I love cruise vacations. For more than a decade it has been a way for me to see parts of the world, experience new cultures, try things I wouldn't do back home, and just generally have a great time. During the more than 20 cruises that I've taken, I've also started to feel that while different lines offer unique features that might make me prefer one over the other for certain experiences, the reality is they are more similar than they are different. To change this would take some radical thinking and a brand with the confidence and tradition to be truly innovative. There is no other travel brand that could do this like Virgin and that's exactly what Richard Branson has done. They are attempting to be a disrupter in what - until the pandemic - was a thriving industry that boasted a 7% annual growth rate, the most of any leisure travel market segment.

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Santa Maria is the last of the Central Coast wine regions for us to explore and after spending a few days here, I'm ready to head back ... and I want to bring some guys with me! Santa Maria is situated at the north west end of Santa Barbara County and roughly half way between Santa Ynez Valley and San Luis Obispo. On the surface, it lacks the glamour of Santa Barbara and the prestige of Paso Robles and that's why we'd passed over it so many times before, just simply driving past. However, this might just be one of the most exciting destinations when it comes to planning a guys weekend getaway anywhere on the Central Coast.

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Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail is something that I'm honestly pretty amazed at but I didn't quite understand the diversity available here until our most recent trip. I had looked at the wineries located in their legendary, "Funk Zone" and thought that was pretty much it. However, Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail includes seven different areas including four downtown and in three other neighboring coastal communities.

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Yosemite and the surround areas in the Sierra Foothills area of California is probably one of the most in-demand areas this summer. That's true for us as well since we're now planning a potential visit this summer. However, while it makes for a family vacation destination, it's also a fantastic area to visit for a guys trip too. We loved talking with Tony from Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism so much earlier this year that we asked him to follow-up with some advice specifically for guys planning a weekend getaway.

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With cruising opening back up this summer and fall, there are some exciting bucket list destinations just begging you to visit. While some are relatively easy to understand how to book or who to book with, others such as South American cruises on the Amazon or Galapagos are far more difficult. With regards to Galapagos cruises, this is because while there are big names such as Celebrity, Azamara, or Holland America Line, this is really a special place that deserves a special type of cruise ship, training, and planning. Let's take a look at what you need to know before booking a Galapagos cruise.

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