Planning Ahead for Those Major Vacations Delayed Last Year
There are trips you can jump on last minute. Others involve advance planning because the demand is so high, and the best accommodations book up in advance. If you’ve been putting off the major vacations you’ve always wanted to take, the lessons of CV19 are that we should go for it! We never know when something like a pandemic will bring travel grinding to a halt. With climate change and constantly evolving political conditions worldwide, now is the time to plan for those fabulous trips you delayed.
Here are some options to consider:
Every year, millions of wildebeest migrate across the Serengeti and Masai Mara. Called one of the most phenomenal natural spectacles of the world the annual movement is accompanied by large numbers of zebra, gazelle, elands and impalas. Many people plan trips around this migration in Tanzania and Kenya. If gorillas are more your interest – and you’re in fabulous shape – Rwanda and Uganda are ideal places to see them. South Africa features vast safari parks, private and national, as well as the famous Winelands, evolving cities, and historical sights. We can even combine safaris with visits to Victoria Falls and a river cruise in Namibia. The fabulous islands off the coast of Africa – Mozambique, Zanzibar, the Seychelles, Mauritius enable you to rest after your mainland exploration.
Located 620 miles off the coast of Ecuador these 19 islands are one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife viewing. You will see species found no where else, and have the ability to get up close to them. Charles Darwin visited in 1835, and his observation of Galápagos’ species inspired his theory of evolution. Best visited by yacht or small cruise ship, there are also lodges for those who want to base themselves on land.
Machu Picchu and Peru
Peru is a diverse country that offers something for every type of traveler. The culinary scene in Lima is considered the best of South America; the Andes and Inca ruins are a photographer’s dream; the mysterious Nazca Lines may leave you speechless. The hotel scene is just as diverse – from luxury properties where oxygen is pumped into your room to backpacker type accommodations. You can hike the Inca trail in tents or the Salkantay trek in luxury lodges. As a certified Peru expert, with a wealth of contacts in the country, I can customize the Peru trip you will remember forever.
River Cruising in Europe, Asia, or Africa
River cruising is one of my specialties. As a certified specialist with 7 different river cruise lines, I am qualified to match you up with the best cruise for your travel style. If you’re new to river cruising you might want to start off with the Danube or the Rhine. Currently my preferred river cruise partner is offering a $300 per stateroom shipboard credit on many of its Rhine and Danube departures, even on the spacious AmaMagna.
Iceland, Norway, Greenland and parts of Canada are wonderful places to view the Northern Lights, in season. I saw them for hours in Iceland, just outside of Reykjavik. Even in the city they’re visible but best viewed where there is less light pollution.
Expedition Cruises to Antarctica, the Arctic
For people who’ve been everywhere, Antarctica and the Arctic are the final frontiers.
Antarctic expedition cruises sail along the continent’s incredible coasts, admire its unique wildlife — from king penguins to whales — and navigate through immaculate white scenery, where icebergs glimmer. Typically the cruises have 200 guests max, and the ships feature Zodiacs and helicopters to enable you to get up close. For those who don’t want to cruise through the potentially rough Drake Passage there is a flight/cruise option that enables you to minimize the nausea. Arctic expeditions visiting Kangerlussuaq, Grundarfjörður, Longyearbyen, Kivitoo… If there are any town and village names that truly evoke the Far North, it’s those of Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Canada.The scenery in this part of the world is simply spectacular. Icebergs, sea ice and volcanic mountain landscapes extend as far as the eye can see. You might spot a polar bear or 5. Amazon River Cruises and Lodges
Peru and Brazil offer a wide range of jungle lodges and river cruises for moderate to luxury budgets. The lodges and cruises include several daily excursions, comfortable accommodations, and many opportunities to see exotic animals and birds. Whether you stay on a boat or lodge, your Amazon journey can be easily combined with a wide array of nearby destinations.
A stay in an overwater bungalow is a dream trip for most travelers. This accommodation offers instant romance for a honeymoon, anniversary, or a fabulous getaway! French Polynesia, Fiji or the Maldives come to mind when most people think of staying in an overwater bungalow, but they actually exist in Mexico and the Caribbean. The accommodation pricing will be similar but the flight time and price will be substantially lower.
Many travelers do a split stay, especially in French Polynesia where you will want to visit several islands. For those with budget considerations, a few nights overwater at one location, then a beachfront room in another is a good way to have the experience.
Alaska Cruises, Rail, and Self-Drive
Alaska cruises are on hold now, but will hopefully return for the summer 2021 season. I highly recommend the smaller luxury or expedition ships, but regularly book the larger Celebrity or Norwegian cruises. Alaska Rail combines well with most cruise departures and is a fabulous way to travel to Denali, on a slow moving train with dome car to view the best scenery. Or I can arrange a self-drive trip for those who want to explore deeper. Alaska also features the Northern Lights in the fall and winter.
This ancient land is perfect for lovers of history. After years of unrest, travelers returned to Egypt in droves a couple of years ago. It is pretty awesome to sit by your pool in Cairo with a view of the pyramids. Old Cairo is a pilgrimage site for Christians, and the ancient synagogue should be visited too. The hot Egyptian Museum crammed with significant antiquities including King Tut’s should be replaced with a modern, new, air conditioned building soon. After visiting the important sights of Cairo, fly to Luxor to begin a Nile cruise. Divers will love visiting Sharm El Sheikh (the flight advisory has been lifted). I am already booking Nile cruises for 2022!
Israel/The Holy Land
A trip to Israel is unforgettable. I specialize in developing trips for both Jewish and Christian travelers. Israel is also a wonderful place to visit from a historical perspective even if you’re not the slightest bit religious. We can also arrange a mixed trip that encompasses the most important sights for all people. If you would like to travel with your synagogue or church group, or celebrate a milestone like a Bat/Bar Mitzvah, please contact me to arrange a wonderful group trip.
Thailand Beaches and Cities
Vibrant cities, gorgeous beaches, fabulous shopping, exotic temples and unsurpassed cuisine make Thailand a must visit destination in Southeast Asia. It’s also well positioned for Myanmar, Lao, and Cambodia exploration. If you don’t have time to visit Cambodia there are substantial Khmer ruins in Eastern Thailand (and great shopping too!). Singapore is a short flight away. Having been to Thailand twice, and booked it numerous times, I can create your ideal trip to Thailand.
If you have at least 2 weeks, consider Australia and/or New Zealand. There’s a lot more to see in Australia than the commonly featured tourist attractions of Sydney, Melbourne, Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock. Of course these areas should be included in a first trip, but there’s a whole lot more. To name a few: Tasmania, Whitsunday Island, the Flinders Range, and the Ningaloo Reef on Australia’s west coast has fabulous diving and snorkeling.
That Place I Did Not Include
Every traveler has places they’ve always wanted to visit that I did not think to include. Paris, Italy, the Greek Islands, Croatia. The possibilities are endless.
Let’s plan your dream trip for 2021 and beyond!