Considering the misery that massive hurricane Sandy has brought the Northeast, it might seem frivolous to write about vacation trends right now.  But as we all dig out from under the sand and debris, it may be just what the doctor ordered!  With each day comes blessings and many things for which we can be thankful.  Let’s choose to focus on 2013 now, looking forward to opportunity for growth, change, and experiential travel that will be forever in our memories.

"halibut fishing"

Bobbie with her halibut catch in Alaska

Bucket List…what does that mean to you?  Whether you have it written down in your travel journal or it is just a vague mind map, I know you have one.  My clients are traveling well, and with my help, they add exciting excursions and visit memorable places.  They are still heading out for their “trip-of-a-lifetime” to places like Italy, Alaska, Hawaii, and “Down Under”Europe and US river cruises are hot, as are luxurious all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Mexico (think Riviera Maya and Cabo), and Caribbean islands like Aruba.  And honeymoons are recession-proof!  Lovers will always want luxury, privacy and to create special memories.

More people are planning their vacations in advance in order to secure the best value as well as the best location of their cabin on a ship.  This allows for ample time in planning those extra special adventures for immersing in the local culture and experiencing a destination from a different perspective than the typical traveler would.  Should you use a travel professional to handle every detail of your amazing trip?  Or course you should!  They add value in every way possible…from researching the travel option that best fits your style to knowing how to get those little extras that “wow”, and you certainly want someone in your corner if something unexpected goes awry.  If you simply want the cheapest vacation, that’s ok.  But you will get just that.  A cheap vacation!

According to Vacation Agent Magazine, we are seeing some resorts dropping the dreaded resort fees.  Woo hoo!  I see more small companies offering nature encounters like the Great Canadian Travel Company’s Grizzly and Orca Encounters.   Brendan Vacations is promoting packages to Northeastern Europe…Estonia Latvia and Lithuania.  And G Adventures is sailing to emerging West Africa.  And in the Caribbean, Buccament Bay in St. Vincent is offering Luxury Boot Camps to compliment their tennis and soccer academies for fitness-oriented travelers of all ages.

As we near the Thanksgiving holiday, I give thanks that you share your travel soul with me, and I value that with all of my heart.  Look forward to 2013 and may your bucket list be fulfilled!

Bobbie Rae Murphy

ACTIVE Travel Pro