13 of Underscored Editors’ Favorite Holidays
For much of the travel industry, 2021 has shown real signs of recovery. Flights were full, hotels were booked, and demand for future bookings skyrocketed. And, for our editorial team, some felt the time had come for the holidays.
Whether this trip was to visit the rolling hills of Tuscany, the sandy beaches of Puerto Rico, or even a road trip across the country, read on for some of our favorite trips this year.
Italy is our favorite travel destination with Florence being our favorite city. We stayed – for the second time – at this charming Airbnb close to the Piazza del Duomo. It has amazing views and is so central that you can walk anywhere in the city in a matter of minutes. After asking my fiancee the question, we celebrated at our favorite place in the world: Conti di San Bonifacio in Tuscany. Incredibly relaxing surroundings in the Tuscan hills, fantastic wines made on site, and first-class cuisine are the highlights here. – Scott Simone, Associate Editor
Where we stayed: The Auberge de Sédona
After a year spent mostly in my studio in New York with no natural light, I really wanted my first post-quarantine vacation to be in a big space. This is why for my birthday last March, my newly vaccinated mother and I chose to spend a long weekend in Sedona, just a four hour drive from her home in Las Vegas. the Hotel itself was phenomenal, roaming the kitsch city was amazingly fun and the food in almost every restaurant was divine, but most of all I enjoyed the time we spent in nature: on my birthday we drove two hours until grand canyon, where we cycled along the Southern border and amazed by the unreal sights. – Chelsea Stone, Editor-in-Chief
Where we stayed: DoubleTree by Hilton San Juan
Last summer I went to Puerto Rico for the first time and my experience was just amazing. I stayed at DoubleTree by Hilton San Juan for four days and three nights, ziplined in the rainforest, relaxed on the beach, went to the Bacardi plant and explored Old San Juan. I highly recommend visiting Puerto Rico. Get a rental and immerse yourself in the culture. You will not regret it ! – Sarai Thompson, Social Media Coordinator
Where we stayed: Airbnb Lifestyle Beach Blanket
I flew to Redondo Beach, California, this summer with my mom to see family, which was both my first post-Covid trip and the best vacation I’ve had this year. I had to do a bit of everything including walking the beach everyday, going to Hollywood to see friends and even sneaking around to Disneyland to see the new Avengers campus because I’m a huge nerd. But what really made the trip so memorable was our Airbnb, which was a beautiful and relaxing little beach house that quickly felt like a home from home rather than a place to sleep while on vacation. I can’t wait to go back, not just to California, but to this same location that we had a hard time leaving. – Mike Andronico, Senior Technical Writer
After being stuck in our apartment in New York for the whole of 2020, my partner and I knew we needed a car to be able to escape the city. So we flew to California, picked up their car, and drove it across the country to New York in the summer of 2021. We camped all over the United States for a little over a week, but our favorite place on the road was definitely Utah. – Kai Burkhardt, Deputy Editor-in-Chief
Where we stayed: Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
In April, for my teenage spring break, we went to Aruba for our first time and stayed at Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino – completely on the points. The resort is a Category 7 property within the Marriott Bonvoy program, which means it requires 50,000 points per night on off-peak dates, 60,000 points per night on standard dates, or 70,000 points per night on peak dates.
It was sort of the perfect balance between adventure and decadence for our family. The first half we spent pretty much all of it at the resort, lounging on the beach (rather crowded) or by the pools (adults only were a nice respite which we took advantage of) and eating at the onsite restaurants. , which were ok if a bit pricey.
We took a boat to snorkel one afternoon, rented another jet ski, both directly from the many vendors on the beach. But after refueling, we hired an all-terrain Jeep from the hotel and drove a few miles to the island’s north coast and explored the miles of beaches, hills, and sandy trails. Aruba has to offer. We finished with a bite to eat Zeerover, a famous little place on the southwest coast of the island where they literally pulled fish from the sea for our meal. – Mike Bruno, Editorial Director
Where we stayed: Turtle Bay seaside resort
We loved that the Turtle Bay Resort is a sprawling property with over 1,300 acres to explore, especially during Covid-19 when sightseeing weren’t that easy. And because it is surrounded by water on all sides, it is a deeply relaxing place. We also loved that big wave surfers come here to ride the waves and since the property is open to everyone the locals come regularly to hang out. It tempered the more conservative vibes and gave us a much more laid back pace. Ideal for adults and children because everything is autonomous. Seriously, we have fallen completely in love with this place on so many levels. – Tobey Grumet, editor-in-chief
Taking advantage of the whole telecommuting situation, my fiancé and I took a trip to France for two weeks. While we were working normal hours all the time, we were able to enjoy long mornings swimming in the sea, browsing the town’s outdoor farmer’s markets, and one weekend enjoying an extended wine tour. of the region. – Scott Simone, Associate Editor
I spent most of the summer bouncing back Alaska, sleeping in tents and adjusting to what seemed like a sun that never sets. From hiking to ice caves in Juneau, watch whales in Sewardkayaking in Valdez Prince William Sound, flying to find bears Homer, fish during the salmon run and survive a night alone in the mountains of Denali national park, Alaska has proven to be the ultimate destination for both amateur and professional outdoor adventurers. – Jillian Tracy, Editorial Coordinator
Where we stayed: Emma Hotel Pearl
This year my wife and I went to San Antonio, Texas, for a quick weekend. We love visiting San Antonio because there is so much to do, starting with the Riverwalk, great Mexican food, shopping, and historic downtown, The Alamo. It really is a great place to visit and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Emma Hotel was built inside a renovated 19th century brewery. It has a modern industrial vibe, with huge brewing kettles that have been cut up and made into booths in the bar. Rooms have exposed brick walls, antique tiles, and claw-foot tubs, among other things. It truly is a place frozen in time. We loved it! – Jesse Black, senior video producer
Where we stayed: Artemis luxury rooms
This summer my fiance and I crossed paths with one another greek island off our bucket list: the tiny island of Milos. To get there, we flew from London to Santorini and spent two nights on the famous island before catching a ferry to our final destination of Milos. The island itself is beautiful, with a rolling volcanic landscape, idyllic villages traced along the coast, picturesque beaches with turquoise blue waters and, of course, delicious food. Our stay at Artemis luxury rooms was just amazing. It was the perfect summer vacation – and much needed. – Emily McNutt, Travel Editor
Where we stayed: WM Farmer & Sons
In March, when everyone started getting their shots and felt safe walking out of the room we had been stuck in for a year, my fiancee and I took a getaway to Hudson – one of our favorite cities. It’s a welcoming little village, but one packed with not only great antique stores, but also surprisingly good eateries that rival the best New York has to offer, all clustered in a few super walkable square miles. . – Scott Simone, Associate Editor
After picking up my partner’s car in California, we used it for camping in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. But our favorite summer trip was when we went up to Acadia National Park in Maine. We loved all of the hiking and kayaking, and this was the first big trip we took our new dog Miso, so it was definitely a special trip. – Kai Burkhardt, Deputy Editor-in-Chief
Looking for a travel credit card? Find out which CNN Underscored cards chose as our best travel credit cards of 2021.