Maybe you’ve watched a lot of Anthony Bourdain. Maybe you drool over beautiful pictures of food on social media. Maybe you’ve developed a love for international cuisine by going to ethnic restaurants. Regardless of how you developed your interest in food and drink, you recognize that it plays a role in your enjoyment of travel. Today’s travelers want more than a delicious meal in a Michelin-rated restaurant. They are often looking for an authentic, local culinary experience that enables them to soak up the culture, history, and traditions of a place through its food and drink. If you’re one of those people, here are a few suggestions for ways that you can experience a destination through its cuisine.
1. Take a cooking class. We can help you find a cooking class with a local chef or beloved home cook where you can learn about local ingredients and specialties, as well as cooking skills and techniques that you can take back to your own kitchen. My favorites: making pizza and gelato in Italy.
2. Go to a market. Some areas have fantastic markets where you can explore unique ingredients, meet farmers who produce them, and get a slice-of-life experience. My favorites: Great Market Hall in Budapest and the Saturday market in Lucea, Jamaica.
3. Try a culinary excursion in your destination: maybe a tasting tour in a city or a producer’s tour where you get to see how olive oil is pressed or cheese is made, for example. My favorite: tasting tour in Puerta Vallarta.
4. Know the local specialties. Maybe there’s a winery, an artisanal chocolate shop, or a restaurant on your wish list. Or maybe it’s just a delicious local dish or ingredient, such as paella in Spain or beef in Argentina, that you want to make sure you try while you are there. My favorites: Laduree macarons in France, stroopwafels in Amsterdam, and dulce de leche in Argentina.
5. Time your trip. For the best culinary experience, you may need to time your trip to coincide with a harvest, a festival, or a fair. My favorite: Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Globe Travel can help with all of this! Our travel advisors can either incorporate culinary elements into your vacation, or we can make culinary experiences a major factor in your travel decisions. From a complete food tour in Italy to a visit to an underwater winery in Croatia, we can help you plan the culinary travel experience you’ve been dreaming of.
I’m getting hungry now…
As we all sit home and aren’t travelling at all, first of all I hope you are all staying safe, practicing your social distancing, and washing your hands. I also know that, if you are like me, you are sitting home dreaming of your next vacation, when you can go somewhere without worrying about whether you will get on the last flight out of the country before it closes its borders, when you don’t have to wipe down your arm with an antibacterial wipe because the person next to you didn’t fully cover his sneeze, and/or when you can relax on a cruise ship in the middle of a sparkling ocean.
For this week’s post, let’s not discuss where you can’t go or what you can’t do. Let’s focus, instead, on the silver linings of this situation.
1. Where do you want to go when this is all over? What is your dream destination? Read some travel books, log into some armchair travel webinars, brush up on the history of unique places. This WILL end and you will be ready to get out of the house! You’ll appreciate even more your opportunity to get out and explore. Start planning now for fall and winter travel, as well as for next year.
2. When you book with Globe Travel, you get personalized service each and every time. We know you. We know where you are going, when you are going, who is going with you. You are not just a booking number to us, and we are not working in a call center talking to hundreds of people a day. During this period of cancelled trips, your friends who booked with online travel agencies like Expedia, Booking, and Vacations to Go are waiting hours to speak to an unfriendly voice at the other end of the line who has no idea who they are. You booked with Globe Travel, and you know you will get a prompt response and that we are going to be happy to help you.
3. Many people travel in order to spend time with family members and make memories together. With all of this forced time at home, I’ve found myself spending more time with those I love—maybe not always in person, but also via phone and FaceTime. I realized that I’m accomplishing the same goal that I had for my vacation—time focused on togetherness—just in a completely different way. Don’t get me wrong…I’d much rather be spending this time together on a cruise ship! But I’m choosing to focus on the benefits of this forced downtime and realizing that maybe I’m not giving up as much as I thought when I had to give up that family cruise.
It’s a tough season right now, whether you’re a travel agent or a traveler. We’re in this together, and we look forward to being “in the same boat” with you when you’re ready to book your next trip.
What’s Closed And/Or Cancelled
It’s amazing how the world changes in a day or two. The travel industry has been hit hard by the corona virus pandemic. Not only does this impact you and your vacation, but it also impacts the many employees who work for cruise lines, airlines, and tour companies, as well as the communities that you visit. These communities often depend on income from visitors, and their economies suffer when cancellations happen.
Each person’s situation is different. Some people are concerned; others are determined to keep their travel plans. If you are able, I encourage you to get back to traveling as soon as it is reasonable for you. It is good for your soul! It also helps employees get back to work, and it helps to bring much-needed resources to the communities you visit.
For the latest list of cruise lines that have suspended operations, go to this article.
Here are tour operators that we know have cancelled some or all of their trips in the coming weeks. Some have only cancelled trips to specific locations; others have cancelled all departures.
* Adventures by Disney
* CIE Tours
* G Adventures
* Insight Vacations
And here are a few other popular tourist destinations that have closed due to coronavirus:
* All Disney and Universal theme parks worldwide, except Universal Studios Singapore
* Smithsonian museums
* Broadway shows
As we always do, Globe Travel advisors will work with you to get the best outcome for your unique situation. Stay safe, whether you’re currently traveling or planning your next trip!
Alternative 2020 Destination Ideas
As a follow-up to last week’s post about traveling with coronavirus, we thought it might be helpful to share some ideas in case you are one of the many people who has had their upcoming travel plans impacted by coronavirus. We know you’ve been planning for your vacation and looking forward to it for a long time, and we know just how disappointed you are to have to consider cancelling. Instead of cancelling, we encourage you to re-imagine your 2020 vacation and go to a different destination.
There are plenty of vacation destinations that are not impacted by coronavirus. Here are a few recommendations from your Globe Travel Advisors:
* If you were planning a Mediterranean or Asian cruise, try an Alaskan cruise.
* If you like the outdoors, try a US National Park trip or a Galapagos cruise.
* If you were planning to experience ancient cultures in China, try Macchu Picchu in Peru.
* If you were planning on a wine trip in Italy, try a wine trip in South Africa.
* If you like to travel by train, try the Rocky Mountaineer train in Canada.
* If you want to go where there is currently no coronavirus, go on an Antarctic expedition.
It’s a big world and there is so much to see! Contact us to help you find a destination that makes you comfortable and gives you a new opportunity to experience all that the world has to offer!
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