International luxury travel agency network Virtuoso announced this summer's must-visit destinations. Virtuoso's expert advisors also unveiled insider tips on how to successfully manage trips during the busy season.
According to Virtuoso’s newest Flash Survey, respondents revealed their favorite worldwide destinations for the summer of 2017. The love for Europe endures and it factors prominently on the list due to interest in cultural trips. This summer is the ideal time to venture to the continent due to the low euro, and experience:
- A river cruise down the Danube where tucked-away villages and historic highlights converge in countries such as Hungary, Austria and Germany
- Portugal, a less crowded and more affordable option than other Western European destinations
- Iceland, an emerging destination popular for its adventure and family travel opportunities
- Peru's Andean Explorer, the new luxury train
- Ottawa, Canada's capital, to celebrate the country's 150th birthday
- The Galapagos Islands, especially for trips with kids
For those planning on staying closer to home, here are the picks for best U.S. destinations this summer:
- National parks, especially in the West: Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion and Bryce Canyon. Reservations may be difficult this close in, so contact a travel advisor to plan now.
- Ski destinations such as Park City, Utah or Aspen, which feature great deals on accommodations during the off-season
- A beach vacation: Hawaii is ideal year-round
- Northern Michigan for its scenic parks and lakes, as well as resort communities such as Mackinac Island
- The Bluegrass region of Kentucky, to take in its famed horses, scenic drives and heritage sites
- Maine, with its beaches, recreational opportunities and quaint towns
Virtuoso advisors also revealed their best secrets for traveling successfully during the busy summer season:
- Plan ahead to secure the best airfares and avoid squeezing in a last-minute trip during August before school starts, as this is the busiest time. In fact, it is not too early to start thinking about summer 2018 travel.
- Stay in the least expensive room in the best hotel, and enjoy the enhanced service, amenities and overall experience at a better price point
- Allow a minimum of two hours between connecting flights. The extra layover time may help you make your plane if summer storms wreak havoc on airline schedules.
- Seek off-the-beaten-path destinations for better value and fewer crowds
- Arrive at the airport a minimum of an hour before boarding, not an hour before departure. This is a newer rule and should be heeded during the busy summer season.
- Splurge on a hotel that is closer to the sights and activities you have planned. It will save you precious time and travel costs.
- Book economy seats, but use miles to upgrade to Business Class
- Arrive at your hotel at check-in time (3:00 pm). You will have more options available then to change your room than later in the day after more guests have arrived.