What comes to mind when you think of summertime? If you answered flip flops, sunshine, and white sand – you’re in need of a tropical vacation. If you’re tired of the typical beach scene, check out these beautiful vacation locales both near and far that are sure to bring out the beach bum in everyone. Bermuda Just a quick two hour flight from most eastern US airports – paradise is closer than you think. The small island of Bermuda packs an abundance of scenery and culture into its 21 square miles . The people of Bermuda have a reputation for being some of the friendliest of the world. The culture in Bermuda is a fusion of British colonial history and African heritage, and the outcome is something unlike anywhere else . There is much to see and do in Bermuda from scuba-diving, to cave explorations, to exploring ancient fortresses; everyone will find something to love about Bermuda. Puerto Rico Located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, Puerto Rico is a vibrant island with rich history and beautiful beaches. As Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, no passport is needed for U.S. citizens to travel to Puerto Rico , which means if you’re looking for a spontaneous island getaway – Puerto Rico is the perfect choice. Water sports like surfing, kite boarding, and snorkeling are popular activities in Puerto Rico, and with 270 miles of beaches there’s plenty of room for everyone ! Georgia’s Barrier Islands Stretching from Ossabawa Island near Savannah, GA all the way down to Cumberland Island, near Florida - Georgia’s Barrier Islands have some of the least disturbed coastline on the eastern seaboard . There are 8 clusters of barrier islands off the coast of Georgia, of which four are accessible by car (Tybee, Sea, Jekyll, and St. Simons Islands). The remaining four islands are more difficult to reach but it’s well worth it for their undisturbed scenery. Popular activities on the barrier islands include marsh and beach walks, bird and wildlife observations and historical tours. Rio De Janeiro Known for bright colors, festive music, and of course the famous Rio Carnival – Rio De Janeiro is known in Brazil as Cidade Maravilhosa, or the Marvelous City. And marvelous it is. Packed with stunning architecture, traditional cabaret shows, concerts, and natural beauty, it’s a city with something new to discover around every turn. Rio De Janeiro hosts the biggest Carnival every year – with nearly 500,000 foreign visitors alone . Rio Carnival offers a chance to learn about the culture of Brazil and plenty of opportunities to sing and samba the night away. Azores Islands The Azores Islands are located off the coast of Portugal and maintain a genuine quaintness hard to come by nowadays. With shimmering lakes and lush mountainsides the beauty of the Azores is abundant. Summer is a prime time to travel to the Azores Islands for the world renowned whale and dolphin watching that occurs. With the immense variety of whale and dolphin species in the area, guides say that 98% of guided trips manage to spot whales or dolphins regardless of the time of year – those are pretty good odds ! Sources: : http://www.gotobermuda.com/about-bermuda/our-island/geography/ : http://www.gotobermuda.com/about-bermuda/our-island/culture/ :http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppi/ppi_5751.html : http://www.seepuertorico.com/experiences/beaches : http://www.georgiawildlife.com/node/1060 : http://www.rio-carnival.net/ : http://www.visitazores.com/en/experience-the-azores/whale/useful-information Tips for Summer Travel Summer is a busy travel season and often means taking along the whole family for vacation. Whether you’re traveling to meet up with family or taking the crew along for the ride it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Take a look at these summertime travel tips to get your vacation off to a sunny start: Be Budget Conscious. Traveling as a family isn’t cheap. Any opportunity to save money can help you save on the bottom line. Take a look at Travel Guard’s interactive Travel Realities infographic for more tips on traveling with the family on a budget. (Not a Pinterest user? View the tips on TravelGuard.com) Arrive Early. Get to the airport with plenty of time to pass through security and arrive at your gate. Summer is a peak travel time so you can expect the airport to be busier. Plan in that extra time so you’re note left rushing to your gate. Be Prepared. You can’t always coordinate your flight arrival and check-in perfectly. Many hotels have found a way to combat that downtime and will let you stash your luggage while you go enjoy the pool and hotel grounds until your room is ready. To avoid rummaging through your entire suitcase in the lobby, pack your swimsuit in your carry-on bag so you are ready to go. Travel Light. If you’re planning to spend a large amount of your time at the beach or in the pool, that means you’ll be in your bathing suit for most of the day which means you should be able to pack light. For the rest of your clothes, stick to double duty pieces you can wear more than once and mix and match. You may even be able to get away with only bringing a carry-on and avoid extra baggage claim and luggage costs. Safeguard Your Valuables. Use the safe in your hotel room for your valuables like extra cash, passports, travel documents, and cell phones. Change the code to your safe daily and don’t write it down on paper in the hotel room. We all know that sometimes no amount of preparation can prevent catastrophe, so what happens if you forget your passport in the taxi or drop it on the beach? Travel Guard’s ‘round the clock assistance can help you replace your passport and travel documents 24-hours a day. Eat Healthy. While you’re on vacation it might be tempting to indulge in junk and fast food. Instead, snack on fruits like watermelon that will keep you hydrated and give you plenty of energy – just the thing for your lazy day on the beach. Another great snack option is oranges because the scent is said to be a mood lifter and energy enhancer, a little boost that may help you deal with that crabby airplane seatmate. Where in the World? Where in the world can you find this breathtaking waterfall?Answer: These are the Ouzoud Falls and they are located in Morocco. Brought to you by Reader's Digest and Travel Guard: • Eat Like a King, Pay Like a Pauper • 7 Secrets to Cheap Off-Season Vacations • Plus over 110 more money-saving tips and ideas Get your free Smart Spender's Travel Guide today! LEARN MORE! Planning a vacation? Don't forget to pack a travel insurance plan! > Ask your travel agent > Visit www.travelguard.com > Call 866-283-9229 About Travel Guard: Travel Guard, a Chartis company and worldwide leader in travel insurance and assistance, provides products and services to millions of travelers around the globe, including a wide range of emergency services through its wholly–owned assistance centers located in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Travel Guard helps leisure and business travelers alike solve problems and manage risks. Travel Guard's global reach, unparalleled service quality and proven operational capabilities allow clients to receive best-in-class care. Travel Guard's suite of technology platforms enables seamless integration with all major travel distribution systems and supplier channels. The travel insurance products marketed by Travel Guard are underwritten by insurance company subsidiaries and affiliates of Chartis Inc. For additional information, please visit our websites at www.travelguard.com and www.travelguardworldwide.com. Insurance offered by Travel Guard Group, Inc., a licensed insurance producer. This is only a brief description of the coverage(s) available. The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Insurance underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., a Pennsylvania insurance company, with its principal place of business at 175 Water Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10038. It is currently authorized to transact business in all states and the District of Columbia. NAIC No. 19445. Coverage may not be available in all states. Travel assistance services provided by Travel Guard. Travel Guard | 3300 Business Park Dr | Stevens Point, WI | 54482 Travel Guard Summer Travel Pinterest Party: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER. Contest begins at 9:00 a.m. CST on May 31, 2013 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. CST on June 30, 2013. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S./D.C. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 21 years of age or older. Family and friends of Travel Guard employees are not eligible. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depends on the number of eligible entries received. Winner will be selected from top three photos as selected by members of the Travel Guard team. SPONSOR: Travel Guard, 3300 Business Park Drive, Stevens Point, WI 54482.