Carlson Wagonlit Travelscope 's Blog

A New Year of Travel Trends

Happy New Year!  2017 is ramping up to be an exciting year of travel. So we thought we'd share stories about the hottest travel trends that are going to impact where - and how - you travel in the coming months and even years. What do we see in our crystal ball/ champagne glass?  

Whether you're planning family, 'bleisure' (business/leisure), solo, romantic or couple travels, gal or pal getaways, from the uber luxurious to the economical, 2017 travel will be all about:

  • Wellness and Adventure: Getting outdoors and being active, returning more healthy than when you left, doing something other than pounding pavement or cobblestones every day...  visitors have more and more new, healthy and adventurous (not necessarily dangerous!) ways to experience destinations.
  • Cuba: Travel to Cuba has changed forever now that relations with the US are normalizing. If you haven't already been, there are even more ways to explore one of the world's last restricted travel areas.
  • New Cruise Ships: Ocean or river, luxury or expedition, new cruise ships, with itineraries, designs, amenities, activities and celebrity entertainment or culinary partnerships that battle to outdo each other just keep on coming!  What WILL they do next on a ship? We'll keep you abreast of all the latest developments. If you're one of the last few people who still thinks cruising is about 'blue hair and buffets', you should take a look at the latest generation of cruise ships... and passengers.  There really is a cruise out there for every traveler.
  • Celebrations: Canada commemorates its 150th birthday in 2017, and it's also riding a wave at the top of nearly every 'best place to travel' list.  Did you know as many Americans travel to Canada every year as go to all of Europe?  And with the dollar and other considerations, it's never been a better year for vacationing close to home.  So throughout 2017, we're going to share some of our favorite stories about Canada to inspire your travels. 
  • Local and authentic: Local food, local artisans... everyone is looking for authentic, local production, creation, and consumption. There's a global awareness that we're all looking to be more connected with each other and the items we consume.  Products with provenance and people with passion and rejuvenated cities and neighbourhoods.  There's more and more of it out there to discover.
  • Connecting: Staying connected with those at home, and connecting with the people, Nature, and wildlife where you're traveling.
  • Customization:  It's never been easier to work with a travel expert to craft a trip of your dreams.  In the past, it may have been harder to tweak a trip to get exactly what you want, but a new age of crafting travel itineraries is upon us, at every price point.  If you're just saying 'yes' and dropping down your credit card, you're missing out.

We want to inspire your travel imagination in 2017... and then make those dreams come true!

So we're also introducing BestTrip.TV - an 'online travel TV station' with inspiring videos you can watch right here on our web site (click on BestTrip.TV on our home page).  We'll be sharing BestTrip.TV videos throughout the year.

Safe and memorable travels in 2017!

 

 

 

2016 is Sailing off into the Sunset...

And here at Walnut Grove Travel, we're looking back on some of our best, most inspiring travel stories of the past year... AND bringing you some fresh ideas to start your travels off right in 2017.

Thank you for being part of our community of travel lovers this year.  We wish you a very Happy New Year 2017, and whether you travel on business, for pleasure, on your own, with colleagues, family, friends, or that special someone, we hope you have many exciting and memorable journeys ahead!

(Top Photo: BestTrip.TV in Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Intrepid Doubles Family-Themed Itineraries

Intrepid Travel is doubling its family-themed tours for 2017 with 48 itineraries tailored to families in two new styles of travel, Comfort and Active Family.

The decision to launch more than 20 tours comes as a result of the increasing demand for multi-generational travel. Intrepid Travel has also experienced significant demand for its teen trips, designed for ages 12 and up, inspiring the launch of teen trekking itineraries in Peru and Nepal, among other destinations.

“Intrepid Travel’s kid-friendly tours shake up the typical family vacation, offering a sense of adventure suited for all generations,” says Leigh Barnes, North America director for Intrepid Travel. “By significantly increasing our Family tours for 2017, we hope to be the go-to operator for family adventure travel.”

Ideal for meeting like-minded families, Intrepid Travel’s family-only adventures offer action-packed experiences steering off the beaten track, away from ball pits and buffets. Transforming travel into a form of education, the tours encourage families to use the world as their textbook by immersing into the destination and culture. With an average group size of 12, travelers can hop aboard local transportation, eat at family-run restaurants and kick back in home-stay accommodations. Family-friendly tours with 2017 departures offer one-of-a-kind experiences including:

  • Act like Mowgli in search for Shere Khan and other Bengal tigers for a true “Jungle Book” experience on the Comfort Northern India Family Holiday.
  • Visit Chiang Mai’s Elephant Nature Park, recognized by World Animal Protection for its protection of elephant welfare, on the Thailand Family Holiday.
  • Punt along the waterways of the Okavango Delta’s vibrant ecosystem by traditional canoe, greeting grunting hippos on the Namibia & Botswana Family Adventure.
  • Take on life as a local Gozitan shepherd for the day, tending to animals, cutting corn, making ‘gbejniet’ cheese and preparing lunch with the host family during the Malta and Gozo Family Holiday.

Start your Trip!

A version of this article previously appeared in TravelPress.com

Our 'Plan a Cruise Month' Smorgasbord of Offers

Mark it on your calendar. October is 'Plan a Cruise Month'. 

This is the time of year when the world's top cruise lines introduce some of their best offers of the year.

And with the nights getting chillier, thoughts of getting away this winter to the Caribbean's turquoise waters, exotic Polynesia, or fun loving Australia leap to mind.  Or an expedition of a lifetime to South America or Galapagos. And there's always Europe and the elegant Mediterranean in the spring.

There's a smorgasbord of cruise offers available right now, so if you were thinking of a romantic escape, a family or multi-generation holiday, an expedition cruise of a lifetime, even an employee incentive trip or a group getaway with your club, here's our round up of some of the best offers available.

Start your Trip!

    Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary The Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary is tucked away on the Malpelo Island, which is about 506 kilometers from the Colombian Coast. The island is small – just 350 hectares – but it is surrounded by a whopping 857,150 hectares marine environment. read more
Fortifications of Vauban you gotta go here The Fortifications of Vauban comprises of 12 groups of fortified buildings on the western, eastern and northern borders of France. They are the works of the military engineer, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban. This engineer worked under King Louis XIV. read more
5 Things you didn't know about Beijing Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China and also the seat of the Chinese ruling council. If you have never been to Beijing, then you have entirely missed out on one of the most interesting histories of ancient civilizations Apart from being home to over 20 million people, Beijing is one of the most visited cities in the world due to its attractions such as the Forbidden City, The Great Wall of China and the Palace Museum. read more
Things to do when on an adventure tour in the Patagonia Now that you know where Patagonia is, you would ask, 'why should I visit?' Well, for one, it is the most scenic ice formations you will ever see anywhere in the world - and yeah, they are more beautiful than those in Antarctica and more majestic than those found in Canada's Newfoundland and Labrador Province. read more
A brief history of Los Angeles Los Angeles, a city in the West Coast State of California in the United States of America has it all...skyscrapers, world beating sports teams, beautiful people, the richest people on earth, beautiful beaches, latest cars, the third largest GDP of any city in the world after Tokyo and New York ($831 billion) and all you can come up that a great city ought to have. But it was not always like that. Here is a brief history of this great city. read more
5 Olympic sites you need to see in Lillehammer When the little town of Lillehammer in the municipality of Oppland county, Norway presented its bid to host the 1992 winter Olympic Games, everybody thought the town was joking. However, nothing can replace consistency and when it bid again for the 1994 event, it outbid what you would call 'big cities' including Anchorage in the United States; Östersund in Sweden; and Sofia in Bulgaria. Today, the town boasts some of the most historic sites courtesy of being one of the towns that have hosted the global sporting event. Below are some of these sites. read more
10 interesting facts about the Great wall of China The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made in the general east-west direction in Northern China to protect the Chinese empire from encroachment by nomads, invaders and any other intrusion. It is made out of bricks, wood, earth stones, tamped etc. The wall was first built in the seventh century BC. However, the most significant piece was built in 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. In different eras, the wall was built and maintained. The wall as we see it today was constructed by Ming Dynasty. Other additional interesting facts of the wall are as follows. read more
10 French words you need to know before your leave for France Forget travelling. Learning a little French puts you ahead of the game in dating. French is known around the world as the language of Romance and love. If I were you, I would already be learning a little French to impress my date. People with an accent are popular on the dating front. It helps if the accent is French. read more
Discover Norway's best-kept secrets on a scuba diving adventure Scuba diving is up there with surfing, sky jumping, base jumping and motorway speed driving as one of the most adrenaline filled sports available to man. Granted, no destination can match the Blue Great Hole in Belize as a scuba diving spot, but Norway has several scuba diving hotspots that are the best kept secret in the sport. The hotspots are unique and less crowded. Below are a couple of them. read more
Take a journey through South African Apartheid Museum South Africa is renowned the world over for many things. However, Apartheid is not one of them. This will always have a dark blot on an otherwise great country. This is not to say that we stop reading about it. In fact, the more we read about dark history, the more we become careful not to repeat it. read more
5 Most Popular Spots for BASE Jumping In 1978, a filmmaker called Carl Boenish came up with a new concept of jumping from fixed objects called B.A.S.E jumping. If you are new to this concept, BASE is acronym for Building, Antenna, Span and Earth (cliff). read more
How to plan the most memorable wedding on a budget They say there would be no weddings if there were no ladies in the world. Ladies always try to outdo each other in terms of glamour, guest list, wedding gowns, wedding destinations as well as honeymoon destinations. However, not everybody affords Hollywood style kind of a wedding. This does not mean that you cannot have your dream wedding though. read more
The World's Best Hostels Traveling anywhere in the world is often an adventure but many people, particularly college age individuals, travel on the cheap out of necessity. One of the best ways to save money when traveling is to stay at hostels. read more
Safe Places for Americans to Travel in the Middle East The Middle East is a collection of some of the most beautiful scenery and diverse culture on earth. But with all of the political and civil calamity and unrest that has been taking place throughout the region, it is difficult for many travelers to know which areas are safe enough to visit. read more
Activities in Fiji for the Active Vacationer For most people, taking a trip to the South Pacific Island country of Fiji is a once in a lifetime experience. But whether you are going for the first time or the one hundred and first time, Fiji has a lot to offer its visitors who prefer a more active vacation. read more
Luxury with an Ocean View at Aqualina Resort & Spa Acqualina Resort & Spa is an award winning five star resort that comprises of Mediterranean villa and other residential homes in the breathtaking oceanfront location of Miami. read more
5 Cruises For Couples You've saved some money for a few years and want to take your honey on a cruise. Or maybe you want to take a cruise for a honeymoon, or just to get away. You should, there is nothing like it. read more
What is There to do in Montserrat? Montserrat is part of the British oversees territory in the Leeward Islands. It is part of a Chain of Islands that are popularly known as Lesser Antilles. The Island measures 16 kilometers long, 11 kilometers wide and have an expansive 40 kilometer coastline that boasts of volcanic sandy beaches. read more
What you Should do While in Armagh City, Ireland On your next trip to Armagh, Ireland, be sure to put these attractions on your list read more
Book a Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise	For an unforgettable evening aboard a magnificent vessel, cruising the gorgeous Sydney Harbour, check out the Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise. read more
Book Your Dream Wedding at Key Largo Lighthouse & Marina Have you ever dreamt of a wedding in the Florida Keys? The Key Largo Lighthouse & Marina offers beautiful, private views and a setting perfect for tying the knot. read more