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Editor's Letter,

February/March 2024

Dear Lisa,

Even when we are not physically traveling, I feel like we are still seeking out the culture, customs, and curiosities of other places around the globe. Some of our free time this past month has included cooking recipes from my new cookbook, Christopher Kimball's The World in a Skillet (definitely try the Kenyan Chicken!) and enjoying a virtual French wine tasting with Rick Steves! As a fundraiser for WGBH, public television, we were sent 7 mini-bottles of French wine and along with a sommelier and the European travel guru, Rick Steves, we traveled through France on our palates getting a bit tipsy in the process! No, we weren't actually traipsing through Burgundy, but, for a night, we were transported there. Rick Steves said something that stayed with me that night. He said that travel is about building bridges, not walls. And, we at ActiveTravels believe that and strive to help our travelers prepare for, engage, and experience the local flavor and delights of the destinations they visit nearby and far away.

Speaking of destinations, our ActiveTravels members are on the move as always! Where are they going? They are going to New Zealand and Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Costa Rica, Spain, Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic and Florida. You all are keeping us very busy and on our toes!

Soon Steve and I will be going to Italy with our wonderful Italian tour operators, TFL Tours. We are super excited to visit Venice, Rome and Umbria! Please note we are out of the office from February 21st until March 2nd. We will be checking in on all emails, not to worry! But please refrain from new requests during our trip!

Please read on to find out about Five Fun-Filled Adventures and Facts for February and to learn about a fantastic new promotion at The Newbury Hotel in Boston. We are actually condensing this newsletter into our February/March newsletter, so please look out for a new issue in early April. Stay tuned as we'll have fresh info on our trip to Italy and Rachel's trip this month to Cape Town and Namibia and a lot more travel inspiration for all of you.

Be well and remember we can all play a part toward building a kinder and more empathic world.


Lisa & Steve

ActiveTravels, LLC

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Five Fun-Filled Adventures and Facts

for February

Some intriguing press releases and stories have been coming across our desks this past month. These are the topics we are excited to pass along:

Backroads Joins Forces With Under Canvas

This partnership makes perfect sense. Backroads announced last month that they are joining forces with Under Canvas to offer new glamping trips in America’s National Parks. At one point, Backroads offered camping trips, but the logistics were just too tough. The first trips in 2024 will head to these locales:



They plan to expand to Yellowstone in 2025 with 185 scheduled trips across America.

The Backroads collaboration with Under Canvas pairs these multi-adventure trips with accommodations at Under Canvas’s camps offering safari-style tents, furnished with plush king-size beds, linens and ensuite bathrooms. In addition, a stay at Under Canvas includes onsite complimentary programming such as live acoustic music, daily yoga, stargazing, outdoor games and nightly s’mores around the firepits.

Natural Habitat Adventures

“Women in the Wild” Journeys

Talk about the perfect girlfriend or mom/daughter getaway. Natural Habitat Adventures is now offering women-only departures, including one to see the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada's Premier Polar Bear Adventure. Led by a woman Expedition Leader, embark upon an empowering adventure through a female lens. The guide is a consummate naturalist and outdoor explorer eager to share her knowledge of the North, and its natural and cultural history. As you head out in your custom Polar Rover in search of polar bears and other Arctic wildlife, a woman will be at the wheel of the tundra truck. You’ll meet women who are the backbone of this historic northern settlement, including its Indigenous peoples who have been here for millennia. Discover the often-overlooked stories of women in Arctic exploration and science. Learn about women who were lifelines for expeditions and entrepreneurship on this stark terrain during Canada’s early days. It’s a rare opportunity, among the camaraderie of women, to reflect on your discoveries through your personal passion, whether it’s writing, sketching, photography or collecting memories via scientific observation. You’ll come away not just awed by encounters with polar bears, but inspired by the exploits of women who have made crucial contributions in the Canadian North. Nat Hab also offers women-only trips to Costa Rica and central Mexico to see the monarch butterfly migration.

White Lotus Season Three to Be Filmed at...

Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

The third season of HBO’s hit series, “White Lotus” is not set to be released until late 2025. But word has it they’re going to begin shooting in Thailand this month. The series loves filming at Four Seasons properties, with Season One set at Four Seasons Maui and season two set at San Domenico Palace, Taormina, in Sicily. The show is so popular that both properties have seen a surge in demand. Word has it that the latest season will be filming at the Four Seasons property in Koh Samui, though nothing is official yet. There’s one potential clue, though. The Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui website shows there’s no availability at the resort from early February through the last week of March. If you want to follow in their footsteps, better book now before word spreads. Don't forget, ActiveTravels has a special partnership with the Four Seasons. Book with us and we can get you daily breakfasts, $100 resort credit, and a room upgrade subject to availability at check-in, not to mention VIP service.

Wilderness Travel Offers

A Nine Day Tour du Mont Blanc

Berkeley-based Wilderness Travels knows how to get off the beaten track. Last summer, we sent a family on a memorable Walking Safari of Zambia. This summer, Wilderness will take a lucky few on a loop around western Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc. Cross from France into Italy into Switzerland on foot as you explore the many valleys that make up the mighty peak, past glaciers, across wildflower-laden meadows, and into classic alpine hamlets. At night, stay at boutique mountain properties and hikers’ huts, all with the benefits of expertise and the wisdom of Wilderness Travel’s experienced guides. Trips go out June, July, and August, and like most of their treks, sell out quickly.

Avoid the Taylor Swift Eras Tour in Europe...

Unless You Have Tickets!

We laughed when an Irish tour operator told us we couldn’t get any decent lodging in Dublin during the dates Taylor Swift is playing there. But then we came across the same problem in Lisbon, Paris, and London. Unless you’re a Swiftie heading to the show, avoid these cities during her tour or you’ll be staying far away from the city center.

  • Paris, France: May 9-12
  • Stockholm, Sweden: May 17-19
  • Lisbon, Portugal: May 24-25
  • Madrid: May 30
  • Lyon, France: June 2-3
  • Edinburgh, Scotland: June 7-9
  • Liverpool, England: June 13-15
  • Cardiff, Wales: June 18
  • London, England: June 21-23
  • Dublin, Ireland: June 28-30
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: July 4-6
  • Zurich, Switzerland: July 9-10
  • Milan, Italy: July 13-14
  • Gelsenkirchen, Germany: July 17-19
  • Hamburg, Germany: July 23-24
  • Munich, Germany: July 27-28
  • Warsaw, Poland: August 1-3
  • Vienna, Austria: August 8-10
  • London, England: August 15-17

Quick Escape:

The Newbury Hotel, Boston

Yes, we know it’s rather strange to be recommending Boston in February. But it’s hard to resist the cozy Fireplace Suite at The Newbury Hotel, overlooking the picturesque Public Garden, especially when they’re offering their enticing Linger Longer Package. The third night is on the house through the end of March.

While staying at The Newbury, dine at Contessa (and definitely order the squash carpaccio), where Lisa recently celebrated her birthday with friends. Then venture outside the hotel to view the large scale works of Kashmir artist Raqib Shaw at the Gardner Museum, walk inside a glass globe made in 1935 at the Mapparium, see the hourlong interactive play, “Stand Up If You’re Here Tonight” at the Huntington Theatre (at a recent performance I was handed a monologue to read aloud), and dine at the James Beard Nominee for Best Chef in Northeast, the Mediterranean-inspired Chickadee. Who can resist Boston in winter?

Late Breaking News!

The Ranch, Hudson Valley

ActiveTravels has access to Pre-Public Reservations!

You've likely heard about The Ranch in Malibu, California. It's a premier fitness and lifestyle property in a gorgeous location offering wellness classes, nutrition and fitness education as well as glorious scenery. Now, they're bringing their magic to the East Coast! The Ranch, Hudson Valley is about to open this spring and because of our connections with them, we are able to book space there before reservations open to the general public.

And, we are also offering a special perk along with this access: our ActiveTravels members will receive a choice of a complimentary additional massage, acupuncture or chiropractic session included in their stay!

The Ranch Hudson Valley will offer their results-oriented wellness programming within the serenity of an historic 200-acre lakefront estate. Their new property is less than an hour from New York City and about 3.5 hours from Boston. The sprawling estate allows just 25 guests to share in either an all-inclusive 3-night or 4-night wellness journey each week. This experience is crafted to include their signature mountain hikes, strength training, restorative yoga, and organic plant-based meals, all designed for a complete mental and physical reset.

Let us know if we can help you get there!

89 Roundwood Road,
Newton, MA 02464
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