Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! It was another busy week here in travel land with many clients planning some pretty epic vacations for this and next year. The forecast for travel in 2022 is looking to exceed levels from 2019! The reason is due to pent-up demand and excitement that the ability to travel is becoming somewhat easier than in the last two years. Yes, you’ll still need to jump through some hoops to travel outside of the USA, but for many destinations, it’s very doable. In fact, I’ll be reporting from the road in Europe (multiple countries over two trips between now and July) so stay tuned.
In case you were wondering, yes, it’s time to book your summer vacation with March starting next week – it’s not too soon and for some destinations, availability is already limited.
If you love the great outdoors, I have a few ideas for you. Whether you’re looking to vacation in the USA or internationally this summer, I have some ideas for where to go and what to do in this week’s newsletter. Read on for the scoop…
My partners in Alaska arrange incredible land and/or sea vacations to thrill any lover of the great outdoors.
How about a day with whales, glaciers, and rainforest trails? This eco-tour combines a unique marine exploration with an easy hike on a secluded rainforest trail—allowing you to experience the abundant wildlife of Southeast Alaska by land and by sea.
Aboard a stable covered watercraft, you’ll enjoy unobstructed views through large panel windows, a low to the water vantage, an open stern and bow, and a hydrophone sound system that allows you to listen to the underwater sounds of nearby whales. Your captain and naturalist team will help you identify humpback whales, orcas, porpoises, sea lions, seals, sea birds, and more.
On land, you’ll stretch your legs on a secluded trail within the Tongass National Forest. Starting under a sheltered rainforest canopy, you’ll eventually reach the glacier’s moraine, with scenic views of the Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls. Spawning salmon, hungry eagles, and black bears visit this area each summer, so keep your eyes peeled!
Note – I’ve done this type of eco-tour not long ago and it was AMAZING!
Gawk in the Galapagos
For the Galapagos Islands, I love partnering with Big Five Tours who work with me to curate personalized, hidden gem travel experiences. How does this day sound to you?
Prince Philip Steps
The morning starts with a panga ride along the cliffs of this stunning island, followed by landing with a climb (27.4 meters/90 feet) upstairs to reach a flat plateau. On the walk, observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigate birds, and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). After the walk, you can snorkel along the dramatic cliffs where you are likely to spot many varieties of fish, including hammerhead sharks.
In the afternoon, land at a beautiful beach to enjoy some swimming and snorkeling. Then, go for an easy stroll to observe hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches, and mockingbirds. There’s an optional walk over lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or, if you prefer, you can return to the beach.
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: For vacation inspiration options with the perks check out: Best Of The Best Hotels and Experiences.
Europe is HOT for 2022
Europe is HOT for travel this summer! I’m planning summer vacations in many European countries for families and couples. If you love the great outdoors, I can build your itinerary around an iconic European city with time to explore the nearby countryside.
Just one example is my travel partner in Switzerland who offers “Let’s Get Active” experiences. In stunning Grindelwald, you take can ride cable cars, gondolas, mountain carts, and scooter-bikes up and/or down the mountain! Enjoy a snack or meal at a scenic restaurant overlooking the Bernese Alps.
Alternatively, my trip last November to Ireland was gorgeous and full of amazing outdoor activities in incredible scenery including falconry, golf, and hiking. I highly recommend Ireland this summer!
Thirdly, the Greek Islands are a very popular destination this summer. A day on the water sailing around your chosen Greek Island is a bucket list check. You’ll see stunning white sand beaches and aquamarine coves. Also on view are the iconic Greek coastlines and sea life when you pause to swim and snorkel off the boat. Your captain will recommend a stop for lunch at a quaint, hidden gem restaurant ashore.
Big Sky country USA is calling – if you haven’t been, it’s high time 😊
How about a ranch vacation? You can ‘go wild in style’ at Brush Creek Luxury Ranch in Wyoming. Beyond its front gates lie 30,000 unspoiled acres, where you can reclaim a sense of independence while riding trails, driving cattle, fly-fishing, or hiking 12,000-foot Medicine Bow Peak. The adventures at this all-inclusive, authentic working cattle ranch are nearly endless. Accommodations include 42 luxurious, timbered rooms, with open-hearth fireplaces and plush amenities. Families can spread out in restored 19th-century log cabins with decks, full kitchens, and expansive views, or stay in the upscale Magee Homestead, exclusively for adults ages 21 and older.
I have access to a long list of ranches across the US and will help you find the right place for you!
Wishing you and your family continued good health,