The minute summer hits, a bit of wanderlust seeps in, bringing a desire to get out and explore, experience new things, and escape the day-to-day. Part of that “new” is finding unique and unexpected ways to vacation, and we are all about indulgent get-aways.
Throwing caution — and bank account — to the wind, we’ve come up with two ideas and one honorable mention in five categories we’re dreaming about this season. While we may never make it to any of them — one can dream, can’t they? — we’re putting our intent on it and sharing them with you in case you are also envisioning glorious excursions that blow your mind.
The five categories are: Extreme Adventure, Extreme Luxury, Extreme Relaxation, Extreme Family Friendly, and Extreme Romance. With two ideas and an honorable mention in each, that gives you 15 opportunities to discover your perfect summer vacay escape.
Extreme Adventure: going for it
If taking it to the limit, pushing boundaries, and living on the edge is your thing, these options may very well satisfy the daredevil in you.
Whether it’s a safari in Kenya, kayaking in Palau, or hiking through New Mexico, Boundless Journeys have guides who will make your trip worth every moment. Offering excursions in five of the seven continents, this travel company creates experiences that not only push you to the limit, but immerse you in the local culture.
Virgin Experience Gifts
Leave it to Sir Richard Branson to create a way to satisfy your need for the perfect getaway in every state. The beauty of Virgin Experience Gifts is that it is not only a vacation or experience — as the name says — aggregator, but provides staycation options as well. Covering all of the categories we’re sharing today across all fifty states, the website is also offering a summer discount on any of its happenings.
Extreme Adventure Honorable Mention: Life Happens Outdoors
Extreme Luxury: pure, idyllic indulgence
Let’s say money is no object and total, absolute, extravagance is your goal. Welcome to our next getaway options that we believe will make you feel gloriously pampered.
Abercrombie & Kent
The lovely folks of Abercrombie & Kent have got that luxury thing completely figured out. Private jets, sumptuous cruises, and destinations filled with excursions and encounters many of us only read about. You can choose from one of their packages or create your own extraordinary getaway, but whatever you do, we’re sure it will be unbelievable.
Nat Geo Expeditions
Similar to Virgin Experience Gifts, Nat Geo Expeditions is a one-stop-vacation-shop for those seeking exceptional holidays. As it is offered through National Geographic, the excursions are globally focused with an eye to provide immersive engagement in whole new worlds. Even if you’re not ready for a summer trip, the website is offering a discount for early booking of 2024 vacations.
Extreme Luxury Honorable Mention: Luxury Escapes Ultra Lux
Extreme Relaxation: close your eyes and drift away
We are all about finding your happy, calm place to simply relax, destress, and just forget about everything other than pure leisure. Shocking, we know. Embracing “downtime” is never overrated and these vacation spots are total self-care bliss.
Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel, Costa Rica
Located near Costa Rica’s Miravalles Volcano in the middle of a tropical rainforest is the Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel, an intimate retreat that allows you as much privacy as you wish and as many activities as you desire. Each “room” is your own casita that offers either a view of the forest or the water. Take a horseback ride along the Celeste River, learn more about the culture of the area by touring the Maleku Indigenous Reserve, or simply spend the day at the spa to get the kinks of your life massaged out. Whatever you choose to unwind and let go, Rio Celeste’s location and natural serenity support your “me time” wishes.
Blue Lagoon Retreat, Iceland
When you think of Iceland, you may envision Northern Lights and icy nights of extraordinary splendor. There’s also the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal hot spring lined with volcanic rock that has naturally healing properties and stays between 98-102 degrees all year long. You can do a day trip to enjoy the lagoon and other calming amenities or you can stay at one of two hotels — The Silica and The Retreat — to fully experience the wonders of this unique destination. Each offers luxurious amenities and spa experiences that embrace this unique waterway and use it to its full advantage. You can receive water massage, floating therapy, or any number of services to take away all of your stress and allow yourself to completely let go and just be.
Extreme Relaxation Honorable Mention: Saruni Samburu Safari Camp, Saruni Wellness Spaces
Extreme Family Friendly: creating magical memories
Ah, the family. Finding that thing that every member will enjoy, get something out of, and won’t constantly be asking, “Are we done yet?” is quite the challenge. As family members ourselves — and some parents as well — we completely understand the need to discover something to pique every interest. While we can’t truly promise these will do the trick for everyone, they certainly give it the old college try.
The Chilko Experience British Columbia
Looking for the ultimate roughing it experience with a luxury touch? Take your family to The Chilko Experience in British Columbia and discover grizzly bear watching (safely offered, we promise), white water rafting, horseback riding, ax throwing, and hanging out in log cabins taken to the next level. This resort was tailor-made for family and friends. You can take over the entire place for 18 of your nearest and dearest, and the Chilko staff will put together an unforgettable vacation. Oh, and kids 7-11 stay for half price and 6 and under are free. In addition to the natural splendor of the area, the fly fishing, helicopter rides, and ATV junkets, there’s that, too.
Paradisus Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Summer and fun in the tropical sun are made for each other, and Hotel Paradisus Playa del Carmen in Mexico offers a host of activities in a lush exotic setting for the whole family. The kids can enjoy crafts, water play, and more at The Kidsdom, adults can indulge in native Mayan cultural events and enjoy yoga and spa treatments, or upgrade to the Destination Inclusive® Experience as part of the luxe Nikté option of exclusive delights for the whole brood. Located in a mangrove forest on Riviera Maya, the all-inclusive resort is a family-friendly vacation seeker’s dream.
Extreme Family Friendly Honorable Mention: C Lazy U Ranch Colorado
Extreme Romance: blissful do not disturb
No list of “next level vacations” would be complete without a nod to good old fashioned romantic love. Shifting from “me” to “we” time to experience something truly amazing that belongs just to the two of you is worth every moment of intimate indulgence.
Thatch Caye, a Muy’Ono Resort, Belize
Experience the seclusion and escapism of a private island resort with overwater bungalows and oceanfront cabanas at Thatch Caye, a Muy’Ono Resort. Limited to only 30 “adults only” guests on a private island just off the coast of Dangriga, Belize, you can take a jungle excursion to discover more about your island getaway, dive into the clear blue water for some snorkeling, or relax with a soothing spa treatment right by the water as you listen to the waves crash, feel the sea breeze, and drift away while holding hands with your honey.
The green o, Montana
Montana may not be the first place you think of when considering an extreme romantic getaway, but that’s probably because you haven’t heard of the green o in Greenough (get it?), Montana. It is the ultimate “escape for two” hideaway with activities you and your companion can indulge in as well as a bevy of spa treatments you can request in the privacy of your room. And speaking of your room, these are no ordinary accommodations. You have four houses to choose from: Green Haus, Tree Haus, Round Haus and Light Haus. Each is designed for no more than two people to stay and there are only 12 actual houses on the heavily timbered hillside on the southern edge of the 37,000-acre Paws Up Ranch for privacy and your ultimate romantic comfort.
Extreme Romance Honorable Mention: Secrets Resorts & Spa: Adults Only
Getting away from it all is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. Yes, staycations are lovely and by turning your home into an ultimate “destination,” you can really indulge yourself. There is quite a lot to be said, however, for leaving the familiar and going somewhere completely devoted to taking care of you and your needs so you don’t have to think about anything but enjoying yourself.
These are just the tip of the extreme escapism iceberg, of course, and with the summer season, there are incredible deals across the entire spectrum. Truly. If not this year, plan for next or another season. Even a two-day getaway can bring you some well-deserved rest and relaxation. After all, with everything life constantly throws at us, we all need an honest to goodness, no holds barred, “Calgon, Take Me Away!” vacation.