• Kayak canoe on Emerald Lake, Canadian Rockies

    10 Reasons Why Families Should Absolutely Vacation Together

    Every family needs someone like you — the person who dreams big about how memorable it would be to get away together ... and who grabs the bull by the horns to make it happen. Every day, we help folks just like you plan a memorable multi-generation family vacation.<br><br><b>1. Think of it as stress release ... for everybody.</b><br>Adults don’t have a monopoly on stress. Over-scheduled kids race to keep up with their schedules, too. School, sports, and lessons from ballet to ACT prep ... it all adds up. Everybody needs to recharge. A night in a Berber encampment in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank">Morocco’s Saharan Desert</a> or sea kayaking off <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank">the coast of Alaska</a> re-channels energy and breaks the rinse-and-repeat cycle of everyday life. Muscles relax, smiles widen, bonds grow.<br><br><b>2. Try something new and different.</b><br>Plenty of families enjoy yearly trips to the same beach or mountain cabin. Nothing wrong with that. Yet, at some point, the summer of ’19 can start to be interchangeable with ’17 and ’15. The remedy is to add in, say, a week in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank">Galápagos </a>one year, or a trip to explore, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">Bryce Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks</a>. The variety spices up life and the memories you make are more memorable when you step outside your traditional comfort zone.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BcE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>3. K.I.S.S. –  Keep it super simple.</b><br>The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank">best family vacations</a> are the ones that are plug-and-play simple. After all, you don’t want to be obsessing about logistics while everybody else is having a good time. Arranging a family trip with Classic Journeys is a surefire way to treat everybody to an active, engaging, out-of-the-ordinary experience that will run like clockwork. This strategy works whether you’re pulling something together last minute or planning a year out. Whatever your personal planning style, we can make your next family vacation one of the simplest you’ve ever taken. <br><br><b>4. Turn “heads down” into eyes wide open. Don’t worry about bumps in the road.</b><br>Apple just introduced an app to minimize screen time. Travel is an even better way to achieve that goal. While you’re paddling to a rainforest village in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panamafamily/" target="_blank">Panama </a>or whale-watching in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/novascotiafamily/" target="_blank">Nova Scotia</a>, touchscreens go untouched. Even if your phone is also your camera, you’ll find that grabbing shots of baby sea lions in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank">Galápagos </a>is a lot more engaging than checking out cat videos or the Museum of Ice Cream on Instagram. The time you all spend in the same moment is time nobody can take away from you.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/novascotiafamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BcJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>5. Don’t worry about bumps in the road.</b><br>Pulling off any vacation requires somebody to keep things on track. You can count on <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> to dedicate a team of experts to make sure your vacation runs just right. It just doesn’t have to be you. Experienced, well-connected and exceptionally <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">fun local guides</a> handle all the logistics. Your flock can skip the endless line to see Michelangelo’s David in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Florence </a>or juggle activities to take advantage of, particularly fine weather for sailing on an America’s Cup yacht in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-north-south-island-family-tours/" target="_blank">New Zealand</a>. <br><br><b>6. Tempt your family into staying connected.</b><br>We hear all kinds of motives for<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank"> family trips</a>. “I want my grandchildren to understand the world better.” “A cool trip is the only way I can bribe everybody to spend a week together.” “I want us all to have fun with each other like we used to.” Wherever you’re coming from, going on a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/multisport-tours/" target="_blank">travel adventure</a> together really does work to make sure the people you love best stay deeply connected. And being the person who makes it all happen is incredibly satisfying. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costaricafamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bc9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>7. Prove that you’re cool enough to matter.</b><br>Rocket Grandma — our affectionate nickname for the leader of her family pack — didn’t just make sure her grandchildren could go zip lining and river rafting in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costaricafamily/" target="_blank">Costa Rica</a>. She geared up, strapped in and went for it herself. If you propose a vacation that sets your family free to set their own paces, you get some serious street cred, even if you decide to hit the spa while they take a roller coaster ride on the rapids. <br><br><b>8. See the USA (but not in a Chevrolet.)</b><br>The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/usa/" target="_blank">U.S.</a> — and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canada-tours/" target="_blank">Canada</a> for that matter — offers great options for vacations that can fit neatly in a week. If any of you have driven together to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/national-park-tours/" target="_blank">national parks</a>, you know that the old traditional quick in-and-out visits are not going to cut it now. And yet parks like <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/glaciernationalparkfamily/" target="_blank">Glacier </a>and the trio of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">Bryce, Grand Canyon, and Zion</a> are great venues for family travel when you explore with<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank"> local guides</a> who get you past the crowds and into the real fun. (Dune surfing, anyone?)<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/glaciernationalparkfamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BcO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>9. Luxuriate in your time together.</b><br>“Back in ancient times — the 20th Century — we took some fairly economical vacations,” admits Debbie H. “We still could, but we’re all kind of over it.” That’s why she proposed their recent trip to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/vietnamfamily/" target="_blank">Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia</a>. “We have more affection for <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hotels/" target="_blank">luxury hotels</a> than we used to, and nobody seems to complain about that!” The luxury hotels and inns on our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank">family trips</a> guarantee plenty of comforts.<br><br><b>10. Be smart and safe, but not boring.</b><br>Feeling safe and carefree is important, but don’t let caution cause you to settle for an overly timid trip. All of the destinations where Classic Journeys has handcrafted <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank">family trips</a> are places where you can all cut loose, have a super fun time, and feel perfectly secure in the process. Our super-well-connected<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank"> local guides</a> know their regions inside out, and they know all of the where’s, how’s, do’s and don’ts you’ll ever need to have a smart and utterly unforgettable vacation together.

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  • Classic Journeys Portugal Guide Susana Portugal in Lisbon

    10 Female Tour Guides from Around the World

    In honor of International Woman&#39;s Day, we&#39;re highlighting our female trip leaders from around the world! At the heart of every tour is your <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">experienced local guide</a>. From exploring glaciers in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canadianrockies/" target="_blank">Rockies with Rosemary</a> to caravaning through the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank">Sahara with Saida</a>, these women are more than map-readers and spouters of statistics. They are colorful, caring personalities who are genuine and as sunny as they are sincere. As your cultural hosts, they will open doors and help you see their world through their eyes. So, let&#39;s introduce you to these amazing ladies and learn what they love about guiding tours on their home turf...<br><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><b>SAIDA | MOROCCO</b></a><br>&quot;I have a degree in English Literature and originally wanted to be a journalist. I channeled my natural curiosity and outgoing personality into working extensively with the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, where I guided visiting U.S. senators and ambassadors around <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank">Morocco </a>and even teamed up with Matt Lauer for an appearance on The Today Show. I love showing people how hospitable Moroccans and Arabs are and dispelling preconceived notions about other cultures.&quot; <i>- Saida | Professional guide for 22 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Ca9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><b>VIBEKE | NORWAY</b></a><br>&quot;I decided to become a guide as I believe in international communication on all levels. I believe the more we learn about each other`s culture in this world, the better we live side by side. I feel very privileged and humbled to present my country to travelers during their relatively short stay here. I have always liked traveling, and making an itinerary from A to Z, considering all the details en route, is really fun. One of my favorite moments is <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank">taking guests out on a glacier</a>, which to some is a bit exciting and challenging, but they always end up with a great sensation of having mastered something slightly scary!&quot;<i> - Vibeke | Professional guide for 10 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CaE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/basque/" target="_blank"><b>FREDERIQUE | BASQUE</b></a><br>&quot;<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/basque/" target="_blank">San Sebastian</a>, Spain, is everybody&#39;s favorite place. Tapas started here. We go bar hopping - to this bar because the pimientos are the best, that one for ham, the place around the corner where the shrimp are too delicious.&quot;<i> - Frederique | Professional guide for 27 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/basque/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CaJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/quebec/" target="_blank"><b>LUCETTE | QUEBEC</b></a><br>Lucette earned a degree in outdoor recreation before becoming a guide. Fearless, fun and deeply connected to all things Quebecois, she&#39;s just the right companion to find you a flock of 450 sheep—and a farmer who turn their milk into cheese. <i>- Lucette | Professional guide for 25 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/quebec/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CaO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b>MARCIA | BRYCE, GRAND CANYON &amp; ZION</b></a><br>&quot;I was a ceramic artist for many years and my specialties were reptiles and the Grand Canyon, sculpted out of clay. I decided I needed to get out more! After observing the Southwest for so long, I enjoy helping others appreciate the reality of it. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Six days in the three parks</a> is a life changer for a lot of guests. The cultures and landscapes, the air, animals and food are all so different from &#39;home.&#39; Doing things a little outside their normal comfort zones leaves an impression on people that really stays with them.&quot; <i>- Marcia | Professional guide for 17 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CbR" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/montenegro/" target="_blank"><b>VESNA | MONTENEGRO</b></a><br>&quot;A good traveler possesses curiosity in pursuit of new cultural horizons and respectfully exchanges opinions and experiences. I love taking my guests for a morning cappuccino in Budva, the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/montenegro/" target="_blank">Saturday market in Kotor</a>, a visit to the monks in a lake monastery and a hike to Stoliv. When all the other guides take their guests to a side road restaurant in a village for sandwiches, I take my guests to a mosaic artist&#39;s house in the national park and show them traditional home-made cooking.&quot;  <i>- Vesna | Professional guide for 10 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/montenegro/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cbl" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank"><b>YUMIKO | JAPAN</b></a><br>&quot;What is so ancient in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank">Japan </a>is always something new for my guests.&quot; Yumiko plans for lovely revelations, whether it&#39;s a tea ceremony or a woodland walk to Hakone Shrine. &quot;Everyone recognizes the crimson tori gate in the lake!&quot;<i> - Yumiko | Professional guide for 19 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CbH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/england/" target="_blank">DIANE |</a></b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/england/" target="_blank"><b> ENGLAND</b></a><br>&quot;I have spent the last 15 years guiding throughout <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/england/" target="_blank">England and Wales</a>, doing a job I absolutely love!  Food and drink are always one of the most important elements for any traveler, so whether <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cornwall/" target="_blank">Cornwall </a>or <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds" target="_blank">Cotswolds</a>, I really enjoy introducing guests to local produce and specialty foods that they may not have tried before... like cheese such as Stinking Bishop and Double Gloucester. Also, I like to give our guests wide-ranging dining experiences. From village pubs and traditional tea shops to picnicking at a scenic spot, to our farewell dinner in a more sophisticated setting such as Wormington Grange in Cotswolds and The Old Quay House in Fowey.&quot;<i> - Diane | Professional guide for 15 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/england/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cbq" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank"><b>SUSANA | PORTUGAL</b></a><br>&quot;I&#39;m a go-for-it guide who loves guests that are eager to have a good time. That would explain how one of my groups found themselves knee-deep in a vat of red grapes, wine stomping like Lucy and Ethel.&quot; <i>- Susana | Professional guide for 8 years </i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CbC" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canada-tours/" target="_blank"><b>ROSEMARY | CANADIAN ROCKIES</b></a><br>Born and raised in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canada-tours/" target="_blank">Canadian Rockies</a>, Rosemary is a native guide who loves sharing the wonders of Banff National Park with individuals and groups. <i>| Profesional guide for 20 years</i><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canada-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SSY&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cbg" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a>

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  • Havana Skyline, Cuba

    Latest News on Cuba Travel Restrictions - June 2019

    <b>What do the New Cuba Travel Restrictions Mean?</b><br>On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the Trump administration announced new rules about people-to-people and cruise travel to Cuba. If you have plans for such a trip – or have been thinking about making them – you may naturally wonder what’s going on. Here’s a summary of the changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations and the Export Administration Regulations announced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) (the section at the Department of the Treasury that regulates the trade and travel embargo to Cuba and which issues licenses for travel to Cuba) and the Commerce Department, respectively.<br><br><b>How do the new regulations affect cruise travel to Cuba?</b><br>The changes end travel to Cuba by U.S.-flagged cruise ships or foreign-flagged cruise ships departing from the U.S. The Commerce Department has not included a “grandfather” clause to allow cruises that have already been scheduled, and for which passengers have already made arrangements. If you have a paid money toward a deposit or final payment for cruise travel to Cuba, you should contact your cruise company for a refund.<br><br><b>How do the new regulations affect people-to-people travel?</b><br>OFAC has allowed U.S. organizations whose people-to-people programs in Cuba fall under a ‘grandfather’ clause, such as those operated by Classic Journeys, to proceed with those programs.  OFAC has, however, prohibited people-to-people programs that do not fall under this ‘grandfather’ clause to proceed.<br><br><b>Can I travel legally to Cuba with Classic Journeys on its People-to-People programs? </b><br>Yes. Your travel to Cuba on Classic Journeys’ People-to-People programs is 100% legal because our programs fall under OFAC’s ‘grandfather’ clause. OFAC considers the grandfather clause to apply when a people-to-people organization like Classic Journeys had completed a travel-related transaction prior to June 5, 2019, in connection with a particular departure date, even if, prior to June 5, 2019, you as a traveler had not yet reserved your trip with Classic Journeys. In other words, because we had already reserved our hotel accommodations for our People-to-People trips in Cuba prior to June 5, 2019, your travel to Cuba on our People-to-People programs is grandfathered in as completely legal.<br><br><b>So, what is a qualifying “travel-related transaction” that allows Classic Journeys’ People-to-People programs to Cuba to be legal under the grandfather clause? </b><br>The qualifying “travel-related transaction” that needs to have been completed prior to June 5 could be, for example: having made a reservation for an accommodation (whether or not paid for) or booking and paying for transportation. These are just two examples and are not meant to be exhaustive. In the case of Classic Journeys, our close relationships with local people in Cuba mean that we already had our hotel reservations confirmed prior to June 5.<br> <br><b>What People-to-People programs and dates are legal with Classic Journeys under the new regulations? </b><br>All three of our People-to-People programs (Long Weekend in Havana, Cuba for Families: Havana and the Viñales Valley, and Havana Cienfuegos &amp; Trinidad) and all of their departure dates for 2019 are 100% legal.<br><br><b>Can you still fly to Cuba legally on commercial air flights?</b><br>Commercial air flights are not affected by the changes. And so, yes, they are still legal. Note that your airline will ask you at the time of ticketing to select from a listing of the type of license under which you are traveling to Cuba legally. Your first choice option for the license will be a “people-to-people” exchange with the “grandfather clause” aka referencing the fact that your People-to-People organization– Classic Journeys – has made its arrangements prior to June 5, 2019. If that option is not available, you can select “educational activities” (so long as there is no mention of a degree requirement). If the airline you are considering does not have one of these options right now, they are likely playing catch up with the new regulations; so you can check back with them in a few days or try one of the many other airlines with commercial flights from the U.S. to Cuba.<br><br><b>What about private aircraft and boats; can they travel legally to Cuba? </b><br>The authorization for private vessels and private aircraft (such as private fishing boats and private sailboats, and corporate or private jets) is revoked. So, they are no longer legal for travel to Cuba.<br><br><b>How will the changes under President Trump affect the people of Cuba?</b><br>We’ve made so many wonderful friends in Cuba and seen the lives of the Cuban people change for the better during recent years. So, of course, we’re concerned about what it will mean to their prosperity and general welfare with the enaction of these new travel regulations. The Cubans have been through so much in the last 60 years. They’ve always managed to bear their hardships with grace and warm solidarity in their families and communities.<br><br>One known feature of the new regulations is that they will cap remittances – the money that can be sent to Cubans from friends and family members in the U.S. – at $1,000 per person every three months. In a country where the median monthly salary is just $32, you can only imagine how a reduction in remittance income will impact everyday life. In addition, travel had become a major source of income for Cubans, as well, so any reduction in that resource will echo throughout the country in a way for the people who can least afford it and whom we and our government want to help.<br><br><b>We choose guarded optimism.</b><br>We are approaching Cuba as we always have – with care, enthusiasm, and with pride in the fact that legal travel for Americans to Cuba has changed the lives of our American guests and the everyday local Cubans they’ve met, in overwhelmingly positive ways. You can still travel to Cuba legally with Classic Journeys. We like to think of this way of travel as an informal version of ‘Voice of America” with boots on the ground… yours in fact, as you communicate a positive story of the American people to local Cuban people. We urge you to hold fast to your plans. And if you’ve been hesitating to plan a Cuba trip, you know now that you can, and we encourage you to do so now.

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