Destination: Las Vegas Shopping

If you like shopping and are planning a vacation to Las Vegas then you’re in luck! The shopping scene in Las Vegas is booming. From the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace to the CityCenter on the Strip – there’s tons to choose from. Be sure to check out this article from Endless Vacation® magazine before your next trip to Sin City!

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Destination: Shopping, the A1A Way

Heading to Florida to escape from the cold any time soon?  If you find yourself wanting to do a little more than relaxing on the beach or hanging out at some of the hotspots in the area, stop by a few of the trendy boutiques surrounding Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Cocoa Beach, and Orlando. This article from Endless Vacation® magazine lists some of the best places to visit in Florida for your shopping fix.

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Travel the world – in just one weekend.

Every year, late November – I take the vacation of a lifetime (literally).

My world tour (as I like to call it) takes place in the comfort of my very own home as I excitedly put up my Christmas tree. A “vacation” tradition that started by accident – has turned into my favorite weekend of the year.

It began decades ago. Without actually ever planning it, I discovered that I was suddenly scouring every vacation destination I visited for the perfect Christmas ornament. I sought out “special” ornaments – the ones that you could only find at tiny local gift shops. They were often hand painted by a local artist – and in some cases, more expensive than my airfare to get there.

To some, my souvenir shopping has turned into a full blown obsession. On occasion, I have been known to alter activities and arrive late for reservations – all in pursuit of the perfect ornament. I may or may not have also fallen victim to an utter state of frenzy due to a “lack” of ornament options in certain destinations (which I have also made a mental note of a great business opportunity). I now refer to myself as a “collector” as it seems to negate just a little bit of the crazy and serves as a better explanation for why it is physically impossible for me to board a departing flight without my coveted ornament safely nestled in my carry on.

My countdown has begun – in just a few short weeks I will be breathless in front of a Botticelli at the Louvre, island hopping through the Caribbean, river rafting in the Grand Canyon, wine tasting in Napa Valley and searching for my knight in shining armor in London.

I challenge anyone to plan a better trip than that.

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Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

We started our week vacation on a cruise to Nassau, Bahamas. This picture is a small island we saw just before we entered the harbor.

-Candice G. from Keswick, ON, Canada

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50th Anniversary Cruise

This was a great 50th anniversary cruise to the western Caribbean. Everything on the cruise was absolutely fabulous. The ship's crew was very supportive and friendly. The stewards did a great job of preparing the cabin and left a little memento along with a different "towel animal" each night. The dinner table companions were very friendly and we all shared stories about each others' lives. The visit to Cozumel was like a dream come true. The last evening on board was our 50th anniversary. The head steward presented our table with complimentary champagne and a small anniversary cake. This indeed was a great vacation that we will never forget.

-Fernando H. from San Antonio, TX

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Docking on the island of St. Thomas

Docking on the island of St. Thomas

This was the most awesome seven day cruise imaginable. My wife and I toured the Eastern Caribbean. The experience was magical. The water was beautiful. We went on a snorkeling/rum ride expedition on the island of St. Thomas. The overall cruise experience was absolutely awesome! The food, the entertainment, the amenities, the staff, the list goes on and on, and added up to be the ultimate vacation!

-Efrain V. from Renton, WA

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Plan a great cruise getaway during World’s Largest Cruise Sale!

Catherine SOne of the great things about cruising is that it provides the opportunity to visit so many different destinations.  Whether you enjoy lying on a beach or have always wanted to see a glacier, cruises offer options for almost everyone. 

My favorite cruise vacation toured the Western Caribbean, with stops in Key West, Guatemala, Belize & Mexico.  We toured Mayan ruins, ate lunch beside the gorgeous Lake of the Seven Colors, and visited the polydactyl cats at Hemingway’s Home – and we only had to unpack once!

This is a great time to plan a cruise vacation.  October is National Cruise Vacation Month, and from October 20, 2013 through October 27, 2013, the “World’s Largest Cruise Sale” is taking place.  From discounted sailings to onboard credits, there are lots of ways to save. 

If you’re curious about the offers available during this sale, click here or call 877-RCI-BOAT, where one of our RCI® Cruise Guides will be happy to help you book your cruise vacation!

Come back to the RCI Blog this week for more photos and stories from RCI subscribing members and their cruise adventures!

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“New Orleans meets Pearl of the Pacific “

I am so excited to talk about Mazatlan I’m not sure where to start. Once we left the airport it was a very beautiful drive of what I would call the Mazatlan country side (the airport being about 25 minutes from the hotel zone). The weather was fantastic arriving in the beginning of November (mid 80’s or so). The town of Mazatlan was great. There are a lot of excellent restaurants, nightlife, a boardwalk and Old Town Mazatlan, which is very similar to the French Quarter of New Orleans. If you are traveling anywhere in Mazatlan, be sure to take one of the Pumonias (open air taxis) as it will make for a wonderful adventure.

If you’d like to explore the area, below are a few ideas of some great activities and attractions:

  • Horseback riding
  • Boat trips to Deer Island
  • Baseball games
  • The Malecon (Mazatlan’s “Boardwalk”)
  • Shopping
  • Deep sea fishing


During my visit, I found out that Mazatlan has the third largest Mardi Gras in the world (first Brazil, second New Orleans), now I know where I will be visiting next year! No matter what brings you here you most likely will have a fabulous time.

Mazatlan has much to offer and we hope you enjoyed all of the great photos and stories shared by RCI subscribing members and associates the last two weeks. Be sure to check us out next week! We’ll be talking about cruise vacations!

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Family Holiday Fun in Mazatlan

What better way to connect with family than to spend a week together in Mazatlan, on Mexico's west coast, and with the Christmas holiday as an added attraction. With El Cid El Moro Beach Resort as our base, three generations enjoyed an all-inclusive vacation, which made sure our grandsons never went hungry! The beach itself provided sunny days of swimming, ping-pong, water sports, and parasailing for a perfect view of the city, the coast line and the nearby islands. Shops and restaurants, within easy walking distance, made life easy for the older generation. One day we all boarded a catamaran and sailed to Deer Island, passing sea lions that lazed on the rocks, oblivious to our squeals of delight. We swam, snorkeled, rode the giant banana, kayaked, and picnicked on the beach until the magnificent sunset told us it was time to return to reality.

Christmas Eve is one of the biggest celebrations of the year. We traveled by local bus to Juarez Street in the heart of the city. Over 100 stalls at the outdoor market provided souvenirs, tee shirts, leather goods, pottery, and every food imaginable from goat to chicken feet (not legs)! The Mexicans shop there every day, but for us it was an unusual treat. Nearby the cathedral shone with its majestic spirals and stained glass windows. Christmas carols pealed from outdoor speakers and decorated Christmas trees reminded us of the holiday. A cantina lodged in the park somehow seemed out of place until we remembered where we were!

We slept with our balcony door open to hear the breaking waves and see the gorgeous sunrises. We were up at dawn every day, as we did not want to miss a thing: kids, parents, and grandparents alike.

-Karen I. from Greenwood, SC

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Deep Sea Fishing in Puerto Vallarta

One of my favorite vacations through RCI was a deep sea fishing excursion in Puerto Vallarta. At 5:00 am we departed from the marina, started fishing around 6:30 am and by 9:30 am I had a good bite. I caught a 320-pound black marlin, which took me over an hour to land. When we got back to the dock, the fisherman cut off the main meat and rest was donated to the locals. We then took the marlin to the resort chefs where they prepared it for 40 people. The staff at Club Velas Vallarta was excellent. It is a vacation I will never forget.

-Allan D.

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Family Trip

My wife and I took our son and his wife along with our newly married daughter and her husband on a wonderful vacation to Puerto Vallarta. It was our daughter and son-in-law's honeymoon and they chose to spend two weeks with all of us and one week alone. It was the greatest time and we still watch the videos. We are planning a Hawaiian vacation with the same six, and hopefully it will be as big a blast as the first. The accommodations were fantastic, adding to the pleasurable experience.

-Theresa D. from Regina, SK, Canada

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Divine Girls Trip!

Upon opening the door to our room, my friends gasped at the sight of our accommodations! I had booked an Extra Vacations Getaway, requesting at least three bedrooms. The suite had this and so much more. Puerto Vallarta, our huge and beautiful suite, the balcony right over the beach, and the resort being an all-inclusive was an experience out of this world. I took five of my best friends and they were in total awe of the accommodations and location we were treated to through my RCI subscribing membership. It's still one of my favorite trips.

-Dixie R. from Dalzell, IL

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Great Family Fun in Puerto Vallarta!

We book all of our vacations through RCI and each one gets better than the next! We never did an all-inclusive, but decided to try Club Velas Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta one April. Everything about it was wonderful and far exceeded our expectations. The people in Puerta Vallarta are wonderful hosts! We ate, rode the dolphins, took an island tour and enjoyed the culture of Mexico. Thank you RCI for making it so easy for us to find a perfect vacation for our family of four!

-Patricia C. from Wilton, CT

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Ready or not, fall is here!

Emily S.That’s right! Yesterday was officially the first day of autumn (in the northern hemisphere)! And while I am having some difficulty putting away my bathing suits and sun dresses, I have to admit that I am excited about what fall will bring – crisp weather, light sweaters, apple picking, the changing colors of the leaves….

Even though the summer is now behind us, it doesn’t mean that vacationing has to stop. In fact, fall is one of the best times to travel…the weather can still be beautiful and there could be fewer crowds in many places. Many RCI subscribing members have enjoyed taking trips throughout the fall season and have shared pictures and stories with us. Between Vermont, Virginia, even Arizona, and more, it seems like these members have had some great trips! Come back to the RCI blog this week to read and see more about these vacations!

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Terrific Time at Tamaracks

The Tamarack Resort was a beautiful resort community with lovely accommodations. The condos felt like luxury townhomes with bedrooms upstairs and the living quarters on the first level. My family had the best time using the on-site amenities like the fitness center, swimming pools, and racquetball courts. We barbequed right outside of our condo and enjoyed the spacious kitchen and living room. My husband and I had a great time, and our children were just in heaven because there were endless activities between the Dells' waterparks and the fun at the Tamaracks Resort. We are so thankful to RCI for providing these wonderful vacations for our family to enjoy.

-Carol W. from Chicago, IL

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Family Fun in the Dells

We took a vacation with my in-laws, my husband's brothers and sister, their children, my mom and step-dad, and our kids. Looking back, I have never been more pleased to have taken the trip. Eighteen of us went and had three units at Christmas Mountain Village. It was awesome for all of us to be able to be at the resort at the same time and have the option of eating there together instead of eating out everyday and trying to find room to fit all of us. Now my father-in-law has been diagnosed with COPD and has had a tough go of it and most recently is bed bound. My mother-in-law finds it difficult to get out the house now with her medical conditions. It was our only vacation we every took with all of my husband's siblings and his mom and dad. I am so happy that we have that memory because we could never do anything like that now. We were thrilled that RCI made it so easy to arrange to have so many people come down with us. Thank you RCI. To many members of our family it one of the best vacations they have ever had.

-Julie B. from Sterling Heights, MI

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81 million people in the US live within 600 miles of the Wisconsin Dells, "The Waterpark Capital of the World!®"

Beth SDid you know that more than ¼ of the total US population lives within a 600 mile radius of the Wisconsin Dells?  For many, this is less than an 8-hour drive to a destination that delivers endless hours of activities for people of all ages!

My family of five has been traveling to the Dells nearly every October for the past eight years, and we’re planning a return visit over Fall Break this year.  With three boys ages 3-14 years old, our interests change daily, and the Dells is one of the few drive-to destinations that the whole family looks forward to. Here is a list of what you can do during your trip to the Dells!

At the waterpark:

  • My 14-year old –LOVES the wave pools, surfing, water slides and sometimes a hot tub to (in his words) “chillax”J
  • My 6-year old – He’s crazy about playing basketball and getting his feet wet riding the big kid slides!  With zero-degree entry pools, water guns galore, and plenty of splashing water, there are endless kid-friendly areas to play.
  • My 3-year old – Last year he loved floating on the lazy river, chasing his brothers and gliding down the tot sized slides. 
  • Where can you find all of these amazing water park activities in the Dells?  Our personal favorites are the Wilderness Resort, Kalahari, and Mount Olympus

Away from the waterpark:

This week on the RCI Blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who have also traveled to the Dells. Be sure to come back to take a look!

Have you vacationed in the Wisconsin Dells, what other recommendations do you have (for me and the other 81 million people living within 600 miles)?

Here’s a pic of my 2-oldest boys at the wave pool. 

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We visited wine country in Napa and Sonoma during September. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed visiting many wineries (so many to choose from). We loved the town of Healdsburg and I wished I could move there. There were great little restaurants and shops. Some friends joined us for the week, along with our daughter and her friend, visiting from San Francisco for a couple of nights. The Worldmark Windsor was superb and this was one of our best vacations ever.

-Donald T. from Spokane, WA

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35th Anniversary

My husband and I wanted a vacation to celebrate our anniversary and we wanted something close to home. We chose Christmas Mountain Village in Wisconsin Dells. We used our resort as a base and took several day trips over the course of our week. Wonderful vineyards that offered wine tasting just a couple of hours away. We visited House on the Rock in Spring Green and spent time at the resort. We had a fireplace in our cottage and made great use of it during the chilly October evenings! What could be better than a warm fire on a cold night with my husband of 35 years? What a relaxing and fantastic trip.

-Lynn C. from Oconomowoc, WI

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On Location: Beijing

Like to live on the wild side? Beijing offers some of the most interesting delicacies in the world; from scorpion on a stick to steamed chicken feet. If that’s not wild enough, find that adventurous side of yourself and visit during Beijing’s Spring Festival.  The city is filled with fireworks exploding day and night. Check out this article from Endless Vacation® magazine for an inside scoop on what to expect when visiting Beijing.

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