It is late afternoon in the tiny town of Hofn, Iceland. I have some time. The hotel receptionist suggests a swim in the outdoor pool. What? The pool may be heated but it’s 45 degrees with about a 25 mph wind. Too cold. But not for Icelanders. They are a unique bunch. So is their unpronounceable language and their wildly desolate landscape.
How many people ask you, the travel expert, what’s the hottest trend in travel? The answer you’re going to hear most often is trips that incorporate a particular theme or hobby. Look at the enormous success of “Downton Abbey” tours that are sold out as soon as they are announced. Recently, one of the most popular trends is wine and food centric trips. The NY Times and Food and Wine Magazine devote multiple pages to describing the delights associated with sampling various kinds of wine and local food right in the vineyard. Although Napa Valley does a great job of promoting itself, there’s really no place like France to sample such a wide variety of excellent wines, especially when you can pair it with gourmet food.
It takes only about 10 minutes to spot 20, hairy bison on Custer State Park’s Buffalo Jeep Safari. They just stand alongside the road, grazing, rolling in the dirt or vacantly staring at the vehicle. It is exciting to see these one-ton creatures up close. Custer State Park and the area around Rapid City, South Dakota is a place where you can truly experience the outdoors. Hike a lunar landscape, whiz down a mountain on an alpine slide in the shadow of Mount Rushmore, horseback ride alongside granite cliffs and learn about Native American and cowboy history. You’ll want to start singing “America the Beautiful” or “Home on the Range” when you see the amber waves of grain or the deer and the antelope play.
Riding a train to a national park is an experience worth having at least once in your life. Whether it’s a tour or package that includes a train ride or an individually planned trip, riding the rails to a national park is not to be missed.
A trip to Kenya is a trip of a lifetime for most of your clients. The country, which has a rich heritage and an array of tourist attractions along with breathtaking landscapes, makes Kenya an ideal holiday destination. In central Kenya there are cool temperatures and expansive tea and coffee farms.
There are many destinations to visit while in Israel, despite most folks arriving and immediately heading to Jerusalem and then completing their tour in Tel Aviv. Israel is a country where an astonishing amount of history sits front and center alongside the modernity of Tel Aviv. Take some time while traveling and head out to the countryside where some of the lesser known, but equally interesting stops will tell the bigger story.
There is a magnificent valley in the Min Mountains of China that sits on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, stretching for over 180,000 acres. For all intents and purposes it IS Tibet, a Tibet we can legally go visit.
With a vibrant mix of cultures, innovative experiences and a thriving arts scene, Australia has long drawn visitors from around the globe. While the Australian culture defines itself by its Aboriginal heritage, its tourism attractions range from outdoor adventure, wine tasting and opera to city exploration and wildlife viewing. The beauty of Australia lends itself to just about any type of vacation paradise.
Travel games. Check. Beach toys. Check. Sippy cups. Check. Add passports and sunscreen and pack up the brood for a beach vacay in the Caribbean. Keeping kids happy even while on a winter holiday can be a challenge but scoping out the best beaches before you head for the airport is the main ingredient for hassle-free family fun under the sun.
If sun loungers on endless stretches of sandy beaches, unlimited fine dining and starry nights aren’t enough, try a resort that caters to grown-ups without distractions like teen discos and crowded buffets. A Caribbean vacation without the kids is all about swapping pint-sized dinner plates for side-by-side massages on the beach.