Category Archives: bucket list travel

Celebrate ‘National Plan for Vacation Day’ JaNuary 25 with Monifi’s Top Saving Tips

Venice, Italy, is high on the list of travelers. January 25, 2022 is National Plan for Vacation Day © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Whether you’re saving for your next spring break trip, a getaway weekend, family trip, or anything in between, unexpected financial surprises are never an added expense you want during your vacation. Leading banking app, Monifi has put together their list of their top financial tips for saving for your next vacation in celebration of National Plan for Vacation Day on January 25th. 

The goal-based banking app, Monifi, makes it easy to save with features like personalized goals, its spend and save structure, and its trackable transaction tags so users can categorize their spending.

>> Set a Budget and Stick to It.

From the start, it’s important to be transparent with yourself and fellow attendees about what you are willing to save and splurge on. Creating a strict budget allows you to hold yourself accountable.

>> Plan, Plan, Plan.

Setting a firm plan early on for airfare, hotels, rentals, etc. allows you to not be surprised and unprepared for these vacation costs. Create a plan of when you will eat in or go out as well as attractions and experiences you will do each day. This is an easy way to know exactly what you need to save for. 

>> Create a Vacation Savings Fund. 

Using the Monifi app, users can create savings “buckets.” Earn interest on these personalized buckets to help you reach your financial goals faster. Stats show about 86% of people plan to pay for vacations, though 35% don’t save for it. No more dipping into other accounts or racking up credit card charges.

>> Recognize Potential Splurges.

Statistics show that 68% of people overspend when on vacation. Identifying the potential splurges like an expensive dinner, Uber rides, a coveted experience, etc. before your vacation will set you up for success. Having a savings net to lean back on is always beneficial for these costs. 

>> Get a Part Time Job or Side Hustle.

Find a part time job or side hustle to add a few hundred dollars into your bank account each month. Whether that’s nannying a few days a week, selling your unworn clothes online, dog walking, and everything in between. These small side gigs help you to not break the bank while saving.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

VISITED Travel App Helps Travelers Keep Track of Where They’ve Been, Where to Go

Got the travel bug? The travel app VISITED can help you keep track and plan where to go next. Is Venice on the list? © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

The mobile app development company, Arriving in High Heels Corporation, based in Toronto, Canada (arrivinginhighheels.com) has launched three new features in its VISITED travel app that are specifically designed to motivate travelers to find new experiences and help the travel industry recover from the stay-at-home coronavirus pandemic.

“People are ready to travel again and VISITED is ready to get them excited about new opportunities and destinations,” Founder and CEO Anna Kayfitz said,  No other travel app has these three features.

The new features are Inspiration, Lists, and City Maps. Together they highlight those places not necessarily popular but worth a trip, as well as well-known tourist attractions. They allow travelers to swipe photos of famous and not so famous places to add to their own picture database of destinations they have experienced or want to visit. VISITED has over 1.2 million users.

For individual travelers, the VISITED Inspiration feature tracks personal travel stats, such as percentage of the world visited, number of countries and cities visited, as well as regions on a personal wish-list. The List feature names capitals of the world, wonders of the world, and art museums. Museums and other attractions are constantly added to provide even greater options to choose from. The City Maps feature is invaluable in planning upcoming itineraries.

The app enables travelers to keep personal stats on the number of countries visited, percentage  of the world or country seen by region, how you rank against other world travelers, number of cities visited, percentage of the world that you WANT to see vs. where you are in your travel journey.

For the travel industry, the VISITED app’s features present a sponsoring opportunity for hospitality related companies, “because we know where the users have been and where they want to go,” Kayfitz said. “This is also an opportunity to showcase travel products and destinations without losing the focus of the user.”

She is looking forward to seeing a resurgence in travel. “In the meantime, users can start planning their trips with VISITED, discovering places to go, things to do, and sites to see domestically and internationally.”

Kayfritz is the founder of Arriving In High Heels, a mobile app company, which she started 2014 and incorporated in 2017 converted it to a corporation. The company, now known as Arriving in High Heels Corporation, and has 3 apps including Visited, to help keep track of your travels;  X-Walk Fitness app, a Nordic walking app that tracks progress and lists the top 25 famous hikes and Pay-off Debt app that helps people get out of debt faster.

All her app ideas came from a personal need for them, Kayfitz said.

The idea for Visited, for example, “started while I was flying back from South Africa with my husband (then boyfriend, Brian). I would use a little notebook and make a list of all the countries I visited and places I still wanted to visit. When I could not remember a few smaller islands such as Curacao, I became frustrated and spent the enter long haul flight trying to remember the islands we had visited. Brian had mentioned there has to be an app for that. When we could not find one, Brian, who is an app developer decided to make one for me for my personal use. We launched it in iOS only. When we started seeing downloads coming in, we knew we had something. So, we slowly began working on it to make it the app it is today. We currently have 1.2 million plus users and are growing.

“My travel industry experience did not really impact the development of the app. I was always into travel. My parents would always visit new places while I was growing up and that started my interest in travel. When I had the chance at 18 to go abroad with a friend, we went on a tour to London, Paris, Rome, and that’s when the travel bug bit me.”

The Visited app, she said, “has opened my eyes to new destinations especially with the inspiration section of the app. Gathering the hundreds of photos that are currently in the app, it made me realize how much more of the world there is to see. It has also motivated me to check off even more countries I want to visit.”

Prior to developing Visited, she said, “I would discover new places by browsing the web, travel brochures, reading magazines and even talking to other travelers while abroad. I kept track of my travels and things I wanted to see in a journal. I hate to write, so it was just a simple continuing list or a drawn map of all the places I have visited. I used to love to check off top destinations, lists found in magazines, blogs to see what percentage I have seen. This is what we hoped to capture in our app. We also added the top 10 countries to visit based on where you live to inspire people to travel to easy to reach/popular destinations.”

The app doesn’t replace guidebooks, she maintained. “It is a complimentary app to these books. Guidebooks offer a way into a destination with detailed explanations, and insightful information while we offer a macro approach to travel to simply tick off places you want   to travel or have already visited.

“As an analyst I always start by asking the questions of why and so what? Since Visited was designed for my personal use at the beginning, I wanted the app to answer the following questions:

  • How many countries have I seen?
  • Many of our copy-cat competitor apps show you what percentage of the world you have seen. However, what use is that? I do not want to visit every country in the world although for some that may be their goal. However, I wanted to know what percentage of the world I WANT to visit and what percentage I have seen. So, we have included the metric that answers those two questions.
  • We also added the top 10 locations for people to visit from their home country. This allows users to discover easily accessible countries. This was done to inspire additional travel. For example, if Canada is their home country, Canadians will find plenty to see in destinations easy to visit in Canada. This answers the question what sites can I visit in my home country?
  • We also have a rank of how you compare to other international travelers.
  • We now allow users to count the UK as 4 countries vs 1, so., we now have the options for you to select it as 4 or 1. This will help answer the question how I count the number of countries I have visited.

“The app is designed to show your progress and to inspire you to complete your journeys.”

As to who the Visited app can benefit, she says, “Anyone that likes to travel regardless of their style of travel. They can be a once-a-year family trip traveler, a backpacker or someone who has rented an RV to visit every state. They will all benefit from using our app to keep track of their trips and get inspired to visit new locations. We find that it is a good reminder of all the places that you have been to, to make yourself feel better especially during the coronavirus pandemic. That is why we added the list feature that lets you check of all the art museums, world wonders, and other lists to help keep up travel moral during the pandemic.”

Users can use the app to share their trips, by clicking an icon that pops up with all the different ways you can share – text, email, print, download as PDF, as well as via social media you have installed such as WhatsApp, Instagram.

Visited now has 1.2 plus million users. XWalk and Pay Off Debt are niche apps that were launched in the past 2 years; the number of users has been growing.

Travel apps have taken off with people getting back to traveling once again. According to Sensor Travel Apps 2021 report, U.S. Travel Apps surpassed 85 million downloads, growing 128%.

How to use Visited:

  • Download the app for free via App Store or Google Play Store
  • Sign up – with email – (email is required because this is a unique identifier to keep track of the data that the user has select that way if they change phones, they will always be able to get back to the selection).
  • Input where you live, countries visited and countries you wish to visit
  • The map will display the selections. You can then click on each country to see additional information such as regions and cities, and input notes for that destination.
  • If you click on cities (Paid Feature) you can select different cities by tapping on the country.
  • You can see on the) dashboard the top countries you visited, how you rank against other international travelers as well as the top 10 countries that are most visited from the country you live in.
  • You can swipe to see photos of places and add them to your wish or been list.
  • You can click on experiences and see the different lists such as capitals of the world, art museums or world wonders, etc. In addition, you can also see the percentage of the world you have visited. You can also tap on experiences (such as hiking, skiing) and can select all the countries you have been to and doing that activity. For example, if you select: Canada, the US, and Switzerland for skiing it will display the 3 countries where you skied. You can also select where you want to ski.

The app can be downloaded for free on iOS from the App Store and on Android from Google (due to copy-cats, the app is called Visited with the blue world icon and a yellow pin).

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Grab a BOGO Deal from TRIPS by Culture Trip During Holiday Sale

Vietnam is one of the destinations offered by Culture Trip © Dave E. Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

TRIPS by Culture Trip is offering a BOGO deal from Nov. 22-Dec. 3, 2021: book a spot on one of their trips and bring someone along for free to places like Scotland, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Italy, Nepal and 20 more destinations.

Travel must take place before May 31, 2022 (the Iceland itinerary in Jan. 2022 is excluded).  All trips available are on a first booked, first served basis. Space is limited and certain conditions apply.

TRIPS by Culture Trip are unique small-group adventures that help people experience extraordinary destinations in unexpected ways, together with other culturally curious travelers. Curated by travel experts and led by Local Insiders, the multi-day adventures offer itineraries that combine immersive activities, hyper-local experiences and unique places to stay. Thoughtfully planned with ample free time to unwind or explore, the itineraries offer the right balance of exploration, action, and relaxation.
 
Some of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are part of TRIPS by Culture Trip and can be enjoyed with this Black Friday deal:

Welcome to the Jungle: Exploring Northern Thailand
10-day trip from $1,599* per person; based on departures 20 February and 14 April 2022
Watch the sunrise over the highest mountain in Thailand and feed elephants in a sanctuary during this 10-day adventure. Take in Chiang Mai, Pai and the Doi Inthanon National Park and float through a 5,466 ft. cave and watch the sunset over the scenic Pai Canyon. In between jungle trekking and waterfall swims, enjoy a slice of slow living at a geothermal hot springs and savor local Thai delicacies. This off-the-beaten-track journey will showcase an authentic side of the former Lanna Kingdom.

From the Amalfi Coast to Puglia: the Complete Southern Italy Tour
10-day trip from $2,029* per person; based on departures 2 April and 7 May 2022
Discover cliff top villages, secluded beaches and authentic Italian cuisine on this journey across southern Italy. Sample street food in Naples, cruise along the Amalfi Coast on a private boat tour, uncover the secrets of Altamura bread at Il Frantoio and explore the ancient hilltop town of Matera, featured in the latest James Bond movieRound off the trip by relaxing on the secluded beaches of Polignano a Mare and explore the Salento peninsula.

Riches and Ruins: Wine, Dine and Step Back in Time in Rural Georgia
9-day trip from $1,369* per person; based on departures 5 May 2022
Whether hiking in the Caucasus Mountains or whipping up a feast from a farmer’s market, this nine-day journey yields an immersive Georgian experience. Begin in the Old Quarter of Tbilisi and visit UNESCO World Heritage sites at nearby Mtskheta. See the ancient wine-making – and drinking – before exploring Lagodekhi National Park. The spectacular Truso Gorge, a hike up to Gergeti Church and a ramble beyond remote Juta village showcase the best of the High Caucasus. 

La Vida Local in Mexico City
5-day trip from $1,209* per person; based on departures 10 February, 17 March and 14 April 2022
Climb ancient temples in Teotihuacán, watch lucha libre wrestlers in action and toss back mezcal shots on a five-day trip to Mexico City. Stay at the artsy Cadillac Hotel near Roma, before hitting the streets on a walking tour of the Condesa district. Enjoy sizzling meat tacos in Roma, visit Frida Kahlo’s house, then sing with the mariachis floating along the Xochimilco canals.
 
TRIPS by Culture Trip offers over 30 itineraries in some of the world’s most captivating and off-the-grid places, with new itineraries added regularly. TRIPS range from four to 13 days, welcoming a maximum of up to 18 travelers aged 25 and over who can join solo or with friends. With a focus beyond mass-market offerings, the itineraries often put local people at the center and avoid areas of over-tourism as well as unethical activities or wildlife interactions that aren’t in the best interest of the animals.
 
TRIPS by Culture Trip offers its Ultimate COVID Booking Guarantee, so if COVID regulations change a customer’s plans, they can rebook for free (valid for bookings made by Nov. 30, 2021 for travel before Feb. 28, 2022). For bookings outside these dates, no change or cancellation fees are imposed and customers can get a full refund should they need to postpone or cancel a trip up to 30 days prior to departure. All trips have COVID safety measures in place.

Full terms and conditions can be found at:  https://theculturetrip.com/bookable/booking-terms-and-conditions/

To book a TRIPS by Culture Trip Black Friday deal visit culturetrip.com/trips or contact tripssupport@theculturetrip.com or +1 (678) 967-4965

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

EF Go Ahead Tours Discounts Bucket List Worthy Trips this Holiday Season

Solo travelers get a holiday discount on EF Go Ahead Tours:  Get 16% off Portugal for Solo Travelers © Eric Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

EF Go Ahead Tours, a leading provider of immersive, small group travel, is running its Black Friday sale through Nov. 26 offering steep 2021 discounts on 2022 and 2023 “bucket list” itineraries, likely the lowest these future tours will ever be, with prices locked in and flexible payment plans available. Get up to $600 off per person /$1,200 off per couple — with many of the most in-demand itineraries discounted by 20% or more.

From Nov. 12-18: A focus on UK & Ireland:  Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland 15% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,779; A Week in Ireland: Dublin, Cork & Galway 27% off / $600 off, discounted at $1,599; Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland 15% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,819.

From Nov. 19-25: Bucket List Worthy to Iceland, Egypt Kenya, Costa Rica, Galapagos such as Egypt & the Nile 20% off / $600 off, discounted at $2,399; A Week in Egypt: Giza, Nile River Cruise & Cairo 19% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,159; Kenya Wildlife Safari 4/8/22 departure. 13% off / $600 off, discounted at $3,919.

Black Friday: Nov. 26: “Special Lightning Deals!” with the best of what’s left! Plus up to $600 off on worldwide tours plus a doorbuster on Black Friday day!

Traveling solo within group travel is discounted too. Get an extra $100 off for private rooms on top of the sales, which could equate to a free single room.  Just one of many examples of a bucket list solo trip: Portugal for Solo Travelers 16% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,539.

Let EF Go Ahead experts navigate travel and health & safety guidelinesand plan with fully refundable trips with no change fees Only $99 down secures a spot when you enroll in AutoPay. Book before November 30th and if you have to change plans, receive a refund of all money paid for that tour, including the deposit, through February 1, 2022. Change tour date or destination without a rebooking fee up until the Final Payment Date. EF offers Covid Care Promise, a comprehensive offering that supports travelers, at no additional expense through unforeseen on-tour quarantines or hospitalizations. 

EF Go Ahead Tours, 800, 590-1161, www.goaheadtours.com

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Xanterra Offers Weeklong ‘Book Your Bucket List Sale’ for National Parks, Cruises, Tours

Take advantage of Xanterra Travel Collection’s week-long annual sale to lock in 50% off roundtrip tickets on the historic Grand Canyon Railway and 20% off in-park lodging at the Grand Canyon’s crown jewel, the El Tovar on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Greenwood Village, CO – Carpe Diem X 7. Xanterra Travel Collection, an award-winning globally diversified travel company offering unforgettable experiences in some of the most Beautiful Places on Earth®, announced its highly anticipated annual “Book Your Bucket List Sale” from Tuesday, Nov. 23 – Tuesday, Nov. 30. This year’s sale will last a full week beginning the Tuesday before Black Friday and running through Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday. Xanterra owns or operates the lodges in Yellowstone, Zion, Glacier, Death Valley and Grand Canyon South Rim; Windstar Cruises, The Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel, The Oasis at Death Valley, Holiday Vacations, Country Walkers and VBT Bicycling Tours. The affiliated legendary Five-Star, Five-Diamond Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs and the longest-running Five-Star award-winning Sea Island Resort in Georgia are also participating in the sale.

And now, for the first time, Xanterra is offering an unparalleled gift of discovery and wanderlust with Xanterra Travel Collection Gift Cards. Redeemable across all Xanterra Travel Collection properties and brands for accommodations, tours, experiences, and retail purchases, recipients can choose their adventure with this gift of A World of Unforgettable Experiences. All new and available starting Nov. 16 at Xanterra.com/GiftCard.

Preview and plan now. Then book during the Book Your Bucket List one-week sale (Tuesday, Nov. 23 through Tuesday, Nov. 30) at Xanterra.com/BucketListSale. Highlights include:

National Parks

The Oasis at Death Valley – 30% off hotel stays at the beautifully renovated historic AAA Four-Diamond Inn at Death Valley and newly revitalized, family-friendly Ranch at Death Valley. Valid for select overnight stays between Dec. 2021 and Feb. 2022.

Historic Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel – 50% off roundtrip train tickets on an entertaining journey to the Grand Canyon’s fabled South Rim when booking a two-night Getaway Package over select dates between Dec. 1, 2021 and March 10, 2022.

Grand Canyon South Rim – 20% off in-park lodging at Kachina Lodge, Bright Angel Lodge, Maswik Lodge, and the crown jewel, El Tovar, during select dates Dec. 1, 2021 to March 3, 2022. Discover the “secret season” at the Grand Canyon with fewer crowds. The lodges are either in or within walking distance to the Historic District and rim of the Grand Canyon which includes Lookout Studio and Hopi House.

The Grand Hotel – 30% off at the only AAA Three-Diamond hotel near the Grand Canyon in Tusayan (just one mile from the South Rim entrance) on select dates between Dec. 2021 and March 2022.

Zion Lodge – 30% off overnight stays inside the park at Zion National Park Lodge on select dates between Dec. 2021 and Feb. 2022.

Cedar Creek Lodge, at the gateway to Glacier National Park – 30% off room rates on select dates from Dec. 2021 through April 2022.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel – Save 25% off hotel stays at the charming and historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel, located inside the park on select dates during May 2022.

​​Luxury Hotels

The Broadmoor – Rates as low as $249 per night for select dates, up to 25% off published suite rates, and 10% off the all-inclusive Wilderness Properties (The Ranch at Emerald Valley and Cloud Camp).

Sea Island – In honor of its Quarter Century Club (team members with at least 25 years of service to the resort), book a stay in December, January, or February and receive the third night for only $25. Plus, receive a $250 resort credit per stay at The Cloister and The Lodge. In addition, Sea Island will donate $25 per stay to the Sea Island Legacy Fund, which assists team members experiencing economic hardship.

Guided Travel/Tours

Bicycling Tours – Receive $200 off any spring VBT Bicycling Tours Guided Italy tour departing between April 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022.

Walking Adventures – Receive $200 off any spring Country Walkers Guided Italy tour departing between April 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022.

Holiday Vacations – Save $250 per person on the Holland in Bloom featuring the Floriade tour departing on April 15, 2022.


Cruising

Windstar Cruises – Save on 2022 yacht-style cruises with fewer than 350 guests. Enjoy a $100 onboard credit per guest to use on shore excursions, spa treatments, alcoholic beverages and more. Low fares start from $1,399 per guest. Yacht Club Members receive a double Alumni discount on all voyages departing on or before March 31, 2022.

For a complete list and to take advantage of Xanterra and its affiliates’ Book Your Bucket List offers, visit Xanterra.com/BucketListSale. For the newly available gift cards, visit Xanterra.com/GiftCard.

Known for its “Legendary Hospitality with a Softer Footprint,” Xanterra Travel Collection provides a world of unforgettable experiences through its operations in national parks, including lodges, restaurants, tours, and activities, as well as through its ownership of resorts, a cruise line, a railway, and tour companies. Xanterra has operations in Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Glacier, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Xanterra Travel Collection also owns and operates the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel in Williams, Ariz., The Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz., The Oasis at Death Valley in Death Valley Calif., Windstar Cruises, Holiday Vacations, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, and Country Walkers. Xanterra is also affiliated with two Forbes Five-Star Resorts, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO and Sea Island on the coast of Georgia.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Global Scavenger Hunt Returns for 2022; Applications to Join now Being Accepted

Team Lazy Monday, Eric & Kathryn Verwillow of California, who would go on to win second place in the 2019 Global Scavenger Hunt, dash out of Petra, Jordan on to their next challenge © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

After a COVID-enforced two-year hiatus, the Global Scavenger Hunt is back in 2022 – an around-the-world travel adventure to crown the “World’s Greatest Travelers.”

Unlike the Amazing Race (which was inspired by the Global Scavenger Hunt), The Global Scavenger Hunt isn’t a race, but rather a contest to amass the most points by doing scavenges designed to immerse you into local culture, heritage and environment of the places you visit.

In the course of 23 days, the teams of two travel to 10 countries, not knowing your next destination until your team is given instructions to get to the airport. You have to figure out how to get around without the benefit of GPS, smartphones or computer. Paper maps are allowed, but asking locals for directions is preferred.

Trusting strangers in strange lands is the shibboleth, as the intrepid travelers circle the globe (which is why you can’t use your own GPS or smartphone). The event has touched down in 85 countries to date.

“We’re thrilled about the growing momentum for travel and are feeling so positive and excited about it, that we have scheduled the takeoff dates for our Spring 2022 event: Wheels up April 22 thru May 14,” writes Event Director Bill Chalmers, who calls himself the “ringmaster.”

“Our last event in 2019 was fully subscribed, and we are currently reserving spots for our 2022 adventure while holding on to our 2019 price structure on all deposits made before December 10th this year.”

(Full disclosure: I was on the 2019 Global Scavenger Hunt.)

The event, which will be the 16th Global Scavengee Hunt, pits savvy international travelers against each other by taking them on A Blind Date with the World, visiting ten secret destinations without any prior preparation, and then have them unravel a constant blitz of highly authentic, participatory and challenging culturally-oriented scavenges along the way.

For example: meditating with monks, training elephants, taking flamenco lessons, cooking local dishes with local chefs, searching out Lost Cities, cracking sacred temple mysteries, joining in local celebrations and learning local languages enough to decipher their scavenger hunt clues. 

The Global Scavenger Hunt is limited to a small group of world travelers. All travelers are interviewed for suitability and single travelers are welcome to apply (you will be paired up for a team).

For additional information visit GlobalScavengerHunt.com, or contact GreatEscape Adventures Inc., at +1.310.281.7809.

See our coverage of our experience on the 2019 Global Scavenger Hunt at goingplacesfarandnear.com

Global Scavenger Hunt: In the Scramble to be Crowned ‘World’s Best Travelers’ 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

‘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. 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

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.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

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.

 For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures