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10 Trips to plan in the New Year

Time to travel

The tree is on the curb, ready for collection, and the holiday decorations are back in the attic. What happens now? Why not kickstart the New Year with planning a vacation? It'll refresh your body and soul for an exciting, energizing 2010. Here are our picks for the best destinations for couples and families.

Couple on vacation in Italy

Choc it up

Nestled between Mexico and Guatemala on the Caribbean coast of Central America, Belize is known for its natural attractions, such as the Great Blue Hole and hundreds of ancient Mayan sites that are both excavated and jungle covered. The Cotton Tree Lodge is combining chocolate, eco-friendly adventure and Mayan culture in its Chocolate Week special, March 13 to 20 and May 16 to 23.

My Life
  1. Fill your belly in Belize – can there be anything more fun than celebrating Chocolate Week on a tropical beach?
  2. Go shopping in Maine – perfect for a girlfriend's getaway, the outlet shopping will help you build an appetite by day, and the lobsters will quench your tummy by night!
  3. Ultimate Twilight Adventure – head out to Seattle to experience a Twilight package that includes an authentic tour of Forks, Washington, the sleepy town where it all began for Edward and Bella.
  4. Ahoy Captain – Try a guided yachting tours in the British Virgin Islands and along the Mediterranean.
  5. Discovery history - Retrace the steps of one of the most fascinating civilizations in the Americas with Intrepid Travel.

Go rogue

The "Bettys with Backpacks" women-only hiking adventure along Oregon's historic Rogue River puts you front and center with some of the most pristine wilderness in the United States. The adventure kicks off May 10 and is led by Rogue Wilderness Adventures along one of the original eight rivers protected by Wild and Scenic Act of 1968.

Maine attraction

Miles of white sand beaches and acres of farmland and countryside make up the southern coast of Maine -- among the most popular travel destinations in the country. Grab your girls and shop the infamous Kittery and Freeport Outlets and other chic boutiques of Kennebunkport, and then head to The Cliff House Resort & Spa, just an hour north of Boston, for the ultimate girlfriend getaway.

Vampire love

In the wake of the latest Twilight movie release, three Kimpton properties in Seattle are offering an "Ultimate Twilight Adventure" package that includes a tour of Forks, Washington, the sleepy town where it all began for Edward and Bella. You'll see highlights such as Bella's truck, the Forks Police Station and La Push.

Live the good life

The newly renovated Palais Stéphanie in Cannes is taking inspiration from the jet-set fashion of the luxury hotspot with its "Azur Sky Discovery" special that includes accommodations, daily breakfast and a thrilling 45-minute private jet flight over the city. A girl's gotta live, right?

Historic adventure

Retrace the steps of one of the most fascinating civilizations in the Americas with Intrepid Travel. The "Inca Trail" adventure package starts in Cuzco, where you'll follow Incan traditions and history through the fertile sacred valley and then hike to Machu Picchu. From there, you'll get a taste for colonial Spain and modern-day practices in Lima.

Get in touch with your roots

Travel to Italy with italyMONDO tours and research your family history. The company can help you locate long-lost relatives and plan a custom trip of not only your family's town but also of the entire country. Whether you're traveling with your loved ones or girlfriends, the company can customize the itinerary based on your specific requirements.

Hit the high seas

Adventurati offers guided yachting tours in the British Virgin Islands and along the Mediterranean. Sail in exotic destinations in countries like Croatia, Greece and Ibiza and enjoy a fully stocked yachting experience.

Lakeside escape

Elkhart Lake is a quick drive from many metro Midwest areas -- just one hour from Milwaukee and a little under three from Chicag--o and is a fun, relaxing place known for its memorable atmosphere. Lakefront resorts, romantic bed and breakfasts, and the L'ecole de la Maison cooking school all call this laid-back luxury destination home.

Island-hopping

Tahiti covers more than 2 million square miles of the South Pacific Ocean and comprises 118 islands spread over five great archipelagos. What more do you need to know? All right, maybe we should mention that the island destination is boasting a handful of killer deals for the New Year -- from romantic escapes to family adventure deals, you'll find something that fits.

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