Category Archives: bucket list travel

‘Long Travel’, A Post-Pandemic Trend

Our chalet at the Red Reflet Ranch, Wyoming, is ideal home-away-from-home amid red-rock cliffs, with all the amenities and activities of a luxury 28,000-acre ranch © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New data indicate that travelers want to vacation for longer than in the past due to pent-up demand, an excess of paid time off, and a surplus of funds from saving during the pandemic. GlobalData’s newest poll discovered that more than 1/4 of travelers now prefer taking a vacation of 10 nights or more. “Long travel” could become a post-pandemic travel trend, reaching into vacations for 2022 and beyond. From the Galapagos to the Grand Tetons, Andes to Appalachians, here are a few examples of longer bucket list adventures:

1. Galapagos, Amazon + Andes: This two-week-long journey showcases Hacienda PimanSacha Lodge and Scalesia Galapagos Lodge, taking guests to the snow-capped volcanoes of the Andes, the depths of the Amazon jungle and the breathtaking mini-worlds of the Galapagos Islands, unspoiled by civilization.

2. Epic Appalachians: Cycle from the wilderness of Maine to vibrant Asheville, North Carolina during Cycle of Life Adventures’ 28-day Epic Appalachians Bike Tour, paralleling the Appalachian Trail on low-traffic roads. Cover more than 1,300 miles and more than 100,000 feet of elevation gain as you climb and descend through the Green and White Mountains, the Berkshires, the Red Mountains, the Delaware Gap, the Poconos, and along Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

3. Yellowstone, Jackson Hole + Dude Ranch: Spend a few days playing cowboy at the 28,000 acre Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, before heading to The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana to explore the surrounding area and Yellowstone National Park. After that, journey to Jackson Hole and use Fireside Resort as your base camp for a Grand Teton National Park adventure.

4. TransAmerica Trail: For many, the 4,200-mile TransAmerica Trail remains the holy grail of American bike trips, crossing the country between Oregon and Virginia. Ride from the outlet of the Columbia River, over the Cascades and Rockies, across the Midwest and Mississippi, then descend the Appalachians to Chesapeake Bay on your own with resources from Adventure Cycling Association or join its 93-day TransAm Westward tour.

5. Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Zion by RVBlacksford offers overland RV adventures and an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, z national park pass, and 24-hour roadside assistance. The company curates multi-week road trips by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. Pick up an RV at their Las Vegas location and spend a couple weeks exploring the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion and Arches via a tricked out Mercedes Sprinter van. 

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From Australian Surfing to Tech-Free Tonga, Virtuoso Reveals Top 10 ‘Wanderlist’ Experiences for 2020

What could be more spectacular than traveling to the ancient city of Petra, Jordan by private jet © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK– Virtuoso®’s selection of inspired experiences – deemed Wanderlist®-worthy thanks to their “trips of a lifetime” status – will have even the most seasoned traveler reaching for their passport. The 2020 Virtuoso Luxe Report, an annual survey of the global luxury travel network’s 20,000 travel advisors around the world, highlights insights and observations for travel in the year ahead. Acclaimed as a trend predictor, the Luxe Report captured advisor recommendations for the ten most unusual and exciting experiences for 2020.

Virtuoso’s must-have travel experiences are:

Surf Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, whether a pro or first-timer. Bondi is just outside the city center and extremely popular with locals and visitors alike. Serious surfers hang out at the southern end of the beach, while novices occupy the northern stretch, where waves are often smaller.

Head to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, taking place July 24 to August 9. Japan continues to trend in 2020, finding itself on two Luxe Report lists for global and emerging destinations. Beyond the Games, travelers will be enamored with Japan’s gorgeous scenery, dynamic cities, culinary delights and cultural heritage.

Witness the Great Migration in Tanzania and Kenya, where millions of zebras, wildebeest and antelope traverse the landscape in search of food and water while attempting to elude predators such as lions and crocodiles.

Live like a local for a month (or more) in Italy, the Luxe Report’s top global destination of 2020. As authenticity is one of the year’s top trends, travelers can immerse themselves in the lifestyle of this beloved country. Rent a villa. Find a favorite espresso or wine bar. Learn the language. Master the cuisine or just savor it.

Support the Bahamas after the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian, which severely damaged Grand Bahama and Abaco islands in September. Tourism comprises 60 percent of the nation’s economy and revenues from visitors boost recovery efforts. Virtuoso’s nine resorts escaped with little to no damage; they are open and receiving guests.

Fly around the world via private jet, touching down at legendary destinations such as Easter Island, Petra, Jordan and the Taj Mahal. Country-hop in style on a specially outfitted jet while relaxing comfortably in a leather seat, with attentive on-board crew assisting with every need. Bypass commercial airports while avoiding jetlag … what could be better!

Explore the pristine landscape of Antarctica. The continent was voted the top adventure destination in the 2020 Luxe Report, proving that cold-weather spots are hot. As travelers seek out destinations with unspoiled scenic beauty. Travelers can kayak with humpback whales, watch penguins in their natural habitat and even take a dip in the frigid waters.

Sail through the Panama Canal, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This century-old engineering marvel is even more impressive up close on a full transit cruise, where the ship sails though the canal. It takes a day to traverse the 50 miles of locks as the ship makes its way from ocean to ocean.

Enjoy the slow-down trend of the year: rail travel. The majesty of the Canadian Rockies unfolds before passengers with a train journey aboard the incomparable Rocky Mountaineer. Gaze at panoramic surroundings through the glass-dome coaches, savor ­­local cuisine, and learn about natural and historic sites along the way through the stories of expert hosts.

Venture to an uninhabited island in Tonga for the ultimate unplugged escape. This Polynesian kingdom is comprised of 140 islands without residents as well as a wonderfully temperate climate and tropical scenery. Guest can soak up on the sun on a private beach, snorkel in crystal-clear waters and explore jungles – all in blissful solitude.

A Virtuoso travel advisor can book these must-have experiences or customize a journey to their client’s exact taste. They can also secure value-added benefits, VIP treatment and exclusive access. To find an advisor, visit www.virtuoso.com/travel-advisors.   

Virtuoso® is a leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 20,000 elite travel advisors in 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with over 1,800 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $26.4 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.

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This Father’s Day, Tap into His Bucket List & Give a Once-in-a-Lifetime Adventure

Moonlight Basin Golf (photo by Tony Demin)

This Father’s Day, instead of the run-of-the-mill, treat Dad to once-in-a-lifetime: from shooting sporting clays in Montana to fishing in Russia, hiking in Ethiopia, cycling in South America and driving Land Rovers in Mongolia, tap into Dad’s bucket list.

  1. Fish the Remote Russian Wilderness: Ryabaga Camp on the Ponoi River is located above the Arctic Circle and accessed via a two-hour Mi-8 helicopter ride across remote Russian tundra. There, an entirely wild Atlantic salmon population thrives, and Dad will enjoy a single-occupancy cabin, gourmet food and fine wine. Frontiers International Travel arranges it all, including flights, activities and visas.
  2. Trek the Roof of Africa: Dad will spend four days hiking and camping in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains – part of the Roof of Africa – on this trip with Adventure Life. The range has more than a dozen peaks over 12,000 feet and is home to the gelada baboon, Ethiopian wolf, walia ibex and birds of prey such as the lammergeyer. Dad will also start and end at the Simien Mountain Lodge, set on the edge of an escarpment at 10,700 feet and claiming the highest bar on the continent.
  3. Play Cowboy at a Working Ranch: Did your Dad grow up idolizing John Wayne and Clint Eastwood? At the 25,000-acre Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, he can ride horses, fish, shoot guns, ATV and play cowboy like his heroes. Additional activities include guided hikes, dirt bike rides and mountain biking. Gourmet dining includes ingredients from the ranch’s butcher shop, organic greenhouse and gardens. From cattle drives to branding, the true western lifestyle thrives at Red Reflet.
  4. Ride South America From Top to Tip: On TDA Global Cycling’s 8,400-mile South American Epic tour, Dad can bike from the shores of the Caribbean across the equator and south to the Beagle Channel, or one of nine shorter sections. Highlights include Colombian coffee, Volcano Alley in Ecuador, the Incan highlands of Peru, the Bolivian salt flat, Argentina’s wine country and the trans-Patagonian Carretera Austral, while rest days offer the opportunity to fly over the incredible Nazca Lines, explore Macha Picchu and more.
  5. Drive Land Rovers on the Silk Road: Since MIR Corporation’s inception in 1986, it has been creating custom overland adventures. On a self-drive tour, Dad and his friends can get behind the wheel of Land Rovers, motorcycles or even vintage automobiles and cross the rolling steppe of Mongolia, pass through the charming towns and villages of Siberia, or even travel the Silk Road. These journeys are momentous, unforgettable and limited only by one’s own imagination.
  6. Golf, Shoot and Sip Under the Big Sky: A stay-and-play package at Montana’s Moonlight Basin will give Dad and his friends a taste of life in Big Sky Country. They’ll play rounds of golf on the Jack Nicklaus-signature course at Moonlight Basin – named one of the best new courses in the country – and the Tom Weiskopf course at the Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, then shoot sporting clays with Moonlight Outfitters. And in the evening, they can retire to a spacious mountain home beneath 11,166-foot Lone Peak and sip whiskey at a private, curated tasting.
  7. See the Northern Lights in Alaska: Dad will get a dose of local culture by day and photograph the Aurora Borealis under the massive Alaskan sky by night. Highlights of this Gondwana Eoctours adventure include dogsledding through snowy forests, hiking alongside a family of reindeer taking curling lessons from locals in Fairbanks soaking in the geothermal Chena Hot Springs learning to photograph the Aurora Borealis from a professional photographer snowshoeing on private land and exploring the Ice Sculpture Museum.

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