Travel blog

Diana Cowgill

Diana Cowgill is a copywriter at YMT Vacations. She and her husband love to flit around the world together, gorging on regional baked goods and petting as many street cats as possible. Diana’s favorite places to visit are Greece, the Santa Ynez Valley, and the pages of a good book. She enjoys travel writing because it allows her to play a small part in making other people’s dreams come true.

Recent Posts

10 Best Places to Visit in the World in 2023

With the new year comes new opportunity for adventure. There are places you’ve never been, experiences you’ve never had, mysteries you’ve never uncovered. The world is so vast and varied that it's impossible to see everything. And isn’t that the magic of travel? That there is always more out there to discover and fall in love with?

2023 promises to be a great year to travel. Most countries have removed nearly all COVID restrictions, and the American dollar is unusually strong. The world is open, and many bucket list destinations are holding special events, celebrating milestones, or otherwise welcoming visitors. We have put together a very handy guide to help you decide where to travel in 2023.

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Topics: Planning a Vacation

How to Support Locals When Traveling

One of the greatest gifts of travel is that it allows us to connect with people. Strangers from around the world become friends. Experiences we never imagined become cherished memories. We are exposed to different ways of life, expanding our minds and wandering exuberantly outside our comfort zones.

Supporting locals is a big part of authentic travel. That can mean choosing a hole in the wall restaurant instead of your favorite chain, shopping at small stores, or educating yourself on a region’s cultures and traditions before you arrive. 

Supporting locals is as positive for you as it is the people you’re visiting. It’s an important part of travel and helps you to connect with the region you're visiting.

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Topics: Travel Tips, Senior Travel

How to Spend One Day in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a city where dreams come true and the lights shine bright. Whether from the stars in Hollywood, the streetlights of its vibrant neighborhoods, or the sunshine that bathes the city year-round.

LA is as magical as any of the fictional worlds it’s brought to life, with a wonderfully eclectic mix of people to meet and experiences to enjoy. Many YMT employees are based in the City of Angels and are able to offer you insider tips on how go enjoy the perfect day in LA. Here are our “must-sees” in Los Angeles in one day.

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Topics: Americas, Travel Inspiration

Essential Spanish Phrases for Traveling in Spain

Many people in Spain speak English, but that doesn’t mean visitors couldn’t benefit from speaking a little Español themselves. Learning Spanish, and practicing it on your vacation, is a great way to stretch your mind and build special memories. Not to mention, these basic Spanish words and Spanish travel phrases are great to know in case you need help from someone who doesn’t speak English.

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Topics: Europe, Travel Tips

8 Tips for Senior Travelers

You can have as much fun traveling as a senior as you did when you were young. The joy of experiencing different scenery and cultures doesn’t dull as you age. If anything, the older you get the more you can enjoy travelling. You’ve lived more, learned more, and might finally have the time and patience to really treasure journeys away from home. Historical sites, welcoming locals, and glorious natural beauty are somehow easier to appreciate than when you were younger. Travel is magical, no matter your age.

There are also considerations to take into account for mature travelers. You need to be aware of what to expect, honest about your needs, and diligent about how you manage medications and other essential items.

We’ve been leading mature travelers on guided tours for decades, and here are 8 of our top senior travel tips.

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Topics: Travel Tips, Senior Travel

2023 Rose Parade Guide

If you’re one of the lucky revelers to descend on Pasadena for the 134th annual Tournament of Roses Parade—which features a spectacular procession of flower-covered floats, spirited marching bands, and high-stepping equestrian units—you will want to come prepared.

Whether you’re going to sit in the grandstands, camp out for free curbside spots, view the floats up close at a pre- or post-parade event, or simply watch all the fun from home, this handy guide will help you plan and enjoy America’s New Year Celebration!

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Topics: Rose Parade

10 Powerful Memorial Sites Everyone Should See

Paying respects to those who have passed away is one of our strongest natural human instincts. It is said that if we remember someone they are never really gone.

There are some incredible memorials to see across the world. They honor both fighters and civilians that have been impacted by war and conflict. These memorials are painful yet important reminders for us to be grateful for every moment, and to truly cherish those we love.

Here are ten of the most powerful memorials found in the Unites States, Europe, and Vietnam.

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Topics: Senior Travel, Travel Inspiration

8 Best National Parks in Canada You Need to Visit

The Canadian National Park system contains some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. This world-renowned collection of 37 parks and 10 park preserves represents the best of what Canada has to offer. From beaches to the Rocky Mountains and everything in between, these national parks in Canada are full of dazzling natural beauty you will never forget.

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Topics: Americas, Travel Inspiration

Best Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

Santorini is as dramatically beautiful as any Mediterranean island. Located in the middle of the sapphire Aegean Sea, Santorini is the rim of the massive crater of a long-dormant volcano. Steep cliffs rise all around this volcanic caldera, countless whitewashed buildings lining its rocky face.

Santorini is one of the most popular Greek Islands thanks to its dazzling beauty, unique history, and irresistible atmosphere of fun and magic.

Visitors to Santorini are spoiled for choice. Regardless of your interests, there is sure to be something that catches your eye on this queen of the Greek islands.

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Topics: Europe, Travel Inspiration

The Immigration of Flavor: The History of Beignets

It’s easy to spot someone who has just enjoyed their first New Orleans beignet. Covered in powdered sugar and grinning from ear to ear, they just tasted the official state doughnut of Louisiana. Just remember, the proper beignet pronunciation is ben-yay!

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Topics: Food and Dining