January News
Aloha from Kauai

We would like to express our gratitude to all of our extended Great Vacation Retreats Ohana (family) that vacationed with us in 2018! We appreciate your happy reviews and look forward to hosting many of you again as repeat guests this year!
Most of our Island keiki returned to school earlier this month, however, we still have lots of Island visitors soaking up the January sunshine. Those "snowbirds" lucky enough to spend a few months traveling to our warmer climate each winter are no doubt relieved to have escaped the winter storms that are sweeping across the mainland. For those of you bundled up in winter gear, be safe and keep warm and know that your time in the sun will come. For now, just imagine that you are this monk seal or honu (green sea turtle) basking on the beach!

#bookdirect Book your Kauai Vacation directly online and save money on commission and fees. We make finding the perfect accommodation easy!
Presley (daughter of GVR owners Scott & Amy) celebrated her 12th birthday at Waiohai. Some of Kauai's local wildlife put in special guest appearances at her beach party!
Trendy Travel
People are starting to think of traveling as the best way to really get active by doing things that are healthy for the body, mind, and spirit. Booking.com released a report stating that nearly 1 in 5 travelers in 2018 sought out vacation locales and resorts that feature hiking and walking activities, along with spa and relaxation treatments to truly rejuvenate the body.

According to Forbes.com here are the 4 biggest travel trends for 2019!

Mini Vacations "bite-sized travel"

Planning a long extended vacation is stressful... and with the emphasis on wellness it is more relaxing to take frequent shorter breaks. We make it easy to book instantly online, no check-in is required and with text messaging and digital key code entry you can go straight to the property to start enjoying your vacation. We are available 7 days a week for any questions and all of our properties come with a tailored online experience Kauai guide. More flight routes and fare competition to Hawaii (see additional routes coming soon with Southwest Airlines), along with on-demand car rentals make it easier than ever to arrange a last minute mini vacation!

• Insta-holidays

Millenials consider “Instagrammability” the most important factor in choosing their holiday destination. 2019 sees more social media-inspired tourism to beautiful locations that are snap worthy! Follow @Kauaivacations and be inspired for your next insta-holiday!
• Driven by Wellness

The Global Wellness Institute projects wellness tourism to grow twice as fast as general tourism and reach $919 billion in 2022 from the $639 billion in 2017. Kauai is known as a place of healing where you can be immersed in nature at whatever fitness level you desire. Maybe that means an invigorating paddle along the coastline or yoga on the beach at sunrise. Both activities offer the chance of being mind blown by the beauty of whales breaching on the horizon or a giant rainbow streaking across the sky that then becomes a spectacular double rainbow!! While you may be thinking - yeah sure where will the unicorns appear next? - Kauai can be surreal and mystical at times! Adventure activities offer scenes of breathtaking beauty that leave you awed with gratitude and rejuvenated in ways that you did not expect.

• “B-leisure” trips

Forget business trips. One of the key rising trends in 2019 is “bleisure” travel, which sees people mixing business with leisure. (Who comes up with these travel buzzwords!!!) According to a recent survey by Avis Car Rental, 87% of business travelers say that they are likely to mix business and leisure on the same trip. This is hardly surprising, considering that 92% of respondents admit to doing some work on dedicated leisure vacations, while 56% of travelers with children are likely to include the family on business trips. Our vacation properties all offer hi speed Wi-Fi and many have dedicated office desk areas with charging stations to work in the evening. During the day we suggest enjoying the ocean breeze and views from your oceanfront lanai!
Generation Gap Trends and Voluntourism
According to Booking.com over half (56%) of global travelers agree traveling has taught them invaluable life skills, and 2019 will see a rise in people’s desire to learn something new whilst away, as well as an increase in volunteering and skills-based vacations across generations.

Generation Z will increasingly scrutinize the value of expensive college degrees over and against the life skills and practical learning that can be gained from travel. When looking at the most popular kinds of trips with purpose, 68% of global travelers would consider participating in cultural exchanges to learn a new skill, followed by a volunteering trip (54%) and international work placements (52%).

In 2019 environmental concerns will turn into greater environmental action. Millennials and Gen Z travelers will look for sustainable experiences in their destination, while accommodation providers will look to reduce their plastic usage and increase their sustainable credentials. An overwhelming majority of global travelers (86%) say they would be willing to spend some time on activities that offset the environmental impact of their stay, with over a third (37%) willing to clear plastic and litter from a beach or other tourist attraction.

For Volunteer services that give back to the Island explore our Support Local options for a variety of non-profits that protect the ocean and wildlife heritage of Hawaii. Surfrider Foundation organizes regular beach clean ups or perhaps you would like to get involved in clearing invasive species from beautiful Kauai trails up in Kokee? Volunteer Kauai is the island of Kauai’s first major voluntourism project, begun by local non-profit Malama Kauai, whose mission is to advocate, educate, and drive action towards a sustainable Kauai.
Koloa Elementary students learned about Invasive species from Uncle Billy at the Kokee Discovery Center and helped to rid the forest of invasive Kahili Ginger Plants.
“Hanau ka palaoa noho i kai" 
Whales are known as kohola in Hawaiian and have long had a place in the Hawaiian culture. The Kumulipo creation chant speaks about the birth of the whale, “Hanau ka palaoa noho i kai (born is the whale living in the ocean).”

There is something so magical about sitting on the beach on Kauai staring out to the horizon and suddenly your eyes register a dark shape breaching from the water and ending in a massive splash. We are very lucky these gentle giants come to spend the winter holidays with us. Find out more about whale-watching on Kauai!
Eco Tourism
Eat Fresh! Buy Local, sustainable, organic fruits, veggies and Kauai Made culinary treats from the Farmers Market. Markets are held almost daily island-wide and offer a variety of produce, live music, food trucks and more... Explore the Schedule

Maybe you would prefer to take a culinary romp through paradise on a Tasting Kauai Tour? Or visit a Goat Dairy Farm or take the family on a chocolate eating tour. Kauai offers a variety of Farm Tours that allow you to taste and experience local sustainable agriculture and to explore parts of Kauai most visitors don't get to see.
Oh Horton! (an update on our GVR mascot)
There is a certain hapless hilarity to staging a pic with Horton! From trying to get him to pose in a Halloween costume or balancing antlers on his head for Christmas, we have quickly learned that he considers all props to be edible and that he is a master of twisting right out of the frame the instant you compose it. Thus, we knew it would be an ambitious undertaking to attempt to recreate Jessica's pic online with her dog Rocko, but how hard could it truly be to get Horton to pose with his paws on Amy's shoulders?
Event Calendar
Don't Forget to check out  WEEKLY EVENTS - many of them are free! Listen to Polynesian drumming, watch a hula show, pose with parrots, feed koi fish, listen to live local bands, catch a ride on the Aloha Shuttle and more...
Waimea Town Celebration Feb 16-24
The Waimea Town Celebration is a nine day festival that begins on Presidents Day Weekend and runs from Feb 16th to Feb 24th. Sample Japanese Whisky, Sake and Beer, listen to Taiko Drumming, sing Karaoke. Watch presentations of Hula and Mele and Hawaiian films at the Historical Waimea Theater... Visit the website for a full line-up of entertainment and competitions including Canoe paddling, Paniolo Hat Lei Contest, Paniolo Showdown Rodeo, Basketball, Fun Run, Ice-cream Eating Contest and so much more!

Waimea Town Celebration raises money for WKBPA projects like the Historic Waimea Theater and the continued restoration of the Hawaiian Fort at Pāʻulaʻula. Non-profit organizations and community groups such as our local schools, hula hālau, canoe clubs and sports teams also have the opportunity to raise money, and for many, this is their largest fundraiser for the year.

RAIN OR SHINE, join us and become a part of our commUNITY tradition!
UB40 at Poipu Beach Athletic Club Feb 17
Great Vacation Retreats | Phone 808.742.9202 | Text 808.427.0818 | alohagvr.com