Escape to Exotic South Pacific Islands

For your next travel adventure, envision exotic settings, overflowing with fabulous beaches and distinctively native delights. The South Pacific is home to a scattering of about 30 tiny island nations. Its breathtaking destinations and accommodations cater to all ages. Check out the top islands to visit in the enchanting South Sea region.

Tankini Swimwear
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Women: Cute women’s tankini swimwear offers neckline, strap, hemline length, and bottom coverage variations to match your activity level. Striking tropical or ethnic prints and vivid colors will set the mood for island fun. Wear your versatile top with shorts, skirts, capris, or pants during shopping and dining breaks.

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Fiji
More than 600,000 travelers visit the top South Pacific hot spot annually for unique draws: hundreds of tropical isles. Enjoy Fiji’s white beaches, snorkeling, white-water rafting, golf, and cheerful locals’ traditional dances. Resorts welcome families, weddings, and honeymooners. Taste sensations range from fish and spicy curry to sweet tropical fruits.

Cook Islands
Lightly populated and scattered lands feature international airport greeters who serenade all arrivals and present them with flower leis. This mostly undeveloped South Sea area offers sunbathing on peaceful white beaches with swimming and windsurfing in crystalline depths under blue skies. For mainstream tourism, visit Cook Islands’ Aitutaki or Rarotonga.

Tonga
Enjoy swimming and surfing in clear blue water along inviting sand. Marvel at humpback whales’ haunting songs in protected bays. A proudly independent island with a unique culture, the Tonga kingdom represents an absolute monarchy, a rarity today. Admire sacred tombs, native crafts, and dance spectacles among relaxed, friendly locals.

Samoa
“Treasure Island” author Robert Louis Stevenson, a Pacific Island buff, retired in lush, scenically diverse Samoa. Popular among modern-day discerning travelers, Samoa’s isles attract everyone from surfers to anglers to golfers. Glimpses of traditional customs, village hospitality, and delightfully original cuisine will create unforgettable memories.

Vanuatu
Couples, honeymooners, and families savor these sun-drenched Pacific isles’ white and black sandy beaches. Scuba divers can view rare marine life in turquoise waters. The friendly residents love welcoming visitors to experience their tribal villages and rural culture. Vanuatu’s cuisine is like other nearby island nations with diners recommending steaks.

New Caledonia
This destination’s Gallic/Pacific blend supplies year-round balmy temperatures, clean white sands, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Sail to remote islands for solitude. Honeymooners find the irresistible French-speaking territory beautiful and romantic. Other New Caledonia treats include fine dining and elegant shopping. Tourists prefer June-October trips.

French Polynesia
Crystal waters, palm trees, flourishing forests, volcanoes, and luxurious accommodations will bring your tropical fantasies to life. Couples and honeymooners favor overwater bungalows and fine wines while everyone appreciates French Polynesia’s amazing sights and European menus. To sample local flavors, visit buffets offering barbecued suckling pig.

Solomon Islands
Relish stunning and unique atolls, blue seas, and gorgeous orchids? Check out the Solomon Islands. Adventurers can swim with dolphins, snorkel or dive to view plentiful sea life, canoe on rivers winding through lush jungles, and marvel at active volcanoes. The Solomon Islands’ ancient and mysterious Melanesian culture and rustic beauty exude an otherworldly atmosphere.

Niue Island
Tiny Niue is the ultimate chill-out zone for relaxing in unspoiled splendor at private swimming coves. Hikers, snorkelers, and scuba divers can explore spectacular limestone caves. Daring folks enjoy swimming with humpback whales May-October. Also try deep-sea fishing or golf. Instead of touristy developments, you’ll find small hotels, guesthouses, and cottages.

Secret Waterfalls Make Vacations Magical

So you’re eager to view breathtaking scenery without crowds? Instead of visiting packed sites like Niagara Falls, marvel at tranquil hidden delights around the world. Some are tricky to reach, but that adds to the adventure of uncovering secluded vacation gems. Before enjoying refreshing private dips among nature’s beauty, shop Swimsuits Direct for various silhouettes and sizes from popular designers.

Arizona: Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls
This picturesque waterfall cascades 100 feet down mighty red cliffs into the gleaming turquoise pool below. To find the Grand Canyon’s remote Havasu Falls 1.5 miles from the Supai Indian reservation, take a 10-mile hike, ride a rented pack mule, or hire a charter helicopter. Then soak in the pristine water’s constant 72-degree temperature among gorgeous surroundings.

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Ecuador: Mashpi Cloud Forest’s 19 Falls
At least 19 chutes make Ecuador’s misty rainforest a special place to observe. Three hours northwest of Quito, these majestic wonders embellish an already verdant countryside. Discover why the Magnolia waterfall is a natural hot tub. An eco-resort offers daily hikes to some of these magnificent spectacles.

Hawaii: Kauai’s Jurassic Falls
Manawaiopuna Falls is the official name for this Hawaiian landmark. But the Jurassic Falls nickname comes from Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster dinosaur movie that made it famous. This site was inaccessible, hidden deep in Kauai’s interior, until recently. Now Island Helicopters fly visitors to the falls’ base. After a brief trek, relish impressive views of its 400-foot plunge.

Indonesia: Bali’s Sekumpul Waterfalls
InterContinental Bali Resort’s “In the Know” insider’s listing features many undiscovered waterfalls surrounding it. The concierge pairs tourists with excursions and guides fitting their interests and physical abilities. Some cascades are visible via breezy nature walks while others require rigorous hikes.

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Indonesia: Sumba Island’s Secret Falls
Locating these obscure waterfalls involves visiting Sumba Island’s highly praised Nihiwatu resort. A 45-minute drive along the south shore through Wanukaka Valley leads to a 90-minute trek to the falls. The water, surrounded by 984-foot-tall bluffs, hurtles into an inviting blue lagoon. Swimmers and brave cliff jumpers enjoy the peaceful setting.

Mongolia: Ovorkhangai, Orkhon Valley’s Orkhon Waterfalls
Horseback rides through Mongolia’s steppes don’t seem ideal for waterfall sightings, especially in winter. But that’s when this icy wonderland boasts amazing views of Orkhon Falls’ 20 feet of frozen water. Join Nomadic Expeditions’ Adventure Mongolia guided outings to catch this and other astounding cold-weather rarities.

Norway: Tysfjorden’s Hellemobotn Falls
Most waterfalls gain fame for their towering heights. But in a far north Scandinavian birch woodland, Hellemobotn Falls is distinctive for flowing almost horizontally. Lindblad Expedition guides used to admire this unusual surge from afar. Since last summer, their Norway’s Fjords and Arctic Svalbard tour takes guests along steep trails to the miraculous source.

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Peru: Machu Picchu’s Two Waterfalls
The area surrounding mysterious Machu Picchu boasts two obscure waterfalls. In Aguas Calientes, a trail on Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel’s property ends by a nameless surge. Join guided meditative walks at twilight to glimpse pre-Inca petroglyphs. Another long, guided hike to remote Mandor Falls features jaybirds and parrots.

Thailand: Koh Kood’s Picnic Waterfall
Luxury resort Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood island offers the ultimate nighttime date: dining near a small waterfall’s base. Request that the concierge arrange a romantic destination dinner for two. The tropical cascade’s white ripples and misty spray will set a magical mood without drenching your tasty Thai cuisine.

Best Worldwide Destinations for Swimmers

iscover where to take refreshing dips in classic locales spanning the globe from Australia to Switzerland. Swimsuits Direct’s top designers will supply trendy women’s styles to look chic wherever you roam.

Australia: Sydney
From the world’s biggest natural harbor to beautiful beaches, Sydney signifies aquatic fun. Clovelly Bay’s breakwater dampens the waves, making it the ultimate setting for invigorating seaside soaks. To paddle in adventurous seclusion, try the South West Arm Pool.

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Brazil: Rio de Janeiro
Feel like a pro at Rio’s mighty Olympic pool. Or enjoy world-class beaches nearby. Relax at Ipanema and Copacabana after a night of sipping caipirinha, Brazil’s official cocktail. Wade out in the water for spectacular views of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Canada: Vancouver
An outdoor obsession makes Vancouver, Canada’s best coastline. For quiet getaways, visit Third Beach. Stanley Park’s seawall and calm waters allow long paddling sessions. A swimmers’ raft on revitalizing freshwater is Trout Lake Beach’s main draw.

China: Hong Kong
Repulse Bay’s cool, gentle water invites leisurely bathers. Drop by Shek O for hectic, fun-filled swimming and amazing vistas. Central city hotels boast swanky pools. Tranquil float breaks at the W’s sky-high oasis combine delightful harbor scenes and cocktails.

Denmark: Copenhagen
Surrounding water makes Copenhagen a blissful escape. Spend a lazy afternoon at Amager Beach Park’s serene lagoon. Fisketorvet and Brygge islands provide exceptional harbor baths. Cool, clean water lures lap swimmers while diving boards tempt daredevils.

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England: London
Venture north to Hampstead Heath’s freshwater ponds. Serpentine Lido’s seclusion marks this Hyde Park gem. King’s Cross Pond Club is a central art/nature marvel. Enjoy the southwest Tooting Bec Lido’s huge pool or South London’s famed Brockwell Lido.

France: Paris
Every summer, Paris Plage’s sandy beaches and pool entice visitors to the River Seine’s banks. Survey the fabulous remodeled Molitor. After a 25-year closure, all luxury hotel rooms feature courtyard pool views.

Germany: Berlin
Stunning lakes welcome travelers all around Berlin. A barge floating along River Spree houses the hip Badeschiff’s pool, bar, and hammocks. Families like Wannsee’s classic beach with waterslide and the east’s Muggelsee with swimming and children’s play areas.

Mexico: Mazatlán
Picturesque islands sheltering Playa las Gaviotas’ calm waters attract tourists. Relax on the nearby Playa Olas Altas strand. Reach Isla de la Piedra by ferry to chill on idyllic sand among coconut groves. Malecón’s beach, boardwalk, eateries, and bars evoke the 1950s.

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Portugal: Lisbon
Summering in Portugal’s capital assures plentiful waters. Train ride thrills from the city’s center eastward to Cascais include lavish turquoise waves and vast sandy expanses. For other transit options, try hotels supplying shuttles to Guincho and Carcavelos beaches.

Sweden: Stockholm
Daring guests dive into Stockholm’s many quays. For peaceful dips, visit lazy beaches or secluded coves. Families enjoy Smedsuddsbadet’s sandy bank and sunbathing lawn. Bus rides to Stora Essingen’s Oxhalsbadet end with jetties providing diving platforms.

Switzerland: Zurich
Leap into Zurich’s 18 crystal-clear lakes and rivers with fantastic backdrops. Tiefenbrunnen treats include diving boards, kiddie pool, and post-swim massages. Revive traditional customs at Schanzengraben’s men’s river pool and Stadthausquai’s women’s art nouveau bath.

America’s Favorite Beaches for Family Vacations

Taking your family on a beach getaway can create lasting memories if your stops satisfy every member. The rankings below account for factors including safe water, child-friendly attractions, multigenerational appeal, accessibility, spacious accommodations, and dining variety. Review the best features of the top 10 destinations along America’s beautiful coastlines to pick your preferences.

1. North Carolina’s Outer Banks
The Atlantic Ocean’s manageable waves enable consistent water fun. Expect the Outer Banks to deliver ideal summer weather and lush landscapes. Kids and parents like visiting Roanoke Island’s aquarium and playing miniature golf. Other attractions include rugged dunes and old lighthouses. Cottage and condo rentals allow space for extra relatives with easy beach access.

2. Florida’s Sanibel Island
Beachcombers can search for seashells and sand dollars or play in calm waters. Shabby chic shops, galleries, and restaurants make Periwinkle Way an intriguing side trip. Look for hotels offering affordable deals in this quaint, quiet, and casual area. Stay near beaches to bike or walk to shores.

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3. South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach
Clean, expansive sand and budget prices lure East Coast residents to famous Myrtle Beach. All ages will enjoy Ripley’s Aquarium and amusement parks offering favorites like water slides, roller coasters, and racetracks. Treat the whole family to exciting medieval- or pirate-themed dinner revues.

4. Hawaii’s Honolulu
Inviting oceanfronts and waves await those willing to spend more money amid breathtaking scenery and cosmopolitan luxury. Lifeguards patrol Waikiki’s relatively calm seas. Try North Shore for brilliant blue water and meandering hiking trails. Visit historic sites including the USS Arizona Memorial.

5. Hawaii’s Maui
When you’re ready to splurge in paradise, Maui’s many family-friendly sandy stretches are exotic choices. Umbrellas welcome tourists to lounge on sun-drenched Wailea Beach. Snorkel among sea turtles, view impressive wildlife, join hula dancers, or explore a record-sized dormant volcano.

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6. South Carolina’s Hilton Head
Everyone can laze at Hilton Head’s two notably clean hangouts, Coligny Beach and Alder Lane. Other delights include climbing up the lighthouse and strolling or bike riding around Harbour Town. Natural wonders range from a museum to a wildlife refuge. To forgo pricey temptations, enjoy sunset dinners at casual seaside eateries.

7. Florida’s Destin
Gleaming white quartz beaches, emerald oceans, and a family-oriented mood woo Southerners and Midwesterners of all generations to Destin’s sunny shores. At picture-perfect Henderson Beach, white sand borders calm jade seas. Kids love waterpark fun. Many resorts cater to youngsters, giving parents time to relax, fish, or snorkel.

8. Maryland’s Ocean City
Promising child-friendly affordability, Ocean City’s 10 miles of powdery sand define classic beach vacations. Daytime activities include boogie boarding, parasailing, fishing, and souvenir shopping. Then amusement parks, arcades, and boardwalk offer nighttime entertainment.

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9. Massachusetts’ Cape Cod
Mainland New Englanders with youngsters cherish peaceful beaches along the bay. Boogie boarders favor the Atlantic’s coastal waves. Try kayaking, fishing, or whale-watching excursions sailing from Provincetown. Scenic biking trails traverse woodland greenery. For lodging in this laid-back locale, consider quaint cottages and charming bed-and-breakfasts.

10. California’s San Diego
Families appreciate easy access to kid-friendly, lifeguard-patrolled spots. Approach always sunny San Diego’s treasured Mission Beach from downtown. Novice swimmers may prefer the northern coastline’s calmer waters. Strolling along Coronado’s seaside is a joy for leisurely walkers while animal lovers enjoy the zoo. For a tasty treat, sample the Mexican cuisine.

Plus-Size Swimwear for Florida Keys Getaways

The scenic 113-mile Overseas Highway between Miami, Fla., and Key West ranks among America’s most delightful road trips. Grab friends or relatives to embark on a tropical vacation without leaving the country. Bridges connect the sunny paradise’s three areas where assorted wonders await all ages at 43 populated islands. Pack the latest Swimsuits Direct looks for unique adventures at these tempting Florida Keys destinations.

Vacation Swimwear
As a plus-size woman, you may prefer modest silhouettes to bikinis. Shop one-piece swimsuits for sand and water fun. Tankinis are popular two-piece alternatives that hide your midriff. To conceal even more skin, opt for high-neck or skirted looks. Loose-fitting cuts, shirring, rouching, and hidden tummy toners can disguise a thick midsection. Slip into matching or contrasting tunic, shirt, dress, or poncho cover-ups for boating, tours, shopping, and lunch breaks.

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Upper Keys’ Attractions
From Key Largo to Lower Matecumbe, you’ll find dive shops, weekender condos, and country clubs. Visit these Upper Keys tourist spots:

Key Largo: At the uppermost island, join guided trips of Key Largo’s underwater John Pennekamp State Park. This Atlantic Ocean region spans over 90 square miles. Attractions from snorkeling and scuba diving to glass-bottom-boat tours let you admire sea life, a dazzling and extensive coral reef, lifelike sculptures, and nearby sunken shipwrecks.

Islamorada: Take kayak tours among the tropical greenery. Or explore fascinating sites on deep-sea fishing charters. Anglers enjoy sport fishing and tournaments. Large bonefish can weigh around 10 pounds. Sport fishing offshore for sailfish near Islamorada’s reefs is an exciting winter activity.

Lower Matecumbe: Anne’s Beach offers vacation pleasures from pristine sand and shallow water to snorkeling and windsurfing. Stroll the boardwalk through natural wetlands and lunch at sheltered picnic tables.

Middle Keys’ Marvels

Grassy Key: The Beach Under Water, an unusual sandbar out in the ocean, is an incredible spectacle. This extensive stretch’s stunning white sand appears almost magically at low tide. Reach it by canoe, kayak, or boat only. Go snorkeling or sunbathe while sipping cocktails. Take your vessel back to land before high tide submerges the sandy mass.

Marathon: Catch beautiful sunsets on family-friendly Sombrero Beach. Experience crab harvesting on a busy commercial boat. During your educational excursion, discover how professionals pull traps. Visit the Turtle Hospital to learn about the surrounding area’s delicate ecology while viewing and feeding these amazing reptiles. Stay at a relaxing resort in homey Marathon.

Lower Keys’ Highlights
Venture from Little Dock to Fleming for quiet, green Lower Key settings in a mostly laidback atmosphere. Urbanized Key West is the festively exotic exception. Check out these celebrated sites:

Big Pine: Magnificent beaches at Bahia Honda State Park are notable for being clean and pretty. Sandspur Beach’s mild drop-off and calm, wave-free water are ideal for young swimmers, snorkeling, and kayaking. Amenities include gear rentals, boat ramp, concessions, grills, and campgrounds. Wander down the historic bridge to take photos of the sparkling ocean and surrounding islands.

Other Big Pine areas offer swimming, diving, snorkeling, fishing, and bird watching. During boat tours, view nurse sharks, stingrays, barracudas, turtles, and sponges. National Key Deer Refuge’s miniature white-tailed residents are almost too cute. The 9200-acre sanctuary includes Blue Hole freshwater pond featuring fish, turtles, and birds.

Key West: This southern point promises diverse amusements. Stroll along the beach, marvel at fabulous sunrises and sunsets, relax in a remote guesthouse, dance the night away, or socialize at rowdy bars and exotic events downtown on Duval Street. Smather’s Beach is Key West’s longest and largest stretch. Enjoy kayaking, rafting, or parasailing in this splendid paradise. Historic Fort Zachary Taylor is a state park offering deep, clear water and gorgeous sunsets.

Dry Tortugas National Park’s seven small isles span 100 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s accessible only by ferries, seaplanes, charter boats, and private vessels. Enticements include diving and snorkeling to view marine life and coral. Tour author Ernest Hemingway’s home/writing studio turned imaginative museum. Round out your memorable trip at Mallory Square’s famous freak show. This must-see Key West tradition features oddities like a contortionist, fire juggler, and escape artist.

Visit Virginia’s Top Lake Destinations in Style

Enjoy a weekend getaway or leisurely vacation at Virginia’s picturesque lakes. Check out recreation attractions from beaches and boating to camping and picnic areas around this historic mid-Atlantic state. Then search Swimsuits Direct online for bathing suits and cover-ups to look fashionable throughout your trip.

Southern Region
John H. Kerr Lake (Buggs Island Project), Clarksville: Virginia’s biggest lake boasts 800 plus amazing miles of coast and freshwater, spanning over 50,000 acres. Access it from Occoneechee or Staunton River State Parks. This popular crappie angling spot hosts fishing tournaments. Following Buggs Island construction, Congress renamed this locale Kerr Lake after the congressman who obtained dam approval and funding.

Lake Gaston, South Hill: Straddling Virginia/North Carolina borders, 20,000 acres feature swimming, water skiing, wakeboarding, boating, and fishing.

Philpott Lake, Bassett: Six beaches with nine boat launches on shorelines stretching 100 miles across two counties welcome you to Philpott Lake. The 3000-acre site also provides eight campgrounds.

Shenandoah Valley
Cave Mountain Lake, Natural Bridge Station: At this 7-acre recreation area, visitor highlights include swimming, fishing, sunbathing on the beach, picnicking, and camping.

Lake Arrowhead Beach, Luray: Just beneath Skyline Drive, you’ll find 34 acres of white sand with lifeguards on duty. Bring a watercraft without a gas engine like a canoe or kayak for boating or fishing. Enjoy concessions and picnic sites.

Lake Moomaw, Covington: Gathright Dam extends this lake area’s 2530 acres to ensure fun for everyone. The inviting national forest region offers swimming, camping, and other recreational adventures. Multiple points like Warm Springs provide boat launches.

Sherando Lake, Lyndhurst: Bordering Blue Ridge Parkway, 24 national forest acres include Sherando’s sandy beach with bathhouse and swimming. Other activities are fishing and overnight campground stays.

Central Section
Lake Anna, Louisa: Coming in third by size, Lake Anna’s water surface spreads across 13,000 acres. Pursue your favorite watersports or relax on the 200-mile coastline.

Smith Mountain Lake, Blue Ridge Mountains: The second largest freshwater lake offers multiple access points along its 500-mile waterfront. North shore entries include Smith Mountain Lake State Park and Bedford County. From the southwest, use Franklin County. Pittsylvania County allows southeast approaches.

Stonehouse Lake Park, Amherst: Permitting fishing only and requiring boats with non-gas engines, this watershed lake’s 41 acres provide other entertainment options. At Stonehouse, families relish grilling meals, eating at the picnic pavilion, and frolicking at the playground.

Appalachia
Cavitt’s Creek Park and Lake, Tazewell: Explore this lake’s 54 acres in rented paddleboats or flat-bottomed rowboats. Or launch your own vessel without a gas engine from one of two ramps. Stocked fish include bass, trout, and walleye. Extend your stay by camping.

Wise Lake Reservoir, Wise: Treasured family activities in this woodland area include boating, fishing, walking trails, wildlife watching, and picnicking.

Blue Ridge Highlands
South Holston Lake, Abingdon: In Washington County Park, swimming, boating, and fishing are favorite lake amusements. For extended stays, pitch your tent or arrive in a camper.

Northern District
Lake Fairfax Park, Reston: The main attraction at this fun park is 18 acres of water. Spend a family getaway enjoying the waterpark, pedal boats, fishing, and lake tours. Campsites, a bathhouse, camp store, and RV dump station encourage longer vacations.

Hampton Roads
Lone Star Lakes Park, Suffolk: Pick among 11 lakes traversing 1000 acres. Temptations start with freshwater fishing, fascinating nature trails, model airplane field, and picnic areas.

Stunning Swimwear
Bathing suits: Browse Swimsuits Direct’s Anne Cole line for women’s and plus-size bathing suits in various trendy silhouettes. Two- and one-piece bandeaus with or without straps enable visual alteration and tan-line versatility. Women wanting to reveal midriffs can pair Anne Cole bikini, halter, or tankini tops with hipster or mid-rise bottoms. For classic fuller upper coverage, choose high-neck styles or maillots. High-waist briefs in women’s and plus-size separates will conceal your tummy.

Need plus-size swimsuits to hide your lower half including thighs? Shop our popular Anne Cole Plus collection for swim dresses and skirted bottoms. Fabrics feature florals, stripes, subdued to dazzling shades, and color blocking.

Cover-ups: Harmonizing or contrasting cover ups for above fashion finds ensure modesty and sun protection when boating, fishing, and picnicking. Select from shirts, tunics, ponchos, kimonos, dresses, and skirts in light to dark solids or floral, stripe, ethnic, or geometric patterns. Designer details like front lacing, pompoms, tassels, and fringe on mesh, crochet, sheer, flowing, and stretchy fabrics add glamour.

Thrifty Cruising and Nifty Packing Tips

Longing to take a cruise on a budget? That dream vacation features multiple benefits. Your ship serves as your hotel and transportation between exciting destinations. While sailing from one port to another, you can form relationships with diverse fellow travelers from many locales. Unpack just once in your stateroom. That also frees you from hauling luggage to different accommodations before you can explore new places. Then repack a single time to return home. Use the tricks below to make your seaboard getaway a memorable bargain.

Frugal Voyages
Expert arrangements: Picking the right passenger ship is like ordering a custom suit. A cruise expert will create the perfect fit for your requests. Cabin location could be crucial, particularly on a sizable liner. Similar itineraries may represent unrelated experiences. After narrowing options down to a few favorites, check those websites for preferred agents. Fees are rare, but a little extra money can yield ideal yet affordable results.

Early booking: Although last-minute specials are tempting, they provide limited choices. Instead, grab deals eight to 12 months ahead of time. Throughout the January/February/March wave season, many cruise lines offer their best promotions including substantial discounts and complimentary stateroom upgrades.

Off-season sailing: Pick escapes with reduced off-season rates. For many, that falls near holidays. Early December prices may be especially low. Instead of docking unused ships between busy periods, some lines move them to other ports. Book a one-way spring or fall repositioning cruise with different embarkation and disembarkation points like Alaska and Hawaii. You’ll enjoy distant destinations at greatly decreased fares during relocations.

All-inclusive rates: Larger ships charge extra fees and gratuities for beverages, onboard specialty restaurants, and shore excursions, so your final tab doubles your base amount. Choose all-inclusive prices for value-conscious tourists instead. Some bundles cover airfare plus limitless port visits. Luxury liners may raise such rates, but these intimate boats ensure better staff/guest ratios for finer service.

Package deals: Bigger ships offering combo packages for dining, wine, and excursions reduce à la carte costs 10 to 25 percent.

Soda passes: Buy reasonably priced cards for unlimited adult and child soft drinks. The unspent funds and convenience outweigh any gratuities.

Suitcase Savers
Carry-ons: Pack essentials in bags you’ll hand carry onto airplanes and ships. Priority items are your destinations’ required travel documents (plane tickets and boarding passes, passports, birth certificates, photo IDs, visas, immunizations records, cruise line boarding passes), valuables (electronic devices, chargers, jewelry, cameras, memory cards), and medications. Extras include toiletries, swimwear, a casual outfit, and dinner attire. If the airline loses your belongings or the valet delivers them to your cabin late, you’ll have necessities to enjoy various onboard activities immediately.

Checked luggage: For groups, assign pairs to share two suitcases. A missing bag gives each person some options instead of one getting none. Conserve space by rolling, not folding, clothes. Include basics like an alarm clock and hair dryer that are unavailable or expensive on voyages. Sneak in a folded duffle to fill with souvenirs and gifts. Then check it before your return flight.

Swimwear: Fuller coverage cuts prevent midsection and upper leg sunburns that hinder fun. Make a splash in a cute women’s swimdress with or without straps. To conceal upper thighs, try plus-size skirted swimsuits like one-piece styles and tankini or bandeau tops with extended hemlines.

For longer lower coverage, browse our plus-size bottoms to order swim skirts separately. Our extensive assortment of colors and patterns sets the atmosphere for a pleasure cruise. Take multiple pieces for pools, hot tubs, and beaches so dry choices are always available.

Dress codes: Cruise ship and destination formality levels vary. Evening gowns aren’t mandatory for formal onboard events. Resort casual substitutions include cocktail dresses, sundresses, pantsuits, and separates. Display sporty clothes at Hawaiian, Mexican Riviera, French Polynesian, and Caribbean ports.

Pack resort casual looks for all European regions and Bermuda, except for the latter’s strict golf course dress codes. Middle Eastern and some European religious sites expect modest garments to cover knees and shoulders. Wear flip-flops on beaches and comfortable shoes when exploring sites and hiking.

Mix and match: Double-duty separates avoid excess luggage fees and overstuffed closets. Coordinating color families allow repeating a bottom piece with several tops. Layering accommodates temperature variations. Tone down shirts for sightseeing and embellish them for evenings. Make one cocktail dress look different at each outing by switching accessories like jewelry, scarves, and wraps.

Tropical Beaches to Enjoy Without Passports

Paradise is easier to access than you think. American citizens can vacation in equatorial destinations’ sunny, warm weather without passports. All you and your traveling companions need are photo IDs to enter popular U.S. tropical territories. That convenience lets you focus on your island wardrobe instead. Women, explore Swimsuits Direct’s Luli Fama line for two-piece stunners with sexy triangles, strappy details, and mesh inserts. For more coverage, pair one-piece, high-neckline, or crop-top suits with opaque or sheer cover-ups.

Luli Fama swimwear also comes in junior sizes, featuring the same trendy colors and adventurous prints that set a vacation mood. Shopping for extra-small junior tops? No problem. Teens will find many cute looks in Luli Fama bathing suits. Match your fashion choices to activities at your favorite hot spots below. Order multiple skimpy designs for sunbathing and dependable coverage for lively sports to start each outing in clean, dry style.

American Samoa
Six Polynesian isles in the South Pacific’s heart welcome tourists wanting calm breaks from more populated beaches. Island life and natural splendors around American Samoa are tropically refreshing. Forget about work and responsibilities while discovering sandy stretches, a national park, marine sanctuary, museums, mountains, jungles, and scenic hiking trails.

Caribbean
Unlike the other destinations that are accessible with drivers’ licenses, some small Caribbean countries have slightly different requirements. Enhanced driver’s licenses (that also act as limited travel documents) or passport cards (government-issued wallet-sized photo IDs) allow international transport by sea or land.

In the Bahamas, Exuma’s main draws are 365 isles and cays, pristine beaches, and the incredible chance to swim with pigs. Bermuda’s vivid appeal extends from blue water and pink sand to multi-colored houses. Enjoy King’s Wharf, Royal Naval Dockyard museums and shops, glass-bottom boat tours of an illuminated submerged shipwreck, joyful Calypso rhythms, and tasty island snacks.

Enticing Ocho Rios features Jamaican temptations like splendid oceans, Blue Hole waterfalls, roadside eateries’ superb jerk chicken, and rum cocktails.

Florida Keys
This chain of islands stretching 120 miles boasts America’s only barrier reef with living coral. Key Largo’s palm-lined beaches are pristine. Locals regard this area as the global diving capital. Fun activities include snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, a marine sanctuary, and state parks. Florida Keys’ Marathon features scuba diving, turtle and dolphin encounters, fishing, and sailing.

Hawaii
The sole tropical island with U.S. statehood offers year-round warmth, glistening shores, and snorkeling in the clear Pacific. Visit Waikiki Beach for swimming and glorious sunsets. Check out Pali Lookout’s majestic cliff and coastal views. Honolulu draws range from the Hawaiian monarch’s Iolani Palace to historic Pearl Harbor.

Relish the world’s most spectacular sun-drenched sand in Maui. Adventures span from snorkeling to windsurfing to hiking Haleakala Crater, a dormant volcano at Maui’s tallest point. Escape to the Kohala Coast’s sleepy Kona village for black lava beaches, snorkeling, surfing, and delightful local cuisine. Peaceful Lanai’s rugged terrain and secluded seashore invite unwinding during quiet retreats.

Northern Mariana Islands
Looking for solitude? Just three of this territory’s 14 isles (Rota, Saipan, and Tinian) have permanent inhabitants. Relax on the Pacific’s tropical beaches, where you’ll get a taste of cultural food, music, and dance. Feeling more adventurous? The Northern Marianas’ Micronesian islands offer scuba diving to view the underwater mysteries of World War II shipwrecks, coral reefs, and ocean life.

Puerto Rico
African, Latin American, Spanish, and U.S. influences mingle in the Puerto Rican islands floating between Atlantic and Caribbean waters. Enjoy southern seashores, the stunning Caribbean, colorful and historic architecture, impressive mountains, and hiking through lush rain forests. Check out tiny Culebra’s nine beaches, shallow-reef snorkeling, bird sanctuary, and tempting seafood. Sunbathe, swim, and surf at Porta Del Sol’s bays and coasts. Then, sample delicious local seafood.

U.S. Virgin Islands
Besides swimming and diving in tropical weather, these former Danish territories provide intriguing history lessons. Scenic Virgin Island destinations bring complicated pasts into modern times. Residents have spanned from indigenous Indians and African traders and slaves to Europeans settlers. Charlotte Amalie’s cosmopolitan atmosphere is popular with travelers for its picturesque harbor and duty-free shopping.

Favorite sites include old Fort Christian and Blackbeard’s Castle. Maho Bay, on St. John’s north shore, offers long beaches, calm waters, and snorkeling. Sip piña coladas while taking in St. Croix’s sunny climate, blue sky and sea, white strands, and palm trees. Visit St. Thomas for sparkling sand, emerald waves, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, and windsurfing.

9 Exotic Snorkeling Adventures Around the World

Snorkeling offers amazing freedom to observe marine life’s vibrant and mysterious splendors. Discover the greatest features of nine thrilling destinations all over the globe. Then select the rugged coastline, shallow lagoon, or uninhabited island for your upcoming dream vacation.

Dress for Comfort
Pack multiple swimwear options so you can start every adventure in something clean and dry. Check out Swimsuit Direct’s plus-size bathing suit lines. Consider full-coverage one-piece versions that stay put while exposing less skin to aquatic and weather elements.
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For greater protection from chafing and sunburn, choose from our popular rash-guard styles. They stop salt water, sweat, and sand from causing bothersome irritations. Lightweight athletic shirts feature stretchy polyester or nylon materials with extra wicking ability.

Bottom cuts include bikini, hipster, and shorts. Various sleeve, torso, and bottom lengths accommodate different personal needs and concealment preferences.

Once you’re properly outfitted, pick one of the following destinations for maximum fun.

Belize’s Hol Chan Marine Reserve
The Mayan name for “Little Channel” describes this natural split on the ocean floor off Ambergris Caye’s coast. Explore multiple habitats. Mangrove roots lining the shore nurture fish, brittle stars, and anemones. The massive reef’s sizable elkhorn coral provides an ideal environment for the Hol Chan Reserve’s lobster population. Nurse sharks gather with stingrays in a deeper sea alley.

Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands
Tour numerous bays to spot fascinating wildlife underwater and on this site’s archipelagos or scattered isles. Discover Isabela Island’s Tagus Cove between volcanic craters and Pinnacle Rock Cove with its stunning formation tilting dramatically toward the ocean. This special locale offers views of Galapagos penguins, marine iguanas, nurse sharks, and five ray species. Fearless residents like curious green turtles and sea lion pups tend to investigate snorkelers.

Florida’s Devil’s Den
Ancient fossils and artifacts date this dry prehistoric cave back in time to the Ice Age. World travelers snorkel this natural wonder’s caverns, crevices, and clear spring amid fish and turtles 60 feet below ground. The Devil’s Den name stems from its underground water source’s constant 72-degree temperature spouting steam blasts from the cave’s opening on chilly winter nights.

Grenada’s Sculpture Park
Since environmental damage weakened Molinere Bay’s delicate coral, innovative regenerators placed sculptures to delight guests. Take a boat ride 10 minutes from the coastline to enjoy a guided tour. Local students cast concrete figures with enthralling faces representing Grenada’s cultural legends. Snorkel around them to notice coral taking over gradually in bright yellows and pinks.
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Indonesia’s Komodo Island
More snorkelers frequent this site than Komodo dragon fans. Jungle vegetation and sandy beaches dot this national park’s untouched coastline. Cruise past intriguing strands and caves on a lavish schooner to hidden lagoons.

At shallow reefs, watch turtles drift calmly over coral as clown fish zip through anemones. Venture deeper to catch manta rays gliding through water, awaiting prey. Upon spotting small fish and plankton, they somersault toward targets rapidly with wide-open mouths.

Japan’s Kabira Bay
Visit Ishigaki island with Mount Omoto looming across the vista to enjoy glass-bottom boats in this low-water wading area. Even experienced snorkelers may relish Kabira Bay’s amazing offshore reefs best with guides. After a boat ride, swim past coral walls and the sea floor’s sudden drop-off for an exhilarating rush. Dual aquatic environments contain irabucha as shallow dwellers and manta rays as deeper inhabitants. Disturbances transform blowfish into spiky balls instantly.

Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago
A two-mile reef runs alongside five white-sand islands off Mozambique’s southern Indian Ocean coast. Over 100 vibrant coral types and 2000-plus tropical fish species earned “the Aquarium” nickname. You might spot endangered dugongs, unusual and ginormous creatures from the manatee family. The shallow water’s clear visibility and gentle current make Bazaruto Archipelago an easy-going snorkeling paradise.

The Philippines’ El Nido
This Pacific Ocean haven, centered in a coral triangle, hosts a marine ecosystem among the world’s most biodiverse. A jungle and limestone cliffs frame El Nido’s scattered islands. Impeccable coral represents 6000-plus species. Snorkel off beaches or uninhabited lagoons or isles to catch vivid fish, five turtle species, and whale sharks darting around coral. Electric-blue ribbon eel seem to dance in the tide.

South Africa’s Aliwal Shoal
Formerly a fossilized sand dune, this reef with mesmerizing shipwrecks, caves, and ledges got its name from the stranded Aliwal ship’s 1849 remains. Snorkel among gray nurse sharks or raggies cruising the shoal. Coral shrouds neon moray eels and speckled potato bass. Humpback whales’ enchanting deep-water songs transmit miraculously to shallower swimming sites.

Best Beaches for Budget-Conscious Travelers

Are you longing for relaxing beach escapes without spending a fortune? Visit discount travel-booking websites to compare offerings and rates. Look for package deals including airfares, rental cars, and hotels costing less than purchasing those components separately. Consider options besides standard accommodations.

Many hostels near major coastal locales feature private rooms with surprisingly cushy amenities. B&Bs and vacation rentals provide varied housing at bargain prices. Check specific destinations’ state, region, island, and park tourism sites to explore sections promoting lodging, attraction, and dining specials.

Select towns and areas near national or state seashores featuring clean but basic motels, cottages, and cabins. For example, Rhode Island’s South County is a more economical Cape Cod replacement. Choose California’s recreation-focused Huntington Beach rather than sophisticated Santa Monica. Consider Florida’s enchanting Panhandle over pricier Miami Beach.

Details on these and other budget-friendly locales and appropriate beachwear will help you plan fun, fashionable getaways to beautiful yet affordable destinations.

dc029Rhode Island: South County
Imagine the hordes of Cape Cod tourists stuck in traffic as you motor leisurely past Rhode Island’s scenic coastal vistas and fishing villages. South County boasts over 20 inviting strands. Narragansett Town Beach’s two full-service pavilions feature surfing lessons and concessions.

Bumper boats, an antique carousel, and batting cages are star amusements at Westerly’s Atlantic Beach Park. South Kingstown’s East Matunuck State Beach is a pristine gem with ample picnic tables. Surprisingly low room rates are available near beaches.

For surfing, choose apparel with adequate coverage that won’t disappear with the waves. Examples include this high-neck women’s tankini swimsuit with skirted bottom in a tempting watermelon shade. The lace crochet ensures lightweight comfort. Also take beach towels and sunscreen.

California: Huntington Beach
Jan & Dean dubbed Huntington Beach “Surf City” in that catchy 1963 hit song. Discover eight miles of stunning sand and famed Huntington Beach Pier, stretching 1800 feet over impressive whitecaps. This cool hangout’s year-round events idolize surfing, volleyball, music, and artistry. Numerous lodging and casual dining options will fulfill your dream of relishing Southern California’s good life. Visit the International Surfing Museum to immerse yourself in its classic vibe.

Before hitting the beach, don this vibrant women’s one-piece bathing suit. The print depicting sunset reflecting on water sets the mood for rippling adventures. This style maintains coverage during vigorous activities, avoiding embarrassing overexposures.

dc030Florida: Gulf Coast Panhandle
Gorgeous sugary sand awaits Gulf Coast tourists. Inexpensive hotels and eateries line Pensacola’s shores. Enjoy unique attractions like diving to explore sunken shipwrecks, or marveling at elite Blue Angels jet fighter pilots flying in the exciting air shows.

Destin is a charming escape with dockside cafes and fishing boats enhancing its oceanfront appeal. Grayton Beach, St. Andrews, and St. Joseph Peninsula rank among the country’s most beautiful state parks. Other thrifty sites include Panama City and South Walton.

Pack hats and swimsuit cover-ups for sun and wind protection. Swimsuit Direct’s vast selection of women’s tops, dresses, skirts, and pants boasts many popular colors and patterns to coordinate or contrast with swimwear. Neutrals like black and white are versatile choices that complement any bathing suit. Florals and other fun prints make subdued to bold impressions. Coverage spans from concealing suits partially to completely.

U.S. Virgin Islands: St. John
Skip the luxury-priced Caneel Bay Resort in spectacular St. John. Instead, look for bargains like platform tent camps sharing communal restrooms. Or step up to eco-studio units or villas at Estate Concordia Preserve and Maho Bay featuring kitchens and private restrooms. You’ll frequent the same magnificent Caribbean beaches as wealthy patrons while spending just a tiny portion of their exorbitant lodging costs.

Casual sandals are protective and fashionable beach necessities for all ages. Swimsuits Direct carries flip-flop and sling-back styles with flat and wedge soles. Women will admire embellishments like metallic and studded straps. Color-coordinate an extensive shade spectrum with other beachwear. Patterns range from cool graphics to animal prints for adults and favorite cartoon characters for kids.

Belize: Ambergris Caye
A trip to picturesque Belize is a time-travel fantasy that inspires relaxation. The small Central American country’s biggest island, Ambergris Caye, contains a single town. San Pedro’s locals traverse sandy streets on golf carts. Pass up posh resorts in favor of affordable lodging and eateries.

Snorkelers and divers journey here to explore renowned coral reef systems including the world’s second largest and the Western Hemisphere’s longest natural wonders. Wear rash-guard swimwear to enhance underwater comfort.