Travel blog

A Trip for Every Mother



Mothers come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Some express their love quietly, while others shout it out for everyone to hear. All of them love us, and on Mother’s Day, we get to remind them we love them right back. 

This Mother’s Day, why confine yourself to gifts of flowers and brunch? Show the mom in our life you really care by giving her the trip of a lifetime. Perhaps she’d like a romantic cruise for two, or maybe a land adventure. It all depends on what type of mom you have.

While we can’t say for sure which trip your mom would like best, we do know a little about what certain types of moms like. So, here’s a list of the most common moms we see on our tours, and the type of tours we most often see them on.




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Topics: Asia, Alaska, Americas, Europe, Hawaii, Rose Parade, US National Parks, New England/Canada, Balloon Fiesta, River Cruises, History


The dos and don’ts of dining in Asia




For those of us whose bags are always packed, travel can mean a sophisticated European capital one month, and the wild backcountry of a National Park the next. As we get set to roam the world, knowing and honoring the customs of each place we visit is crucial, especially when it comes to how we eat. Let’s take a close look at the dining etiquette of several of Asian countries—pull up a seat at the table and enjoy!




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Topics: Asia


Tea Time - The Japanese Tea Ceremony



Matcha, or green tea, is not what most Westerners think of as the regular “cuppa.” Matcha is thick, grainy and somewhat resembles pea soup. Chanoyu, or the way of tea, is the Japanese ceremony that celebrates this unusual drink. Far from simply pouring a cup of tea, the heavily symbolic ceremony requires years of training to perfect its ritualistic movements and prescribed order. Here’s why you’ll want to be sure to “take time for tea” on your upcoming travels to Japan.




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Topics: Asia


Grab the Broom, Hang the Lanterns and Put Away the Knives...it’s Chinese New Year




It’s that time of year when red lanterns fill the sky and mandarin oranges spill from produce stands. Of all the traditional Chinese celebrations, Chinese New Year is the most anticipated of them all. Throughout the world people gather -- not only to welcome another year but to congratulate each other on having passed through the old one.





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Topics: Asia


The View from the River: China’s Yangtze River Cruise




The port city of Shibaozhai is not unlike other villages in today’s China. Small and remote, it was once a town of farmers and fishers; now the people rely on selling miniature glass dragons and stuffed panda bears to propel their economy toward the future. When YMT Vacations Travel Consultant Joshua Reggiani first visited this town along the Yangtze River he was surprised at its many contradictions. Bustling trinket shops and modern commercial buildings lined crowded streets that snaked their way toward the area’s most famous destination, the Red Pagoda, but just in the periphery of all this progress an old lady sat hunched over a back hoe tilling a field.





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Topics: Asia


Exploring Shanghai’s French Concession




In a city of 20 million residents, there is always noise. Horns blare and subway car doors slam shut on the world’s longest metro system as jack hammers pound out the soundtrack for the growth of a skyline that continues to rise. But below the cacophony and bright lights, in the shadow of the 6,000 high-rises that race each other toward the sun, there is another Shanghai -- the Former French Concession.




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Topics: Asia, History


Top 10 Travel Tips for The Great Wall of China




It is said that the Great Wall of China is the only manmade structure that can be seen from the moon. Built over two millennia, The Long Wall of Ten Thousand Li was a defense against the marauding Huns to the north. Initially, the wall was a series of individual sections until the empire was unified in 221 B.C. and it was linked to create a serpentine wall that spans some 3,750 miles. Across mountains and valleys this wonder of the world is an engineering marvel and a bucket-list UNESCO World Heritage Site that demands to be seen. Here are some tips you may find helpful in your exploration of the Great Wall of China:




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Topics: Asia, Planning a Vacation, Travel Tips


A Shanghai Walking Tour: Top Seven Sights in the French Concession




The French Concession is an area of Shanghai that was administered by the French government from 1849 until 1946. With tree-lined avenues, European cafes and grand Tudor-style homes it remained the premier residential and retail district of the city for much of the 20th century. Today, tourists flock to these gracious boulevards for a peek at the manicured gardens, wrought-iron fences and local French color that have earned the neighborhood the title “Paris of the East.” This city-within-a-city makes for an ideal walking tour, with upscale boutiques, galleries and cafes that will provide you with plenty of diversions. Here are just some of the top sights to see in Shanghai’s French Concession:




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Topics: Asia


Learning Chinese Calligraphy: Why Educational Experiences Enhance Travel




Learning Chinese Calligraphy: Why Educational Experiences Enhance Travel

The best travel is the kind that features more than just sightseeing. When travelers enjoy hands-on learning experiences, they enrich their knowledge and understanding -- and the world becomes their classroom. YMT Vacations offers a myriad of ways for you to explore the traditions and customs of the places you visit -- like learning the ancient art of calligraphy in China. Opportunities like these help you to appreciate the history of the world and allow you to take a small piece of that culture home with you.




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Topics: Asia


Chinese Acrobatics: Cultural China and the Greatest Show in Beijing



chinese acrobat

What do spaghetti, wheelbarrows and acrobatics have in common? They’re all products of China. With a written history that spans 3,500 years, the Chinese can trace the invention of many of the things we enjoy — not the least of which is the focal point of the modern-day circus.




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Topics: Asia