruise illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Take a Trip with CruiseCompete!

River cruise ships offer a more private and intimate ambiance, along with personalized service and the advantage of being able to port almost anywhere. Passengers get a feel for the water and experience destinations in a very up-close and personal way onboard and in the towns and areas visited with CruiseCompete

Overall, cruise ship sizes range from megaships (almost 7,000 passengers) to very small vessels and luxury yachts whose passengers number in mere dozens (as small as 16). Knowing the differences is key to planning your best cruise vacation. 

CruiseCompete has divided today’s ships into categories and provides information on the benefits each provides, from the very small and intimate, to medium and up to the very large, mega ships.

For River Cruise Ship Size, from Extra Small to Small with guest capacity from just 18 to almost 260, and only a couple over that number, see details here.

From Avalon Waterways Treasure of Galapagos with 18 guests, to the American Queen Steamboat Company American Queen river ship that sails USA rivers with 417 guests , there is a ship size for everyone.

CruiseCompete member-agents are the most well-educated, forward-thinking and trusted cruise specialists in the industry. If you’d like more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruisetour, please visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor™ or Live Help.

CruiseCompete has been the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003 (see media praises). Consumers come to CruiseCompete to research and book cruise vacations. More than 1.5 million users have generated close to 4 million requests from consumers, and agents have delivered 17.5 million quotes since 2003. They can compare offers from trusted travel agents, see consumer reviews of agents and agencies responding, then contact travel agents directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, the leading authority and resource for family travel information and is home to the Sea Tales 2020 Family Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations. CruiseCompete takes top honors in Travel + Leisure’s “Top 60 Best Apps and Websites for Travelers” with an honorable mention. The Wall Street Journal praised CruiseCompete as “Best Cruise Travel Site,” The New York Times says, “… independent travel agents compete to offer you the best deal,” and follows similar praise from Travel + Leisure, Kiplinger and The Washington Post. The Street says, “Score luxury cruises at bargain prices.” 

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TOP DESTINATIONS FOR 2020

Travel and hospitality professionals across the globe are preparing to usher in a new decade of travel, focusing on up-and-coming destinations, increasingly popular lodging trends, and fresh ways to experience travel in a meaningful way that impacts the way people view the world. With more than 50 years of industry experience, the experts at Preferred Hotels & Resorts – the world’s largest independent hotel brand with more than 750 properties in 85 countries – are sharing their insights and tips for the year ahead.

  • CONSCIOUS TRAVEL – According to the Sustainable Travel Report released by Booking.com, 58% of travelers will consciously avoid visiting a destination if it is shown to negatively impact the people who live there. “Hospitality brands that move beyond greenwashing to demonstrate how they are minimizing their social and environmental footprint are reaping the rewards in customer loyalty and share of wallet,” says Michelle Woodley, President. “Since launching GIFTTS (Great Initiatives for Today’s (Tomorrow’s) Society) in 2005 – which recognizes hotels that go above and beyond in the areas of community service, education, philanthropy, and sustainability – Preferred Hotels & Resorts has celebrated and supported the sustainable efforts hundreds of independent hotels, providing them with a platform from which to share best practices that enhance their environmental and social contributions and inspire others to take action.”
  • TRANSFORMATIONAL TRAVEL – Described by the Transformative Travel Council (founded in 2016) as “intentionally traveling to stretch, learn and grow into new ways of being and engaging with the world”, 2020 will witness this trend evolve as a critical thread connecting other trends identified this year. As travelers harness nature, culture, and social activities to connect with their inner self and promote qualitative life changes, transformational travel will more assertively intersect with conscious travel, micro-cations and second city travel to become less focused on the self and more about the lasting benefit a traveler can have on others. “Travel and the quest for ‘Where Next?’ has long been used as a way to deal with the twists and turns in life, be it respite from a stressful career, a means to deal with major life events, or as a landmark activity and life-stage celebration. Transformative travel enables a traveler to immerse themselves in the virtues of travel, be they emotional, social, physical or spiritual. It is the pursuit of becoming better versions of ourselves and in doing so, our humanity is reinforced,” says Kristie Goshow, Chief Marketing Officer.
  • MICRO-CATIONS – Defined as a leisure trip consisting of less than four nights, ‘micro-cations’ are rising in popularity among all age groups as travelers seek opportunities to see more destinations in a shorter amount of time. Leading this trend are time-poor millennial executives who are replacing longer, more traditional vacations with shorter getaways. “In a world where everyone is constantly connected, micro-cations offer an ideal opportunity to unwind and recharge in shorter, more frequent intervals,” says Caroline Klein, Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations. “Getting away for just a few days, even if you are still responding to emails, helps put things into perspective. This trend truly resonates with me as the only millennial senior executive at Preferred Hotels & Resorts. I often try to add on a few days of leisure to international business trips to gain a new perspective on areas of the world that I may never visit again or that I have not experienced outside of a business context.”

 

  • LGBTQ FAMILY TRAVEL – With a total of 25 countries across Europe and the Americas now legally recognizing and performing same sex marriage, the industry is turning its attention to the LGBTQ family travel segment. According to a recent report by LGBTQ market research firm Community Marketing & Insights, 85% of LGBTQ parents with children under 18 have taken one vacation or more as a family in the past year. And with more LGBTQ couples choosing to start their own families year on year, travel agents and tour operators should be addressing this demographic’s service, privacy, and security requirements. “While lesbians have long spearheaded LGBTQ family travel, we have seen a notable increase in gay men traveling with their children, which presents a huge opportunity for well-positioned travel brands to directly market their programs and experiences,” says Rick Stiffler, Senior Vice President of Leisure Sales and ambassador for Preferred Pride.“Now entering its tenth year, the Preferred Pride program offers training to more than 300 luxury hotels, resorts, and residences that caters to LGBTQ traveling families – a welcome addition to the exclusive benefits and amenities that travelers receive when they book stays through the program.”

 

  • INSTA-TOURISM– According to a recent study by Amadeus, 40% of Instagram users under the age of 33 ranked Instagram as a top factor for selecting a vacation, and with more than 500 million users sharing an average of 85 million photos each day (according to National Geographic), Instagram is undoubtedly the most prominent source of wanderlust inspiration, guiding travelers to their destination choices. “In 2020, it will be more essential than ever for travel brands to effectively leverage the power of Instagram to capture the attention and engagement of target audiences and ultimately drive bookings,” says Lindsey Ueberroth, Chief Executive Officer. “Content, campaigns, and collaborative partnerships should be crafted to appeal to Generation Z, in addition to millennials, who are starting to build their brand loyalties and are influential in the decision process for family vacations.”

 

  • SECOND-CITY TRAVEL – According to a recent survey by Booking.com, over half (54%) of global travelers want to play a part in reducing over-tourism, while 51% would swap their original destination for a similar alternative if it would have a positive environmental or social impact. As such, travelers are starting to choose secondary and tertiary destinations that still provide the same charm and culture as their better-known counterparts to alleviate the issues. “We see growth in a number of secondary markets globally, owed in part to improved air access and more diverse travel itineraries from tour operators. With this trend, we believe destinations such as Guadalajara, Mexico; Suzhou, China; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Porto, Portugal; and Belfast, Northern Ireland, and similar, are likely to see an uptick in visitors in the New Year,” says Robert Van Ness, Executive Vice President of the Americas.

 

  • RESIDENTIAL-STYLE ACCOMMODATIONS – Residential options continue to surge in popularity among all travel segments, given their ability to provide more flexibility for individual or group needs, particularly at a time when multi-generational trips, personalization, and convenience are a top priority for travelers. In response, hospitality brands, particularly luxury hotel groups, will further invest in the expansion of their residential-style inventory in 2020, with the goal of increasing their share of a market dominated by a handful of alternative lodging providers. “While the hotel pipeline continues to boom, travelers are increasingly seeking residential-style lodging options, ranging from beachfront villas with access to resort facilities for family celebrations to city-center serviced apartments for business and even short-term relocations,” says Philipp Weghmann, Executive Vice President of Europe. “Preferred Residences has just marked its 100-property milestone, offering travelers a wider selection of stand-alone luxury accommodations that connect guests to the unique culture of 32 destinations while offering a home-like space that meets their specific needs in size, amenities, and comfort.”

 

  • HOT DESTINATION: MEXICO – Mexico’s rich and diverse culture naturally lends itself to hospitality experiences that showcase the people, local design and architecture, and regional cuisines. As such, tourism to Mexico is on the rise with total visitors in 2019 estimated to top more than 45 million by year-end, a 5.6% increase from the previous year, with an increase in upper upscale and luxury properties projected to launch in 2020 to meet the growing demand. “Mexico’s luxury market has emerged over the past few years to be the largest and most resilient in Latin America, with new destinations like Los Cabos and established ones like Yucatan Peninsula leading the way.” says Antonio Vera, Regional Director of Mexico. “Preferred Hotels & Resorts has seen continual development since entering the market in 1999 with recent launches such as Atelier Playa Mujeres and Montage Los Cabos in the luxury and ultra-luxury segments. This broad range of premium hotels and resorts has helped transform Mexico from a low-cost, all-inclusive market to a robust luxury leisure market in less than 10 years.”

 

  • HOT DESTINATION: COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – As sustainability continues to remain top-of-mind for travelers globally, eco-friendly destinations contributing to the protection of their local environment are rising in popularity. In Europe, Copenhagen is aiming to become the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025, while Denmark overall has been regularly voted one of the happiest and healthiest countries. “With a slew of hotels slated to open in Copenhagen next year, Villa Copenhagen will be the most impactful and exciting, as it transforms from the city’s century-old post office into a luxury eco-hotel that will debut in April,” says Brenda Collin, Managing Director, UK, Ireland, Nordics, and The Netherlands. Prioritizing conscious luxury and nature throughout, the property is investing heavily in renewable energy, partnerships with environmentally friendly and sustainable local brands, and forward-thinking initiatives, including the luxurious Earth Suite designed with only sustainable materials.

 

  • HOT DESTINATION: JAPAN – With annual arrivals soaring by more than 24 million, Japan was the decade’s fastest growing major travel destination. Fresh from the excitement surrounding this year’s 2019 Rugby World Cup and newly lifted visa restrictions, Tokyo is poised to trend again. In addition to hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, Shibuya – the capital city’s major commercial district, is currently undergoing a massive skyline changing redevelopment. “As Tokyo aims to reach more international travelers, the Japanese National Tourism Board is further investing in multilingual marketing campaigns to generate interest in Japan’s lesser-visited destinations, helping to fuel a wider discovery of the country long after the Olympics,” says Kaori Yamaguchi, Managing Director of Japan. “Preferred Hotels & Resorts represents 17 outstanding independent properties in Japan, including Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Tokyo, Hotel New Grand in Yokohama, and The Thousand Kyoto in Kyoto, which provide travelers with great launch pads from which to explore culturally-rich destinations beyond Tokyo.”

 

For more information on the properties and experiences represented within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio, please visit www.PreferredHotels.com.

South African Tourism

2019 will be a landmark year as South Africa celebrates 25 years of freedom and democracy. South African Tourism is encouraging travelers to make 2019 the year they discover everything that the country has to offer, from its wildlife, natural beauty, and dramatic coastlines to its world-class restaurants, art galleries, and compelling explorations of culture. It is a unique moment to reflect and acknowledge the country’s socio-economic progress since the end of apartheid and its journey to becoming one of the world’s most sought-after travel destinations.

The new year will offer a diverse array of authentic experiences from art, culture and adventure to exciting hotel developments and new itineraries. With the continued strength of the dollar to the rand, it’s the opportune time to travel to the destination!

Reviving Cape Town

Thanks to innovative solutions put in place earlier this year to combat the drought in Cape Town, the Mother City is open for business and looks towards a bright 2019 with water levels stabilizing and significant efforts continuing to play a key role in the conversation on conserving our precious water. The city’s diverse range of breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural experiences, world class food and wine, art, marine life, nature and much more, are all ready to return to the spotlight in 2019.

New Activity Offerings

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Robben Island Museum, is starting to offer tours to visitors upon request. A new exhibit at the Mayibuye History Centre at the University of the Western Cape are unique multimedia collections depicting images of the resistance and freedom struggles caused by Apartheid. The two historical exhibits offer visitors the ability to experience, learn, and pay respects to South Africa’s history and better understand the forward momentum the country has made.

Boosting Family Travel

South Africa is becoming more accessible for traveling families through updated regulations. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) announced on December 1st, 2018 that they are relaxing some of the regulations for children traveling to South Africa. The announcement comes at a pivotal point for family travel as the Festive Season, a time when many families travel with their children, is fast approaching.

  • As visas are not required for US & CAN travelers visiting for less than 90 days, generally, children (under 18) travelling with both parents will experience no additional questioning and will not be requested to provide any additional documents, over and above a valid passport.

  • However, if it may appear that you are not the parents of the child for any reason, documentation may be requested. It is suggested that you consider carrying a birth certificate which features the details of the parent or parents, or other documentation that might assist to prove the parental relationship such as a marriage certificate, adoption certificate etc.

  • For more details from the Department of Tourism click here.

News from the Bush

Located on the Kapama Private Game Reserve, the Relais & Chateaux safari lodge, Camp Jabulani, is opening “Little Jabu” in October 2019 that will house 12 suites. 7 are “Jabulani Suites” ideal for couples and 5 are “Little Jabu Family Suites” for families with up to two children. The award winning lodge is known for guided bush walks and Big 5 game drives as well as the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, a leading private research and breeding facility for endangered species in the country.

In the Eastern Cape, the renowned Shamwari Private Game Reserve has finalized the first phase of its extensive $25 million refurbishment of the Eagles Crag Lodge and the Riverdene Family Lodge. The second phase, due to complete November 2019, will see a new, flagship luxury tented camp, and the renovation of the historic Long Lee Manor, featuring 18 private luxury suites. The reserve offers visitors the opportunity to get behind the scenes of the conservancy’s volunteering efforts and environmental regeneration projects.

The Royal Portfolio announced that the The Farmstead will open May 1, 2019. This property will be an exclusive lodge at Royal Malewane, just a mere 12 minute drive south of it, and stand as The Royal Portfolio’s first property in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park. Accommodations will be provided in a main lodge as well as luxury villas and suites with rates inclusive of accommodation, meals, drinks, game drives and bush walks. It provides a completely different design style than the existing safari lodges in South Africa with light oak, tin roofs, wrought iron and gentle hues of blue and white defining the style.

Welcoming New Urban Retreats

Newmark Hotels, Residences, Reserves & Lodges, known for the noteworthy opening of Hallmark House in Johannesburg’s trendy Maboneng Precinct, is opening Stock Exchange – an eclectic city hotel in Cape Town’s most up-and-coming region, Woodstock. Set to open March 2019, it will boast just 33 apartment-style rooms with kitchens and will include a restaurant, swimming pool, gym and shops. The interior of the rooms celebrate local talent and the connection with the neighborhood. As a result, furniture and decorations items in the rooms will be pinpointed on a “design map” of Woodstock, allowing guests to purchase similar items and support the region’s artists.

Placed on the only tree-lined and fully pedestrianized avenue in Cape Town is Gorgeous George, a new hotel set to open early 2019. The new structure is the first hotel in the area to be a member of Design Hotels. Located between St. George’s Mall and Green Market Square, the goal of the hotel is to be a new cultural hub that reflects South Africa’s design scene.