Wish you were here 🖼️

Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! Can you believe August is here? Some of you have kids thinking about back-to-sports/school and perhaps beginning the first year of college this month. In travel land, I look forward to Virtuoso Travel Week where I meet with partners from around the world to learn what’s new and exciting for my clients. It’s essentially a travel back-to-school event, and my homework is to organize my volumes of notes for easy reference throughout the coming year.

For those of you who have an international trip this month, know that the revenge travel boom continues. I continue to encourage you to pack your patience and have an adventure mindset. Summer is peak travel season with record levels of travelers in many of the most popular destinations.

For the next few weeks, I’ll share examples of where clients have and will travel this summer as well as an experience that received rave reviews from them. You might find it inspiring for your 2024 vacation. Read on for the first part of the scoop…


Along with Italy, Greece is one of the top destinations for Hidden Gem Travel clients in recent years. One big benefit to working with me for these and other popular places is the in-destination support. For example, if you miss your ferry in the Greek Islands or your train in Italy, you have local contacts who will jump in and rebook you quickly so you don’t miss much if any of your well-deserved vacation. When you don’t know the system or speak the language, this support is invaluable.

Clients in Greece always rave about the sunset catamaran cruise in Santorini. For the DIY booker, you won’t know which company is best but I do 😊 The boat is both comfortable and stunning, and you will sail to red and white beaches where you swim and snorkel while the crew prepares a tasty Greek barbeque lunch. Continuing onward, the catamaran will sail past “Indian rock”, Akrotiri, Aspronisi, and the Ancient lighthouse as you gaze upon the setting sun. Finally, the catamaran will sail under picturesque Oia for the spectacular sunset. The cruise finishes in scenic Ammoudi Bay and docks next to a quaint row of waterside restaurants.

💎Hidden Gem Tip: If an international vacation (or 5-star resort getaway) is on your travel bucket list, let’s talk about the best destinations and itineraries for you.


In Chiang Mai, an interactive experience at an elephant sanctuary was a delight for another family. Here’s the tour description:

Upon arrival at Kanta Elephant Sanctuary, change into traditional Thai clothing. After your wardrobe change, prepare a tasty snack of fresh fruits for the elephants and meet the herd. Enjoy your visit to the sanctuary, where you can feed the animals and roam freely amongst the herd with opportunities to touch and play with the elephants. 

After lunch, you’ll prepare an herbal sticky rice mixture as an afternoon treat for the elephants. During this time, the staff of the sanctuary teaches guests about the background of elephants in Thailand, their healthcare, and their unique social behaviors. 

Walk with the elephants to the river and spend a memorable afternoon bathing the pachyderms, feeding them sticky rice balls and fruits, and watching them play in the mud. There will be ample opportunities to take memorable photos by the river.


A castle stay while in Ireland is an unforgettable experience! A family of 5 spent two days at a castle not far from the iconic Cliffs of Mohr and the fun city of Galway.  It was part of a longer Ireland trip.  While staying at the castle, they played golf, had a classic British Afternoon Tea experience, rode horses, and explored the stunning castle grounds. Family memories made ✔️✔️.

Wishing you and your family unforgettable adventures,


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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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