Top 3 – Let’s go next year!

Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! Recently someone asked me, “What was the best meal you had in your travels this year?” Now, I’m not a foodie so I don’t tend to remember in all honesty, but when I was in Budapest in March, I had an unforgettable dining experience at the new Spago, the newest Wolfgang Puck’s signature restaurant. What made it special was a combination of the food, company, excellent service, and the restaurant’s vibe. Going forward, I will make a point to record and remember my favorite dining experiences as I travel the world. I encourage you to do so too whether or not you’re a foodie!

This summer, clients have had amazing vacations in Japan, on safari, and on cruises (expedition and traditional style) in Alaska. In all cases, these trips were planned well in advance. 💎Hidden Gem Tip: Plan now for Japan, Safari, or Alaska in 2024. Why you ask? Japan will again be a hot destination for 2024 in part because it reopened later than many countries post-covid. Life-changing African safaris are optimally booked a year-ish in advance, and the best cruise itineraries and cabins on any ship are snapped up early.

Read on for the scoop on what Hidden Gem Travel clients enjoyed this year in these iconic destinations…


There are many layers to a custom Japan itinerary, and one family explored a culinary aspect of Japanese culture by learning all about ramen one evening instead of a typical restaurant dinner. Here’s the tour description:

Tonight, you’ll meet our local ramen expert and set out for a night of discovery and discernment for this seemingly humble meal. With the Tokyo native, you’ll head to two, highly recommended ramen shops where you’ll enjoy four, mini-bowls of steaming hot ramen. Your guide will share their passion for noodles and explain why these particular restaurants are some of the best in town. Each has different cooking and serving styles, ambiance, and techniques which will be explained during this unique tour. You’ll soon find no two ramen shops are the same — they all have a specialty whether it’s the deep flavor of their broth or the texture of the noodles.


There’s nothing more special than spending a day on Safari! This summer, Hidden Gem Travel clients followed the great migration in the Serengeti. They saw all matter of magnificent creatures like elephants, zebras, wildebeest, lions, cheetahs, wart hogs, and many more. While in their tented but luxury camps, they were escorted around by the ultimate locals – the proud members of the Maasai tribe. If you’d like to learn about this colorfully clothed tribe, check out this link:

I went on safari in Tanzania last year, and it was a life-changing experience.  And I had some incredible and memorable dining experiences in the shade and under the stars in the Serengeti.  Yes, photos above were taken by me 🙂

💎Hidden Gem Tip: If a safari is on your travel bucket list, let’s talk about the best African destinations and itineraries for you.


Multiple Hidden Gem Travel clients head to Alaska every summer. Most explore by ship and there are many options and styles. They work with me to find the best option for them (and receive onboard credit to spend that they wouldn’t have if they booked on their own). 

The ultimate experience is on a small, Expedition ship that can get into the small coves that the large ships can’t. Naturalists will be onboard to educate you about the incredible landscapes and sea life. If you haven’t seen a glacier or bald eagles in flight in person, then Alaska needs to be your vacation for next summer. Oh, and the incredibly fresh seafood is absolutely delish!

Wishing you and your family unforgettable adventures,


Follow my Facebook/Instagram pages this week for more travel inspiration: or Instagram:

Make your own Wanderlist for 2023! As a reminder, Wanderlist is an online portal where you can research, explore, and create shareable lists of destinations and experiences. Share your list with me so I can make it happen for you. Check it out here:  

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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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