A jaw-dropping travel experience for nature lovers …. 

Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community!  Busy season for travel has begun, and we’re working to full capacity here at Hidden Gem Travel.  I had to take time this past week to renew my driver’s license in person to upgrade to a Real ID.  Let this serve as a reminder to do so before it takes effect in May 2025 if you have plans to fly domestically (don’t we all?). This new law has been postponed a few times but all indicators point to the information below taking effect. 

From the DMV website … As of May 7, 2025, the U.S. federal government will require anyone who boards an airplane for domestic travel or who enters certain federal buildings to show one of these forms of ID:

  • A verified REAL ID license
  • A verified REAL ID state-issued ID card
  • A passport
  • Permanent resident card

A REAL ID is verified by a gold star in the top right corner of your license or ID card. Non-verified IDs don’t have a gold star.

Onto the topic of this brief newsletter, have you dreamed of seeing Patagonia (South America – Chile & Argentina) with your own eyes? An expedition cruise is one terrific way, but there are land-based options too.  

Read on for scoop and some serious inspiration about Patagonia at the link below…

Stunning Patagonia

From soaring mountains with razor-sharp peaks to a panoply of rare wildlife, Patagonia stuns with its trove of natural wonders. It’s a landscape Lindblad Expeditions knows well: we’ve been traveling there since 1967. Aboard our small and nimble expedition ships, travel to the region’s wild isles and untrammeled coasts, where roads are scarce and nature reigns. Go where few have ventured with special access to places like the wind-bent forests and wetlands of Karukinka Natural Park and Argentina’s Staten Island, home to magellanic penguins and fur seals. 

Along the way, you’ll be guided by veteran expedition leaders, naturalists, and photography experts.  This vacation is huge bucket list check for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.  

I can attest to the high quality experience that a Lindblad expedition provides everywhere that they travel (they are aligned with National Geographic).  Past client feedback has been nothing short of “best vacation ever!!”  

Alternatively, if you prefer a land itinerary, let me know as I have in-country partners who deliver excellent experiences for my clients.  Either way, the information at this link will inspire you – prepare for your jaw to drop… click on the link here https://inspires.to/experience

Reach out to me now to get your questions answered and begin the planning process.

Wishing you amazing travel adventures,


NEW Section: Travel News You Can Use

💎 Hidden Gem Tip:  Tips for Tipping

I’m always asked about tipping during the pre-departure itinerary review call with clients.  It’s a confusing topic and can be stressful.  Luckily, I provide my clients tipping guidelines based on local customs and expectations so they are well prepared.  

Tip suggestions vary by service type, for example at restaurants, for drivers, tour guides, etc.  

While tips are based on the quality of the service received, remember that this is the way the locals earn their living and tips are greatly appreciated in many countries.

Also, always tip in the local currency unless USD are widely accepted.

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Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


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