The Tuscan Dream and more Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico News

Pacific Coast of Mexico

With thousands of miles of coastline, Mexico has plenty of different beach destinations to get excited about. The Pacific coast boasts the beauty of Banderas Bay, hosting Punta Mita´s opulent accommodations, surf spots, mesmerizing sunsets, and Puerto Vallarta’s quaint cobblestone streets and red tiled roofs. 

A few hours south, the rugged coastline of Costa Careyes offers stunning beaches and luxurious villas with panoramic ocean views. Further west on the Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos encompasses the charming San Jose del Cabo and cosmopolitan Cabos San Lucas, two towns connected by a stretch of gorgeous beaches and beautiful hotels.

International News

7-day Classic Costa Rica
San Jose, Arenal Volcano, and Monteverde Cloud Forest—US$1329* from $949*
Lead Price Travel Dates:
Sep. 18, Oct. 2, 30, Nov. 13, Dec. 11, 2022
Promo valid for departures: May-Dec., 2022, and Jan.-Dec., 2023

Package Includes

  • Round trip flights Miami-San Jose, San Jose-Miami. Other departure cities available. 
  • Airline taxes and fuel surcharges
  • 6 nights accommodations 
    • 2 nights San Jose
    • 2 nights Arenal
    • 2 nights Monteverde
  • Hotel taxes, fees, and service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included with airfare purchase on package arrival and departure dates
  • 9 meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

* Book by June 30, 2022 and save US$380 per person off the regular price.

Marriott Takes Aim at Airbnb  

Marriott has taken the bold move of competing directly with Airbnb by adding 60,000 private rental properties to its 1.5 million hotel rooms across the world.

Offering a range of homes, villas, and apartments, the hotel giant hopes to take advantage of the growing popularity of short-term rentals among remote working groups and other applicable demographics.

Although Marriott’s inventory is significantly less than Airbnb’s 1.5 million properties, it does offer the same benefits that typical hotel guests receive, including the use of points—something its competitor has no similar program for. Guests can even use nearby resort amenities without being checked in to that establishment.

Deal of the Week

The Tuscan Dream

Drive and explore dazzling Tuscany in Italy known for its wines and beautiful landscapes! 

This 8-day self-drive tour offers you the opportunity to discover one of the most beautiful areas in Italy: Tuscany. Visit at your own pace and decide if you want to relax in Pistoia and surrounding areas or go explore some main cities, sites, and attractions. 

Pistoia is a region in Tuscany. It is said that it received its name from ‘pistol’ which began to be manufactured in the region in the sixteenth century. Pistoia is famous for its medieval churches and gastronomic experience. 

The nearest place to visit from Pistoia is Montecatini, well known for its thermal waters. 

During your journey, you can decide to visit Florence, which is only an hour drive from Pistoia, and explore its incredible architecture. In Pisa, you can see one of the major landmarks in Italy: The Learning Tower of Pisa. 

Chianti is also an excellent place to visit with many hiking trails its famous wines.

Price: from US$999 
Duration: 8 days 
Rating: 5/5 
Comfort Level: Easy

Superior Accommodation: 6 nights

Car Rental: 7 days

International flights included

Style: Independent tour ‒ Self drive

Tour Highlights

  • Discover the beautiful landscape, towns, and villages of Tuscany at your own pace
  • Visit the historical Cathedral of San Zeno in Pistoa, built in the twelveth-thirteenth century
  • Explore the splendid city of Florence, home of the Renaissance and Michelangelo
  • Visit Siena and the medieval town of San Gimignano
  • Relax in the thermal waters of Montecatini, Italy’s main thermal center
  • Discover Rome’s historical sites before or after your journey


  • 6 nights accommodation on twin/double sharing basis 
  • Car rental for 7 days including: 
    • Pick up and drop off at Rome Airport
    • Economy manual transmission (automatic transmission available for extra fees)
    • Vehicle licensing fee and road tax
    • 22 percent VAT tax
    • One driver—drivers must be at least 25 years old
    • Unlimited mileage
    • Theft Waiver
    • Collision Damage Waiver Reduction
  • International roundtrip airfare from various U.S. gateways
  • All air taxes and fuel surcharges
  • All currently applicable taxes


  • Items of a personal nature, tips, and gratuities
  • Baggage fees may apply and vary by carrier
  • International driving license—mandatory for North American travelers
  • Rental car fuel, parking fees, and car insurance
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Local city taxes applicable
  • Items not mentioned as included

Prices for this tour are per person, based on a twin/double room sharing basis. Single supplement is available starting at US$349 per person. Weekly departures from May 18, 2022, to May 22, 2023.

Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 50 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around th eworld.  She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit client’s interests, physical abilities, and budgets. Please contact Judy for further information on Ttrave News topics, Mexico, and international tfravel. Cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email at Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores on the highway to Dolores Hidalgo.

Sources:  Journey Mexico, Gate 1 Travel, The Navigator, and Indus Travel.