Escape The Winter Chill In These Tropical Locations

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Winter is coming, and for many of us, that means snow, below-freezing temperatures, and the need for a tropical escape. Here are a few destinations to plan for when that inevitable chill is too much to handle.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

With temperature rarely dipping below 70 degrees, winter is a great time to explore the islands of Hawaii. Enjoy the beaches, whale watching and island life vibes in Kailua-Kona, or opt for a bit more adventure with a hiking trip to nearby Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary.

Hawaii | Braden Jarvis | Unsplash

RELATED: These 7 New Airline Routes Will Be Flying To The Caribbean This Winter

Pensacola Beach, Florida

You don’t have to travel too far for a bit of sunshine and warmth this winter. Pensacola Beach in Florida has moderate temperatures in the winter months and plenty of outdoor activities to help you thaw out from the freezing temperatures back home.

Pensacola, FL | Mason B | Unsplash

Punta Gorda, Belize

Head to the southern part of Belize for 85-degree weather and stunning beaches that you will have mostly all to yourself. This finishing village is the perfect tropical getaway where you can enjoy fishing trips, lazy beach days, and waterfalls in Rio Blanco National Park.

Los Cabos, Mexico

Los Cabos is a year-round destination for many tourists. Between December and April, you can expect to see gray whales and it’s also a great time to snorkel around the arch-shaped rock formation where the Sea of Cortes meets the Pacific Ocean.

Los Cabos, Mexico | Spencer Watson | Unsplash

RELATED: Southwest And Delta Airlines Are Having Huge Sales On Fall And Winter Travel

Aruba

With 80-degree temperatures and a location outside of the hurricane belt, Aruba is a reliable winter getaway that stays mostly dry during the season. Explore the boulders at Arikok National Park or simply sit on the beach and soak in the tropical rays.

Malibu, California

The endless summer makes its home in southern California with moderate temperatures well into the winter months. Expect plenty of sunshine and trips to the beach. Not to mention, you’ll have tons of options for entertainment just a short drive away in Los Angeles.

Malibu, CA | Jenna Day | Unsplash

Here’s What Thanksgiving Meals Look Like Around The Country

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Have you ever spent Thanksgiving at someone else’s house and been surprised by what was on the menu? Or disappointed by what wasn’t? Depending on your region and culture, Thanksgiving dinner could look very different. Here is a glimpse of what Thanksgiving could be serving up across the country.

RELATED: Find The Cheapest Holiday Flights With These Sites

Texas

Texas is home to the fried turkey. A notoriously dangerous way of cooking a turkey, Texas is also home to the worst turkey-frying accidents in the country. Deeply flavored turkey tamales are also a Tex Mex staple in many homes as well as cornbread dressing.

The South

You can expect to indulge in sweet potato pie in the south as well as several types of macaroni and cheese, okra, cornbread, sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, and let’s not forget the collard greens.

Burcu Atalay Tankut | Getty Images

Kentucky

Kentucky Derby Pie is rooted in horse racing and is made from chocolate and walnuts for a decently-delicious dessert.

New England

Hasty Pudding is a simple dessert made with cornmeal, molasses, brown sugar, spices and a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream. You may also find creamed onions on a New England table, which consists of pearl onions and heavy cream. And when it comes to cranberry sauce, don’t expect the canned stuff. Homemade cranberry sauce, or relish, has its origins in the Northeast.

Funwithfood | Getty Images

Georgia

Pecan pie made from nuts, corn syrup, and butter is a southern staple that finds its roots in Georgia. With an abundance of peaches, you may also get your hands on some peach pie.

YinYang | Getty Images

Midwest

Green bean casserole is a dish made of canned cream of mushroom soup, fried onions, and green beans, and is most popular in the middle of the country. You may also get to try corn pudding in place of cornbread and cherry pie instead of pumpkin pie.

New Mexico and Arizona

In these Southwestern states, you can expect a dash of spice in just about everything you eat. A New Mexico Thanksgiving host will add chile to everything including gravy, stuffing, and turkey. Pumpkin empanadas may also make an appearance.

Southeast

Did you know that Florida’s state food is key lime pie? The dessert is made from the juice of Key limes (naturalized throughout the Florida Keys), egg yolks, and canned sweetened condensed milk and will most likely make an appearance on the Thanksgiving table.

The Southeast also celebrates its Cajun roots during the national holiday in the form of gumbo, crawfish, deviled eggs, and fried oysters. 

Lauri Patterson | Getty Images

Pacific Northwest

Expect to find an abundance of mushrooms in your Pacific Northwest Thanksgiving meal. Even in the gravy. Mushroom gravy is a staple along with turkey alternatives like venison and other hearty meats.

RELATED: Here Are The Best Days To Book Your 2019 Holiday Travel

Hawaii

Many Hawaiian Thanksgiving traditions are different than what you would see in the contiguous United States. Based on their location and culture, you will find Okinawan sweet potatoes that are purple in color. Don’t be surprised to also see fresh poke or sashimi on the table and a turkey that is smoked kalua-style, a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that utilizes an imu, a type of underground oven.

Prasit photo | Getty Images

Here’s Where To Experience The Most Epic Sunsets On The Planet

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There are few better ways to end a day than by taking in the breathtaking views of a sunset. Watching the sun drop into the ocean or fall behind the mountains can be an unforgettable moment. Here are some of the best places in the world to watch the day end and the sky illuminate with colors.

Big Island, Hawaii

Hawaii is the westernmost state, providing it with the perfect location for ideal sunsets. Kailua Kona Bay, located on the Big Island, is one of the best places to watch nature’s show unfold. Epic colors and shadows are cast over the ocean and against a backdrop of volcanic rocks.

Big Island, Hawaii | Pascal Debrunner | Unsplash

RELATED: Most Beautiful Airbnbs In Maui

Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

The Uyuni Salt Flats offer a sunset unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. Due to reflections from the sun, Bolivia’s 4,000 square-mile stretch of encrusted salt fields turn into otherworldly looking terrain as the sun slips behind the horizon. One thing to note, the temperatures drop dramatically after sunset, so be prepared.

The Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia | Apexphotos | Getty Images

Shi Shi Beach, Washington

If you are up for putting in a little work, head to one of Washington’s most beautiful beaches by hiking through a fir-filled forest and down a rocky trail to Shi Shi Beach. The sun sets behind rocky arches creating a dramatic show that you’ll never want to end.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Creating lasting memories in Bora Bora is easy, and there is no bad place on the island to catch an unforgettable sunset. Just face Mount Otemanu, a jagged remnant of an ancient volcano, and watch the sun slip behind its sharp point for a view of a lifetime.

Bora Bora | Cosmic Timetraveler | Unsplash

RELATED: Islands Around The World You’ve Never Heard About But Should Know

The Azores, Portugal

The islands that sit off the coast of Portugal offer unobstructed views of the water and sky. There are many places on the islands to take in the stunning views, but the rocky coast of São Miguel, Sete Cidades, and Angra do Heroísmo offer some of the most memorable sunsets in the world.

6 Destinations You Should Add To Your Bucket List This Fall

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With lower temperatures and moderate prices, Fall is the perfect time to plan a trip. If you are looking for some travel inspiration, here are a few top spots to consider.

Québec, Canada

You will see the most vibrant Fall colors in Québec between mid-September and early November when the season is at its peak. Head to Mount Royal Park and the Montreal Botanical Gardens to witness nature’s spectacular show.

RELATED: Here Are The Cheapest Fall Getaway Destinations In The U.S.

Big Sur, California

While driving through Big Sur, you can expect to see stunning views of redwood forests and pristine coastline that come alive during the fall months. The drive alone is a destination in itself, but be sure to venture onto a hiking trail or even down to one of the beaches that you will have all to yourself.

Harley Davidson | Unsplash

Sardinia, Italy

A fall getaway to Sardinia means ideal weather and much less crowded white sand beaches along the Mediterranean. The fall festival season is also full of Italian traditions and the opportunity to mix with locals without the bustle of tourist season.

Cairo, Egypt

October is a great time to visit Egypt. You can look forward to fewer crowds, lower prices, and more comfortable temperatures. Shorter lines will make sight-seeing much more enjoyable at otherwise highly trafficked areas like the pyramids at Giza, ancient mosques, and local markets.

Fynn Schmidt | Unsplash

Lanai, Hawaii

Nine miles off the coast of Maui sits Lanai, the smallest of the inhabited islands of Hawaii. October temperatures average in the 70s with very little rainfall allowing you ample time to explore the many beaches, forests, and rugged terrain.

RELATED: Frontier Airlines Adds New Routes This Fall, With An Emphasis On Pheonix

Bali, Indonesia

Fall is your chance to experience the quiet Bali. With fewer crowds, the low season may bring rain, but it also brings lower prices and a much more tranquil experience. You can expect around 12-15 rainy days in October and temperatures maxing out around 80 degrees.

Harry Kessell | Unsplash

Shark Attacks Woman In Hawaii, Public Told To Stay Far Away

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Police say a woman was bitten twice while swimming in Hawaii. The 27-year-old woman was swimming off of Napoopoo Park in Kealakekua Bay on Tuesday morning when she was bitten by a shark with a grey tip.

The woman suffered injuries in her lower back and right hip area and was taken to Kona Community Hospital.

Although officials didn’t release the woman’s name, they say she is in “good health” and should be released soon.

The area where the shark attack occurred will remain closed to the public until at least noon on Wednesday.

According to USA Today, shark warning signs have been posted on both sides of Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.

Chief William Bergin of the Hawaii Fire Department tells the Associated Press that the woman was an estimated 50 yards away from the shore when she was attacked.

“The shark is still in the area, so we’re trying to get people out of the water at this time,” says Bergin.

Bergin says the shark is most like a 6-foot black-tip reef shark. He went on to say, “According to local fishermen, this time of year there’s a lot of fish in the area, so it does attract a lot of sharks and dolphins birthing.”

The high turf also makes it quite difficult to spot sharks in the water.

This has been the ninth shark encounter this year reported by state officials. In May, a 65-year-old Californian man died after he was bitten by a shark off a Maui beach park.

In 2018 there were 66 cases of unprovoked shark attacks worldwide as reported by the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File.

Tyler Bowling, Shark Attack File Program Manager says there are currently 40 unprovoked shark attacks so far this year worldwide.

This Airline Just Added $159 Flights To Hawaii

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Southwest Airlines will be adding Hawaii routes from Sacramento, Oakland and San Jose starting from $159.

Service between Sacramento and Honolulu will occur every day starting in mid-January 2020.

Travelers will be able to access nonstop service to Lihue Airport on Kauai and Hilo International Airport in Hawaii from Oakland and San Jose.

These routes will be the first time Southwest will be servicing these two travel hubs in Hawaii.

Airfare with Southwest includes two checked bags and no change fees (besides fare difference). The Hawaii flights will have WiFi onboard, free inflight movies, live TV and gate-togate connectivity.

Southwest’s first flight to Hawaii took place on March 17, 2019, from Oakland. They currently have a dozen flights daily from the mainland to Hawaii and 16 interisland departures.

According to AFAR, the flights are bookable for travel into early March and they start at $159 for a one-way flight during the week. On the weekends, you could expect to dish out up to $448 for a one-way flight. There are also a variety of flights ranging from $200 to $350 one-way.

These new routes bring the number of Southwest flights from California to Hawaii to 18 every day.

Dive Into These Top 5 Snorkeling Sites Around The World

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With climate change quickly endangering the beauty and vitality of these underwater wonderlands, now is the time to explore these precious aquatic worlds that many scientists believe could be completely gone by the year 2050.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Outside of Australia, Belize is home to the largest barrier reef in the world at 185 miles. Some of the best options for divers and snorkelers are found off of Ambergris Caye, where you can swim with nurse sharks, eels, rays, and all kinds of brightly colored fish. Swim through colorful coral while exploring this magical underwater world.

RELATED: Beaches In The Caribbean That You Will Have All To Yourself

The Big Island, Hawaii

People visit the islands of Hawaii from all over the world to experience its many diving and snorkeling spots, but The Big Island has the most to offer based on its size. Head to Kealakekua Bay to explore its underwater park and to see dolphins, turtles, colorful fish, and more.

Sarah Humer | Unsplash.com

Buck Island, St. Croix, USVI

The shallow, gentle waters of Buck Island are perfect for beginner snorkelers. And with three species of sea turtles, coral barrier reefs, and magnificent blue waters, you will be sure to see a mesmerizing world of underwater activities any time of day.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The various islands that make up the Galapagos are home to diverse marine life—sea turtles, dolphins, orcas, humpback whales, Galapagos penguins, fur seals, and sea lions. For those seeking a bit more adventure, head to Devil’s Crown, the sunken cone of a volcano near Floreana Island, for a swim with moray eels and more.

Diego Delso |Wiki Commons

RELATED: The 10 Most Beautiful Beaches On The West Coast

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

When talking about the best snorkeling spots in the world, you can’t skip out on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia – the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world. If you are looking for a good place to start, try Whitsunday Islands off the shore of Queensland before making your way through the 2,900 individual reefs that stretch over 1,400 miles off the Australian shoreline.

Most Beautiful Airbnbs In Maui

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Maui, also known as “The Valley Isle,” is the second largest Hawaiian island and one of the most beloved by visitors. There are many things this island is known for, but the most popular include its world-famous beaches, the sacred Iao Valley, views of migrating humpback whales (during winter months), farm-to-table cuisine, and the magnificent sunrises and sunsets from Haleakala. If you are planning an upcoming trip, here are some of the most stunning Airbnbs we could find, to make sure your vacation is just as you imagined.

Walk To Cove Beach Park From A Refined Villa

According to the post, this stunning bungalow is set amid lush tropical gardens with mango and palm trees, and is located across the street from Cove Beach Park, a popular surf spot frequented by locals and visitors. Whale watching, shopping, and dining are all within walking distance. This bungalow can sleep up to four people and starts around $200/night.

Photo via Airbnb.com

Explore Waterfalls And Beaches From A Tropical Haiku Cottage

Vaulted white washed ceilings and a modern farmhouse decor create a beachy jungle vibe in this bright and airy home. This home is all about vacation vibes with ocean views and an acre of private gardens to explore. The cottage is located just a short drive from Haiku’s nearest beaches, hikes, parks, restaurants, and shopping. You and three friends can call this place home for just $239/night.

Photo via Airbnb.com

Cottage Studio With A Ocean View

This one is all about the views. This cozy, romantic cottage can accommodate two guests. The home is nested on two acres of gardens with an expansive view of the ocean. You will be just minutes away from the Lavender Farm and Botanical Gardens and a short distance to beach. This cottage starts around $169/night depending on your travel dates.

Photo via Airbnb.com

Wailea Townhome

All 1,500 sq. ft. of this spacious condo have been recently remodeled from top to bottom. It has 2 lanais, gorgeous ocean and garden views, and a perfect 5-star rating. The house can sleep up to six guests and will cost you and your crew around $249/night.

Photo via Airbnb.com

Sexy Luxe Guesthouse + 180° Views + Own Hot Tub

Located on the slopes of Haleakala above the Wailea Resorts, this beautiful guest house has some of the best views on the island. Imagine watching the sunset from your private hot tub after a day of relaxing on the beach. Or stepping outside to your private balcony overlooking the ocean and the distant mountains. If that sounds like the ultimate dream, it’ll cost you around $330/night for you and a guest.

Photo via Airbnb.com

The Best Destinations For August

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August marks the time of year where it serves as a reality check that summer is almost over.

With a few weeks left of the season, don’t let summer go by without planning a trip.

Here are the best destinations for August:

Colombia

What’s great about Colombia is that the country offers a great variety in topography and climates, which means there’s a city that’s appealing for every traveler type.

The coast near Cartagena will be more hot and humid and Bogotá, high in altitude, will be chilly in August. 

Where you go depends on what you are looking for but we recommend Medellín

Why Medellín?  Because of Feria de Flores, also known as “Festival of the Flowers.” Local flower farmers, known as silleteros, prepare all year for this celebration of elaborate floral displays. 

Right now, flights are on sale to Bogotá, Cartagena, Cali, and Medellín for as low as $231, according to Skyscanner.  

Architecture in Bogota, Colombia Photo via Getty Images

Vietnam

It’s autumn in Vietnam during the month of August so temperatures are more moderate and you won’t see as much rain.

Vietnam made the list for August 2019 because of the flight deals, where round-trip flights to Ho Chi Minh City from the West Coast, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle are starting off at $416 round-trip, according to Skyscanner.  

There are also flights from Chicago for $561 round-trip and Houston for $596 round-trip. 

During your stay,  try a night food tour in Saigon or a small boat tour around the village to visit floating markets. 

Getty Images

France

The end of August in Paris means the summer crowds are beginning to dwindle down, so take advantage of the flight deals to Paris this August from various cities.

Miami and Los Angeles have the best deals to Paris with direct flights for as low as $366 round-trips, according to Skyscanner.  

Those leaving New York City can head to Paris for $277 round-trip this August. 

There are a few things you can do in Paris this August, including booking an Airbnb experience for cooking and art classes. 

You can also you the flight deal as a starting point to explore cities like Lyon, Europe’s food capital, that’s accessible by train.  

Lyon, France PHOTO | Parker Diakite

Hawaii

The deals to Hawaii continue through the month of August and round-trip flights can still be purchased for as low as $232 from the West Coast to Honolulu, according to Skyscanner.

Honolulu is a popular destination city all year-round due to the optimal weather but there are ways to save money.

Beaches are free and you can take a self-guided tour through the charming neighborhoods Manoa, Kapahulu, or Kaimuki. 

JetStar Launches “Get Overseas Sale” With Cheap Flights To Hawaii and Asia

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Australia-based budget airline JetStar has launched a huge summer sale with affordable flights departing from the land down under to all over Asia and the Pacific. The airline’s “Get Overseas” sale includes one-way flights from Sydney or Melbourne to Hawaii for only $189.

Australia is currently in the middle of its winter season and JetStar’s recent sale provides the perfect opportunity to leave the cold for more tropical temperatures. Other jaw-dropping deals include $169 one-way flights from Sydney to Fiji and $189 flights from Brisbane to Bali.

Passengers can also nab $199 one-way flights from the Gold Coast to JetStar’s newest overseas destination in Seoul. It’s also a great time to snag cheap domestic flights across the continent, with routes from the Gold Coast to Auckland only $135 and flights from Melbourne to Queenstown just $169 during the sale.

JetStar’s Get Overseas sale will continue through Monday, July 22 at 11:59pm AEST, unless tickets sell out beforehand. 

For full details and to book, visit jetstar.com

Cheap Destinations For The Rest Of Summer

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Summer is a prime season to travel and the demand from people itching to get away means that flight and hotel prices tend to be more expensive than usual.

If you’re looking to get out of town this summer but you don’t want to spend a ton of money, here are four destinations that you should book right now.

Hawaii

Ever since Southwest Airlines began flying to Hawaii, competition among airline carriers has driven the cost of airfare down.

Flights to Honolulu and Kauai are priced between $300 and $450 in August, according to Google Flights.

Hawaii is a popular destination for tourists, so activities can get pricey. Stick to eating out at the farmer’s market, going grocery shopping, and plan to spend a lot of time at the beach.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash | Chor Hung Tsang

Tulum, Mexico

Flights to Cancun from Denver, Miami, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C. can be purchased for less than $300 right now on Skyscanner.

Once you arrive in Cancun, take the ADO public bus or private shuttles to Tulum.

On your itinerary should be a trip to the Tulum Ruins and the beaches, which are free in Tulum. You can also take salsa lessons for free.

tulum

Toronto, Canada

Toronto is the perfect destination to keep in mind if you are looking for a cheap vacay with friends. There are trips from various cities across the country for less than $220 round-trip, according to Skyscanner.

You can go to a free museum, hang out on Toronto Island, take a free walking tour and more.

toronto-canada-solo-travel

Madrid, Spain

Flights to Madrid from New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles can be purchased for as low as $231, via Skyscanner.

Spain is all about food, and where else than the capital to enjoy some of the best tapas in the world?

You will also find that Madrid is pretty affordable compared to other popular European destinations.

Plaza Mayor de Madrid

Flight Deal: Fly From Atlanta To Hawaii For As Low As $402

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It seems like all Hawaii deals only depart from the West Coast these days but look at what the flight deal Gods are doing for the south!

United Airlines just rolled out a deal that goes from Atlanta, Georgia to Honolulu, Hawaii for only $402 roundtrip.

These low price flights, surprisingly, don’t come with crazy long layovers either. While they aren’t direct flights, passengers will have layovers each way, that are under an hour. So, it’s practically nonstop.

You can travel under this deal between mid-August and early December. There are several available date options each month as well. To quickly find dates, it is best to search using Google Flights. Make sure that you click the reset button before looking for lowest prices, to ensure your computer isn’t running off of old searches. Trust, it makes a difference.

This deal is apart of United’s basic fare. This means that the following restrictions will apply:

  • You cannot select your seat prior to travel. One will be randomly assigned to you.
  • You will be limited to a personal item only. United’s basic fare does not allow access to overhead bins. However, your first checked bag is only $30.
  • You cannot make changes or upgrade the ticket once confirmed.

As mentioned, it is only $30 to check a bag which still comes out to be a great deal.

Related: How To Spend A Day In Black Owned Hawaii

Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii and is located on the island of Oahu’s south shore. One of the most famous neighborhoods in Honolulu is Waikiki. There you will find everything a tourist wishes for from nightlife to food.

If you want something a little less lively, then check out the world’s largest open-air market, Ala Moana. From there, make your way over to the pan-Asian alleys of Chinatown to eat your heart out – you can even see the only royal palace in the United States.

No matter which island you decide to visit, there is plenty to do. Be sure to participate in a Luau to really get a feel of authentic Hawaiian culture.

Grab your flight now. Low-priced Hawaii flights out of Atlanta don’t come around very often.

A New Vacation Rental Law In Oahu Could Impact Your Airbnb Stay

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Oahu just passed a new law that could affect your Airbnb stay. 

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed legislation earlier this week that would enforce the strict vacation rental laws on the island.

The law, which was passed unanimously by the city council, limits bed-and-breakfast rentals to only 1,175 in Honolulu, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat.

“This is a good bill,” Caldwell said. “It reflects a lot of hard work, and it reflects the sense of our community, the passion, the emotion, the fairness, and how to take back our neighborhoods that have become overrun by visitors.”

Right now, there are an estimated 10,000 vacation rentals available at any given time, according to the Honolulu City Council. Only 700, however, are legal and licenses for short-term rentals.

The measure comes after residents started to voice their concerns about “unhosted transient vacation units.”

Unhosted vacation rentals mean it’s a property in which the owner rents out their entire home in their absence, which has only been allowed in Waikiki, Ko Olina, and Turtle Bay rental resorts.

Property owners and investors have ignored the limitations over the years, which has driven up property values, residents who oppose vacation rentals say.

Officials expect the law to eliminate thousands of illegal vacation rentals throughout Oahu that advertise with companies like Airbnb and Expedia.

Expedia spokesperson Phillip Minadi told the local publication that the platform is disappointed by the decision to close the door on Honolulu’s long-standing vacation rental community.

“The reality is, there was a better way,” he said. “We worked hard to find a reasonable compromise that would have protected local communities and homeowners while preserving Oahu’s tourism economy.”

Travelers who choose to stay in illegal bread and breakfasts will not be punished under the new.

Digital stings to nab illegal vacation rentals will begin on Aug. 1, the Honolulu Civil Beat reports.

Owners of illegal properties will be subject to pay a $1,000 fine for the first violation, and $5,000 per day after.

The city will begin issuing licenses to bed-and-breakfasts on Oct. 1, 2020.  After that, owners will have to display their permit number in all online advertising, including social media.

Snake Slithers From Man’s Backpack During Trip To Hawaii

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There was a slithery surprise found in a backpack at a vacation rental near Maui, Hawaii. 

The Department of Agriculture said when the visitor arrived at the vacation rental and began to unpack, a snake slithered its way out of the man’s backpack. 

The 20-year-old Virginia man was not aware of the animal until it arrived at the vacation property in the community, according to Hawaii News Now. 

The property owner told the man that snakes were illegal in Hawaii before alerting police. State police along with the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources captured the snake. 

Upon further investigation, officials found that the snake was stowed away in the man’s backpack but he claimed he did not intentionally bring the snake to the islands.  

The southern black racer snake arrived on Maui from Florida, where the snake is commonly found. 

Snakes have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a threat to Hawaii’s native species. 

“It is fortunate that the owner of the rental was aware of the seriousness of the snake being transported to Hawaii and took appropriate action and reported it,” Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, told Hawaii News Now. 

“Visitors to our islands may not fully understand the threat that snakes pose to our community and our unique environment. It takes all of us to protect Hawaii,” Shimabukuro-Geiser added.

The snake, which is non-venomous, measured about a foot long and a quarter-inch in diameter, according to officials. 

The snake will be transported to Oahu where it will be handled accordingly. 

Hawaii state law classifies owning or knowingly transporting illegal pets as a felony, punishable with a $200,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

“Be informed about the very special place you live that is Hawaii,” ecosystem expert Dr. Fern Duvall said. “We should pay attention to what plants and animals we see – report things you feel are new to you as prevention is so much more important than having to react to established foreign pests out of control.”

Staycations To Consider This Summer

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If you want to travel this summer but funds are limited or you don’t have enough vacation time, you can still reward yourself with rest and relaxation in your backyard.

A staycation is great for those who need a quick break to recharge themselves while saving up for a longer trip or if you are low on vacation days.

Related Post: Best Destinations When You’re Low On Vacation Days

A perk with a staycation is that you often avoid the crowded destinations many travelers flock to for the summer.

WalletHub, an online financial service that offers personal finance tools for users, recently ranked the best cities in the U.S. that will have you relaxing and saving money at the same time.

Related Post: ‘Vacation Shaming’ Shouldn’t Stop Millennials From Requesting Time Off Work

The results and rankings, which compared 182 cities, looked into recreation, food, and entertainment and opportunities to rest and relax in.  Analysts used those results to grade each category. 

The top 10 destinations on this list overall are:

1.Honolulu, Hawaii

2. Orlando, Florida

3. Chicago, Illinois

4.San Diego, California

5. Portland, Oregon

6. Charleston, South Carolina

7. Seattle, Washington

8. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

9. Tampa, Florida

10. San Francisco, California

To find a city’s overall score, they took the individual ratings and used them to find a weighted average. You can see the details behind each staycation spot’s ranking by going to the WalletHub website and looking at the complete list.

In addition to ranking cities overall,  analysts from WalletHub did some research on the best cities to grab go to the spa and museums.

According to the report, the places with the most museums per capita:

1.New Orleans, Louisiana

2. Charleston, South Carolina

3. Washington D.C.

4. San Francisco, California

5. New York, New York

6. Tucson, Arizona

Interested in destinations for optimal relaxation? The cities with the most spas per capita include:

1.Honolulu, Hawaii

2. New York, New York

3. Los Angeles, California

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

5. Chicago Illinois

6. Orlando, Florida