Central Texas Clients Can Now Fly Directly To The Beaches Of Cabo and Hawaii
Starting December 19, 2020, you can now book direct flights on American Airlines from Austin, Texas, to Los Cabos, Mexico. The airline announced the additional routes last year, including Boston, Massachusetts, and San Jose, California. Departure Lounge still has access to very safe luxury resorts in Cabo for the upcoming holidays if you want to get away and celebrate on the beach.
For our Central Texas clients feeling the Aloha spirit, Hawaiian Airlines has announced a new nonstop service between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) beginning on April 22, 2021.
"We are delighted to bring our superior value proposition to travelers visiting Hawai‘i from Austin," said Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. "2021 is going to be a special time to experience Hawai‘i, and we can’t wait to welcome onboard our Austin guests and introduce them to our islands."
Departure Lounge has access to the top upgrades and complimentary perks at Hawaii’s most revered luxury resorts.
"We are excited to have met this long-held goal of connecting Austinites to beautiful Hawaii, for both business and pleasure," said Gina Fiandaca, Assistant City Manager over the SD23 Mobility Outcome. "This significant milestone helps us advance our goal of achieving our Strategic Direction 2023 outcomes that will benefit Austin residents and support our economy for years to come."
Flights will operate twice a week with the HNL to AUS flight arriving Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:10 p.m. and departing Austin at 10:10 a.m. the following morning. The flight arrives in Honolulu at 1:30 p.m., giving travelers the afternoon to explore O‘ahu or connect to Hawaiian’s neighbor island destinations. Tickets are on sale now.
One&Only Cape Town Stay in the heart of South Africa's bustling, breathtaking capital city. Nestled between the dramatic peaks of Table Mountain and the roaring Atlantic Ocean, you'll spend warm, leisurely days by glistening pools or bask in relaxation at their luxury spa. For every four nights, enjoy one night on One&Only Cape Town. That means should you stay for eight nights, and two nights will be complimentary. Take advantage of the 'Early Bird Offer' when you book and pay 60 days in advance, you will receive an additional 15% saving on top of the complimentary nights. This offer applies to all room and suite categories.
One&Only Palmilla Mexican charm comes to life at One&Only Palmilla. This legendary Baja retreat is immersed between blues skies and the azure sea. Stay a little longer in paradise with a complimentary night on One&Only Palmilla. Book a three-night stay, and they'll make it four, or book five, and they'll make it seven. Enjoy complimentary daily breakfast for two, access to fitness classes, unlimited snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding.
One&Only Mandarina One&Only Mandarina is nestled in the heart of an intimate new destination on one of the last remaining beachfront jungles in Nayarit, Mexico. This unique gem is the perfect combination of chic resort living, tropical relaxation, and authentic outdoor adventure. Book three nights in one of One&Only Mandarina eco-designer Treehouses, Cliff Villas, and Villa Banderas with your Departure Lounge-affiliated travel advisor and stay the 4th night free.
Book with a Departure Lounge advisor to get additional upgrades and perks!
Adventure IO is changing the game when it comes to booking excursions. The new smartphone app connects our clients with the best athletes and local experts, offering VIP access to adventures worldwide. Now, it's easier than ever for our clients to check off their ultimate bucket list adventures. Whether it's mountain biking with a Red Bull Rampage athlete, wakeboarding with a legendary pro rider, going to surf at exclusive locations, the experiences are one of a kind.
Here are our favorite picks:
Mountain Biking Hornby Island
Guide: Darren Berrecloth aka "The Claw" Grab your crew and take a multi-day guided tour of Hornby Island with one of the best freeride mountain bikers in the world! Take in all that the Island has to offer with Red Bull athlete Darren Berrecloth. Darren grew up vacationing on Hornby - ﬁshing, biking, camping, and exploring every trail, beach, and cliff. To this day it remains Darren’s favorite escape in the Northwest.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Hornby Island Bike Park trails, hike the Heliwell Provincial Park, layout on the island’s white sandy beaches, and cool off in the crystal clear waters of Tribune Bay. Bottom ﬁsh for ling cod and rock ﬁsh, go crabbing with nets, trolling for chinook and coho salmon, or spearﬁshing in the bay. After your day full of activities, you can explore the local artisan shops and wineries, enjoy cocktails and campﬁres on the beach, prepare your day’s catch, and more.
Shape your own Surfboard
Guide: Chris Clark The priceless experience of designing and shaping a surfboard from start to ﬁnish is every surfer's dream come true. This is a one-on-one surfboard shaping lesson with Chris Clark - professional shaper for countless legendary surfers (including Kelly Slater and Kai Lenny). Chris is the founder of "Shaper Studios" as well as a lululemon surf ambassador. Chris has been helping people turn their dream boards into reality through shaping lessons for over a decade and has shaped thousands of boards over years. Join Chris at his studio in San Diego, or have him come to your driveway with Shaper VIP - his famous mobile shaping bay.
Learn to e-Foil w/ a Red Bull Athlete
Guide: Brian Grubb Over the past two decades, Red Bull Athlete Brian Grubb has become one of the premiere names in watersports. The Florida native is a multi-time World Wakeskating Champion, wakeboarder, wake surfer, and foil boarder. When the LIFT E-foil debuted a few years ago, Grubb was the natural choice to be their marquee professional athlete. This Adventure is a rare opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best boardsports athletes, no matter your skill level. "E-foiling is a total blast and easy to learn with a little one-on-one coaching", says Grubb. "You will be up and flying around the lake in no time." Located in Central Florida, this Adventure can be tailored to your home lake, or you can meet Brian at his house in Orlando.
As domestic vacations overtake the norm, many inventive travelers are looking to America’s small towns for new adventures and plenty of space to social distance. Whether you’re looking for historic charm or outdoor adventures, these destinations have them in spades.
While no one is quite sure where the name of this Colorado village came from, everyone can agree that the excellent skiing is what lures many to its slopes every winter. With 2,000-plus acres of fresh powder to explore, there’s a run out there to suit any skill level. When you’re not carving up the mountain or partaking in the beloved tradition of après-ski—whether that’s a trip to the spa or the libation of your choosing—take a day to cruise along the San Juan Skyway. This historic byway loops through 11 towns and two national forests. The sweeping views of the San Juan Mountains are worth the trek.
Sanibel Island, FL
The ultimate secluded Florida getaway may just be on Sanibel Island. Considered an even more quaint locale than neighboring Fort Myers, casual and quiet is the order of the day on this coastal island. From the galleries of Periwinkle Way to shell hunting on the beach, visitors can partake in popular activities as the mood strikes, rather than on a strict schedule. Head over the Blind Pass Bridge to Captiva Island for a sunset stroll along Captiva Beach before heading out to dinner.
Hilton Head, SC
Situated just off the coast of South Carolina, Hilton Head is a 42-square-mile barrier island with loads of Southern charm and a leisurely pace of life. The nightlife here consists more of leisurely sunset dinners and less of late-night partygoers. In short, relaxation is the name of the game on Hilton Head. The beloved trinity of activities includes spa days, tennis and golf. However, there’s a lot more to this island than picking up a set of clubs. Stroll along the 12 miles of beach, hike or cycle along the trails of the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge or sightsee in Harbour Town. It’s home to the red and white-striped lighthouse that adorns many of the island’s postcards.
Whether you choose a long weekend hitting the slopes, or a week on the beach, the great news is that these small towns (and small islands) are just the tip of the travel iceberg.
One of the biggest travel trends that emerged this year was the "travel pod." Its virtues have been touted by travel insiders as a safer way to explore the world, all while minimizing the risk of infection. The concept is simple—travel with a small, trusted group of individuals who have all followed the same quarantine protocols leading up to and during the trip. While initially popular domestically, travel pods are now taking intrepid travelers around the globe.
Since Zimbabwe reopened its borders to foreigners this fall, one luxury lodge is taking the concept of pod travel to a whole new level. The Matetsi Victoria Falls has unveiled an exclusive buyout program, known affectionately as a "safari bubble." The lodge recently opened a private airstrip alongside its existing helipad, and with it, the possibility for the property to be easily accessible to private groups. After flying commercially into Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, guests would then board a chartered plane that takes them straight to the Matetsi Private Game Reserve.
Alternatively, guests can fly privately into Victoria Falls International Airport and enjoy the Flight of Angels helicopter experience as an awe-inspiring opener to their luxury safari experience. Soak in breathtaking views of Victoria Falls—one of the largest waterfalls in the world. Once at the lodge, guests maintain their safari bubble by having exclusive access to all or part of the lodge, depending on which package they select. With 136,000 acres of wilderness and a private section of the Zambezi River, there’s no shortage of places to explore.
Buyouts are available on a nightly or weekly basis, with partial exclusive access sleeping up to 14 adults. All guests are looked after by a dedicated team of hotel staff during their stay—including a private chef, butler and experienced wilderness guides.
Time and again, people have described 2020 as "unprecedented" and while some now groan at the term—it's true. 2020 has been an unprecedented year. This pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we travel, the kinds of adventures we seek and most importantly, the way we connect with others—halfway down the street or halfway around the globe.
On that note, as your travel advisors, we would like to thank you for sticking with us through navigating ever-changing regulations, to planning vacations years down the road. While we always strive to provide our clients with excellent service and expert attention to detail, positive attitudes and trust on your part have been fundamental in keeping the spirit of travel alive.
As this year comes to a close, we hope that we have you inspired to plan your next vacation—whether you’re excited to explore some of the U.S.’s charming small towns or take in the wonders of Zimbabwe in a safari bubble—or maybe something else entirely. 2021 will certainly present us with new challenges, but plenty of new opportunities as well. It’s going to be an interesting ride, but we look forward to joining you!
Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy holiday season!