Travel Leaders Network—which has 5,700 travel agency members across North America—reports that its travel advisors are seeing an uptick in travelers seeking advice about places they can go and things they can do to get outdoors, and away from home, before the end of 2020. Reportedly, road trips, national parks and theme parks have emerged as the most popular options.
“Our travel advisors have received requests from clients seeking RV rentals and luxury lodges and resorts near national parks, and other places where they can safely socially distance not far from home,” said Roger E. Block, President of Travel Leaders Network.
As summer comes to a close, it seems that clients are more willing stay at hotels, resorts and lodges that are relatively close to home than they were just a few weeks ago, according to a poll conducted among Travel Leaders advisors. More people also expressed a willingness to fly to uncrowded destinations and engage in private tours once they were actually there.
Leading the list of national parks that travelers are most eager to visit are Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Sequoia and the Grand Canyon. Alaska is also proving a popular destination among nature and wildlife lovers for getaways where social distancing is easy. Among families, Florida remains a favorite destination, thanks to the presence of theme parks like Disney World or Universal Studios, despite its recently renewed struggle with COVID-19.
“For last-minute trips, consumers opt for extended weekends of three to five nights within a days’ drive,” explained Block. “However, when planning a trip through a travel advisor, they can help you sort through options you didn’t know you had, help you understand the various travel restrictions and ensure you have the best possible experience with safety as a priority.”
In answer to rising interest in domestic tourism, Travel Leaders has launched a publication called “North America Amazes”, filled with articles and inspiration for close-to-home trips, as well as special discounts and promotions for those who decide to book their getaways through a Travel Leaders advisor.
Based on recent trends and the collective recommendations of its advisor community, Travel Leaders also released a list of trip types that clients may wish to consider:
For an excellent road trip, try Wyoming’s Grand Teton or Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park, where private guided tours will allow you to explore spectacular terrain from off-the-beaten-path and away from the crowds. If you’re headed all the way up to Alaska, be sure to visit Denali National Park, where you can combine a self-drive adventure with guided tour options.
Travelers who wish to be among others while still social distancing may enjoy the luxury motorcoach approach, since you can sit back and passively soak in the scenery. This way, you get a guide who knows all the of the local must-see sites and experiences, and who will accompany you every step of the way.
Train travel is another amazing way to see stunning landscapes and venture a little farther from home fairly quickly. Travel advisors can even create customized packages and itineraries for clients that include accommodations, sightseeing tours, entertainment options and dining experiences, taking out much of the guesswork.
Available in both the U.S. and Canada, small-boat expeditions offer a uniquely active, adventurous and up-close travel experience, which might include hiking up to a waterfall, paddleboarding or kayaking through a quiet cove, or snorkeling along a coral reef. Consider a Snake River adventure that winds toward the Pacific, sailing all the way from Wyoming through Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state.
North America’s rivers flow through everything from major cities to small, historic towns, agricultural plains and vast woodlands. Riverboats carry fewer than 200 passengers along the historic waterways that helped build the country, and the vessels tend to have private balconies with large sliding doors for an ideal outlook. You’ll find river cruises available in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, New England, the Southeast and along the Mississippi.
Travelers wishing to immerse themselves in nature or enjoy a restorative wellness experience won’t want for lack of options when it comes to finding luxury resorts set in tranquil surroundings fairly close to home. Through Travel Leaders SELECT Hotels & Resorts program, clients can even take advantage of extra perks, such as early check-in/late checkout and room upgrades (subject to availability), free Wi-Fi, and complimentary breakfast—plus a special amenity, such as a spa or dining credit.
For more information, visit travelleaders.com.
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