Hawaiian Hula – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know.

Ever seen Hula dancers and wondered about what all of the gestures and movement signify? Here’s everything you ever wanted to know from our friends at Fairmont Hotels, owners of some of our favourite hotels in the Hawaiian Islands! Click for more info on your perfect, tailor-made, Hawaii holiday

5 Top Honeymoon Destinations in the USA for 2017

America honeymoon ideas and inspiration for the trip of a lifetime, with destinations including Hawaii, New York and California.

A honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, marking the start of an exciting new chapter in life, and typically the end of a lot of wedding planning! The destination you choose for your holiday is a personal choice that reflects you and your partner – are you looking for something relaxed, active, adventurous, luxurious, scenic, secluded or exotic? Every couple will want something slightly different from their special trip to match their tastes and celebrate their relationship.

At Bon Voyage we have seen many happy newlyweds jet off after planning their honeymoons to the America and Canada, and they come back wishing they could do it all again. Here are 5 incredible honeymoon destinations in the USA to inspire you. If you’re looking for a tailored trip, or you need help and advice, our honeymoon experts are happy to help. Get in touch today.

Hawaiihawaii beach letterbox

Aloha! Hawaii is a honeymoon destination to remember, and whilst many are drawn in by the beautiful beaches with their white sands and turquoise waters, the exotic islands are rich in culture and offer something for everyone. From Maui to Molokai, there’s eight main Hawaiian Islands, six of which are open to visitors. Each island is different, and for the best trip we would recommend some island hopping – after all, if you’re going to make the 17+ hours trip from London, you should ensure you have a good itinerary.When you arrive in Hawaii you’ll be greeted by friendly people, vibrant culture, natural beauty and unique surroundings. You won’t find all-inclusive resorts, so enjoy mixing with the locals and exploring the islands. Zip line through waterfalls, see lava trickling down volcanoes, swim with manta ray or simply relax on the beach, or by the pool.

A Hawaii honeymoon can also allow you to tick off another US destination as a stopover to break up the long trip. Popular choices include San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, but at Bon Voyage the USA is our oyster, so speak to us if you have a particular stopover destination in mind and we’ll try our best to make it happen.

New York 5th Avenue

If you’d rather spend your honeymoon visiting iconic attractions, shopping in some of the best stores in the world, eating anything and everything your heart desires and exploring the city that never sleeps – New York is the place for you. Appealing to those who would rather revel in the charming culture of Coney Island’s beaches, than sit and sunbathe all day, New York has much more to offer than just the obvious attractions. Whilst Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square should all play a part in your New York adventure, the city can also offer luxury and romance.

At Bon Voyage we’ve sent many newlyweds on their way to marital bliss via New York City and they’ve come back deeply in love – with the city!

A popular choice due to how flexible you can be on budgets, time and exactly what you’re looking for, New York honeymoons can cater to any requirements. Horse drawn carriage at sunset through Central Park? Check. Helicopter ride over the city? Check. Michelin-starred fine dining? Check. Slice of pizza as big as your head at 3am? Check. New York has it all.

FloridaFL Keys 2 pairs of feet



This may strike you as a family holiday destination, but Florida is also a great honeymoon destination. The sunshine state has it all, and whilst you can kick things off with a visit to the theme parks in Orlando, there’s a lot more on offer. Head to Miami and enjoy the bustling music and club scene on South Beach, or rent a convertible and take the scenic ocean-view drive down to Florida Keys.

When it comes to accommodation, you can pick from small and intimate, or huge resort style hotels, holiday homes or luxury villas with private swimming pools.

Couples who have honeymooned in Florida have praised the laid back vibe, beautiful beaches and the breathtaking coastal sunsets. There’s also a whole host of jazz clubs, one-of-a-kind shops and of course, all the fantastic food you could hope for.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas sign & showgirls

Viva Las Vegas! Whilst some attach a Vegas honeymoon onto the end of their Vegas wedding, many others head there to enjoy the glitz and glamour – and there’s really no place like it! Vegas is known for its incredible hotels, boasting 17 of the 20 biggest hotels in the USA. The best thing about Vegas hotels, other than their impressive themes and incredible size, can be the value for money. Because much of their revenue comes from the casinos, rather than the rooms, it’s the best place to treat yourself to 5* luxury. Perfect for your honeymoon!

We recommend you head there for a Sunday to Thursday trip if you can as it tends to be cheaper and less busy mid week. Accommodation in the middle of the strip is best, but even then you’ll find yourself doing a lot of walking.

When it comes to Vegas it can pay to be organised; book shows in advance and plan some time to enjoy a day off the strip with a visit to Red Rock Canyon or a helicopter to The Grand Canyon.


Golden Gate suspension Bridge in San Francisco, California

The Golden State of California offers everything from the bright lights of Hollywood, through to the natural beauty of the National Parks such as Yosemite. Whether you drive the scenic coastal road, or just visit a few handpicked places, there’s something for everyone.

One of our favourite ways to enjoy a California honeymoon is to take the breathtaking drive down the coast, starting in San Francisco. Spend a few days exploring the city before you head south through San Jose, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and Malibu. Ending your trip in San Diego allows you to choose from staying downtown in the charming Gaslamp Quarter, or along the beautiful water.

If you’re partial to a glass of wine, you must visit Napa Valley for wine tasting. This can be done from San Francisco and there’s a few options available, including a guided tour, or taking the Napa Valley Wine Train. There’s also a lot to do and see inland, including Palm Springs and Yosemite National Park where you can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, swimming, rafting, or just take in the sights and have a picnic.

Whatever you want from your honeymoon, it’s important to be organised. The last thing you want is something else to worry about with a wedding on the horizon. Speak to a USA expert at Bon Voyage today.

The top 10 restaurants in the USA for foodies

Do you take the time to consider the best places to eat before you even get around to booking your holiday? Is the food a key priority for you when you head abroad? If so, the USA is the place to go. A haven for any self-confessed foodie, America has a wealth of different cuisines on offer. So many in fact, that an entire TV show was devoted to it. Off the back of the success of Man vs Food, we take a look at some of the best eateries in America (in our humble opinion). Then the onus is on you to visit yourself!


Daniel – New York, New York

This French restaurant in the Upper East Side is frequently found at the top of the list for the best eateries across Manhattan, having gained two Michelin stars. The contemporary feel coupled with great food created by head chef Daniel Boulud makes this a favourite among the locals and tourists alike. Be sure to try the Panda Swizzle cocktail to perfectly finish what will undoubtedly be a night to remember. Daniel new York

Bazaar Meat by José Andrés – SLS Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

Satisfy your inner carnivore with the incredible choice on offer at Bazaar Meat in the SLS. Chef José Andrés offers a wild, wonderful experience with fun cuisine. Meat is at the heart of this restaurant with guests being able to see the chefs at work, as they create all manner of weird and wacky dishes such as Cotton Candy Foie Gras. The pièce de résistance is the whole suckling pig available by preorder only. If you want a classic American steak in Las Vegas, Bazaar Meat is the place to go.FireKitchenWeb

Gino’s East – Chicago, Illinois

When in Chicago, only a deep-dish pizza will do. For that authentic, real American-Italian pie, there’s nowhere else but Gino’s East. While enjoying fame brought by Adam Richman, Gino’s East really doesn’t need any further introduction. Handmade, fresh ingredients set these pizzas apart from the rest. Make sure you engrave your own message into the now infamous stucco walls and be a part of history.Ginos East Chicago

Primanti Brothers – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Although not the most obvious holiday destination, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania actually has a lot to offer. If you’re on a road trip across America, then stop off at the Primanti Bros. They’ve been making sandwiches for over 70 years and we don’t think anybody does it better. Their calling card is soft Italian bread, stuffed with crunchy coleslaw and a pile of French fries with whatever filling you fancy. These are no ordinary sandwiches, so tuck in with both hands and be sure to take a picture – it’ll last longer!Primanti bros

Erling Jensen – Memphis, Tennessee

If you’re looking for something a little bit special, head to Erling Jensen’s restaurant in the heart of Memphis. Perfect for anniversaries or final nights, this varied menu brings a touch of luxury to good southern food. Lobster pancakes, mountain elk and Kahlua soufflé all feature on the main menu, while the bar offers delectable treats if you want something a little lighter. The ambience and service is at the centre of Erling Jensen’s restaurant, so expect to walk away with a fantastic experience.erling jensen memphis

Vortex Bar & Grill – Atlanta, Georgia

This all-American institution has an extensive and controversial set of rules. They are an Official Idiot-Free Zone and they are all about having a good time. Their Laughing Skull structure has become an Atlanta landmark and this family owned bar and grill serves some of the best burgers in the state! Vortex has won several awards for Best Burger and it continues to this day to be one of the best places to get a classic, American burger. Whatever toppings you fancy, it’s likely you’ll find it on this menu. Just make sure you don’t wind up the staff!vortex bar and grill

Mama’s Fish House – Paia, Hawaii

If you’re on your honeymoon in Hawaii, or have simply tacked this stunning state onto the end of your holiday to the USA, make sure you grab a table at Mama’s Fish House in Paia. This family-run establishment has become one of the best places in Hawaii to get fresh fish, caught by the restaurant’s own fishermen every day. The menu even names the fisherman responsible for the catch and where it was caught. With a varied menu containing things like ahi, ehu and opakapaka, you won’t find a more exciting or fresh menu than at Mama’s.mamas fish house

Taylor Oyster Bar – Seattle, Washington

While we’re on the topic of seafood, be sure to check out Taylor Oyster Bar in the centre of Seattle. This is definitely one of the more casual eateries on our list, but it’s by no means any less amazing. As well as serving oysters (obviously), Taylor Oyster Bar also offers up geoduck, crab, mussels and clams, along with an array of beers and other beverages to wash everything down with. For a unique take on fast food, make sure this is a stop on your holiday in Seattle. Taylors

Munchies 4:20 Cafe – Sarasota, Florida

This cafe was created after a couple of guys wanted food in the small hours at the end of a great night out. They realised there were no options at the time and thus Munchies 4:20 Cafe was opened, serving food until – yep, you guessed it – 4.20am! You can expect the usual American classics like hot dogs, burgers and the now somewhat famous Fat Sandwiches. If you’ve got the munchies after a hectic night or the Florida heat causes you to make a pit stop, make sure Munchies is your first port of call.Munchies-420-Cafe

N/Naka – Los Angeles, California

LA is famed for offering all sorts of cuisine and this Japanese restaurant is one of the finest. N/Naka serves vegetables from its own vegetable garden and presentation is immaculate at all times. Thirteen course menus are available with optional wine pairings, so if you want something special and unique, you can guarantee that you’ll get great service and even better food. These tasting menus are fantastic if you’re after the experience as much as the cuisine itself. N Naka

So there you have it. Our list of the top ten best places to eat across the USA. This list is by no means exhaustive – there really are way too many eateries to narrow it down to a specific list, but this is our pick of some of the best ones. They’ve featured on TV programmes, have won awards and boast world-class chefs, so whichever places you pick, you’ll be sure of an amazing meal.

If you’d like more ideas on places to eat or if you’re planning a holiday to America, let Bon Voyage help. We’ll be able to recommend great excursions, destinations and of course, restaurants – all based on our personal experiences, so give us a call now and book your holiday to the USA with us.

How to Prevent Lost Luggage

Losing luggage is something we all fear at one point or another. The idea of starting an amazing holiday without your belongings seems like a complete nightmare. Being left with no clothes, toiletries or even spending money is enough to make anyone panic. So what can you do to ensure it doesn’t happen to you? Or at the very least, try to make sure it doesn’t happen?lost-luggage

Think about what you pack

Take the time to consider what you NEED to take with you and what you can put in your hand luggage instead of in the hold. Things like jewellery and electronics are not necessarily covered if your luggage goes missing, so if there are specific items that are allowed in with your hand luggage and you can’t bear the thought of losing them, keep them with you. Make sure you have the right insurance that will cover you for any loss or theft of items within your luggage as well to give you the peace of mind.

Take photographs

Before you leave, take pictures of your items and a picture of the outside of your bag. If it does go missing, you can show the photos to the airline staff, who may be able to help you track it sooner. It’s worthwhile taking pictures of the baggage claim ticket using your mobile phone camera as well, in case you lose this. If the airline staff know exactly what your bag looks like, they’ll find it easier to spot, should it appear anywhere. You may also find the picture of the contents helps in the event of having to make an insurance claim as well.luggage

Split your items

It sounds obvious, but split your items between two bags if you’re travelling with family or a partner. If you have a mix of items in each bag, then both of you will have access to the essentials, should one of the cases go missing. Obviously, it means that if one bag goes missing, both of you have lost items, but you won’t be completely without anything. Make sure you don’t put all of the necessities in one bag and all of the desirables in another as well – if you lose the bag of necessities, both of you will be stuck!

Use your hand luggage

Most airlines allow you to have one carry-on bag, so use it wisely. If you’re going on a beach holiday, pack your swimsuit and some sun cream in your hand luggage, while if you’re heading somewhere chilly, wear a jumper or coat for the journey. You can also make sure you have some spare underwear and your spending money with you, so that it’s always in your sight.

Hand luggage

Invest in luggage tracking

It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but installing a tracker into your luggage is one of the easiest ways to ensure it doesn’t get lost. If you do happen to lose track of it, you can simply switch on the tracker and find out exactly where your bags are. It sounds extreme, but if you can find out instantly where your belongings have ended up, you can speed up the return that much more.

Be aware

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your luggage doesn’t get lost on your holiday is to be aware and alert of your surroundings. One of the most common reasons bags get lost at the airport is because the staff member inputs the wrong airport code to your luggage tag. You then find that you’re heading to LAX, while your case ends up in LGA – not ideal when you’re starting a two week driving holiday in California! Check that the attendant inputs the right code and ensure your bag heads in the right direction. Make sure you add a clear differentiator to your bag as well; a coloured ribbon or even a patterned bag is ideal  so that you can spot your bag on the carousel and it won’t get muddled up with everyone else’s plain black Samsonite. 2016-06-01 16-51-58 +0100

Use the baggage tags

When you head off on holiday, add a tag to your bag that contains your name and address or contact telephone number. Make sure the information is up to date as well, that way if your bag turns up in another airport, you can be contacted to get it back. Using a bright, Bon Voyage luggage tag is ideal because you’ll spot it quickly and it will allow any baggage handlers to notice it if you do report it missing as well.Bon Voyage Luggage label

Report it immediately

If you do lose your bag – or worse, forget to collect it from the carousel – make sure you let the authorities know immediately. They’ll be able to start the search sooner and hopefully reunite you with your bags. You should also complete a lost luggage report at the airport and ensure you get a claim number and contact information to check the status of missing baggage. Without these key details, finding your luggage again is a lot harder, if impossible!

Check in early

A lot of people opt to do this anyway, as it just makes the overall airport experience far less stressful. However, there is a benefit for ensuring your luggage ends up in the right place as well. As the departure time draws closer, checking agents will start rushing more as they have a steady stream of customers to check in. Be an early bird and check your bags when things are quiet. Your agent is likely to be more focused and have the time to check everything is correct before you even board the plane. United check in

Pack your itinerary

This is particularly useful if you’re planning to head to multiple destinations on your trip. For example, if you’re driving Route 66, you won’t be in one place for long, so if you did lose your bags, they’d probably end up being returned to a destination that you’re no longer in. Add a copy of your holiday itinerary to your luggage, so if it’s found, the person will know where to send it and when.

So there you have it – ten things you can do to try and avoid losing your luggage. None of these are guaranteed, but taking the measures above will at least ensure you’ve tried to keep your luggage safe. If the worst does happen, you can always purchase more items when you arrive. In fact, if you’re planning a holiday to America, the shopping is incredible, so you can turn a negative into a fun day out!

Top Tips for Packing Light

When you’re heading off on your USA holiday, the last thing you want is to worry about carting around heavy suitcases. There’s the risk of having to pay weight penalties at the airport and it’s not much fun having to take several bags with you anyway. So how can you ensure you pack light but still have all the essentials you need? Check out the top tips from the team at Bon Voyage below.

Make a list

One of the first things you should do before you pack anything is make a list of everything you need to take with you. Split it into categories for clothes, toiletries, electricals and anything else you’ll need, then sub-divide that into things you absolutely need and things you’d like to take with you. The list will give you an idea of things you want and also give you time to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. You don’t want to head on holiday without any underwear!Make-a-Packing-List

Provisionally pack everything

Pack everything on your list into your suitcase and see how much space you have left. You might be lucky and find that you do have room, but chances are, your bag will be overflowing, or at the very least full to the brim. If it does all fit with a lot of space, then consider downsizing your bag to a smaller one. Expandable suitcases are ideal if you are planning to bring home more than you take out, as you’ll have the extra space available at just the pull of a zip. overstuffed suitcase

Make another list

Once you’ve made your initial packing list, make another one. Take a long look at your first list and see what you can remove from it. Do you really need 10 pairs of shoes for a four-day city break? Probably not. When you go through your list again, you’ll find that you can cut out a lot of things. If you’re travelling with someone, you can also split some of the joint essentials between you. There’s no point in taking two hairdryers when you can simply share one.

Pack the night before

Some people like to pack weeks in advance, but then there’s a strong chance that you’ll need to keep taking things out to use them along the way. This could result in you forgetting to re-pack things and as we’ve already mentioned – you don’t want to head off on holiday without your underwear! If you are super organised and want to pack ahead of time, take everything out the night before and repack it, just to make sure nothing has been forgotten. Check everything off your list as you go and that way, you’ll know you have everything.

Think about what you can buy when you’re there

This one largely depends on where you’re travelling to, but don’t automatically assume you have to buy everything before you travel. If you’re taking a holiday to the USA, a trip to Walgreen’s when you arrive will give you access to all the toiletries you’ll need for the duration of your trip. Save the space and weight on taking shampoo, shower gel and toothpaste with you and simply buy some travel sizes when you arrive. If you have any left, you can bring them home, but most people choose to dispose of them when they leave and save the hassle.

Use your hand luggage wisely

Don’t pack anything you won’t need in your hand luggage – keep to the essentials. This is where you want to have all of your travel documents and spending money, so that everything is kept with you at all times. You may want to make purchases at the airport after check-in so having some cash is always useful, and if your bags get lost, you will be able to buy the essentials as well. Hand luggage

Roll your clothes

This is a trick that has been offered up again and again, but it really does help you to save some space in your suitcase. If you roll your clothes, you can also help to avoid so many creases when you unpack, as well as keep everything organised in your bag. Packing cubes are also useful to separate out your clothes, toiletries and everything else. You’ll then see exactly how much space you have left in your bag and be able to find things more easily when you’re away. rolling clothes

Think positive

Don’t think of the worst case scenario – think of the best and buy your way out of any trouble. If the weather at your destination is normally hot and sunny, don’t pack a thick jumper ‘just in case’. If you do experience a sudden cold snap, you can always buy that jumper when you’re there. Your suitcase is better off being filled with thin, wearable layers as opposed to bulky, large items that may not even get worn.

Follow all of these rules and you should be able to downsize your luggage – or at the very least have some spare room in your suitcase. When you start your holiday, you can always squeeze in a little shopping trip to fill up the extra space if you want to; it’s just another reason to make sure you pack light before you go!
If you’re thinking about booking a holiday – or even a weekend city shopping break – contact Bon Voyage to find out about our tailor-made holidays. We’ll be able to give you a quote and tailor-make your itinerary especially for you. We’ll even tell you what to pack if you like!

Top 10 Route 66 Attractions for the Ultimate Road Trip

U.S. Route 66, the Will Rogers Highway or the Mother Road, whatever you choose to call it, it’s the ULTIMATE American road trip. Established in 1926, RT 66 was a major road for people driving between Chicago, California and the many states in between, covering 2448 miles in total.

Whilst the Route 66 no longer serves the same purpose (it has since been replaced as a major route by the U.S. Interstate Highway System), it makes for a fantastic road trip. And some of the original road can be re-traced today, so you can follow in the tyre tracks of those who made the road famous.

At Bon Voyage we have helped many people make this trip unforgettable. Here’s 10 Route 66 attractions you have to do on your fly drive holiday:


  1. Enjoy the views across Chicago from the Willis Tower Skydeck. Chicago is a classic place to start your Route 66 adventure. Recover from your 9+ hour from London before hitting the road and enjoy a full day in the buzzing city. Once you’ve seen the views from the ground level, head up the Willis Tower to the look over the city from the 103rd floor. The Skydeck boasts a Ledge which stretches out 4.3 feet from the building, complete with a transparent floor so you can see right down to the street below. Probably not one for those who are scared of heights!Willis Tower Sky Deck
  1. Cross the historic Martin Luther King Memorial Bridge. Next on your RT 66 road trip is a cross into St. Louis, Missouri over the Martin Luther King Memorial Bridge. St Louis boasts some super cool diners, and there’s also another chance to view the sights from above by taking a lift to the top of the Gateway Arch, giving you spectacular views of the Mississippi River.Martin Luther King Bridge st louis


  1. Get your music fix in “The Live Music Entertainment Capital of the World”. Whilst your journey takes you through Missouri, you may wish to take a pit stop in Branson to catch some live music or a show. You’ll be met with a whole host of theatres, pubs and music halls, plus many attractions, including the Branson Scenic Railway and Branson Zipline.branson live music


  1. Cruise in a stylish convertible. If you’re looking to complete the entire Route 66 journey, you’ll need to allow for a full 14+ days, and this will mean driving every day. At Bon Voyage we would recommend a roomy, comfortable car for the trip. However, we can also arrange for you to have a convertible for part of the journey – Las Vegas to Santa Monica, for example. Oklahoma boasts the longest stretch of original Route 66 miles, and here you’ll start to enjoy a beautiful change in landscape, from the rich croplands of the Midwest, to the red, dry and dusty Southwest.couple sitting on car


  1. Enjoy the scenery in the Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas. You’ll soon cross into Texas, where you can enjoy the best scenery in the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the second largest canyon in America. Here you’ll learn about the Apache, Kiowa and Comanche tribes who took refuge here. Whilst you’re there you can camp for the night, and explore the canyon by foot, mountain bike or even on horseback.palo duro canyon


  1. Leave your mark, if only for a few hours. The Cadillac Ranch has become a popular stop when travelling the Mother Road. Made up simply of 10 cars stuck in the dirt and decorated in layers upon layers of graffiti, it’s certainly something you won’t see everyday. Enjoy the sight from the sidelines, or grab a spray can and get involved. But don’t get disheartened if someone comes along and sprays directly over your art, unfortunately it’s inevitable!cadillac ranch


  1. Take a classic holiday photo (or 66). There’s no doubt that you’ll fly home with many new memories having crossed through eight states and three time zones. But there’s also a lot of iconic pictures waiting to be snapped. Tucumcari, is a must-do stop photo favourite, with the ’66 neon signs and that historic Tee Pee Trading Post. And it’s not long before you head into New Mexico, known fondly as The Land of Enchantment, with the second longest stretch of original Route 66 highway and perhaps the most unique roadside landscape. Make sure you’ve packed spare camera batteries!tucumcari trading post


  1. Meteor Crater. Before you rush off to see the Grand Canyon (that’s next up, we promise), take a pit stop at the fascinating Meteor Crater, approximately 30 miles from Holbrook, Arizona. The 500 foot deep hole was created by a meteorite 22,000 years ago. Not quite as impressive as the Grand Canyon, but certainly an attraction to make time for.meteor crater


  1. The Grand Canyon. Told you we’d get there eventually. Also in the state of Arizona and number 9 on our list is possibly our favourite stop en route, and how could it not be? The Grand canyon is an incredible 277 miles long and 6,000 feet deep. It’s a natural wonder of the world and an absolute must-see attraction on every Route 66 road trip. Words cannot describe how big, beautiful and truly impressive this sight is. You really need to see it for yourself…Grand Canyon Overlook


  1. The Neon Museum in Las Vegas. This one is technically off track, but how could you not make a pitstop in Vegas when you’ve come all that way? Love it or hate it, it’s certainly an experience and the Neon Museum is worth a visit. Quite simply it’s a collection of Las Vegas signs displayed for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. The Neon Museum is only available for hour-long guided tours, so make sure you book.Las Vegas Neon Museum

Then, before you know it you’ll have passed through the Mojave desert, over mountains and through the lush inland valleys of California, where you will reach the bright lights of Hollywood and the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica. It’s here that your Route 66 trip must come to an end, and you can enjoy a dip in the beautiful Pacific Ocean before getting a flight home.

Would you like to find out more about booking your dream Route 66 trip? We help people plan USA holidays every day!
Contact us to find out more

Christmas & New Year Cruising on a Paddle Wheeler.

Step aboard the most opulent steam powered ship ever built, The American Queen steamboat and enjoy a unique luxury river cruise when you journey along the mighty rivers that serve as America’s natural highways. Along the way you’ll discover a side to America that few see, exploring the history, heritage and culture of charming riverside cities.

Make the American Queen your home for the festive season as you explore the quaint southern towns, perched along the mighty Mississippi. Experience a true southern Christmas with carol concerts, Christmas markets and visits to magnificent plantation homes adorned with delightfully over-the-top decorations!

Or, start the New Year off with a bang as you enjoy a glittering gala in the elegant Grand Saloon on the American Queen. Be one of the select few who can claim to have celebrated New Year’s Eve aboard the world’s grandest and most majestic riverboat.

Our nine-day Christmas & New Year American Queen steamboat holidays showcase the diversity and drama of the Lower Mississippi. From the legendary jazz of New Orleans to the battlefields of Vicksburg, immerse yourself in the USA’s southern culture. Discover the romance and antebellum charms of famous plantations like Oak Alley or Nottoway. You’ll adore St. Francisville which boasts more than 140 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and you’ll be amazed by the city’s colorful history and larger-than-life political figures.

For further details on American Queen holidays, contact the USA experts at Bon Voyage on 0800 980 7091

Jazz in Heaven – New Orleans Jazz with Bon Voyage

Jazz in Heaven – New Orleans Jazz with Bon Voyage.

The things that make life worth living – eating, drinking and the making of merriment – are the air that New Orleans breathes.

There aren’t many places in the USA that wear their history as openly on their sleeves as New Orleans. Dive into its fascinating history dating back to 1718 and discover stories of pirates, prostitutes and parades.

Stroll the lively cobbled streets and you’ll hear music played from every bar, in every corner, every night. And, we’re not exaggerating when we say there is either a festival or a parade every week of the year in New Orleans.


Now, when it comes to food, New Orleans doesn’t mess around. Dine on mouth-watering cuisine simply everywhere you go. With an endless of choice of restaurants, it’s no wonder the city boasts award after award for its cuisine. Be ready to gain a few pounds.

When you’ve explored every delicious nook and cranny of ‘The Big Easy’, step back in time and take tour out to one of the magnificent plantation homes that line the ‘Great River Road’. Jump on a Cajun swamp tour or take a leisurely paddle steamer cruise along the mighty Mississippi.

Tempted? Come visit this unique part of the USA and immerse yourself in an intoxicating city that will leave you gasping for more. Trust us.

For holidays to New Orleans and The Deep South contact the USA experts at Bon Voyage.

The Coast Starlight – the Rail Trip of a Lifetime!

This “guest post” is written by Rosie Allen, a Bon Voyage customer, for whom we arranged a honeymoon aboard The Coast Starlight.

Who doesn’t dream of America’s near-mythical West Coast? The swaying palm trees set against a glorious sunset; the iconic Hollywood sign nestled in the Los Angeles hills; the fragrant redwood trees of Yosemite. Oh yeah, and sunshine. Lots of it.

And you know what? It’s all true. The Best Coast, as all west-dwellers will tell you, provides a glorious diversity of landscapes and some of the world’s most breath-taking scenery; from the lush lake-lands of Washington, the undeniable hipness of Portland and of course California, land of golden beaches and alarmingly white teeth.

Continue reading The Coast Starlight – the Rail Trip of a Lifetime!

The Harry Potter bucket list

When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Orlando resort in 2010, the fans went mad. For so long, they had waited for Harry’s world to become real and they were finally starting to see their dreams come true. Harry Potter Wizarding World

Since then, it’s expanded to become a double attraction in two interlinking parks, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the Harry Potter experience. So what are the must do’s at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando?

Choose your wand

As Ollivander said, the wand chooses the wizard, so when you step into his shop in Diagon Alley, be prepared for an interactive experience. A Wandkeeper will hand you a selection of wands, so you can choose the right one – or rather, the wand can choose you. Harry Potter Ollivanders

Who knows whether you’ll end up with dragon heartstring like Hermione, or unicorn hair like Ron? Find out at Ollivander’s and purchase the wand that chooses you. Don’t forget to use your map and find out where you can cast real spells around Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade!

Visit Hogsmeade first

With the two sections of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter now being interlinked, you’re best off starting your adventure in Hogsmeade. The Florida heat is punishing, so as the day wears on, you’ll want to head for cooler areas, which leads you nicely to Diagon Alley. Harry Potter Hogwarts ExpressCatch the Hogwarts Express and you’ll find it’s a little bit cooler on your arrival to Diagon Alley, with areas designed to keep the witches and wizards at a more comfortable temperature.

Exchange your money at Gringotts

The world famous wizard bank allows you to trade in your Muggle money for Gringotts banknotes. Head to Carkitt Market, enter the bank and speak to the goblin awaiting you. Ask him anything you like and he’ll give you an answer. Harry Potter Diagon AlleyOnce you’ve got your wizard money, you can spend it almost anywhere within the Universal parks, so head over to the Three Broomsticks for a drink.

Grab a bite to eat at the Leaky Cauldron

You can eat at either the pub in Diagon Alley or the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade – both serve traditional British pub food. Make sure you wash it down with a good old butterbeer as well. You can choose to have it warm, cold or frozen, giving you three very different versions of this wizarding favourite. If you’re feeling brave, try a Green Fishy Ale from the Hopping Pot in Diagon Alley. It looks a tad strange, but tastes amazing!

Fly with dragons

Harry Potter roller coaster HippogriffNot for the faint-hearted, the Dragon Challenge sees a Chinese Fireball and Hungarian Horntail race each other through the sky. These dual roller coasters will make you feel like you’re riding a dragon as they twist and turn, flipping you every which way. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, the Dragon Challenge should be at the top of your bucket list.

Go shopping

You can visit the dark and mysterious Knockturn Alley and see the vanishing cabinet in Borgin and Burkes, or pop into Dervish and Banges for all of your Hogwarts essentials like robes and your copy of the ‘Monster Book of Monsters’. Take a stroll to Honeydukes, where you can stock up on your favourites like Fizzing Whizbees, Chocolate Frogs and of course, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. Finish the day with Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, the ONLY place to buy all of your joke gifts and gadgets!

Harry Potter Hogwarts CastleThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter brings the magic to life for everyone both young and old. Whether you’re going with your family, as a couple or even with a group of friends, you’ll be fascinated, amazed and completely hooked by everything that Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley has to offer. Be sure to book the park-to-park tickets for Universal, so that you can absorb every single bit of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and make it a core part of your holiday to Florida.

Bon Voyage can help you with booking your holiday of a lifetime to Florida and we’ll recommend the best hotels to stay in, the best restaurants to eat in, and even give you a recommended itinerary so that you can squeeze in everything Orlando has to offer. To book your 2016 Florida holiday, or for a last-minute trip this year, contact Bon Voyage and one of our holiday specialists will tell you everything you need to know.

Thoughts, experiences and opinions on travel to North America from the UK's leading USA tailor-made holiday experts.