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Still Time — 10 Unique Summer/Fall Travel Suggestions: Cruises, Spas, Golf, Tours, Private Island

Take a Cuba trip right now, all pre-planned. (Photo: Lea Lane)Lea Lane

Still planning a late-summer trip? I’ve pulled together 10 special suggestions, from a short excursion to a full-on trip; from independent travel to all-inclusive tours, cruises to spas to villas:

The Champagne Region’s First-Ever Luxury Wellness Destination

The quaint village of Epernay in France welcomes it’s first-ever luxury and wellness retreat, offering a 16,000 square-foot spa in concert with Biologique Recherche,  and gastronomic experiences by two-star Michelin chef Jean-Denis Rieubland. Royal Champagne Hotel Spa, is a bespoke hideaway overlooking the vineyards that stripe the hills of Epernay; located just 45 minutes outside of Paris, it’s a respite from the summer crowds in Paris.

The New Wonders of the World

Double up on wonders of the world all in one 10-day trip on Trafalgar’s Impressions of South America guided vacation. Start in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and take in the statue of Christ the Redeemer, a new man-made wonder, with Atlantic views from the top of Corcovado Mountain. Only days later, marvel at Iguassu Falls, a natural wonder over 1.5 miles in height — straddling Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Package includes accommodations, multiple meals, tour highlights and on-trip transport.

Amsterdam, Cologne, Frankfurt via Floating Boutique Hotel 

Float through the winding canals of Amsterdam, Cologne, Frankfurt and more – while only having to unpack once. U by Uniworld’s Remarkable Rhine itinerary takes guests past medieval castles along the Rhine River by day, and hosts silent discos in the Ice Bar and Rooftop Lounge by night. This is the first river cruise line dedicated to a new generation of adult travelers, and with a matte black exterior and streamlined interiors, it truly makes a splash.

Local Encounters in Cuba

Tick Cuba off your bucket list with Friendly Planet Travel on their brand-new Authentic Havana the Scenic Viñales Valley trip. Connect with locals by visiting a community art installation, cigar factory, Hemingway’s home. Stay in a casa particular – a Cuban bed and breakfast, while enjoying meals from locally-owned eateries. The package includes round trip air from Miami, all legal documents, nine meals, and tour highlights with an English-speaking local guide.

Bourbon Blues Southern Weekend Getaway

Check out underrated Bowling Green, KY for a long weekend. Known for its bustling bourbon scene tucked in among the rolling green hills of South Central Kentucky’s Cave Country, travelers can visit to the National Corvette Museum, where every Corvette in the world is produced; hike and bike through Mammoth Cave National Park, the longest known cave system in the world, and stay at the new luxurious boutique Kentucky Grand Hotel Spa.

Private Island in the Exumas, Bahamas

Set on a pristine 50-acre private island in the Bahamas, Fowl Cay Resort is tucked away in the center of the Exumas chain. Travelers can rent out the entire island or a single villa to explore paradise at their own pace, with a personal chef, fully stocked fridge, and private motorboat to explore the neighboring islands. Snorkel James Bond’s Thunderball Grotto, boat to the famous pig beach, swim with sharks or set up a picnic on a deserted island that reveals itself with the tides.

#1 Most Booked Tour in the World

In the 2018 Travel Trends Report released by TripAdvisor, the #1 most-booked tour among global travelers was European day tour operator City Wonders’ Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica. Travelers can see the best of the Vatican Museums in just three hours and not have to overheat in the long lines in Rome.

Luxurious New Private Villas in St. Barths’ Grand Cul de Sac

St. Barths is back after Hurricane Irma, and Le Barthelemy Hotel Spa has unveiled two stunning villas located steps from the white-sand beach in the protected area of Grand Cul de Sac. Perfect for families or a group of friends, Villa Aqua and Villa Bleu’s six-bedroom villas offer spacious living areas, gourmet kitchen and 55-foot lap pool.  Best of all, from daily breakfast to turn down, guests of these villas have access to the unparalleled services of Le Barthélemy.

Road Trip to the Rising City of Reno Tahoe

Dubbed as ‘the new Austin,’ Reno Tahoe is the perfect roadntrip for West-Coasters this summer. Spend a weekend in the hip Midtown District of Reno, decorated in #instaworthy vibrant street art. There are dozens of local craft breweries and the largest alpine lake in the U.S. Check out the Burning Man exhibit at Nevada Museum of Art, grab innovative bites at Reno’s eateries or at one of the 50+ food trucks at Idlewild Park, and take advantage of hundreds of free events. Forty minutes outside the city, hit the quaint Incline Village in North Lake Tahoe to enjoy hiking, boating, and picnics on the hidden beaches.

Tee Time in Ireland or Scotland

Enjoy summer weather on some of the best golf courses in the world on Brendan Vacations’ golf trips through Ireland and Scotland. Travel nine days from Glasgow to Edinburgh, or Dublin to Shannon, accompanied by your own private chauffeur, and stay at 5-star golf resorts like the iconic Portmarnock, The Royal Dublin, the Old Course Hotel and the Kingsmills. Trips are completely customizable to a group’s preferences.