Just In Time For the Holidays and Ski Season: Our Newest Five Star Vacation Rental Cabin In Big Bear

We’ve added a new luxury cabin in the exclusive Castle Glen Estates Area. As with all our new arrivals, we’re excited and can’t wait to show this beauty around to all our friends and relatives.  We’re calling this newest addition to our family, Bald Eagle Lodge, and she “weighs in” with 3300 square feet of absolute luxury.  We rushed our photographer over to get some great photos, so be sure to check them out for yourself at this link.

But to tell you a bit more about this stunner:  It’s a newer log home and had 4 bedrooms with 2.5 baths.  The view out the front deck stretches out to the lake, and from the back it’s beautiful forest and mountain sights.  We kept running from one side of the house to the other to try and decide which view we liked best.  We finally collapsed in one of the top grain leather chairs and decided we liked both views the same.  They’re just wonderful.  But as we felt the warmth of the fine leather chair envelope us, we started to forget the view and drink in the luxury of the cabin and its furnishings.

The leather furniture is just amazing.  It’s some of the finest furniture we’ve seen, and provides a level of comfort you’d expect from furnishings of this caliber.  You sit down, and you don’t want to get up.  Every time something pops into your head that requires you to get up, it will tend to slip away as the chair just cradles you against the warmth of the leather.  Start a fire in the fireplace, and you may refuse to move for hours.  But isn’t that why you rented from us? We’re here to make sure you receive the pampering and top drawer experience you’ve long desired.

As we write this blog, we still have a 4 day block available for Christmas with this property.  It likely won’t last long, but if you call quick enough, your family could be opening presents on Christmas morning in front of a crackling fire at this amazing place.  And you can certainly get one of the kids to pass out the presents as you just sit and relax in your leather chair with a great big smile on your face.  You’re going to want to do this again every Christmas.  And if this one’s already taken when you call us, don’t despair.  We still have a handful of Christmas reservations open, and we’ll do our best to get you a place that your family will long remember.

Look at our other Big Bear luxury vacation rental cabins at this link, or call us at a 310-780-3411.  We’ll be happy to help you put together the ideal getaway. We have luxury vacation rentals in Big Bear,  Park CityPalm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  Regardless of which one of our destinations you choose, you can reserve your stay with us confident that we’re committed to helping your family enjoy a relaxing and luxurious getaway.

Be sure to download our new IOS and Android apps. These are a great tool to let you view our properties and book them while you’re on the go.

Grab Your Skis — Bear Mountain Is Open!

Well, it’s official.  The Big Bear ski season has commenced.  We started seeing some snow in the last couple of weeks, and Bear Mountain opened just in time for Thanksgiving.  This marks the beginning of our busiest time of year, so be sure to book your Big Bear vacation rental cabin early.

As we write this, Bear Mountain is the only ski resort open in all of Southern California.  And we just happen to have a few dozen of Southern California’s finest vacation rental cabins, condos and estates.  Booking your Five Star Vacation Rental cabin is a perfect way to maximize the great experience you’ll have with your Big Bear ski getaway.  Our return guests can tell you about the amazing experience of having a fun day on the slopes followed by a relaxing evening in one of our luxury cabins.  It’s especially delightful to relax in the comfort of a hot tub to soothe some of the inevitable bumps and minor aches you may feel after getting back on the slopes for the first time this season.  Most of our cabins have hot tubs, so be sure to ask one of our customer service agents to find the exact right cabin for your getaway.  For the best value, be sure to buy your lift tickets online before you arrive.  They’re offered at a discount at this link.

And there’s plenty to do off the slopes as well.  The kids will surely love a down hill run at the Alpine Slide.  It’s Southern California’s only true bobsled experience, and it’s an annual tradition for many families. They’ve also got one of Southern California’s best tubing hills, for a bouncing great time.  Visit their website for prices and hours:   http://www.alpineslidebigbear.com/AlpineSlide.html .

And for mom and dad, there are plenty of great shops and tasty restaurants in Big Bear Village.  So if you can pry yourself away from the slopes for a while, you can have a great afternoon of relaxing shopping followed by some of the finest dining experiences available anywhere in California.  And of course, you’ll have the delightful anticipation each day that you’ll end up back at your Five Star Vacation Rental luxury Big Bear cabin.

You can view all our Big Bear cabins at this link, or call us at a 310-780-3411.  We’ll be happy to help you put together the ideal getaway. We’ve got luxury vacation rentals in Big Bear,  Park CityPalm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  Regardless of which one of our luxury getaway locations you choose, you can be assured that we’re working to make sure your vacation will be one you’ll want to repeat again every year.

Be sure to download our new IOS and Android apps. These are a great tool to let you view our properties and book them while you’re on the go.

 

 

We’ve Got Snow!

It’s one of those phrases that so many of us just love to hear over and over.  Like when your spouse looks lovingly in your eyes, and says, “I love you,”  or when your kid rushes in the door with a beaming face declaring, “I got all A’s!” And add to that list when Five Star Vacation Rentals taps you gently on the shoulder and whispers excitedly, “We’ve got snow!”

It’s our absolute most favorite time of the year.  We feel like a perennial groundhog, looking anxiously to the sky and learning more about weather patterns than a CalTech grad.  Big Bear is an extraordinarily delightful destination any time of the year, but especially so when snow arrives.  This means its time for you to take action while there’s still time.

Now you’ll need to time your visit to meet your specific desires.  Both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain are getting snow, but neither has announced the exact date they’ll open for skiers.  But don’t let that slow you down. There are plenty of fun hills and snow play around town, but we’re still waiting for the slopes to open up.  It’s a great time to grab the kids and some snow disks for a great weekend getaway.  And you can still prepare for the season by purchasing your season passes for the slopes at this link.

Winter is our busiest season, so it’s important to plan ahead.  We may still have one or two cabins available for Thanksgiving.  As soon as the slopes open up, we’re typically deluged with reservations.  Don’t delay making your reservation to make sure you get that much needed time away in Big Bear!

Just can’t wait any longer?  Some lifts are already open in Park City and Mammoth.  You can book your stay online, or call us at 310-780-3411.  We’ll help you pick out the perfect luxury rental for your family or group.  And remember, it’s a perfect time to plan your Christmas getaway as well.  Book early, so you can have a wider selection of luxury vacation rental cabins in Big Bear with Five Star Vacation Rentals.

Not in the mood for a cold weather getaway?  We’ve got you covered!  Check out our luxury vacation rentals in Palm Springs/La Quinta Southern California Beaches,  and  Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. We realize that you get very little vacation time each year, so we’re dedicated to ensuring that your time spent in one of our luxury rentals will be a great value for your and your family.  Call us today, and we’ll help you plan the vacation of a lifetime.

Bring Your Family To Big Bear For Thanksgiving

The holiday season is upon us, and you may already be feeling some of the usual pressures.  Where will you find room for the new relatives?  How many different tables will you need to set up this year?  Will you need to limit your number of guests?

If your home is the usual holiday destination, it can be daunting to accommodate them all each year as your family grows with new kids and spouses.  Well, we’ve got a perfect solution.  Rent one of our Five Star Vacation Rental luxury cabins in Big Bear!  It’s a great option for big families, and provides the entire family with a memorable treat.  But as you can imagine, we are usually booked solid for that weekend. Be sure to call us right away to grab one of our luxury vacation rentals.

You’ll have a few tasty options for your Thanksgiving getaway.  Stillwells Restaurant inside the Northwoods Resort is a popular destination for many folks.  Just imagine having a great Thanksgiving meal (or their usual scrumptious buffet) and have absolutely zero dishes to do when you’re done.  Stillwells requires reservations, so be sure to call well in advance (909) 866-3121 ext. 7885 to be sure you get space set aside for your group. You’ll enjoy great food, relaxing time with your family, and the freedom to walk away from a huge pile of dirty dishes. It’s almost too good to imagine.

Another great option is to serve your family and guests a pre-cooked meal at your vacation rental cabin.  Both Staters Brothers and Vons in Big Bear are offering full Thanksgiving meals with all the fixings.  You can choose from Turkey, Ham, or Prime Rib.  For larger groups, mix and match to provide a greater variety for your family.  You’ll also need to order these in advance.  You can reach Stater Brothers at (909) 866-5211, and Vons at (909) 866-8459. Be sure to buy some nice disposable plates and cups, so your Thanksgiving clean up will be mostly with a trash bag instead of a dish rag!

And for our dyed-in-the-wool gourmets, rest assured that virtually all of our luxury vacation rental cabins and estates have kitchens equal to the task for your Thanksgiving preparations. Many of our units have double ovens and gas ranges. Be sure to check out the specifics with us. Call us at 310-780-3411, and we’ll help you find the best cabin for your getaway.

We often have snow on the ground during Thanksgiving, so be sure to plan ahead and pack your skis.  This could be a weekend you’ll remember for a long time as a great time with family, some great food, and amazing skiing.  The only unpleasant part of the entire experience is when you have to pack up and return to the real world.

Looking for a Thanksgiving getaway elsewhere? We’ve got you covered. We can also help you book your Thanksgiving getaway to one of our other destinations in Park CityPalm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  We’re committed to making sure your holiday will be a great memory for your entire family.  Call us at 310-780-3411 for more details or to book with us on the phone.

Hollywood Comes to Five Star Vacation Rentals. Again.

We’re starting to feel like a stage mom.

We’ve got these amazing kids (read “vacation rental cabins, estates, and condos”) that have such overwhelming appeal, it’s only natural that folks are drawn to their luxury and custom features.  And with increasing frequency, people are putting our kids in TV shows and movies.  In recent months our properties have appeared on “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” ABC’s “The Lookout,” and the indie film, “A Separate Life.” We’re mighty proud about that.

Our most recent brush with fame is with Cabin 10, The Grand Lakefront in Big Bear.  The cabin was featured on WETV’s Kendra On Top episodes, “The Big Bare” and “Cabin Fever.”   Kendra and her husband Hank celebrated their 4th wedding anniversary with a weekend stay in this cabin.  And we’d be hard pressed to choose a better destination.

If you watched the show, you saw the squeals of delight as the young starlet arrived.  “Look how beautiful this is!” was her first reaction, and she threw in a “this is awesome!” as well.  But this is nothing new to us.  That’s how we reacted when we first saw this amazing log estate on the lake.  And our guests have pretty much the same reaction each time they arrive as well.  It’s a remarkable property.

This home is constructed of full round lodgepole pine logs from Montana. And to ensure the absolute best quality, the builder actually assembled the entire cabin on site in Montana to check that each joint and log fit exactly to their rigorous demands. Once they were satisfied with it, they disassembled it log by log and loaded it on trucks bound for an exclusive lot in Big Bear right on the lake. As you can imagine, this is a very expensive way to build a cabin. But after you spend a few minutes wandering around inside, you’ll quickly begin to see the level of luxury and craftsmanship that can only be achieved by this extreme attention to detail.

This cabin truly represents the absolute best that Big Bear has to offer.  You’ll enjoy all the water sports with the included dock, and the lake views from the deck are just amazing.  The gourmet kitchen will delight even the most demanding of chefs, and you’ll be surrounded by the constant reminders that this luxury home is the product of many hours work at the hands of many talented craftsmen.  If you’re looking for someplace to enjoy the full star treatment, Cabin 10 is a great choice. View more photos and get booking information at this link.

Be sure to look at all our luxury rentals in Big Bear.  We can also help you book your getaway to one of our other destinations in Park CityPalm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  We’re committed to making sure your vacation will be a great memory for your entire family.  We’ll do our best to have you feeling like Hollywood royalty.  Call us at 310-780-3411 for more details or to book with us on the phone.

Oktoberfest Is Just Around the Corner. Book Your Vacation Rental Cabin Early

We’re getting a jump on September events in Big Bear, because the month is packed with some of our most popular of the year.  If you’ve never visited Big Bear during September, it’s a real treat as the leaves begin to turn with the evenings become cooler.  And every September we’re excited to welcome back Southern California’s most popular Oktoberfest celebration.

Big Bear’s first Oktoberfest was celebrated back in 1971, and it grows in popularity and attendance each year.  This year’s celebration commences September 14th and continues for 7 consecutive weekends through October 27th.  Many of our guests make it an annual rite of fall to reserve their favorite cabin and spend some time drinking in (literally and figuratively!) the fun and culture of the event.  Once you attend, you’ll soon see why.

This year’s celebration will continue the tradition of offering some of the world’s finest German beers, bratwursts, sauerkraut, and apple strudel.  Big Bear prides itself as one of the country’s most authentic Oktoberfests with much of the cuisine and brews created by German brewers, bakers, and butchers.  The list of tasty ales keeps expanding each year, and you can count on finding brews ranging from traditional German varieties to yummy flavored beers including lemonade, pumpkin, raspberry and more.  You haven’t fully lived until you’ve sampled a steaming hot fresh bratwurst washed down with an icy cold authentic German beer.  If you’re not drooling, check your pulse.

And you’ll have plenty of opportunity to work off your meals with lots of dancing and unique shopping booths to stroll through as well.  If you’ve been searching for an excuse to break out your lederhosen and get down to some serious German fun, this is it.

Oktoberfest is always a busy time for us here at Five Star Vacation Rentals, so we recommend that you get your reservation in early.  And be sure to ask about a discount for weekly rentals if you want to stay longer to enjoy some of the other September events.   Check back for next Friday’s blog with details about this year’s Big Bear International Film Festival.

You can view all our Big Bear cabins at this link, or call us at a 310-780-3411.  We’ll be happy to help you put together the ideal Oktoberfest getaway.  And while Big Bear is certainly our favorite spot to celebrate Oktoberfest, you can also enjoy great beer and fine dining at any of our other destinations including Park CityPalm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  Regardless of which one of our luxury getaway locations you choose, you can be assured that we’re working to make sure your vacation will be one you’ll want to repeat again every year.

National S’mores Day is Almost Upon Us. Book Your Big Bear Vacation Rental Before It’s Too Late.

You look at the calendar and can’t believe that you did it again this year.  Summer is retreating quickly into Fall, and you have yet to gather the family for even a single special event or weekend away.  But don’t despair.  Five Star Vacation Rentals is just a phone call or mouse click away with a vacation that will have your entire family cheering with delight.

National S'mores Day is August 10th

Just in case you may need some further encouragement, we’ve pulled out our special events calendar and found dozens of worthy reasons to propel you out of your easy chair and into a luxury vacation estate or cabin rental in Big Bear.  Here’s just a sampling of worthy holidays on the August calendar:

As we mention in our title, National S’mores day is just around the bend on August 10th. Legend has it that this yummy treat was created by a group of Girl Scouts gathered around a campfire. Once they combined the melted marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers, they quickly started insisting, “We want s’more!” And a national treasure was born. You can keep your fancy French desserts. Just give us s’mores!

But August is full of fun commemorations you can celebrate in Big Bear. Leading up to National S’mores Day, you can enjoy National Raspberry Cream Pie Day on August 1st and National Ice Cream Sandwich Day on August 2nd. Due to a quirk in scheduling, National Watermelon Day and National Mustard Day both fall on August 3rd. We encourage you to celebrate both, but not simultaneously. We’re going to skip entirely any recommendation that you celebrate National Work Like a Dog Day on August 5th, and move immediately to National Wiggle Your Toes Day on August 6th. We can think of no better place to celebrate this one than with your feet dangling in the cool waters of Big Bear Lake.

National Bad Poetry Day is August 18th

There’s not space enough to list all the daily celebrations coming up in August, but you can choose your favorite from among National Bad Poetry Day, National Kiss and Make Up Day (our favorite), and National Frankenstein Day. And be prepared to create your own national holiday. Once you get settled into your luxurious Five Star Vacation Rental, you’ll quickly agree to create the “National We’re Going To Do This Again Next Summer Day.”

Start your annual celebration by viewing all our  Big Bear cabins and estates.   Or call us at 310-780-3411, and we’ll gladly help you choose the perfect cabin for your family to celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day (August 22nd).

And you are of course free to celebrate any of these worthy holidays at our other properties as well. Be sure to look at our luxury rentals in  Park CityPalm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  We’re committed to making sure your vacation will be a great memory for your entire family.

Plan Your July Big Bear Getaway!

Summer is in full swing, and it’s time to head up to Big Bear for some great family fun.  July is one of our favorite months on the mountain, because there’s so much going on.  Here’s just a sample of the fun you’ll have when you book your July getaway in one of our Five Star Vacation Rental luxury estates and cabins in Big Bear:

July 4th Celebration

Each year Big Bear hosts one of California’s largest fireworks displays, and it’s really an amazing event.  We all love a good fireworks show, but combine that with the beautiful reflections off the lake and the towering pines that ring the horizon, and you’ll soon see why so many people make this short trek every year.  The weather in July is usually great, and you can enjoy a relaxing time away from the heat and smog of the Southland while taking in one of our favorite patriotic holidays.

Take In a Show

Perhaps America’s most popular classic play, Rogers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma” is playing throughout July at the Big Bear Performing Arts Center. This play is great for the entire family, so grab your surrey, and make your way through corn that’s as high as . . . well you get the picture! For more details:  http://www.bigbeartheater.org.

Get Down With Some Bluegrass Music

Big Bear Bluegrass Festival runs July 12, 13 & 14, this year, and offers some of the best boot-stompin’ music to be found anywhere. The festival features fun hayrides and more than a few colorful characters wandering about in overalls with washboards. You’ll be amazed at the great music that can be created with utensils and laundry accessories! This is another event tailor made for the whole family, and we expect that you’ll all be dancin a jig quite soon after the music starts. See more info on their website at http://www.bigbearbluegrass.com.

Boating, Fishing, Hiking, Biking . . .

Summer explodes with outdoor activities, so you’ll want to bring comfortable shoes, and plan on spending lots of time exploring.  the Big Bear Zoo continues to offer special activities including feeding tours going behind the scenes with the zookeepers.  Visit BigBearZoo.com for more details. Big Bear Cycling has scheduled events all month long to get you out on the roads with the wind in your face.   Visit their website at www.bigbearcycling.com for details.   And you can enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, and more on the lake.  It’s a great time to book your stay for a week or longer.

Browse all of our Big Bear cabins on this page.  And for more options, be sure to check out our luxury rentals in  Park City,Palm Springs/La Quinta Southern California Beaches Mammoth Mountain, and  Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  Regardless of where you may go, you’ll have the confidence of knowing that Five Star Vacation Rentals is working to make your vacation relaxing and memorable.  We value your vacation time, and are working to make it the best for your family.

Five Star Vacation Rentals Offers Possum-Free Luxury

By now you all know that we live much of our lives dedicated to creating the absolute best vacations possible for our guests.  We’re proud of the fact that we have a steady stream of repeat guests.  Our properties are among the most luxurious you can find anywhere.  They’re well maintained, furnished with all our guilty pleasures, and situated in some of the most amazing resort destinations in the world.

But sometimes we like to consider the possibilities that often befall those who are foolish enough to seek lodging any place else.  We’ve warned our readers about these pitfalls in previous blogs here and here, but it bears repeating:  Don’t risk your precious vacation time anywhere else.   You may end up losing sleep and having to share your accommodations with furry little animals.  Let us explain.

We had a few quiet minutes in the office the other day, so we decided to Google, “worst vacation ever.”  Oh my, was this a sad search. One of the first hits was a review of a hotel in Myrtle Beach.  The very unhappy patron of this hotel gave the place a one star review and noted among other things that, “the rooms were pitiful. Not clean, dirty sheets . . . Possums in the room.”  Yes, possums.

But wait, there’s more.  One hotel in Miami Beach, Florida is ranked 190th out of 199 hotels in the area.  The description offered by one guest gives us a hint at the quality they found there: “Carpeting is stained and dirty. Towels are old, stained, & dirty. Beds are old, dirty, and stained. Walls are old, dirty, and stained.”  I think we see a pattern emerging here.  Hotel number 191 has even more colorful reviews. Our favorite is titled, “Manager threatened PREGNANT wife with pepper spray!!!” Some are from international travelers.  You don’t need to learn a new language to understand these folks: “Der absolute Horror” and “ORRIBILE!!!!!!!!!”  I think it’s safe to assume that the memories and stories these folks brought home from their vacations were pretty sad.

Now compare their reviews with some of the feedback we receive from our guests. Dana C. wrote of her recent stay, “Everything was awesome. . . Thank you again, Kevin and Maria for the awesome weekend…can’t wait for next year!!” Yes, Dana used “awesome” twice. We really like the sound of that word. Awesome.   And when Tony K dropped us a line about his stay, he had the following to say, “I just wanted to say thank you for an amazing weekend. Every one of your staff that I talked to and met were extremely helpful and friendly; it really made our stay more enjoyable. ”

Better Rustic Motif. Better Furnishings.

We realize that you have many choices when it comes to your next vacation. Each of us has had our share of bad experiences staying in some pretty awful places in our time.  Your time away is precious, and you should not risk it with inferior accommodations. We work hard to make sure that all our vacation rental properties will have you feeling pampered and relaxed. And we guarantee that you’ll never share your luxury estate rental with a possum, and we’ll never chase your pregnant wife with pepper spray.

Be sure to look at our luxury rentals in Big Bear,  Park CityPalm Springs/La QuintaSouthern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.  We’re committed to making sure your vacation will be a great memory for your entire family.  Call us at 310-780-3411 and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect place for your next vacation.

June Events In Big Bear

It’s hard to believe that June is nearly upon us, and the kids will soon be out of school.  If you haven’t already made your plans, don’t delay any longer.  We’ll help you put together a getaway that is sure to have the entire family giggling with delight.

Summer in Big Bear is always amazing, so you’re in for a real delight.  While the temperatures are beginning to soar down in much of Southern California, Big Bear is a cool and crisp alternative.  You’ll want to pack light jackets for your June stay because it can get chilly in the evenings.  But this is really a treat.  Imagine your delight in settling down in front of a crackling fire with the family when just a couple days earlier you were all complaining about the heat at home.

While there’s never a shortage of things to do in Big Bear, June is an especially good month.  Here’s a sampling from our Big Bear Calendar of Events:

If you love live music  you’ll find lots of opportunities to satisfy your cravings this month.  Most weekends you’ll find great a great selection. The fun starts at about 7:30pm on June 1st with several excellent choices:

Skeleton Key Folk Music Center at 560 Pine Knot Avenue
B’s Boathouse at 350 Alden Road
Nottingham’s Tavern at 40797 Big Bear Blvd
Chad’s Place 40740 Village Drive

Funny little cars and big creepy clowns. It's the Old Miner's Parade!

Who doesn’t love a parade? Pack up the family, and have some fun at this year’s Old Miners Big Bear Heritage Parade on June 15th. This annual event is a small slice of Americana, and you’re sure to enjoy yourself. So grab some folding chairs, bottled water, and sun block. We’ll see you there.

And our avid cyclists will want to be sure to plan their Big Bear getaway in June. After keeping your bike in storage during the winter, it’s time to dust it off and hit the road again. The Big Bear Cycling Association holds Community Bike Rides every Saturday for riders of all levels. The rides start on June 1st and riders should meet at Copper Q at 645 Pine Knot Blvd by 9am.

Competitive cyclists will want to be sure to book their stay to correspond with the 2013 US Cup Big Bear Shoot Out. This annual event is an important stop on the race circuit. Visit http://www.uscup.net for more details.

There are many more upcoming events during June, and we’ll cover them in a later blog. If you’d like to view our Big Bear vacation rental cabins, visit our Big Bear page at this link.  Planning a getaway somewhere else?  Check out our luxury vacation rentals in Park CityPalm Springs/La Quinta Southern California BeachesMammoth Mountain, and  Villa la Estancia in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. We realize that you get very little vacation time each year, so we’re dedicated to ensuring that your time spent in one of our luxury rentals will be a great value for your and your family.  Call us today, and we’ll help you plan the vacation of a lifetime.