Tired of the same old view out your window every day? Stress from work, family, the world in general, got you down and you need some time away from it all? Want to experience the world through the eyes of another culture or history? Travel may be your answer. The world offers a million treasures, adventures, cultures and celebrations just waiting for anyone with the desire to be there and create extraordinary memories.
With the world (finally) open for all after the pandemic, the travel industry is booming and now is the time to make plans for your 2024 excursion. Whether it’s a short camping trip up north or a jet ride out of the country, the time for making plans and booking flights and experiences is now. “You really want to start booking 6-8 months or more in advance,” says Ingrid Schmitt Ream, President of Superior Travel Service, Inc. “Eighteen months out is really too early to plan. Flights are priced 331 days in advance and airfare is unpredictable. Now is the time to do it and 2024 travel is booking quickly.”
Ream and Superior Travel Service specialize in international travel, as well as Alaska and Hawaii, booking accommodations, itineraries, transfers and tours for hundreds of clients to locations throughout the world. If you are wondering where in the world could best offer your equivalent of a dream destination, Ream has a few suggestions.
Top 3 Travel Destinations for 2024
Greece: The most requested destination of the season so far, Greece offers history dating back before the time of Jesus and scenery of ancient beauty. “Whether you are visiting Delphi, Olympia, Thessaloniki or the Acropolis in Athens, each city in Greece holds amazing history!” exclaims Ream. “Imagine standing where famous wars were fought and philosophers wrote, or where the first Olympics were held in 776 BC. You can visit active archeological digs at certain locations if that is your dream.” History not your thing? Greece also offers quaint villages, modest shops and tropical weather. “After visiting history, it’s easy to turn your trip into a Caribbean-style vacation by taking a boat to one of the many beautiful islands such as Mythos, Crete or Santorini.”
Italy: Another top request this year is Italy – another country big on history, amazing weather, and beautiful scenery. “Italy offers so much diversity, from visiting Lake Como for its beautiful views or enjoying a gondola ride in Venice, to art museums and the Basilica – it holds something for everyone,” enthuses Ream. Often, a short train ride will get you to Florence, Rome, Naples and other cities. “Rome is filled with centuries of history,” adds Ream, “most famously, the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Vatican. Naples is the gateway to the gorgeous Amalfi Coast and breathtaking sights such as Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii. A favorite of mine is the Isle of Capri featuring the bluest water, numerous caves and grottos, villas and breathtaking views!”
Scotland/Ireland: Coming up third in this year’s requested vacations is the classic European combination of Scotland and Ireland. “These are the lands of Kings and Queens, royalty and extreme poverty as well,” Ream informs. “If you enjoy visiting castles or would like to stay in one, these countries offer the best selection. They are also a shorter distance to travel which adds to their desirability. Not to mention, the language makes it much easier to communicate with the locals.” Transportation between cities and towns is relatively quick and easy to navigate (just keep an eye out for sheep) and most accommodations are affordable. Scenery is lovely and the people tend to be the friendliest there are. “Because most of the accommodations are on a very small scale, they do sell out quickly; so advance reservations for the peak summer season are a must,” Ream advises.
Ream also states that now may be the time to book a trip to Asia as the rates can be equivalent to that of a European trip. “During the pandemic, Asia was much stricter about travel and is finally opening up,” she says. “In the past, a trip to Thailand or Japan would be more expensive due to the distance; but they are playing catch-up and rates are good.” Ream also states that due to the Olympics being held in France this summer, a trip to the country this year could be expensive. “If you would like to go to France, the best times to plan are before or after the games unless, of course, you are going for that reason.”
Another popular reason for travel this year is a destination wedding. “They are more popular than ever and can be held practically anywhere in the world!” exclaims Ream. “Most wedding ceremonies are complimentary with a minimum number of guests staying at the property. The bride is assigned a wedding coordinator who works in conjunction with your travel agency who books all of the travel arrangements. It’s much less stressful for the happy couple compared to a traditional wedding.”
Traveling abroad can be a nervy experience for those leaving the country for the first time. Ream provides a few tips for those planning their big adventures.
Travel Tips for First-Timers
Know The geography and weather patterns.
Find out when the rainy seasons, summers and winters happen where you are planning to go. For instance, we are entering winter but Australia is beginning their summer season. Booking in the wrong season can make for a cold and wet vacation. Also, determine travel times between your destination’s cities, towns and tourist sites. Can you make it all in one day or do you need to make it two (or more)?
When do attractions open?
Nothing can ruin a trip quicker than getting excited about seeing a castle or historic monument only to find that it is closed for the season. Make sure to plan your day around the operating schedule of the attractions you wish to visit. Also, NEVER book a ticket to an attraction without first booking airfare to the country. Again, airfare is unpredictable and you may have to pay a premium to make sure you get to your booking on time (or cancel it).
Take a photo of your passport.
Before you head out of the country, use your phone and take a shot of this important document. In the event that you lose your passport (or it gets stolen), you may have to visit the U.S. embassy in your destination country and having all your I.D. in hand can expedite the resolution of the situation.
Carry at least two credit cards.
Keep one with you and one in a safe place. “I recommend you use the hotel safe,” Ream suggests. “Keep all your cash with you (it should be minimal). If you lose a credit card or it is stolen, you can put a freeze on it and still use your extra to continue your vacation.”
Get your phone ready for travel.
Make sure you have the ability to use your phone in another country without major fees or downtimes. Check with your service provider before leaving your country of origin. Your phone’s map and route functions alone can be worth their weight in gold.
If you are wondering what to do next year or just feel as though you are stuck in a rut, traveling abroad can change your whole perspective on life and the world. “It humbles you; it really does,” says Ream. “Being somewhere else and not knowing what those around you are saying, being unable to read signs is eye-opening; but the culture you find and beauty you see truly justifies the experience.”
Superior Travel Service, Inc. specializes in travel destinations according to what YOU want including private tours, off-the-beaten-path explorations, foodie tours, culinary classes, wine tours, historical sights and more. Become immersed in the experience with a small, group-escorted tour, dine at local restaurants, meet the locals and relax in a new world. To plan your dream vacation, contact Superior Travel Service, Inc. at 810.969.4777 or visit superiortravelinc.com.