Where to book Caribbean vacations

In our experience, Orbitz.com offers the best prices for Caribbean vacations.

Use Google: once you find a package you want, Google for “Orbitz coupon,” and you can typically find another $50-150 off the total price of the package depending on the current deals and promotions.  http://retailmenot.com is usually the best.

Be creative:  one of the readers of this blog pointed out that simple tricks like going to a business section of a website – or a GLBT travel section – can give you an extra deal.  For example, Orbitz.com has a “GLBT travel” section.  We could immediately find a seasonal “GAYSPRING100″ coupon code advertised that anyone can apply to any travel package, not necessarily thematic travel sections.


Top Attractions in Rome

Here are the top attraction that I consider a must-see in Rome:

  • Colosseum
  • Piazza Venezia
  • Castel Sant’Angelo
  • Capitoline
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Spanish Steps
  • Vatican City
  • Pantheon
  • Piazza Navona
  • Roman Forum

What to see in Rome

On this page, we’ll discuss what you can see during a short or a long stay in Rome. The baseline experience is oriented for about a 4-day trip; a trip shorter than this won’t do a due diligence to the Eternal City. If you have more than 4 days in Rome, start with the basic route outlined here; after that, dive deeper and return to the places you liked the most for the more in-depth immersion (for example, visit museums).

Day 1:  Rome overview – walking tour


Spanish steps

triton fountain

Circuis Maximus

Mouth of Truth


Day 3: St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

Day 4: Vatican City (Museums and Sistine Chapel)

St. Peter’s Basilica

Travel gear I always take with me

Two sets of cameras:


Canon D10 underwater camera: great for underwater adventures, snorkeling and taking videos on location.  Takes MOV video files, which sucks, but otherwise it withstands frost (we use it on ski trips too), being dropped from reasonable heights and shallow water dives.

Nikon D90:  my most-trusted camera.  Though some people believe Nikon 5100 camera is the next step / new generation camera, D90 has never let me down and has been always with me by my side.  One notable feature of the D90 is that it is amazing in the low-light situations, which is 90% of actual travel shots: inside of the museums, rainy days, etc.

SB-600 External Flash unit:  For this camera, I got an SB-600 portable flash unit,

Remote control


Things to do to do in Cancun, Mexico

I like Cancun much better than the Dominican Republic.  There are just so many things to do.  The area is fairly safe,

First, go to an all-inclusive hotel.

Rent a car. Then visit the following places:

  1. In you hotel, there is likely a free SCUBA “trial”. Sometimes it takes a while to get it scheduled.  Make sure you got your underwater camera with you.  I always take my Canon D10 underwater camera to my adventures.
  2. Visit Dos Ojos Cenotes.  Cenotes is a name for the stalactite / stalagmite caves that are filled with water.  Diving or snorkeling, flashlight and wetsuit recommended since it’s the underground cold basin.  Most gear can be rented on site, but keep in mind that they close early.
  3. Take the bus around Zona Hotelera.  They cost 50 cents, runs regularly and reliably. The buses are not new, but are also not old – and are clean.

Cancun is a fairly modernized spot – spring break time there is not particularly entertaining for families.

The crowd is just like a Vegas crowd, except perhaps with a bit more money.

Isla Mujeres:  ferries run regularly from Zona Hotelera, 20 minutes and you’re there.



Akumal, Mexico:



On the last spot, we’ll leave Chichen Itza.  It is by far the most common commercial tour in this part of Mexico, but it’s important to keep in mind that the site is located in the middle of the peninsula, 4 hours of drive away from most tourist resorts.  So if you depart early in the morning on a tour bus, you will get there by lunch, spend just a couple of hours on site, then spend the rest of the afternoon driving back to your hotel.  Most tourist companies drop off tourists for an hour or two in the shopping spots along the drive back (they get commission) – and many tourists complain that they do not make it back on time for the dinner at their all-inclusive hotel, all-in-all making this experience not worth an entire day of vacation.