Grand Cayman Marriott

Feed your wanderlust as you reconnect with yourself, your family and your friends. (Photo: Marriott International)

Tips + Trends

7 Ways to Escape the Everyday and Live Your Best Travel Life in the U.S., Caribbean and Beyond

Travel offers the opportunity to escape everyday distractions — to-do lists, grocery shopping, shuttling kids from one place to another — and immerse yourself wholly in a place. Separated from your normal routines and scenery, you can live more in the moment. You make decisions based on what you want to do, not what needs to be accomplished.

Feed your wanderlust and find rejuvenation by leaning into experiences that reconnect you with yourself, your family and your friends — and with the sense of spontaneity you’ve been missing. Here, find seven ideas for seizing the moment at locations around the world.

Be sure to check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Calling All Beach Bums!

The soothing sound of waves, the feel of sand between your toes, sipping a frozen cocktail — sounds like exactly the escape everyone needs right now. And these fabulous beachside locales deliver.

JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa, situated at the junction of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, is the only place in the world where six different whale species migrate to give birth (the end of November through April are the best months for whale watching).

The Royal at Atlantis serves up beautiful Bahamian views. Even better, at its private Dolphin Cay, one of the world’s largest marine mammal habitats in the world, you can swim with and learn about bottlenose dolphins and sea lions.

And Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort’s Seven Mile Beach location makes it easy to bring your stand-up paddleboarding, scuba diving and snorkeling dreams to life. Plus, Stingray City — a sandbar teeming with southern stingrays that you can feed and swim with — is nearby, too.

Bring the Family Closer

After living with virtual get-togethers and socially distant air hugs, spending time with family is top of the list for many travelers. Make it extra special by planning a group vacation — because you know your kids could use a little extra room to roam.

courtyard anaheim
Make a splash in Anaheim. (Photo: Marriott International)

Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance is located near Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and the Downtown Disney District. Plus, the hotel itself has an expansive water park and rooms and suites with bunk beds so all the kiddos can share one room (and give the adults some alone time).

Its name gives it away, but the Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld sits just a mile from one of the world’s most popular marine mammal parks; the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to the venue. Suites includes kitchens, making meal time easy (or, at least, easier), and the heated outdoor pool is the perfect way to end the day.

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Florida is also an ideal base camp for families. Yes, it’s near Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort — two must-visits — but the hotel itself has a water park that will entertain for hours, oversize pools and nine on-site restaurants and sports bars.

Amp Up Your “Me Time”

Your inner voice has a lot of power — it can make you feel ready to take on the world or like you’re stuck in mud with every step. Setting aside time for mindful, positive self-reflection, without distractions from people or things (ahem, cell phones), is just as important as bonding with loved ones.

Westin Blue Mountain
Find a quiet moment in the Blue Mountains. (Photo: Marriott International)

Blue Mountain is a pedestrian-only village two hours northwest of Toronto. Serenity and stunning landscapes beckon from your room at The Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain — a four-season destination between Georgian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment (one of Canada’s 12 World UNESCO Bio Reserves). Relax in front of your in-room fireplace or in the year-round hot tub. Or head outside for a dose of Mother Nature at Blue Mountain Ski Resort or Northwinds Beach.

Old-world charm and comfort define the Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, Autograph Collection experience. Tucked along Anna Maria Island — a seven-mile barrier island that’s been named one of the world’s best — Waterline’s villa condos feel like home away from home. The nearby, eco-focused Acqua Aveda Spa is designed for relaxation. And the calm Gulf waters await if you decide to take yourself on an adventure date.

Spontaneous Adventures? Yes, Please

If your opportunities to explore and try new things have felt fairly limited, it’s time to unpack your sense of adventure and seek novel thrills.

Embody pura vida at Marriott Vacation Club at Los Sueños in Costa Rica, where each day offers a new opportunity for adventure, from surfing in the town of Jacó to sport fishing in Herradura Bay and wildlife spotting (Sloths! Iguanas! Squirrel monkeys!) in Manuel Antonio National Park.

Stateside, Marriott’s MountainSide in Park City, Utah, offers ski-in/ski-out access to 7,300 acres of Utah’s famous powder; in warmer months, it’s a prime location for mountain biking and hiking — and shooting down the alpine slide or mountain coaster.

koloa hawaii
Enjoy adventures in Hawaii. (Photo: Marriott International)

Speaking of sunshine, in Hawaii, Kauai’s South Shore is home to Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection, a haven for scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing and horseback riding.

More Outdoors = Less Stress

Nature is healing: Getting outside relieves stress and anxiety, improves mood and lowers blood pressure, among other health benefits. Immersing yourself in the outdoors also helps you stay present — and it’s just plain old fun.

You won’t be spending much time indoors at eco-friendly The Westin Reserva Conchal, an All-Inclusive Golf Resort & Spa in Costa Rica. Instead, slather on the sunscreen and hop between the Pacific Ocean, a lagoon-style freshwater pool, the 18-hole golf course and three tennis courts. Then indulge in an open-air massage.

Punta Islita
Chill out in Punta Islita. (Photo: Marriott International)

Also in northwestern Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province, Punta Islita, Autograph Collection is surrounded by lush tropical forests. Just breathing in the salty air feels revitalizing. But you can also get up close and personal with the area’s beauty during hikes, monkey safaris or visits to the Wild Scarlet Macaw Reserve and Camaronal Sea Turtle Refuge.

Desert Springs
Get close to nature in Desert Springs. (Photo: Marriott International)

In California’s Coachella Valley, Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas I offers A/C when you need it, but you’ll want to spend most of your time swimming in one of the seven pools — and refueling at the Water’s Edge Pool Bar & Grill — or renting bikes on-site to explore area trails. Kids will love the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, just five miles south.

Getting the Crew Back Together

Yes, you love your significant other and your family and your kids — but sometimes you just need downtime with friends where you leave all obligations and others’ needs behind.

Cheers to being together — in person! — with cocktails at the rooftop bar overlooking the city at the funky Aloft Ponce in Puerto Rico. Or challenge your buddies to a friendly game of billiards or see who can do the most laps in the pool before exploring the beautiful architecture surrounding Plaza Las Delicias.

If golf is what you and your friends bond over, book a room at Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels – All-Inclusive on the south coast of Barbados: All guests 17 and older have access to free daily rounds at the Barbados Golf Club. And if you’re of the belief that much-needed catch-up conversations are best enjoyed while relaxing, look no further than the white sand beaches just beyond your door.

Planning a fishing or parasailing adventure with your crew is easy at the waterfront Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort thanks to the on-site marina and dive shop. Lounge time comes courtesy of the heated outdoor pool and live music at the Tiki bar.

You Deserve to Indulge

“Me time” that doesn’t involve a streaming service may feel hard to come by, but now is the time to indulge in some personal pampering. From your ocean-view room at The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, you not only have access to 400 feet of private Pacific Ocean beach (explore the area on foot using custom-designed running maps), but also a calming beachfront spa. Detoxify with a seaweed wrap or let your honey tag along for a sunset massage.

Take a boat tour in Peru. (Photo: Marriott International)

The only luxury spa in Paracas, Peru, can be found at Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Inspired by its location across from the Paracas National Reserve, the spa focuses on local ingredients and indigenous treatments, such as a quinoa facial and a hand treatment that incorporates grapes and green tea. Arrive early to enjoy the therapeutic water circuit.