With a globe full of amazing destinations, it can be tough to decide which one to pick for your next big adventure. Professional vacation planners, like our staff here at Country Walkers, often have the inside scoop on hot new destinations—as well as tried-and-true vacations that never fail. To give you that insider’s perspective, we asked Country Walkers travel professionals how they pick their next vacation destination. Here are six features our well-traveled staff look for when planning their next trip:
1. Direct Flights
You might think travel professionals wouldn’t mind spending time in airports. After all, it’s their job, right? While that may be true for some, our intrepid Travel Director Katia Torre has no patience for layovers. “I like to keep it simple,” says Katia. “When I go on vacation, I’m looking for a relaxing journey, so I tend to go places with direct flights from my home city. No layovers for me!” Of course, it’s not always easy to comb through airline schedules to find direct flights from your home city—and that’s where Country Walkers in your corner makes a big difference! With our long-standing relationships with top airlines, our Air Team can find the most direct routes—and lowest rates—from airlines we trust. If you’re looking for the most direct route to your next destination, a Country Walkers Flight + Tour Combo is a great way to go.
2. Weather Suited to Your Active Adventure
Many travel professionals go on vacation with active adventures in mind. They might be looking for warm weather hikes during the cold winter months—or maybe an opportunity to try a new activity, like cycling or kite-boarding. Chris Skilling, Country Walkers Vice President of Worldwide Product, says he picks his destination to support his planned activities. “If I take a winter vacation, I’m looking for a place with warm weather for walking or cycling—like New Zealand or Morocco,” says Chris. “But in the summer months, I’ll be hiking Mont Blanc.” If you already have a timeframe for your next vacation, Country Walkers Tour Consultants can help you find a destination with terrific weather at that time of year.
3. Easy to Get Around
Nobody wants to be bothered by a lot of pesky traffic while on vacation. Green spaces, pedestrian malls, and wooded trails are all great attractions for travel professionals looking to get away from the hustle-bustle. When Country Walkers Operations Manager Alison Mathes goes on vacation, she’s looking for a spot with lots of great places to walk—and a strong public transportation system to help her see the sights. “There are lots of destinations that make it easy to get around,” says Alison. “There are plenty of buses, trains, and places where pedestrians can just relax and enjoy a beautiful walk. It makes it so easy to explore.” Of course, Country Walkers vacations are expertly designed with great walks and discovery in mind—and transportation to and from the airports and between cities is arranged for you.
4. Unique Landscapes and Wildlife
Many travel professionals spend time working in major tourist destinations such as Rome, Paris, and London—so when they take vacation, they’re ready to get off the beaten track. Our adventurous Operations Manager Brian Lacharite picks his vacation destinations based on the opportunity to experience unique landscapes and view fascinating wildlife. “I’ve been to Italy a couple times,” says Brian. “So, when I go on vacation, I want to experience scenery and ecosystems I’ve never seen before—like the lava fields of Iceland or Argentina’s Sierra Baguales mountain range.”
5. Spectacular Architecture
Here in the United States, most of our structures are less than 200 years old. That’s why architecture buff and Country Walkers Product Operations Manager Kelsei Durfee loves to explore places with ancient and distinctive architectural traditions. “The architectural styles in places like Morocco and Scandinavia are totally different from what we see in this country,” says Kelsei. “It’s amazing to explore buildings that date back hundreds or even thousands of years—and think about what went into creating them. Some of those ancient architectural feats are really awe-inspiring.”
6. Coastal Views
OK, we have to admit this one isn’t exactly news. The traditional summer beach holiday is a long-standing vacation staple—and for good reason! Travel professionals are by no means immune to those long, sunny beach days and evenings lulled by waves crashing against the shore. Country Walkers Product Director Amy Brusa says she never tires of the Italian coastline—no matter how many times she visits. “I love coastal destinations, and I also love Italy,” says Amy. “On my last vacation I chose Italy: The Amalfi Coast Self-Guided Tour because it’s a beautiful coastal destination, and my husband and I wanted a little extra independence—and this self-guided tour was just what we needed.”
If you’re thinking about planning your next Big Trip but aren’t sure where to start, our Country Walkers Tour Consultants are eager to help. They’ll point you in the right direction with the most direct flight itineraries, reliable weather advice, and Tour Extensions that will help you reach your goals. Just a quick call to 855.445.5617 will put you in touch with an expert Tour Consultant who will be happy to help you build a plan that ticks every box.