1. Where to go?The deciding factor on where to go is centred mainly on personal preferences relating to interests and comfort levels. Do you like warm climates and cultural tours with a focus on historic sites? Perhaps exploring the Peloponnese, an area of Southern Greece brimming with fascinating ancient sites, ruins and relics of a bygone age. Or, perhaps you are more inclined to bask in breathtaking vistas and get active while on vacation? In which case, a tour of Patagonia with short hikes along some of South America’s most iconic trails is more likely to pique your interest. Spectacular Patagonia is a popular destination for the active traveller To keep the planning as simple as possible, why not make a list of your passions/interests and think about how you can incorporate them into a vacation of a lifetime? To name a few points of consideration: historical vs modern, art vs nature, museum visits vs first-hand observations, cities vs nature, wildlife vs culture. Next, be realistic about how much exercise you want to do and, indeed, how much you will be able to do in your new environment. Remember that many European cities have cobblestone alleys that can only be explored by foot and sometimes the most remote nature reserves in the world can be explored by bus. The terrain you’ll be contending with is a big factor when it comes to choosing a destination, as is the weather – be mindful that hotter climes will take their toll on stamina and endurance. Be sure to consider your destination’s environment when making the final decision on where to go and consider how that might impact your mobility level. Some European countries have terrain that can prove difficult Lastly, decide on a time of year that works with your schedule and what type of climate you’d like to find yourself escaping to. You may consider traveling somewhere warm like Central America during the colder seasons of your country of residence, while getaways in Central and Eastern Europe offer some wonderful sightseeing opportunities while escaping the summer heat. Central America and the Caribbean offer a great getaway for winter If there’s a specific activity or experience you’d like to enjoy, options might include bird watching in Brazil, photography in Asia, or an in-depth cultural tour that incorporates visits to tribal villages in Africa. Make a list which will at least narrow down the options. If you are travelling independently, you can use the list you compile as keywords to finding a destination that suits you. If you opt for a group tour, you will benefit from your representative’s expert knowledge relating to destinations, their sights, their accessibility, and, ultimately, their suitability for you.
2. Where to stay?The multitude of options when it comes to accommodation can be daunting:
- Do you like to be in the centre of it all or farther afield, more remote and quiet?
- Do you want five-star luxury, or would well-appointed three- and four-star hotels suffice?
- Is it just somewhere to rest your head or part of the experience?
- Where you stay is based heavily on where you go.
3. Do I need travel insurance?While purchasing travel insurance is entirely a matter of personal choice, we recommend it 100% of the time. Start by finding out what you are already insured for. Some credit cards, medical plans and homeowners insurance have coverage that extends to travel - but it’s crucial to read the fine print to ensure you are covered. Having medical insurance abroad is always a good idea. Thinking of accidents, illnesses and more extreme situations is certainly not the fun part of planning vacation, but invariably it is better to be insured and not need it than face extortionate medical bills if the unforeseen were to happen. Optional insurance coverage would include things like baggage, trip interruption, cancellation, identity theft and political evacuation. You can buy insurance that covers just the basics with a few options, or a comprehensive insurance for every situation imaginable. Do your homework on what you are already covered for, and what you’d like to be covered for just in case. If in doubt, ask a professional who sells insurance and consult your country’s travel advisories.
4. Will my medical conditions be an issue?If you haven’t travelled before, it is difficult to know how your body will react abroad and we’d suggest a tip of 21 days or less as your first vacation. Every day people travel around the globe with medical issues ranging from osteoarthritis, neurological ailments like mild Parkinson’s, to high blood pressure, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, sleep apnea, and post-cancer treatments. If you have concerns, ask your doctor before you plan your trip whether it is safe for you to travel, and if you get the go-ahead, ensure you bring all your medications with you. Always pack your medications or medical equipment in your carry on, with a few extra doses as availability to prescriptions varies in foreign countries.
5. What else do I need to know?Be warned that the perfect retirement vacation often leads to further wanderlust! The more you discover, the longer your list of places to discover becomes. Small-group-travel tours often attract lifelong learners who have led successful careers and are keen to learn about the world around them. This is often true because the smaller groups offer a more personalized and richer cultural experience that you simply won’t find anywhere else. While planning your perfect vacation destination, don’t be surprised if you happen across several more spots that will undoubtedly number among your inevitable next journeys abroad.
Photographic proof that Torres Del Paine is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I have another 1500 pieces of evidence collected today alone. @adventuresabroadtravel | | #Chile A photo posted by Rachel Kristensen (@meandertheworld) on
All roads lead to adventure. @adventuresabroadtravel | | #Chile | | #Patagonia A photo posted by Rachel Kristensen (@meandertheworld) on
Trekking at the end of the world, Ushuaia. @adventuresabroadtravel | | #Argentina A photo posted by Rachel Kristensen (@meandertheworld) on
Just a little mountain day dream. A photo posted by Rachel Kristensen (@meandertheworld) on
Mother nature is a beautiful thing. @adventuresabroadtravel | | #Argentina | | #Patagonia A photo posted by Rachel Kristensen (@meandertheworld) on
—- These photos were taken on Adventures Abroad Tour of Argentina and Chile. For more info on Adventures Abroad and small group tours, click here.Don’t forget to look up. @adventuresabroadtravel || #Argentina | | #Patagonia A photo posted by Rachel Kristensen (@meandertheworld) on
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cups vegetable oil, or as needed
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 100 degrees F (40 degrees C). Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam. In a large bowl, mix the warm milk, sugar, and salt, and mix to dissolve. Pour the yeast mixture into the milk mixture, and stir to combine.
- Beat in the butter, eggs, and flour until the mixture forms a smooth, soft dough. Cover the bowl, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. Stir the dough well, cover, and let rise 30 more minutes.
- Mix honey and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the honey syrup cool.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Oil should be about 2 inches deep.
- Place a large table or soupspoon in a glass of water near the batter. Scoop up about 2 tablespoons of dough per puff with the wet spoon, drop it into the wet palm of your hand, and roll it back into the spoon to create a round shape. Do not over-handle the puffy, soft dough. Drop the dough balls into the hot oil in batches, wetting the spoon each time you make a dough ball. Fry in the hot oil until golden brown on the bottom, and roll them over to cook the other side, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Gently set the loukoumades aside to drain on paper towels.
- Place the loukoumades on a baking sheet, drizzle them with honey syrup, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve warm.
Perhaps more than any other hotel in the history of Adventure Abroad, the Aegialis Hotel, on the island of Amorogos in Greece’s Cycladic Islands, is our unofficial ‘home-away-from-home.’ This hotel, and the island itself, was “discovered” by one of our first Tour Leaders in 1988, when he found himself “stranded” on Amorgos by a weather-related ferry cancellation. The hotel was new and the island was known only to a few fishermen, the families who had lived there for generations, and just a few adventurous tourists. Today, the hotel is still lovingly run by the local family that built it, and the island still retains its peaceful, authentic, off-the-beaten-path atmosphere. Many of our travellers have returned on their own, and many of our Tour Leaders head there when they enjoy some rare time off. Join us on our hiking tour of Greece (XGI), and you’ll find out why! “Absolutely wonderful! Would have liked to stay longer! The manager is extremely friendly, helpful and personable and the hotel location is a delight.” Karen C., Edmonton, AB, XGI Sept 2015 Hiking the Isles of Hellas Tour: XGI | 14 Days | Details Departure dates: 07 May 2016, 23 Jul 2016, 10 Sep 2016 www.amorgos-aegialis.com