Iceland is completely magical! With only 3 nights in this city I wanted to make the most of my time and so for me, that meant booking tours that would bring me to everywhere on my MUST VISIT list. I did a lot of research and compared doing it on our own vs. tours and tour companies and ended up booking with BusTravel Iceland. They were reasonable priced, had a wide variety of tours to chose from and had great customer service. They also were very accommodating that we were traveling with a toddler and even provided a car seat for every tour and transfer we booked.

These are the top 5 tours that I highly recommend not missing on your trip to Iceland.

1. Blue Lagoon 1The Blue Lagoon spa is one of the most popular attractions in Iceland, its natural geothermal water is rich of minerals, excellent to rejuvenate your body and soul. There are a ton of add on services like spa amenities and in-water massages that you can include or you can just pick up a drink from the swim up bar and relax in the warm water. While you have to purchase your entrance ticket in advance from the Blue Lagoon website, you can book your transfer from BusTravel Iceland to be picked up right outside your hotel.

2. Northern Lights Tour

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Catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights is a big reason why a lot of people venture out to Iceland but seeing them isn’t guaranteed. A guided Northern Lights tour is a great way to try to see them because your guide has so much experience chasing the lights that they know exactly where to go to maximize your chance of seeing them. They take you out of the hustle and bustle of the city and head into the quiet darkness of the countryside to enjoy the natural spectacle of the aurora borealis.

3. Golden Circle Tour 

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The Grand Golden Circle is a compact tour that takes you to a series of remarkable and diverse sites in the Southwest of Iceland. On this tour you will visit:

-Geysir geothermal area

-Gullfoss waterfall-

Þingvellir National Park

-Kerið volcanic crater

-Faxi waterfall

4. Southern Iceland Tour

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This tour takes you to various natural pearls along the enchanting south coast of Iceland. The landscape is characterized by strong contrasts, where grown plains meet coarse mountains and fire meets ice. On this tour you will visit:

-Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

-Skógafoss Waterfall

-Sólheimajökull Glacier

-Black Sand Beach

5. Fjords & Into the Glacier

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This tour will take your breath away at each stop! You get to explore the man-made ice caves dug into Iceland’s second largest glacier, Langjökull. From Husafell, you hop on the special glacier vehicles and dive inside the surreal entrails of the Ice Cap Glacier. There, you will witness the effects of global warming as well as Iceland’s seismic history. On this tour you will visit:

-Deildartunguhver

-Hraunfossar waterfall

-Husafell

-Langjökull glacier

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While these may be my top 5 tour recommendations, BusTravel Iceland offers many more tours including premium options that have a max of 15 people per tour which provides a more intimate experience, more flexibility, more free time and more spontaneous encounters than travelling in big groups. They also have special offers which bundles multiple tours to save you money.

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Another year, another 365 days to make the most of those work vacation days you will be accruing! If you are anything like me then you are constantly planning your next destination in your head. Before 2017 even rolled around I had 3 trips fully planned and booked for the first few months of the year but another 5 countries that I couldn’t stop talking about and researching and that is ultimately how I came up with my list of the Top 5 Destinations for 2017.

Even though I know I won’t be able to make it to these places this year, if you can – DO IT!

1. Cuba

Cuba PC: travelmoodz

Now that travel restrictions for US residents have eased up – 2017 would be the perfect time to visit this beautiful island that is filled with clear blue water, white sand beaches and some of the most incredible (& vibrant) architecture. Cuba is a melting pop of cultures and anyone who I know that has visit speaks highly about how warm and welcoming they are to visitors. With round trip flights from Fort Lauderdale for $115, there’s no wonder why tourism is set to be at an all time high this year.

2. Egypt

egypt PC: tournavationmke

I’m sure some of you are like whatttt, Egypt? The Middle East?! nooo

YES! Egypt and FYI, it’s located in Africa. As an American, it’s so typical for us to feed into the media and where they think you should avoid. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be aware of your surroundings while traveling – that’s a must for anywhere in the world. It is so affordable to go to Egypt right now and you can even go with a tour group for 1/4th of the price of what it was 10 years ago. When visiting you can check out tons of ancient history, vast deserts and world-famous coral reef sites.

3. South Africa (Cape Town)

capetown PC: raddisonblue

Perfect weather, mountains, clear blue water and tons of tranquil gardens is one of the main reasons why so many people flock here from all over the world. If you’re adventurous, add shark cage diving to your must do list when visiting and do not forget about a safari tour.

4. Thailand

thailand PC: azamara

Thailand has been a popular destination for a long time, especially for budget travelers. Lush jungles, picture perfect beaches and cheap but delicious food are some of the top reasons why people visit. Ok, so you’re probably wondering how cheap Thailand actually is, right? Well for starters you can find a round trip ticket from the NYC area to Bangkok for about $600. Food from street vendors is said to cost about $1 and while you can absolutely chose to stay in a luxury resort – you can also stay in a beach front bungalow for as low as $20 per night.

5. Portugal

portugal PC: kny

 Portugal is my top European country to visit by 2018. It’s currently one of the safest countries in the world (says the WEF) so that is a little bit of a relief to hear when traveling abroad with the kiddies. It is rich in history and culture, has beautiful landscapes and incredible beach towns. They also say some of the best wine comes from Portugal so…. CHEERS to that!

Where are you traveling to in 2017?

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 PC: Fodor’s

YES! You read that right. Both Newark & JFK airports are gearing up to offer Non Stop flights to Athens, Greece starting in just a few months. Now – I’m not one to really care about a connecting flight, especially if my final destination leads me to floating in the Aegean Sea. For my Honeymoon back in 2015 I connected in Berlin before arriving into Athens and with a total travel time of about 12 hours… I thought that was pretty great.

Let’s be honest though, nothing beats a Non-Stop flight so I’m super excited for this new route direct from my local airport which will land you in Athens in less than 10 hours. If you live in the Tri-State area, this is definitely the time to start planning for an island hopping adventure in beautiful Greece.

Here are some of the lowest non-stop fares per month I was able to find via Google Flights:

April – $665 RT from JFK

May – $729 RT from JFK

June – $868 RT from EWR / $880 RT from JFK

July – $1168 RT from EWR / $1030 from JFK

August – $919 RT from EWR / $979 from JFK

September – $669 RT from EWR / $732 RT from JFK

Still think the prices above are a little bit too high? No worries – Emirates has you guys covered. They announced yesterday that they will now be offering Non-Stop service from Newark to Athens for as low as $595 starting March 12th! Go check out their site to price out dates.

Thanks to my friends over at Travelzoo I was notified about an AMAZING deal from Emirates.

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In a sale ending Sunday, Emirates — named the world’s No. 1 airline by Skytrax — is discounting companion fares to global destinations.

Depart from New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., or Dallas for the following prices for two people flying together (roundtrip, including tax).

Milan, Italy (from New York City only) … $899 for two
Dubai, UAE … $1249 for two
Beijing or Shanghai, China … $1599 for two
Cape Town, South Africa … $1749 for two
Sydney, Australia … $2399 for two
Flights from Chicago, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas are also on sale.

What to know:

Fares require two people flying together
A minimum three-night or Sunday-night stay is required
Available for select dates Jan. 9 – May 15 and Aug. 1 – Oct. 14 (Milan departures are select Sundays-Wednesdays and returns are Tuesdays-Fridays)
Excludes travel April 11-19 and Aug. 1-31 for Milan only, and inbound U.S. flights Aug. 1 – Sept. 6 for all routes
Business-class fares are also discounted for two people flying together
All destinations included in the sale are listed under the terms and conditions on Emirates’ website.

Emirates is known for its spacious seats, wine selection and the World’s Best Inflight Entertainment (per Skytrax) with over 2,500 stations. Other standout amenities include power outlets at every seat, Wi-Fi and air mobile services that allow for SMS and data while in flight.

The sale ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 27.

Book by Nov. 27.

Black Friday is approaching and while that means scooping up the newest Lego set, TV or gaming system for some – I, as well as many other Wanderlusters, are anxiously waiting to find out if their will be any good travel deals.

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While traveling is amazing and I highly encourage it for EVERYONE – it can be pricey, so I am always on the look out for great flight specials. Last year I scored a stay via Expedia‘s Cyber Monday sale at the amazing Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan for 1/2 price and was able to use a $75 off Thanksgiving coupon on top of that by booking through their app.

This year it looks as Black Friday/Cyber Monday came early. Thanks to Secret Flying I was informed about a MAJOR flight sale between the US & Europe. I’m talking Round Trip flights for $400-$500 to multiple European destinations!

Check about Secret Flying’s article HERE and then go search the airlines website directly! (Delta, AA etc.)

Just an FYI: it seems as United as jumped on the bandwagon because I just scored a non stop RT flight from Newark to my beloved Paris for $418! This same flight was over $700 just a few days ago and normally that flight would be about $1,000.

If you take advantage of this sale, let me know where you booked and if you need any recommendations on where you should head to – shoot me an e-mail.

HAPPY TRAVELING!