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Unplug and Get Away From It All

By Carl Weiss
Courtesy of Flickr

Today’s blog is all about getting away! If you are looking to really get away from it all this summer,
to offer you some destinations that you won't find at your local travel agency.  The Internet can connect you to exotic locales that are truly out of this world.  In this article we will explore a number of unusual vacation concepts including space tourism, the top five underwater hotels, an igloo village, a guided tour allowing us Paris' sewer and an ice hotel in Sweden, just to name a few. 

Spring has sprung here in Florida -- although you wouldn't know it if you live in the Northeast as its still cold up there.  Soon another school year will be ending and families will be looking forward to summer vacation.  Most people have already begun their hunt for things to do and places to go.  While some will opt for more traditional destinations such as theme parks, national parks, beaches and campgrounds, others are interested in finding more out-of-the-way, off-the-beaten-trail destinations.  Traditionally, travel magazines and Sunday supplements were renowned for publishing articles that can give you a peek at exotic locales. Nowadays, however, when it comes to getting away from it all, nothing can put you in touch with unusual vacation destinations quite like the Web.

Where Did Getting Away From it All Begin?

Pitcairn Island – Yes, this is the South Pacific island/nation first populated by the mutinous crew of the HMS Bounty. Today Pitcairn Island is inhabited by the 56 descendants of that ill-fated voyage.  It also has the distinction of being the least populous nation in the world.

Pitcairn Island was originally put on the map on July 3, 1767 by the crew of the British sloop, HMS Swallow, and was named after Midshipman Robert Pitcairn, the 15-year-old crew member who first to sighted it. Fast forward 23years, and the isolated island was chosen to be the last refuge of the six men and eleven women who purposely marooned themselves thereafter they'd set fire to the HMS Bounty.  While an act of desperation, the ploy worked, since it wasn’t until September 14, 1814, that a British flagship landed a party on the island. 

Today, tourists can venture to Pitcairn for stays of up to 11 days aboard the Claymore II, which also serves as the island's supply vessel.  Private yachts are also invited to anchor in Bounty Bay. Not exactly a tourist mecca, the island only averages visits by 25 yachts per year.  Of course, this is precisely what makes it such a terrific destination for some.  If you do arrive by yacht, a $35 landing fee per person is charged, plus a "taxi service” of  $50 is charged for the trip in and out. 

Once there, the island offers 14 choices of accommodation, including private two or three bedroom chalets or staying in the home of local islanders.  Rates range from $70-$120 per person/per day.  Additional services such as telephone, Internet access, and guided walking or bike tours can be arranged.  Fortunately for American tourists, the currency on the island is the US dollar. For more info, visit

Wet & Wild is Really Cool

While an excursion to a tropical island is just the ticket for some, others are looking for something a little more wet and wild.  If you are a bit more adventurous and are not afraid of the water, why not check out the option of checking into an underwater hotel.

Check out Jules Undersea Lodge, Key Largo Florida – Located 30 feet below the Emerald Lagoon, Jules' Undersea Lodge, named after "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" author Jules Verne, was originally designed to be an underwater research facility.  Since 1986, when it was converted into a sub-sea lodge, accommodations for up to six paying guests at a time has been available.  While patrons do not need scuba gear to move around inside the lodge, it is a requirement for checking in and out.

Hi honey, I’m home!

Jules' Undersea Luxury For Two
Our JUL for TWO package is $800 and includes our world famous Papa John's pizza delivery dinner. Breakfast includes coffee or tea, orange juice, and your choice of cereal. There's plenty of water, soda, and snacks as well. Dive gear is included in your package.
Check in: 2:00 PM; Check out: 8:30 AM
Group Economy Packages
Group of 3-4: $350 per person
Group of 5-6: $300 per person

For more information:

Just What is Sewer Tourism?

If staying underwater doesn’t float your boat, there are a number of other subterranean destinations that can be had including ... touring Paris' sewers!  Paris, also known as the City of Lights, has a dark underbelly to that you can tour. What I'm talking about is a tour of Paris’ sewers.  (I'm not making this up!) If you think that visiting such places as the Louvre, the Eifel Tower and Notre Dame is so outrĂ©, for less than 5 Euros per person, you too, can experience the underbelly of Paris in all its nefarious history through the centuries.  The tour spends an hour winding through the tunnels beneath the French capital as well as taking you to the heart of the system, part of which has been converted into a museum. (You won’t find this thrill ride at Disney World.)  For more info:

Think Ice Sculptures are Beautiful? Look into these Cool Vacation Destination?

If you are looking for the ultimate in “cool”, allow me to recommend an ice hotel.  Located in such locales as Norway, Finland, Sweden, Romania and Quebec, these places are actually built from ice.  With global warming now a hot topic, this is one vacation destination that could literally have a limited shelf life.  For more information, go to

Icehotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

The Icehotel in the Jukkasjarvi village in Sweden is THE ice hotel, being the first one in the world, opened in 1990 by Yngve Bergqvist. The hotel is opened to public every year, from December to April and more than 1,000 tons of ice and snow are used for the construction that, in the end, features rooms for around 100 guests, a bar and a church among others. And at 64,000 square feet (6,000 square meters), it is widely recognized as the largest ice hotel in the world.

Now for a Trip That’s Out of This World!

White Knight 2 - showing us the
'eye' (Photo credit:
Space Tourism  is a term that was coined to describe those lucky few who have had the financial means to pony up between $20-$40 million to spend a few fun-filled months aboard the International Space Station.  While these seats are hard to come by, the allure of outer space  has also spawned something of a cottage industry that promises to take people to the its inky edge.  This includes a venture by Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin empire, who has offered  those with $250,000 to spend a sear aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two.  However, while deposits are being taken, at the time of publication there still has yet to be a launch date announced. 

 For those who don’t want to wait, apprentice astronauts can currently experience what it’s like to be weightless while aboard G-Force One for around 5,000.  Although this thrill ride won’t take you to the edge of outer space, it provides you what it’s like to experience zero gravity aboard a specially modified Boeing 727. While it ain’t exactly Buck Rogers, it can save all you wanna-be spacefarers more than a few bucks.

How About a Virtual Vacation?

You say you can’t afford a vacation. You don’t want to unplug and you don’t want to spend hours in airports, then a virtual vacation might just be the thing for you. A virtual vacation can consist of spending time visiting online sites that provide virtual tours to indulging yourself with virtual reality glasses where seeing these destination sites seem as if you were really there. Facebook just spent a pile of money to purchase Oculus to make sure you can go on virtual trips. If you have a big screen TV you can usually hook up your laptop on tablet and spend the weekend visiting your virtual vacations, ordering in and disconnection (mostly) from the outside world.

Now more than ever before, for those who are looking to get away from it all, the best place to start checking out exotic locales, both near and far, is the World Wide Web. This article took you on its own virtual tour of fascinating destinations. May your real travels be blessed and adventurous!

In this article I covered numerous exotic vacation destinations you can find via the internet The World Wide Web has had a profound impact on the travel industry. Researching destinations are as easy as click, pick, pay, pack and go!

If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add to this article, leave a comment below. 

Thanks again for visiting, until next time.

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Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Web radio show of the same name as well as well as YouTube's Working The Web TV Show series. He is also the co-author of a new book, "Working The Web To Win," based on the hit Web radio show and blog.

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