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Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Travelers of All Ages

Whether it’s a gift for a Valentine's Day or Another Special Occasion, these ideas will make meaningful presents for your favorite world wanderers.  Our favorite gifts will help capture those memories, inspire future adventures, and make life on the road easier and more enjoyable.

Let's face it - they may not have the time or knowledge to look for great traveling items themselves.  Fortunately, LTD can give you some outstanding selections for all budgets that will certainly put a smile on their faces!!  Our guide includes items that are fashionable, healthy, useful and practical for the traveling female.  Click on the product photo or links if you wish to learn more!  By clicking and/or buying, you support our blog and our mission to bring you information about meaningful and healthy travel!  Thank you so much!!!

1.  What Says Love more than Dreaming of Paris?   

Picture yourself walking hand in hand in front of Notre Dame in a classic film. Ahhhh Paris. Doesn't this travel poster for Paris take you back and make you feel nostalgic and amorous? If you feel that way, your favorite explorer will to.  If Paris is not for you check out other vintage travel posters by A Slice in Time.

2. Swap Travel Dreams Over A Beautifully Laid Out Cheese Board 

We love this unique gift from Vintage Garden Art.  For anyone who loves to entertain, give them this set of Silver Plated Spoon handles which are hand stamped cheese markers for cheeses from around the World.  Even better, set up a special evening for them with wine and cheeses from around the world and use these markers to make the finishing touches!

3. Lego Famous Buildings!

Inspire travel in the young Valentines in your life or the young at heart with Famous Buildings by Lego.  The London edition features the National Gallery, Nelson’s Column, London Eye, Big Ben and Tower Bridge.  Choose from several cities including New York, Paris, San Francisco, and more...

    4.  Watch the Most Romantic Movie of All Time and Dream of Morocco  

    Inspire travel to Morocco and give the gift of enjoying the most romantic movie of all time with your favorite Valentine....Casablanca: A jaded nightclub owner in war-torn Casablanca, whose loyalties are put to the test when his old flame, Ingrid Bergman, reappears to seek Rick's help in escaping from the Nazis.

    Thursday, February 27, 2020

    BodyFit by Amy on YouTube Gives You Killer Workouts to Keep Up an Exercise Routine on the Road

    When it comes to reaching your fitness goals, consistency is key.  We all know your normal schedule gets thrown off when you travel, but when you’re moving from place to place and enjoying lots of great food on a trip, it’s just as important as ever to keep up an exercise routine.

    BodyFit by Amy on YouTube Gives You Killer Workouts to Keep Up an Exercise Routine on the Road

    LTD recommends trying to do something on the road!  There are so many benefits to breaking a sweat that are worth setting aside some exercise while traveling, including more energy, better sleep and improved mood. That's why we rounded up some of our top travel workouts to help you make it happen no matter where you are. Plus, squeezing in a quick workout or two during your trip can make it easier to get back in the swing of things after once you are home and not feel guilty about those great treats you had while globetrotting!

    We polled our Luxury Travel Group and asked "How do you exercise when you travel?"  Of course like many surveys have concluded, about 60% of travelers don't exercise at all.  But out of the rest:

    • 50% run or walk
    • 50% use the hotel gym
    • 20% workout in their room
    • 10% do yoga

    Why does it equal more than 100%? The dedicated travelers do more than one! We left out the 12-ounce curl answer...

    Remember, if you have questions related to your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional. The information presented here is informative only and is not medical advice.

    The most common workouts that we do as a couple when we travel are from the YouTube Channel BodyFit by Amy.

    About Amy

    The YouTube channel BodyFit by Amy was created by Certified Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor Amy Kiser Schemper and is based in Los Angeles, CA.  With over 15 years experience, she specialized in not only in circuit training and interval training for maximum results, but also Boxing, Mat Pilates, Kettlebell, TRX, Sports Specific Training, Yoga, Prenatal and Postnatal Training and Nutrition.  She has trained clients of all ages and all fitness levels. A lifelong athlete, Amy has competed in marathons, half marathons, triathlons and more. In 2014, Amy was one of the Top 5 Finalists in Women’s Health Magazine’s Next Fitness Star Contest, and has been featured on Good Morning America, Extra, and The Doctors. Amy has two degrees from Va. Tech University and is currently pursuing her Master’s of Exercise Science through Concordia University Chicago.

    What we love about YouTube is that if you have WiFi, you can do workouts on YouTube anywhere in the world on your own schedule.  If you aren't sure that you will have WiFi, sign up for YouTube Premium and you can download videos to your phone or pad to have with you all the time!

    What do we love about working out with Amy?

    • She teaches you safety
    • She provides modifications for your fitness level
    • If you are pregnant or recently pregnant she has many videos and modifications for you (this is rare and check with your doctor before engaging in any workout program, pregnant or not!)
    • She has loads of workouts to keep your routine from getting boring
    • Amy is a genuine person and it feels like you are working out with your best friend!

    Today we will feature our favorite workouts on Amy's channel for travel! So whether you're on the road for work, fun, or visiting family, here are eight travel-friendly workouts to try.

    Wednesday, February 26, 2020

    The Travel Bar Paella Experience in Barcelona Spain is an Evening of Tapas, Sangria, Food and New Friends

    Learn how to make the ultimate seafood paella while savoring traditional Spanish tapas and sangria in a delightful hands-on workshop with the Travel Bar Paella Experience.  Cook with local hosts,  make a traditional recipe, and eat in an intimate setting with new friends. You'll have tapas, sangria, and cooking an awesome paella BUT the best part of the experience is that you will feel like you’re with friends that you’ve known for years.

    The Travel Bar Paella Experience in Barcelona Spain is an Evening of Tapas, Sangria, Food and New Friends

    Cooking may be one of your biggest hobbies, or could it be eating?  Either way, if food is your passion there are many reasons to take a cooking class on your next adventure:
    • Learn about the culture
    • Great food and beverages
    • Experience local markets
    • Learn practical cooking tips
    • Meet other travelers
    • Interact with locals
    • Contribute to a person or family
    • Preserve and support a culture
    • Your souvenir will be how to make a tasty meal!

    Of course everyone told us: "Why are you spending money on a paella class? Only tourists do that...". But did we have a fun night and meet new friends? You betcha!

    1. Booking

    We recommend going directly to TripAdvisor to Book. You can go directly to the Travel Bar website, but we didn't find the price offered to be any better. As we learned from booking shore excursions, sometimes booking directly is not always the best option and you may have better cancellation policies and recourse for failed tours by using a trusted company to book and to see what experiences are offered. Find a direct link to TripAdvisor again at the end of this post! There are several options for a Paella cooking experience in Barcelona, most of which include many things such as alcohol. We chose the experience that cost $43 per person with a 24 hour cancellation available at TripAdvisor. At the travel bar website, the same experience is the same price but you will have the option to pay only a deposit ahead at their website. There are other companies, such as the Paella Club, that have more expensive experiences with Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and wine tasting rather than Sangria. Their tours cost about $108 per person and we felt this wasn't necessary for us since we are not heavy drinkers!

    2. Communication

    In our opinion, it would have been nice to have some personal communication with Travel Bar about the meeting place and to confirm. None of that was provided. We have received communication from other tour companies immediately after booking with TripAdvisor. We are busy when we travel and it is easy to forget things or get confused in foreign countries. Read on to understand why this would be a nice touch, but hopefully our review will help you if you book this experience! As is typical with TripAdvisor, we were emailed reminders which is another reason to use them rather than booking directly.

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    Fourteen Treasures to See at the British Museum If You Have Two Hours Before You Go Anywhere Else

    You could literally spend hours at the British Museum. It contains a breathtaking collection of millions of objects that paint the portrait of British exploration. While some objects may be controversial, it is hard to argue that the history and significance of many items are unmatched. If you have two hours and you don't know what to see, use our guide to significant objects on display on the first and second floors.

    Fourteen Treasures to See at the British Museum If You Have Two Hours Before You Go Anywhere Else

    When the British Museum opened in 1753 it was the world's first national public museum, free (as it remains still today) to all "studious and curious persons." Be prepared however, it will be crowded by many curious tourists and students of all ages, so plan your time well.  

    Before you start your tour take a minute to absorb the magnitude of the Great Court.  The graceful glass and steel roof manages to embody the classical nature of the objects in the museum but capture modern culture.  This beautiful space was originally intended to be a garden and eventually a reading room was added to the center in the 19th century.  At a cost of around $150 million, the space was redesigned for public use and became known as the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court when it was opened by Her Majesty the Queen on December 6, 2020.  What you see walking under the criss-crossed patterned glass roof, appearing like a cloud filled sky is a two-acre open space where you could fit nearly two football fields.

    Now on to our favorites!

    Sunday, February 9, 2020

    Visit a Hidden Gem in London's West End, and It's Free! Look at our Top 10 Things to see at The Wallace Collection.

    Tucked in the streets behind Selfridges and overlooking the delightful, though private, Manchester Square gardens, The Wallace Collection is one of our favorite museums in London.  Less than a kilometer from our recent stay at the Langham London Hotel, we felt like we were in a daydream of artifacts and decided to stay longer at the cafe for afternoon tea.

    Though largely famous for several well known paintings by Rembrandt, Velazquez and Titian, the museum is also home to an outstanding collection of european arms and armour, objects from the Renaissance period and important French furniture pieces including a desk belonging to Marie Antoinette. The collection was bequeathed to the nation in 1897.

    What are our top four reasons that we love this museum?

    • We can only spend so long at a single museum before our heads start spinning from "cultural fatigue" and we are struggling to stay focused or find what we want. Smaller museums are often more manageable.
    • You will not encounter the large crowds like at the more popular Victoria and Albert Museum or the National Gallery
    • It is a unique perspective often highlighting the powerful women of the ages, like Madame de Pompadour and Marie-Antoinette
    • It is a peaceful and quiet area of London


    Docent tours are offered almost daily but are limited to 25 persons.  Check the schedule here and make sure you get a sticker at the entrance to participate! 

    Before you go, get a book on the highlights of the collection.  You can see our favorites and we will tell you why they are our favorites, but you may see other things the will interest you as well at this museum famous for its decorative arts!  This book published in Spring of 2020 is sure to please!  Please click on the photo below to learn more at Amazon and support our blog!  Thank you so much!!

    One highlight of the museum is amazing until you hear the next one!  That is how we felt at the Wallace Collection.  There was always something else around the corner.  Here is our list of the most interesting items to ponder at The Wallace Collection in London:

    You Are Not Weird if You Like to Stay Fit When You Travel: You are Healthy!

    The very things that make traveling so restorative and endearing, are those that send fitness routines tumbling. With all the unfamiliar and exciting things of travel demanding your attention, you end up with less brain space to think about how, where or when to work out. Instead, it’s all about: What do I eat? What should I see today? Wait, is there even somewhere to work out at? Will I be safe? And voila!  Before you know it, you've put on 5, 10 or 15 pounds and your health spirals out of control. 

    The mission of Luxury Travel Docs is to inspire and help you to make MEANINGFUL and HEALTHY travel happen!  Workouts don't have to be perfect, you don't need to look perfect and you should make exercise a part of your travel routine just like brushing your teeth!  Even if you're not a pro or traveling far away internationally, you can and should continue your fitness routine!

    Here is how we approach our fitness goals when we travel, and none of these things means carrying anything more than one set of workout clothes and sneakers:
    • The world is your gym
    • Your hotel room is your gym
    • The hotel is your gym

    Friday, February 7, 2020

    Seven Wonders of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London England You Must See to Believe

    With a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. You would need many years – maybe a lifetime – to look through this unequalled treasure trove so what better solution than plan a docent tour to select and explain some of the exceptional artifacts on display.

    When it was established in 1857 the Museum was called the South Kensington Museum. It was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1899 when Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of new buildings for the Museum.  It's no surprise that Queen Victoria really wanted to call the V&A the 'Albert Museum'.  

    RxTIP:  Admission is free, except for special exhibits and check for free docent tours that occur throughout the day.  Even consider taking more than one docent tour if you can because different guides will show you different things! Walk to the V&A to stay fit.  We walked 2.5 miles each way from the Langham where we stayed

    1.  The Virgin with the Laughing Child (Room 64a)

    Located in an obscure corner of the Renaissance section (room 64a) is our number one thing to see at the V&A:  “The Virgin with the Laughing Child”. 

    Tuesday, February 4, 2020

    The Frugal Cruiser: A discount here, some promotions there. Eventually it adds up to big money!

    It's no secret that we love cruises!  In our opinion, there's no better resort vacation. We love sailing the open seas and stopping on islands, cities or towns all over the world.  As we have showed before, cruising can be HEALTHY! But how is it MEANINGFUL? To LTD, one of the most meaningful sides of cruising is the amazing people you meet!  

    It is hard to get bored while on a cruise holiday with so many places to see and people to meet!  We were delighted when our friend who we met while cruising on a Princess transAtlantic cruise wrote a fabulous article for our site!  Please enjoy hearing from the Frugal Cruiser and how she "shows us the money..."

    By Melinda McMullen

    My husband and I have been traveling extensively for a decade now, and have settled on cruising as our preferred way to see the world. We love the fact that we unpack once, can visit many places during a relatively short period of time and can fund at least 80% of our expenses up front.

    Along the way, we’ve discovered that smart cruisers “never pay retail.” This was a discovery we made early on during conversations with other cruisers. They urged us to identify one travel agent we could work with regularly who would meet our needs which, in our case, included a discount on our cruises.  

    Sunday, February 2, 2020

    Get Up to $50 off at Amazon Using Just One American Express Membership Reward Point

    Amazon’s popular Amex deal is back, giving targeted customers an opportunity to save up to $40 on eligible purchases.

    You can take advantage of this particular offer when you redeem just one Membership Rewards point, earned with all American Express cards like the Gold Card or Platinum Card. 

    Customers may be eligible for one of two discounts:
    • $20 off a purchase of $50 or more
    • $40 off a purchase of $100 or more
    Note that this is a targeted offer. You can see which offer is attached to your account 
    right here. Additionally, you may still be eligible for Amazon’s previous offer of 20% off your purchase, with up to a $50 discount. You can confirm eligibility for that promotion right here.

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