A new survey by Virtuoso revealed this summer’s must-visit recommendations from professionals as well as insider tips on how to successfully manage trips during the busy season.
Noteworthy from the respondents is that Europe remains dominant, likely due to interest in cultural trips. Also factoring in is the strong dollar value compared to the euro.
Popular experiences in general include:
- A river cruise down the Danube where villages and historic highlights converge in countries such as Hungary, Austria and Germany
- Portugal, a less crowded and more affordable option than other Western European destinations
- Iceland, an emerging destination popular for its adventure and family travel opportunities
- Peru’s Andean Explorer, the new luxury train
- Ottawa, Canada’s capital, to celebrate the country’s 150th birthday
- The Galapagos Islands, especially for trips with kids
For those planning on staying closer to home, Virtuoso’s advisors also shared their picks for best U.S. destinations this summer:
- National parks, especially in the West: Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion and Bryce Canyon. Reservations may be difficult this close in, so begin planning now.
- Ski destinations such as Park City, UT or Aspen, which offer great deals on accommodations during the off-season
- Hawaii, as a year-round beach destination
- Northern Michigan for its scenic parks and lakes, as well as resort communities such as Mackinac Island
- The Bluegrass region of Kentucky, to take in its famed horses, scenic drives and heritage sites
- Maine, with its beaches, recreational opportunities and quaint towns
As well, Virtuoso advisors also revealed their best secrets for traveling successfully during the busy summer season:
- Plan ahead to secure the best airfares and avoid squeezing in a last-minute trip during August before school starts, as this is the busiest time; in fact, it is not too early to start thinking about summer 2018 travel
- Stay in the least expensive room in the best hotel, and enjoy the enhanced service, amenities and overall experience at a better price point
- Allow a minimum of two hours between connecting flights: The extra layover time may help you make your plane if summer storms affect airline schedules
- Seek off-the-beaten-path destinations for better value and fewer crowds
- Arrive at the airport a minimum of an hour before boarding, not an hour before departure
- Splurge on a hotel that is closer to the sights and activities you have planned, as it will save time and travel costs.
- Book economy seats, but use miles to upgrade to business class
- Arrive at your hotel at check-in time; you will have more options available at this time to change your room than later in the day after more guests have arrived