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Wayne & Pat Dunlap
Plan Your Escape®
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Hello! We have been traveling the world for the past 3 years visiting 100 countries and 44 U.S. states in our lifetime!

We want to help make your travel dreams a reality and bring the world closer together by sharing great travel values, powerful travel tips, unique bargain-finding strategies, interesting tours, and the latest trends in travel.  

Please enjoy 185 wonderful places around the world, with award-winning photos, from our BLOG ARCHIVE down on the right ---->

Please use these posts for easy-to use trip planning ideas and tips, interesting things to do, history, and more. Also, for many free useful travel ideas and unique travel bargain-finding strategies, visit our Travel Tips, Resources, & Bargains and Great Trip Planning Ideas pages.

We are active travel photojournalists and bloggers with over 57,400 interested social media followers, travel TV hosts (Plan Your Escape® TV) aired on the CW network, travel keynote speakers, author of 5-star travel book Plan Your Escape®, and travel columnist for the Huffington Post. Our popular world travel adventures blog has been listed on Top Travel Blogs and chosen Best Boomer Travel Bloggers to Follow! Click here to learn more about us.

Pat says: “Choosing to run away with my husband and best friend has been the most rewarding lifestyle change one can make. It's brought us closer together.”



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1,000+ Wonderful Cities in the World We Have Visited

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Travel TV hosts of Plan Your Escape® TV on the CW network - sharing travel experiences and giving great travel tips and unique bargain-finding strategies as well as the woman's and man's perspective of traveling

Pat and I are passionate about travel and love to inspire people to travel and see this beautiful world. We take you to wonderful places in the world with the unique perspective of telling our viewers how you can realistically realize and afford your travel dreams.

From the hundreds of travel tips and ways to save money we have learned traveling to 100 countries, we share secrets of traveling the world for less than the cost of living at home. We show how travel is easier, safer, and more affordable than you may believe.

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A Bargain Strategy: Best Day of Week to Book Airfare

Early in the week many airlines release sales, often on Mondays, leaving other airlines rushing to match prices. By Tuesday afternoon, many competing airlines have matched or maybe beat the lower price. These sales normally last through Thursday, but because they often have very limited availability, you should check airfares on Tuesday (early Wednesday at the latest), and be ready to book. Click here to see many more travel tips and bargain-finding strategies.

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Loreto and Villa del Palmar Resort, Baja California Mexico


Loreto and Villa del Palmar Resort, Baja California Mexico (11/14-18/2013)

Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto Resort
Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto Resort
View from Our Room Loreto Villa del palmar
View from Our Room
Welcome back to SAFE MEXICO where you can relax without worry, drink the water, and eat gourmet food. We are so glad the elegant 5-star Villa del Mar at the Islands of Loreto Resort invited us to visit because we found the ideal upscale Mexican oasis for tranquility and pampering with stunning ocean and mountain views and exciting activities.

Map of the Islands of Loreto  Baja California Mexico
Map of the Islands of Loreto 
- Baja California, Mexico
Recently built in 2011, everything is new, clean, and modern. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and views of the Sea of Cortez and the picturesque Islands of Loreto (see photo), the resort is secluded away from everything. You are completely safe and never bothered by vendors. With their own water purification system, you have no concerns about the food and water. You can drink the water from the tap – we did for days.

Our Villa at Villa del Palmar
Our 'Villa' at Villa del Palmar
After a 2-hour comfortable direct flight from Los Angeles LAX on Alaska Air we left our all stress behind to be completely pampered by an extremely attentive English-speaking staff. After an easy check through at the new modern Loreto airport, we were picked up by the resort staff for a scenic drive along the beautiful Sea of Cortez. Upon arrival at the resort, we were taken to our 1-bedroom villa featuring postcard-perfect views (see photos), a full kitchenette, washer/dryer, living room, and a balcony larger than our at home. Amazing room!

Chocolate Claims
Chocolate Claims
As hard as it was to leave this beautiful room, the magnificent views from every window drew us out to enjoy this impressive resort. First it was lunch at the Casa Mia beachside restaurant. TRY THE CHOCOLATE CLAIMS claimed to have aphrodisiac qualities (we are not telling). They are taken fresh and named for the color of their shell, not for using chocolate (sorry, chocoholics).

Now it’s time for a soak in one of the huge outdoor jacuzzi or a swim in one of the four heated pools all designed to look like a turtle (see photo). Then relax by the pool or sit on the beach with a tropical drink.

Dolphins in the Sea of Cortez
Dolphins in the Sea of Cortez
For those who desire a more active vacation, the resort can arrange a host of activities to keep you busy. Located in the protected Loreto Bay National Marine Park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Loreto is known for its scuba diving and world-class sport fishing in the blue waters of the Sea of Cortez.

Blue Footed Boobie Sea of Cortez Mexico
Blue Footed Boobie - Sea of Cortez, Mexico
We elected to take the boat ride to Coronado Island with optional snorkeling witnessing the beauty of the Sea of Cortez. We were so glad we did. Taken on a brand-new covered boat, we were amazed to see blue-footed boobies and dolphins (see photos) in cobalt-blue water. The snorkeling in warm water with good visibility was also very nice with lots of colorful fish and diversity of marine life in this protected environment.

Pat Cruising the Sea of Cortez Baja Mexico
Pat Cruising the Sea of Cortez 
- Baja California Mexico
Other activities include kayaking, beach walks, aquaerobics, tennis, hiking trials, paddle boarding, and other planned activities. Theme night entertainment is presented every night. We liked watching a movie outside at night by the pool with a blanket of stars overhead. They have a kids club and babysitting available for parents craving a romantic night together.

Whale watching tours are available in season. The waters off Loreto are home to several species of great whales including Blue, Fin, Bryde's, Humpback, Orca, Sperm, and others. Internet Wi-Fi is available on room balconies for those who need to stay connected.

Romantic Domingo's Place  Loreto Mexico
Romantic Domingo's Place - Loreto, Mexico
The resort offers a free shuttle into the historic town of Loreto (see more below) where you can do some shopping, stroll along the new oceanside malecon walkway, golf along the waterside, and enjoy this small authentic Mexican town. While in town there is a nice restaurant called Domingo’s Place where you can enjoy good Mexican food in a romantic setting (see photo).

Gourmet Mexican Dishes 
at Danzante Restaurant

Now for dining at Villa del Palmar... and what great choices you have. The Market Restaurant serves an incredible buffet or individual meals. Don’t miss the resort’s fine-dining Danzante Restaurant. Described as a fusion of steak and seafood with a delightful Mexican touch flavor, it offers some the best gourmet Mexican dishes we have ever had. Crafted by a top chief, the food is so good at the Villa del Palmar Loreto; our only regret is that we could not try all the dishes.
Morning at Villa del Palmar Loreto
Morning at Villa del Palmar Loreto
Also, another not-to-be-missed experience is the Sabila Spa. Described by the spa manager as 39,000 square feet of pure pampering, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. This clean and elegant spa has just about everything you need with a fitness center with yoga classes, healthful enzyme whirlpools, jacuzzi spas, steam room, and very nice staff. The view is beautiful. The spa treatments are top notch. Our massage was so relaxing and one of the best we have ever had. You can use the spa for a nominal fee (free with a service).
View from Our Room Villa del Palmar Loreto
View from Our Room - Villa del Palmar Loreto
Rated 5-stars, the resort manager calls describes the Villa del Palmar Loreto as a million-star hotel because with the clean air, viewing the stars at night is remarkable. With their remote peaceful setting, they believe that you need to ‘disconnect to reconnect.’ We highly recommend the Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto Resort for a safe and distressing upscale Mexico getaway.

Loreto & some history...

Mission and Downtown Loreto Baja Mexico
Mission and Downtown Loreto - Baja California Mexico
Loreto boosts 300 plus days of sunshine and moderate-warm climate. Loreto is a small Mexican town with a historic center dating back to 1697 founded by Jesuit missionaries. It was the first Spanish settlement on the Baja California Peninsula and served as the capital of the Las Californias from 1697 to 1777. The mission in downtown Loreto (see photo) is considered as the origin of missions of Alta and Baja California.

Travel tips... Mexico uses the same electrical plugs as the U.S. so no adaptors are needed. Just bring your passport. At the time of writing this blog post, a direct flight from Los Angeles LAX was available. For those who want to drive to LAX airport, the Hacienda Hotel offers a “Park, Room, Fly” deal for $149 plus tax to stay one night (before or after your trip) and park for up to 14 days with free shuttle service to and from the airport.

Please see our other 4 posts about great Mexican resort areas:

Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico

Mexico’s Caribbean Riviera Maya (Big cities -Cancun & Playa del Carmen and Smaller villages - Tulum & Puerto Morelos)

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Huatulco, Mexico

For free travel tips and cost-saving bargains:
- Like us on our Facebook travel page
- Follow us on Twitter: Follow @wdunlap

Treat yourself and see many more photos (some winners of awards) of our worldwide travel adventures - click on our travel photo file: www.flickr.com/photos/unhooknow/sets.

Contact us to Arrange an inspirational and informative Plan Your Escape® travel presentation for your organization about great travel tips, unique bargain-finding strategies, easy-to-use planning tools, and interesting stories.

From a travel TV host (Plan Your Escape®), travel columnist for the Huffington Post, and experience traveler (100 countries), our popular selling 5-star customer rated groundbreaking and comprehensive how-to world travel book (available as paperback or Ebook for $7.96) Plan Your Escape®, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home reveals secrets how you can travel and see more for half the cost for all trips from weekend getaways to longer vacations and trips, experience more adventure and romance, safely realize your travel dreams with comprehensive planning tools and checklists, travel the world for less than $100/day for a couple, and much more! – for additional information and sign up for free travel tips and bargains, go to www.PlanYourEscapeNow.com

Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico

Rosarito Beach Baja California Mexico
Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico
Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico (8/4-11/2013) – An hour away but a world apart, Rosarita offers a safe and accessible Mexican adventure with great year-round weather, beautiful beaches, and nice restaurants.

Rosarito is located about 20 miles south of the U.S. border from San Diego, California. The 35-minute scenic drive via a good toll road has beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.

Rosarito Beach Baja California Mexico
Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico
Vendor  Rosarito Beach Mexico
Vendor - Rosarito Beach, Mexico
Rosarito Beach is a wide sandy beach that has palapa style restaurants on the sand with decent Mexican food and well-priced Mexican beer and margaritas. Many activities are available such as fishing, surfing, and horseback riding on the beach. If you want to get a bit crazy at night, there are some lively beach clubs such as Papas & Beer and Club Iggy’s. The clubs are located in the same area making for easy barhopping to find the one you like best.

Rosarito Beach Hotel Rosarito Mexico
Rosarito Beach Hotel - Rosarito, Mexico
View from Our Hotel Room Rosarito Beach Hotel
View from Our Hotel Room 
- Rosarito Beach Hotel
We stayed at the Rosarito Beach Hotel and had a great time. It is very well located right on the beach where we could walk to many things. During the day, we enjoyed the palapa restaurants ordering drinks, guacamole, and tacos saving some room to enjoy some very nice local restaurants at night. We liked Susana’s and El Nido. The Rosarito Beach Hotel has a nice restaurant with a good value weekend buffet and they offer a Mexican floorshow and karaoke bar. Before a night out we relaxed in the Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean.

Store  Rosarito Mexico
Store - Rosarito, Mexico
Also, next to the Rosarito Beach Hotel is a large shopping arcade offering traditional Mexican crafts and souvenirs and the beach clubs are couple of blocks down the street. Taking a walk out on the pier located in front of the hotel provides you a beautiful view of Rosario Beach (see photos). The Rosarito Beach Hotel has a variety of rooms ranging in price from simple ocean view rooms in the old hotel to upgraded suites in the new hotel. Don’t forget to pick up a Fast Pass when returning to the U.S. reducing the wait to about 45 minutes.

Store Rosarito Mexico
Puerto Nuevo Style Lobsters
Lobster Restaurants Overlooking the Ocean at The Arches
Restaurant Overlooking 
the Ocean at The Arches
Puerto Nuevo lobster village is a must stop located about 15 minutes south of Rosarito. It is located along a beautiful rocky shore and has more than 35 restaurants all serving delicious Puerto Nuevo Style lobsters garnished with beans, rice, and homemade tortillas (see photo). We like one of the original restaurants, Ortegas, at the far end of the village. Puerto Nuevo is a fun stop and the lobster is wonderful.

Also located nearby is the Paradise Cove restaurant on the beach with good food and music on occasion. For more adventure, you can drive about hour south to Ensenada and la Bufadora, where you can witness a sea geyser that rises up to 59 feet.

Gourmet Lunch at Finca Altozano Guadalupe Wine Valley Mexico
Gourmet Lunch at Finca Altozano 
- Guadalupe Wine Valley, Mexico
Seafood Lunch at The Arches
Seafood Lunch at The Arches
A nice day trip is visiting the Guadalupe Wine Valley about 45 minutes drive from Rosarito. They are producing some very fine wines. Visiting the wineries means venturing off the road onto dirt roads. You can arrange a wine tour of several nice wineries or take a drive, like we did. We liked our visit to the L.A. Cetto winery and having a gourmet lunch at Finca Altozano, an open restaurant overlooking a vineyard.

Travel Tip... When you arrive in Rosarito, do visit the Rosarito Visitor’s Center located a few blocks north of the Rosarito Beach Hotel. They have good maps and will help you with directions and suggest activities.

Traditional Mexican Dancers at Rosarito Beach Hotel
Traditional Mexican Dancers 
at Rosarito Beach Hotel
About Rosarito... The main town of Rosarito runs along the beach for about four miles on Boulevard Benito Juarez consisting of hotels, condominiums, restaurants, gift shops, and curios. Rosarito’s economy is largely tourist-based with high rises that are predominantly hotels and resorts. With a drinking age of 18, its beaches and dance clubs are a popular destination for young people from the United States during Spring Break and Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

Rosarito Beach Pier
Rosarito Beach Pier
Getting to Rosarito... From San Diego, there are a couple of options to get to Rosarito. We found driving our car was fine. If you don’t want to drive in Mexico, you can take a taxi after crossing into Tijuana for about $15 – ask before getting in. Taxis can be found on Francisco I Madero, one block over from Av. Revolucion, between Carillo Puerto and Calle 4ta. There are also yellow shared taxi vans that will take you from Zona Centro in Tijuana to Rosarito for less than $2.

If you take your car, it is important to buy liability car insurance that can be purchased online or at numerous agencies at the border. Even if the accident is not your fault, you will be held until that's cleared. We bought insurance online for about $90 for a week with daily rates much lower.


Map Northern Baja California Mexico
Map - Northern Baja California, Mexico

Driving directions... Rosarito is easily accessed via a very nice toll road (Mexico 1D - Cuota) that runs along the Pacific Ocean. It costs less than $3 each way. After crossing the border at San Ysidro, follow signs that read “Enenada-Rosarito Cuota” getting into the 3rd lane (counting out from the median). In about 100 meters you'll be on an overpass and a 4th lane will bring on merging traffic - move over to the 4th lane and an off ramp to the right will take you to the Via International/Carretera Mexico 1D. This is the main highway to take you to Rosarito, Ensenada, and the western part of Tijuana (Las Playas).


Please see our other 4 blog posts on Mexico:




For free travel tips and cost-saving bargains: 
- Like us on our Facebook travel page 
- Follow us on Twitter: Follow @wdunlap

Treat yourself and see many more photos (some winners of awards) of our worldwide travel adventures - click on ourtravel photo file: www.flickr.com/photos/unhooknow/sets.

Contact us to Arrange an inspirational and informative Plan Your Escape® travel presentation for your organization about great travel tips, unique bargain-finding strategies, easy-to-use planning tools, and interesting stories.

From a travel TV host (Plan Your Escape®), travel columnist for the Huffington Post, and experience traveler (100 countries), our popular selling 5-star customer rated groundbreaking and comprehensive how-to world travel book (available as paperback or Ebook for $7.96) Plan Your Escape®, Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home reveals secrets how you can travel and see more for half the cost for all trips from weekend getaways to longer vacations and trips, experience more adventure and romance, safely realize your travel dreams with comprehensive planning tools and checklists, travel the world for less than $100/day for a couple, and much more! – for additional information and sign up for free travel tips and bargains, go to www.PlanYourEscapeNow.com