• International Day of Friendship

    International Day of Friendship: Best Trips to Take with Friends

    Today is International Day of Friendship — an excellent opportunity to appreciate your loved ones and cherish the friendships in your life. The holiday was created in 2011 by the <a href="https://www.un.org/en/events/friendshipday/background.shtml" target="_blank">UN General Assembly</a> in order to foster the idea that friendships can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. On this day, the UN encourages a celebration of your relationships and friendships between individuals, countries, cultures and beyond. What better way to bond with friends, create new ones and connect communities than through a friend-inspired getaway. Whether you&#39;re looking to escape to a remote beach, explore the great outdoors, galavant through a big city or take a cultural tour, these locations are guaranteed to deliver a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with friends. <br><br><b>Tuscany </b><br><br>There&#39;s no better place to spend time with friends than sitting around a dinner table bonding over the perfect plate of gnocchi in butter and sage paired with a glass of house wine—far better, however, if this dinner table happens to be in the hills of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">Tuscany</a>. Taking a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">culinary tour of Italy</a> is a wonderful way to explore the country, delight your tastebuds and learn Italian cooking secrets alongside a group of friends. Chat for hours over <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank">wine tastings</a> and catch up as you stroll through vineyards. Get the chance to make new friends in the kitchen, as you visit cheesemakers, bakeries and local chefs and experience firsthand how Italians cook and eat at home. (We&#39;ll bet that you make even more friends upon return when you bring back a secret recipe for the best <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank">crostata di ricotta</a> around town). <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zW0V" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Cuba</b> <br><br>A trip full of cultural immersion to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba&#39;s Caribbean paradise</a> may be the perfect vacation for your group of friends if you enjoy exploring the fascinating history, lounging on beautiful beaches and sitting at a streetside restaurant with a <i>Cuba Libre</i> and cigar in hand. Enjoy time with one another as you explore the colorful colonial cities of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cienfuegos</a> and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Trinidad</a> and exchange looks of awe as you tour <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Havana</a>&#39;s 500-year-old city center and Hemingway&#39;s home. This destination is the perfect combination for lovers of history who have an appreciation for white-sand beaches and a rich and vibrant culture. Your group will not be disappointed as you ride down the oceanside <i>Malecòn </i>in a vintage convertible as the sun sets.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zW0a" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Provence</b><br><br>There is no bad occasion to visit the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence-tours/" target="_blank">south of France</a>. But this destination is perfect for a group trip with your nearest and dearest. Think quiet country trails that wind through cherry orchards beneath rustic perched villages. Meander through the ribbons of purple lavender that drape the hills surrounding <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence-tours/" target="_blank">Sénanque Abbey</a> and bask in the legendary sunlight as you chat for hours. Lunches will end with ripe figs and goat cheese—all washed down with a sip of chilled rosé. Make sure your group stops to shop in the colorful village markets featuring fresh cheeses, fruits, wines and other local products that make for the perfect midday picnic.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zW0k" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Dalmatian Coast - Croatia</b> <br><br>The red rooftops of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatia/" target="_blank">Dubrovnik</a> and the sweeping vistas along the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatia/" target="_blank">Adriatic sea</a> are enough to ignite a desire to visit the stunning Dalmatian Coast. If you and your friends are <i><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/5-classic-journeys-destinations-on-the-game-of-thrones-shot-list/" target="_blank">Game of Throne</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/5-classic-journeys-destinations-on-the-game-of-thrones-shot-list/" target="_blank">s</a> </i>fans, this ancient city just so happens to be the setting of the infamous King&#39;s Landing. As you explore the city on this gorgeous bay, imagine for a moment that you&#39;re sitting in the site of the Iron Throne itself. Game of Thrones obsessions aside, this region feels undisturbed and offers a provocative glimpse into the past that will excite your group of travelers. The region&#39;s balmy weather, geography and natural beauty paired with friendly locals and delicious food make this destination one of our most popular destinations for groups. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatia/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zW0p" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Santa Fe &amp; Taos </b><br><br>The glories of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico/" target="_blank">American Southwest</a> have drawn in centuries of cultures and visitors from far and wide. People flock to this enchanting area of the United States for a reason. Every view seems to have a backdrop of mountains, the air is clear, and the sage-strewn plateaus and art-lined streets will keep you and your friends charmed and enthused for days. Explore the architectural wonder of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico/" target="_blank">Santa Fe</a>, stroll through the streets of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico/" target="_blank">Taos</a> Pueblo, and marvel at the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico/" target="_blank">ancient cliff-dwellings</a> of Anasazi Indians. If you enjoy art, architecture and fine regional food—you and your friends will not want this journey to end. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zW19" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Traveling with a group of friends can be full of wonderful bonding moments—discovering common interests, sharing laughs and creating memories you will remember long after you&#39;ve returned home. In the name of <a href="https://www.un.org/en/events/friendshipday/background.shtml" target="_blank">International Day of Friendship</a>, call up your pals and start planning a trip! No better excuse to travel than reconnection with loved ones, bonding with some of your closet friends and creating connections with foreign cultures and communities around the world!<br> 

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  • Girl at Colosseum in Rome Multisport in Italian

    How do you Say Multisport in Italian?

    “Our kids were skeptical about going to Italy. ‘It’s just a bunch of boring museums and churches and old ladies in black dresses, right?’” Mary S. laughs as she remembers her family’s initial reaction to the news that they were headed to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Venice, Florence and Rome</a> with Classic Journeys. They didn’t get far into a week of pizza making and gondola cruising and bike riding and gladiator training before they changed their tune. “Now, I think everyone in the family would tell you it was all their idea in the first place.”<br><br>That’s because this multisport family adventure includes molto activities that turn into mamma mia moments. It is such a kick to watch your kids and teens encounter Italy’s Big Three cities — and discover how much fun travel can be. If you’ve visited these cities before, get ready for your old memories to take on new meaning and to feel like you’re seeing them through fresh eyes.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SEl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BfX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>It’s true that plenty of tourists spend too many hours staring at dusty statutes and earning blisters on long walks, but not when you go exploring the Classic Journeys way. Consider <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Venice</a>, your first stop. Lovers of Venice fall into two camps: the ones who never want to leave and those who appreciate how the city’s small size is quite easy to cover. That’s us, and your time here is a just-right blend of mind-boggling sights, gondola rides and colorful history. Before palazzo fatigue can kick in, you’re on a high-speed train rocketing to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Florence</a>.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Firenze </a>can be a frenzy. Many tourists think they need days in the city, but that’s because they do things like wait four hours to see Michelangelo’s David. You absolutely should see all 14 marble feet of the world’s most famous statue. But your <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys guide</a> magically has tickets that let you skip the line — a perfect example of how low-stress a family vacation ought to be. From 23 years of traveling with kids, we know that this is the exact moment when it’s time to break out of city mode and retreat to a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hotels/" target="_blank">Tuscan village</a> with a pool, a private park and rejuvenating globes of Chianti. The country interlude is a great way to let off steam walking in vineyards, making pizzas, biking in Siena, and ogling at the towers of famed hilltown San Gimignano.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italy/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SEl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BfS" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>By the time you de-train in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Rome</a>, you’ll all feel like Italian pros. You know the walks to the Colosseum and the Forum will last just long enough. The Sistine Chapel? Of course you score rare tickets in advance. While the turisti shuffle off to another monument, your family goes for a cool gladiator training session. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Rome </a>unfolds for you all without overwhelming anyone.<br><br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SEl&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zURP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Italy </a>has so much to teach an impressionable young traveler (and you, too, even if you’ve been there a dozen times). Together, you’ll get lively lessons in how to laugh together and take on fun challenges and see the world through fresh eyes. Feeling totally Italiano, you’ll learn to smile at the world rushing around you, how to live in a 500-year-old castle, and that if you can’t decide between two flavors of gelato then you must have both. <br><br>The first trip to Italy has always been a rite of passage for travelers. Chances are, you have stories to tell about yours. Five years from now — or 15 or 50 — the upcoming generations of travelers in your family will remember the first time, too. Back in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Rome or Venice or Florence</a> someday, they’ll hunt for the trattoria where you all ate too much pizza together. Even if they can’t track it down, they’ll find a new spot. And you can be pretty sure that they will clink their glasses of Chianti and thank you all over again.

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  • Empty Nesters on Bike

    Escape Your Empty Nest

    Dear Empty Nesters (and Empty Nesters-to-Be),<br><br>Your kids are off having a great time, spreading their wings, feeling free and looking ahead instead of back. I say let them be your role models for a change and go tackle the world on your own. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/world/" target="_blank">A big, juicy vacation</a> is the best way to turn an empty nest slump into a celebration of your new independence.<br><br>And that’s my Dear Abby advice to you, straight from a home where the younger of our two sons recently flew off to college. The house is quieter now. A gallon of milk lasts a lot longer in the fridge. The dogs stare at us with that how-are-you-going-to-entertain-us look. I worried about how I would handle the return to being a one-generation household. The tactic we’re taking is to seize the moment and have fun with this fresh phase. Why should your kids be the only ones off meeting new people, living new experiences and “studying” abroad? You deserve all of that, too!<br><br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPW&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zUXI" style="height: 247px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>A healthy dose of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank">Tuscany</a> was the cure for what ailed my husband and me. It’s hard to feel down in a world where you can watch the sunset from a country villa with a glass of Chianti in your hand. Did I miss the boys? Sure. But did I find myself enjoying the moment in a different way than if they’d been splashing in the pool on the other side of the cypress? You better believe it.<br><br>If you Google “empty nest syndrome”, one of the top tips for how to overcome it is to “reconnect with your partner and friends.” Is there a better way to do that than on a vacation that suits your interests – without worrying how it appeals to your progeny?  Now may be your moment to spend a culinary week cooking and visiting markets in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence-tours/" target="_blank">Provence</a>. Or be like our neighbors who decided to do <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank">New Zealand</a>. It’s a fantastic family destination, but they could never clear everybody’s calendars when they had to plan around soccer and athletics. The great thing is how a vacation jump-starts the process of creating memories that belong only to you. (Just be sure to have your guide take a picture when you’re geared up for<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"> tectonic snorkeling in Iceland</a> or camel-riding in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank">Moroccan Sahara</a>. I can tell you from personal experience that it is very satisfying to text an image like that to a 19-year-old who’s confined to a classroom.)<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group riding camels in Morocco" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPW&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f894" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Trust me: I am an utterly, irretrievably sentimental mom. I love my sons to pieces, and we had so much stupendous fun as they grew from babies to young men. Of course, we butted heads, too. After each of them received their college acceptance letters, the separation phase kicked in and long before they flew off, my husband will tell you that we had a few moments of thinking, “Okay. Maybe it really is time for the next phase.” We wouldn’t change any of it, but with a couple of empty-nester vacations under our belts we also wouldn’t turn that clock back even if we could.<br><br>Our sons and their someday-families will always be welcome to travel with us. But for us these days, travel is a sweet antidote to a house that’s 50% less frenetic than it used to be. If this coming fall is when your turn is coming, take another piece of advice from the experts and plan ahead for it now. If you can look forward to a nice long stroll in a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">Cotswolds sheep meadow</a> or some <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nepal-walking-tours/" target="_blank">Himalayan me-time in Nepal</a>, your empty nest will feel like it’s full of opportunity.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/world/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATPW&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f89E" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a>

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