Plan Your Summer Getaway

Everything you need for your next vacation

Cancun, Mexico

When the New Orleans humidity leaves you feeling drenched every time you walk outside, it’s time for your summer getaway. Whether you’re looking to travel far out west or trying to stay closer to home, here are some great destinations and travel tips for your trip.

If you’re feeling lucky in Las Vegas, rolling the dice at Aria is a must. The casino offers more than 150,000 square feet of gaming – with the highest technology slot machines and the most intimate atmosphere for table games. Elvis fans can shake their hips at Cirque du Soleil’s extravagant Viva ELVIS show this summer, with tickets starting at $69. Aria has more than 4,000 rooms with panoramic, floor-to-ceiling windows, which offer dazzling views of the Las Vegas skyline. Aria has a special offer this summer: Book your room for a select date and receive a complimentary upgrade to a City View Deluxe Room and a breakfast buffet credit. After resting up in a luxurious guest room, satisfy your taste buds at one of Aria’s 16 restaurants – with some of the world’s most highly acclaimed chefs (enjoy a savory steak at Jean Georges Steakhouse) – or relax at one of its 10 bars and lounges.

Make reservations at arialasvegas.com.

You don’t have to travel too far from home for a fun beach vacation: Ocean Springs, Miss., is located in the heart of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Ocean Springs is a great community for artists and art lovers. As many nationally recognized painters and potters reside there, there’s always a good exhibit to see. The town plays host to May Fest (an annual festival with food, music and art) on the first weekend of the month. Even if you miss that, you can get your fill of art at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, dedicated to the American master most well-known for his artwork depicting the Gulf Coast. The museum often has changing exhibitions that feature a variety of works by other artists, as well. When you’re ready to hit the beach, Front Beach is a serene strip that’s safe for kids and provides a quiet spot to read a book. For those with a sweet tooth, taste the freshest, fattest blueberries at the Red, White & Blueberry Festival. There is something for all vacationers in Ocean Springs – with more than 100 shops, museums, galleries and restaurants – all less than two hours away from New Orleans. Visit oceanspringschamber.com to plan your trip.

When you’re packing your bags to head to the beach, you can’t forget your beauty essentials – and Tisa Beauty Bar (5421 Magazine St., 891-8992) has everything you need to prepare for your trip. The shop offers a small travel kit by Luzern, which includes: an all-natural, organic sunscreen; a cleanser; a toner; a moisturizer; and a vitamin C, oxygen-infused mask. Tisa Camet says, “I am a big fan of doing something extra special during a vacation, so the mask is great for that.” Pick up MOROCCANOIL® hair treatment from the shop to hydrate your hair and protect its color from sun damage. The TRUE Cosmetics compact is easy to travel with and has an SPF 17 touch-up powder. If you’re going to be worried about stepping onto the beach with ghostly pale skin, at Tisa Beauty Bar you can get an airbrush tan that leaves your skin looking naturally bronze.

In business since 1975, Town and Country Travel (723 Aurora Ave., Metairie; 838-8702) is a full-service travel agency that can assist you with all your traveling needs. Experienced travel agents specialize in European travel and honeymoons, but they can give you advice for anywhere on the globe. Co-owner Lucienne Gore says, “With all our agents put together, we’ve traveled the world,” so no matter where you want to go, someone at the agency will have suggestions. Two of the most popular summer trips are the El Dorado resort in Cancun and the New York City group vacation (perhaps for a fun ladies’ getaway). The agency’s best all-inclusive summer trips are Beaches and Sandals Caribbean vacations. Beaches resorts are geared toward families, with exciting activities for kids of all ages, while Sandals caters to couples. If you love the New Orleans heat, then maybe you want to plan ahead with Town and Country Travel for a Mediterranean cruise in the fall, which is the most cost-effective time to go. The agency can help you with any vacation, with everything from preparing visas to selecting a hotel.

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