Spring arrived last week—and we couldn’t be more excited. While summertime is great for sunbathing by the ocean and warm evenings, April-June is all about blossoming flowers, warm days with sweater-wearing nights, and cuddling up by the fire. Since the high-season for travel isn’t fully underway yet, it’s also one of the best times to take a trip.
We chose seven destinations that are great for spring vacations and asked our Lifestyle and Fashion Editors their thoughts on what to pack, which gadgets to take and where to go for the best dining experiences in those locations. Here’s what they had to say:
Lisbon is a place for art lovers, music enthusiasts and design addicts. Pastel-colored houses line the various neighborhoods, while older architecture sits next to newly renovated buildings, including restaurants, cafés and boutiques from fashion designers. Check out Mosteiro dos Jerónimos for a truly impressive sight.
Average Temps in April-June: 58-70 F
Where to Stay: Corinthia Hotel Lisbon
What to Pack: With a mild climate and lots of sunshine, Lisbon is the perfect destination for packing less. A few layers, some sandals and a pair of jeans could easily be an everyday staple. Both men and women should opt for light sweaters, perfect for staying relaxed, comfortable and adding a little European style.
Where to Eat: Giving customers a taste of new Portuguese food paired with the romance of the Chiado district, Belcanto is where Lisbon's elite go for Chef José Avillez's inspired dishes. Plus, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star within just one year of opening, making this our first choice when seeking a meal.
Coral reefs, pink sunsets and a city ready to party, Negril is the kind of place where you can really let your hair down. Once Jamaica’s best-kept secret, the city is now booming with life and colored with unique shops and plenty of activities to keep you busy. During the day, spend an afternoon diving in the calm azure waters, at night put on your dancing shoes and shake your tail feathers to the island’s best reggae music.
Average Temps in April-June: 77-80 F
Where to Stay: The Caves
What to Pack: With the heat and humidity in Jamaica, you’re going to want to wear as little as possible. Tossing on a sundress and board shorts are already going to feel like too much. To add a little flair to your minimalist wardrobe, and to blend in with some of the bright local colors, bring along some fun accessories like David Yurman's Spiritual Beads or a Kate Spade New York necklace.
What Tech to Take: If you go to Negril and don't plan on going scuba diving (or at the very least snorkeling), you may have a serious problem. With Jamaica's gorgeous reefs on offer, you need to experience it for yourself. Make sure you take a good waterproof camera, like the Sony Waterproof HD Handycam (which is good up to 16 feet)—so when a pufferfish swims past, you can digitally capture it for your friends to see.
Surrounded on three sides by water, Malta’s small capital city of Valletta (covering less than half a square mile), makes up for what it lacks in size with its awe-inspiring architecture and historical sites. Home to 320 monuments in the walled city, Valletta is sprinkled with cathedrals, baroque palaces and many quaint outdoor cafés and boutique shops. Don’t miss St. John’s Co-Cathedral to view Italian artist Caravaggio’s "The Beheading of St. John the Baptist.”
Average Temps in April-June: 60-73 F
Where to Stay: The Palace : Sliema Hotel
What to Pack: The nice thing about visiting places with perfect Mediterranean climates is how easy it is to pack. Dresses and shorts make for simple pieces to take along, and we are loving the look of classic lines from Loro Piana and old-world prints like this Valentino dress. They are perfect for days spent on the yacht or strolling through the historical town.
The App You Need: Finding a reliable app that lets you message your friends and family without racking up absurd international fees can be a pain, but WhatsApp Messenger is definitely our favorite. Using the same internet data plan that you already use for email and browsing, the free app is available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone, and Nokia.
NYC, New York
You’re probably already familiar with New York City, but when the leaves start coming back and flowers start decorating the parks, the larger-than-life city becomes even grander. Springtime means the start of baseball season; whether you’re a Mets fan or longtime Yankee supporter, attending a game is essential. And with less humidity and cool breezes, walking Fifth Avenue to do some much-needed shopping is more enjoyable.
Average Temps in April-June: 60-73 F
Where to Stay: The New York Palace
What to Pack: As one of the fashion capitals of the world, you’ve got to bring you’re A-game; and with so many events, museums and places to be seen, you want to look your best. We love using statement shoes to create a serious high-fashion look with outfits—just remember to take a cab if you (or the missus) are opting for some really sky-high Giuseppe Zanotti heels.
Where to Drink: New York is full of highly regarded bars and restaurants, but if you want somewhere really special for your visit, check out Rarities. The intimate lounge at The New York Palace looks like the kind of classy place where you could sip on a $300 tumbler of Scotch or order a $10,000 bottle of vintage Port—oh wait, it is. The drink menu is enough to make any connoisseur blush, full of rare vintages and even pre-prohibition bottled spirits, and we wouldn't be surprised if Rarities becomes your home away from home.
Those who’ve visited Belgrade often times want to keep the vibrant destination under wraps (their own little secret). As one of Europe’s oldest cities, the capital of Serbia has a thriving cultural scene and is filled with a variety influences that make for a fun and exotic atmosphere. Quirky sidewalks, hip coffee shops, 19th-century mansions and a community of lively, adventurous and proud residents make it a favorite among European travelers. Don’t miss the Belgrade Design District, where you can find eccentric jewelry and draped dresses in indie boutiques.
Average Temps in April-June: 55-66 F
Where to Stay: Square Nine Hotel Belgrade
What to Pack: As Belgrade has four distinct seasons, now is the time to break out those light jackets. Layers will help keep you comfortable and are easy to tote around if it gets too chilly, warm or starts to drizzle unexpectedly. We love Burberry’s trench coats—they are perfect for keeping you dry and chic while sightseeing.
What Tech to Take: With so much to see, the last thing you'll want is for your phone to die in the middle of exploring the Belgrade Fortress or snapping shots of BLU's street art. Mophie's Space Pack iPhone 5s/5 case ($150-$180) not only gives your battery a much-needed boost of power, but it also gives you extra storage for all of your captured memories.
The small seaside town of Cannes on the French Riviera is esteemed as a city of glamour and prestige, a breeding ground for the upscale. Ferraris, Porsches and grandiose yachts can be seen regularly navigating the city and its waters. But Cannes isn’t for the faint of heart; prices are steep and entrance to events is extremely exclusive—which could be the very reason you’d want to go. This year, the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival kicks off on May 25 with only the who’s who of guests in attendance.
Average Temps in April-June: 54-65 F
Where to Stay: Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort
What to Pack: After all the industry-exclusive showings have taken place during the film festival, Cannes turns into an ultra-swanky party central. Rub shoulders with celebrities and see if you can chat up Brad and Angelina—just make sure you’re dressed for the occasion. We love a good Ralph Lauren tuxedo for men and a romantic Carolina Herrera dress for women.
The App You Need: With the Cannes Film Festival in play, you'll need the official app to keep you in touch with everything happening, from movie premiere schedules to press conference audios. The free app allows you to set up your own schedule for the event and will send you alerts when something is coming up so you don't miss a thing.
Trinidad & Tobago
Its beaches alone are reason enough to visit the dual-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago; but its myriad of ethnicities and cultures, beautiful rainforests and music-loving towns will have you considering a more permanent stay. Trinidad’s north coast offers the best beaches while Tobago has a better selection of tourist activities. From late April to early June leatherbacks find their home on the islands’ beaches, with more than 400 turtles nesting on the sand at times.
Average Temps in April-June: 89-91 F
Where to Stay: Hyatt Regency Trinidad
What to Pack: Chances are good you’ve got a week or two of fun-in-the-sun coming your way, so whether you want to take a swim or just lounge seaside with some of their famous Leatherback turtles you should do it in style. We love earthy prints like this Dolce & Gabanna swimsuit or Ami's trunks for men—they’re on-trend this season and will help anyone get fashionable in-tune with nature.
What Tech to Take: We're willing to bet you're going to want to snap pictures while kayaking, but we definitely don't recommend taking a handheld camera with you, you have to paddle, after all. Instead, get a GoPro HERO3+ ($399) and just mount it to the front of your boat for some hands-free footage.
Nicolle is an award-winning writer and Travel Editor using her expertise in the industry to write about luxury travel around the world. You can find her daily searching the web for the latest trends, best new hotels and most beautiful destinations to visit and share with her readers. She's been featured on The Huffington Post, Hard Assets, AMD Entertainment and Remy Martin. In 2014, she was v...(Read More)