January 04, 2018

Somewhere between New Year’s Eve and the first day of spring, a literal and figurative darkness descends upon us. The shorter days seem longer, and the colder nights seem endless.

When we’re gripped by the winter blues, the best cure is a trip to a sunny island.

Researchers have discovered just planning a trip can bring about happiness. Some theorize that the planning of a vacation can bring more joy than the actual vacation itself.

But none of us have ever sipped a piña colada, dug our toes in the sand, gazed at a brilliant sunset and thought, “I was happier when I was on my laptop looking at TripAdvisor.”

The answer is to get the best of both worlds. Plan your vacation by virtually visiting these amazing islands. Then pack your Red Carter resort wear and visit one in person.

You’ll be happy you did.

The Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island, Hawaii

When most people think of Hawaii, they imagine Waikiki or Maui or “that place where Jurassic Park was filmed.” The Big Island is often overlooked.

If you like a little action with your relaxation, The Big Island is the perfect place to visit. The largest of the Hawaiian Islands, The Big Island has volcanoes, snow-capped mountains and black sand beaches.

Activities are endless with star gazing at the Mauna Kea Observatories, kayaking to the Captain Cook Monument or hiking Waipio Valley. At the end of each day, a Mai Tai is a much-deserved reward.

From the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Hualalai to the legendary and budget-friendly Uncle Billy’s Kona Bay Hotel, you’ll experience both old and new Hawaii on The Big Island.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia

The Pitons (Gros and Petit) are what make St. Lucia so magnificently picturesque. Over the years, the two mountains have become the islands landmarks.

The French and the English started fighting over St. Lucia in the 1600’s which is understandable. Who would want to leave? The French and English influence on the African and Amerindian culture gave birth to a creole society which includes some of the friendliest people in the Caribbean.

Dining is one of the best reasons to visit St. Lucia and you can’t go wrong with fine dining or local fare. The Cap Maison is known as St. Lucia’s best loved boutique hotel. Situated on a cliff, Cap Maison is home to two of the islands renowned restaurants, The Cliff at Cap and The Naked Fisherman.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora

The Jewel of the South Seas, Bora Bora will leave you breathless. But, that’s okay, because there are plenty of places on the beach to lie down.

Bora Bora is located northwest of Tahiti. It’s the place most of us envision—and long to visit-- when we hear the words “French Polynesia.”

Bora Bora is all about tranquility. If you do feel the urge to be active, however, Bora Bora has spectacular snorkeling and scuba diving.

Bora Bora is known for its overwater bungalows. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is one such hotel. Imagine waking up every morning with the ocean below your bedroom and you’re not on a boat?

Bora Bora is the paradise you’ve always dreamed about.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Isla Mujeres

If you like Cancun but you don’t really like Cancun, a stay on Isla Mujeres may be the solution to your Cancun dilemma.

Isles Mujeres is just across the Bahia de Mujeres (or Bay of Women for you English speakers) from the wild and crazy, Mexican vacation mecca known as Cancun. You get all the beauty of Cancun without all the partying Cancun vacationers.

Visit the giant sea turtles at Tortuga Granja or frolic on the world-famous Playa Norte beach.

The Isla Mujeres Palace is an adults-only, all-inclusive vacation, perfect for you and that special someone who need to get away from it all.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, but tourism officials hope to be completely operational by Christmas of 2017. Currently, most tourists on Puerto Rico are aid workers brought in to help the locals rebuild.

Prior to the hurricane, Puerto Rico’s economy was largely dependent on tourism dollars. Post-Maria, they need an influx of vacation dollars more than ever.

Many hotels on Puerto Rico, including the Condado Vanderbilt, are already taking reservations for winter travel. The famed 1919 Restaurant located inside the hotel has hosted fundraisers benefitting Regrow Puerto Rico.

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