Winter/Spring 2017 {Traveling during the Zika Era}

Well if you don't know what Zika is at this point you probably live under a rock. As an expecting mother recently relocating from Puerto Rico back to NY, this Zika has been haunting my travel dreams. My plans of long & mesmerizing walks into the beach sunsets of PR, among other places have diminished and I'm certainly not alone. So I've been doing my research and I want to bring to you "My Top 5 Safe Travel Destinations" of 2017,  during this cold season. While it is obvious that one can travel to plenty of cold climates throughout the Northern Hemisphere such as Europe, I'd rather focus on hot and sultry destinations during the chilly times we're experiencing as of late. Of course as the virus continuous to migrate and transform,  one should double triple check on the CDC's Website for latest news, before running to book their flight.

Seychelles

Drool over this group of 114 islands off the coast of East Africa, just northeast of Madagascar. Best known as a honeymoon spot, this paradise can be enjoyed by anyone whether you want to lounge in front of crystal clear waters, snorkel with sea turtles or trek rainforest. Boasting exotic beaches, waterside rock formations, and lush mountainous rainforests, Seychelles should be at the top of your island bucket list.

Uruguay

Known for its verdant interior and beach-lined coast, this South American well-priced hot spot will satisfy your cultural needs while giving you ample beach time. In Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) of Montevideo, you can surround yourself with art deco buildings, colonial homes and Mercado del Puerto, an old port market with many steakhouses. To experience the "Gaucho lifestyle of the pampas, you can head to the interior of Uruguay and spend time herding sheep and cattle with the local cowboys.

Marrakech

For those non-beach enthusiasts, this formal imperial city of Morocco will charm its travelers like a snake dancing to its master's music. During my most recent visit, we stayed in a quaint B&B, nestled in the maze-like alleys of Medina. Dating to the Berber Empire, the walled medieval city is still a place of thriving souks (marketplaces), selling traditional leathers & textiles, jewelry, pottery and local fair. Make sure to book a spa day at a Hammam and sample the local O.J. from the street merchants. Crossing over to the modernized New City for lavish hotels, shopping and restaurants, Palaces & Mosques or getting adventurous with a camel ride or 4-wheel through the dessert should also be checked off.

San Diego

 Everyone's heard of the cool breezy vibes of San Diego, and if you haven't been there, its definitely a must see! You can spend the whole day riding your bike on the famous Mission Beach boardwalk, sampling fresh seafood, relaxing on the beach, surf-watching, and shopping. With an abundance of art galleries, artist studios, museums and gardens, you can also fulfill your cultural craving. And don't forget about the San Diego Zoo located inside the Immense Balboa Park and Sea World!

Cape Town

A port city of South Africa's southwest coast, and possibly Africa’s most picturesque city, it's best during the Southern Hemisphere summer – but, cooled by Atlantic winds, rarely overheats. Aside from the obvious safari adventure, this gem has it all -  beaches, mountains, harbors and gardens. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum. Just outside the city, Boulders Beach is home to about 3,000 adorable penguins.