For the first time in decades, I've spent the entire summer at home, near Seattle. (It's just as nice as I've always heard.) In the meantime, I've been keeping my spirits up by thinking back on my favorite recent travels. And I've been pondering the magic behind those magic moments. What turns a good trip into an unforgettable, can't-wait-to-tell-your-friends trip?
Some of my favorite travel experiences have come when I met up with travelers on our bus tours — one of my travel traditions that I dearly miss this year. Whether taking gondola rides through Venice as the sun sets, sharing fresh-from-the-oven Portuguese pastries, or yodeling our way through the Alps, it's clear that the vivid experiences we had together were the measure of a great tour.
September is traditionally our biggest month for tours — which means that in normal times, many of you would be packing right now. And for good reason: This time of year, as Europeans head home from their summer vacations and soaring temperatures begin to drop, the joy of European travel seems cranked up to 10. All the ingredients that make for memorable travel are mixed together into a refreshing cocktail of European delights: Warm evenings strolling through cobbled lanes. Sipping limoncello on a lively piazza. Enjoying rustic cheese right where it was made, in a high-mountain hut, as a reward for a long alpine hike. And of course, these travel memories are often made better when they're shared with two dozen other passionate travelers.
This month's Tour News celebrates those wonderful memories and much more: Embrace the understated elegance of Poland on a photo-filled journey through our new Best of Poland tour (which we're hoping to inaugurate in 2021); take a leisurely stroll through the grounds of the Loire Valley's most magnificent château; catch up with some of our European tour guides, as they keep busy without tours running; and much more. And, to help bring a little Europe into your life, you can read up on my favorite tongue-in-cheek "No-Travel Tips."
If you're wondering when we'll begin booking tours for 2021, sit tight — we'll fill you in on our plans soon. In the meantime, while we wait for travel to open up again, now's as good a time as any to think back on those happy travel memories, do a little dreaming, and fine-tune your future plans. When the time comes, we'll be more ready than ever to help turn those dreams into vivid reality.
Happy (virtual) travels,