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20 Warm Places Where You Can Escape During the Holidays

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Wouldn’t you know that Halloween is now firmly in the rearview mirror. And that can only mean one thing! Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away now… And what happens after the turkey comes out of the oven and the calendar switches over to the last month of the year? Well, that means that the holidays are finally upon us!

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Sure, the holidays are all well and good! It’s great to have the opportunity to gather with friends and family and to celebrate. However, let’s face the facts. As fun as the holidays can be, they can also be mighty stressful – and not to mention a bit cold and dreary.

That’s why so many people start thinking of getting away from it all to a place that’s warm and sunny during the holiday season. And if you’re one of those kinds of people, then you’ve definitely come to the right place. On the list below, we’re going to review our picks for 20 warm places where you can go in order to escape the holidays this winter. From incredible islands to warm desert locales, they’re all here. So, take your pick, and save yourself from the winter doldrums!

1. Little Palm Island, Florida

Part of the Keys, this relaxed Florida destination features winter-time temps that over in the mid 70s.

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2. Hamilton Parish, Bermuda

Only a short plane ride away from the East Coast of the U.S., Hamilton Parish features great weather and some gorgeous pink-sand beaches.

3. Deep Water Cay, Bahamas

If you fancy a warm deep-water fishing excursion as your winter holiday getaway, then this Bahamas destination is a great choice.

4. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Home to some of the very best resorts in the world, there’s always a good time to be had here during the winter months.

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5. Nicaragua

If you’re looking for a warm place to head this winter where the surfing is good, Nicaragua is a sneaky-good destination.

6. Hermitage Bay, Antigua

The rugged coastline along Hermitage Bay means that it’s eminently possible to find a beautiful stretch of sand and surf to call your own.

7. St. John, USVI

You won’t need to take out your passport in order to pay this wonderful island – which will have temps in the low 80s – a visit.

8. Christiansted, St. Croix

This beautiful historic town has a unique splendor that’s only eclipsed by the natural beauty of the landscape surrounding.

9. Willemstad, Curacao

Featuring exquisite Dutch architecture, you won’t get those low Dutch winter temps here.

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10. Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

If you pay this destination a visit during the holidays, be sure to take part in some of the best snorkeling on the planet.

11. Viti Levu, Fiji

As you’re enjoying temperatures that can reach up into the high 80s, you’ll likely be blown away by the incredible beauty of the deep blue waters around you.

12. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

You’ll find plenty of beautiful resorts along the coastline here, a place where the average temps during the holidays are in the mid 80s.

13. The Maldives

This chain of islands is famous for a reason, and you’ll definitely enjoy the warm weather when you’re staying in a gorgeous overwater bungalow.

14. Saba

If you’re looking for an uncommon Caribbean experience, the island of Saba is definitely there to accommodate.

15. San Diego, California

The beautiful city of San Diego has beautiful weather year round and is home to some great cultural attractions, such as the world-renowned San Diego Zoo.

16. Todos Santos, Mexico

Why put up with the party crowds of places like Cabo when you can enjoy a relaxing and warm vacation here?

17. Petit St. Vincent, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

If you find yourself here during the holiday season, it’s entirely possible that you might be rubbing elbows with the rich and famous.

18. Paracas, Peru

The gorgeous cliffs of Paracas are only a few hours away from Lima. Here you’ll find beautiful beaches and an incredible diversity of wildlife.

19. Roatan, Honduras

Here’s the place you’ll want to hit up if your idea of a warm holiday getaway includes getting some great scuba-diving in.

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20. Virgin Gorda, BVI

When you’re looking for a warm-weather getaway this winter that’s high on romance, don’t sleep on Virgin Gorda.

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World’s First All-Weather Autonomous Bus Rolls Out in Finland

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Most autonomous vehicles require great weather and clear roads to function, which means they can’t drive during certain, less pleasant times of the year. But a new robot bus has been designed to drive even in heavy rain, snow, or fog — and it’s rolling out in Finland.

The Gacha, which features tech by Finnish autonomous-driving company Sensible 4 and a design by Japanese retailer Muji, is the world’s first autonomous shuttle bus for all weather conditions.

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Gacha’s autonomous driving technology ensures the vehicle’s superior positioning, navigation, and obstacle detection performance thus allowing autonomous driving throughout the year regardless of the environment and conditions, according to a statement from the City of Helsinki.

Gacha is 14.7 feet long, 7.8 feet wide, 9 feet high — it can seat 10 passengers with space for six additional standing adults.

Photo Credit: Justus Hirvi / Bonzu / MUJI

The four-wheel-drive all-electric autonomous vehicle is capable of maximum speeds of 25 miles per hour, plus the electric motor has a range of 62 miles with wireless charging offered as an option.

After its unveiling in Helsinki, Gacha is set to drive and take passengers in three Finnish cities as part of real-life traffic tests. Sensible 4 and Muji are finalizing plans for the first Gacha fleet, which is expected to roll out in 2020.

Photo Credit: Justus Hirvi / Bonzu / MUJI

In Finland, weather has been an important factor in opening the market for autonomous buses or robotaxis. Sensible 4 has focused in testing and validating self-driving technology test in the arctic Lapland conditions.

“We are developing these vehicles so that they can become part of daily transportation service chain. Autonomous vehicles can’t become mainstream until their technology has been insured to work in all climates,” said Harri Santamala, CEO of Sensible 4.

Photo Credit: Justus Hirvi / Bonzu / MUJI

Design-wise, Gacha boasts Muji’s minimalist aesthetic. Gacha is designed with no front or back, and features a LED light belt, made from the combination of the headlights and communication screen, while the seating follows the soft, rounded square shape of the bus.

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This Little Robot Blasts the Bacteria in Your Hotel Room Bed

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We all know the drill: A hotel room may look tidy, but there’s bacteria lurking in those neatly pressed sheets. In a 2012 study, researchers found 81 percent of hotel room surfaces sampled had some fecal bacteria.

But before you start stressing about your next vacation, there’s a little robot that can help. Ventur Studio’s CleanseBot is a travel-sized cleaning robot designed to sanitize and disinfect hotel room surfaces — no chemicals used.

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Equipped with with artificial-intelligence tech and 18 sensors, CleanseBot uses multi-directional, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation — UV-C lamps — to blast away 99.99 percent of germs and bacteria on any surfaces, but most importantly, on your hotel bed.

The UV-C light has also been proven to help prevent the spread of airborne viruses, according to Ventur Studios.

Photo Credit: CleanseBot/Ventur Studio

To blast away the bacteria on your bed, just set the robot down on the bed for 30 or 60 minutes, and it works to sanitize and disinfect sheets and blankets. Its sensors can detect obstacles, allowing it to change directions and climb over materials.

You can then pick up the bot in handheld mode to sanitize electronic devices, light switches, hard surfaces, children’s toys, and even pet toys. When in handheld mode, sensors automatically switch off the upward-facing UV-C light.

Photo Credit: CleanseBot/Ventur Studio

Weighing less than half a pound, Ventur Studio says the CleanseBot kills 99.99 percent of bacteria, germs, and dust mites. In addition to its three cleaning modes (under blanket, climbing, and handheld), CleanseBot is also a power bank able to charge devices with its 3700 mAh battery.

Ventur Studio currently has patents for the CleanseBot, including technology that keeps the tiny machine from falling off a bed, and another for the wheel technology, which allows the robot to go over any type of material or surface.

Photo Credit: CleanseBot/Ventur Studio

On Jan.7, CleanseBot hit the ‘million club’ on Kickstarter — 10,474 backers had pledged $1,187,861 to bring the project to life.

The Kickstarter sale price is $99, and all orders and units are expected to ship in April 2019.

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This $800 Robot Suitcase Will Follow You Around Airports

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Wheeling clunky luggage before a flight can be stressful. Thankfully, ForwardX Robotics, an autonomous-focused company, developed a better travel companion: A robot suitcase that follows you around airports.

On Monday, ForwardX Robotics announced in a press release that it will showcase the Ovis Suitcase, an autonomous piece of luggage that’s powered by AI and self-navigates through terminals, at  CES 2019. ForwardX Robotics said the Ovis Suitcase, which will cost $799, will be available to customers by the first half of 2019.

After debuting the CX-1, a suitcase prototype model, at CES 2018, ForwardX Robotics upgraded the Ovis Suitcase with cool high-tech features, including side-follow movement, a GPS tracking module, and a manual mode for escalators and stairs.

Unlike standard luggage, the Ovis Suitcase uses self-driving technology and algorithms to side-follow users anywhere, including airports, city streets, and hotels. Computer vision technology enables the Ovis Suitcase to spot obstacles and move around them, so users won’t have to worry about it bumping into objects.

On escalators and stairs, users can place their hand on the Ovis Suitcase handle to switch it to manual mode. Users can wear a smart band that notifies them when the Ovis Suitcase is more than 6.5 feet away, and a GPS tracking module allows users to find their Ovis Suitcase if they leave it behind in a car or hotel.

Ovis Suitcase (Photo Credit: ForwardX)

Following CES 2018, ForwardX Robotics raised more than $1.4 million for the Ovis Suitcase through its Indiegogo campaign. ForwardX Robotics, which previously raised $10 million in series A funding, just closed its series B funding round with another $20 million. With the Ovis Suitcase, ForwardX Robotics aims to provide customers with high-tech, hassle-free travel experiences, so they don’t have to worry about luggage issues on the go.

“Most robots today are programmed to do a single task. Our AI-enabled robots can perform several different functions with very limited help from humans, similar to self-driving vehicles,” Nicholas Chee, the CEO of ForwardX Robotics, said in the press release. “We see that as the next true breakthrough in robotic technology.”

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