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
MONGOLIA 2016We are very excited about our newly-revamped tour of Mongolia (MN1) for 2016. We’ve been touring this fascinating destination for years, and are delighted that hitherto inaccessible remote locations are now opening up, with the advent of new air routes and tourist class accommodations. New for 2016 is the Lake Hovsgol region in the far western corner of the country; here we enjoy spectacular lake and mountain scenery and interactions with the local nomadic herds people. Also new is an overnight at Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve, where the complex of high mountains, steppes, rivers, lakes and wetlands are kept in their original condition. As in the past, we also include the Gobi area and the Ikh Nart Chuluu Nature Reserve, as well as the Jalman Meadows and the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area. Throughout we make use of unique and comfortable “Ger” style accommodation, which enhances the authenticity of our journey. Mongolia Tour: MN1 | 14 Days | Departure date: 15 Jun 2016 | Details
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND – winter 2016Our tour sets down in Australia’s second most populous city, stately Melbourne, to soak up the sights and sounds of an urban centre that has been voted world’s most ‘liveable’ city numerous times. We explore the Yarra Valley, world-famous for its wineries, and stop off in charming, symmetrical Canberra and dazzling Sydney en route to experience a once-in-a-lifetime cruise around the Great Barrier Reef. Via the vast desert of ‘the Red Centre’, we make route to Ayers Rock and King’s Canyon before ending this leg of the tour in Alice Springs. Across in New Zealand, we balance experiencing the country’s incomparable natural beauty with learning about its history and exploring its cultural attributes. We offer Oz as a 17-day trip (AU1), and NZ as a 15-day (NZ1), but most people combine the two (AU2). Feb/Mar 16 booking NOW! Australia Tour: AU1 | 17 Days | Departure date: 09 Feb 2016 | Details Australia & New Zealand Tour: AU2 | 31 Days | Departure date: 09 Feb 2016 | Details New Zealand Tour: NZ1 | 15 Days | Departure date: 25 Feb 2016 | Details
CHILE & ARGENTINAFew tour companies offer such a broad range of travel choices in this spectacular region. We cover the gamut, from Buenos Aires, one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, to Tierra del Fuego and the magnificent desolation of Patagonia. Argentina and Chile’s National Parks system offer a kaleidoscope of environments ranging from glaciers in the south, through central alpine peaks to the famous Pampas grasslands. Chile’s Easter Island is over 3200 km (2,000 miles) from the nearest population centre, making it one of the most isolated places on Earth. A triangle of volcanic rock in the South Pacific, it is best known for the giant stone monoliths, known as Moai, that dot the coastline. Book your sunny winter holiday today—the Austral summer is short and these trips book up well in advance! Your choices: Argentina & Chile Tour: AR1 | 14 Days | Details Argentina & Iguaza Falls Tour: AR3 | 16 Days | Details Argentina & Chile Tour: CL2 | 19 Days | Details Argentina & Chile with Iguaza Tour: CL3 | 21 Days | Details Chile with Atacama Tour: CL6 | 21 Days | Details Chile (Atacama) & Easter Island Tour: CL1 | 21 Days | Details
Check out combinations of Argentina / Chile with Brazil
THE GULF STATES – January guaranteed!The Persian Gulf is the meeting point between Africa, Europe and Asia, a land of a thousand-and-one-nights and home to some of the most beautiful and mystical scenery in the world. Our tour provides a rare and fascinating glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the Arab Sheikhs, as well as the natural and historical wonders of contemporary Arabia. This trip (Kuwait, Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain) is unique in the touring world and extremely popular—Jan 2016 is filling fast. As with all our trips, these tours are expertly led by an Adventures Abroad Tour Leader and official local support to ensure a smooth and safe journey. The Arab Gulf States Tour: GS7 | 21 Days | Departure date: 25 Jan 2016 | Details
COLOMBIA & PANAMA 2016Our new enhanced Colombia itinerary (CM1) has become so popular, we’ve added more capacity for our trip that lands in Bogota on 19 January. New to the mix is the up-and-coming city of Medellin, which is shedding its old shady reputation and enjoying a touristic renaissance; here we will learn about the transformation of Medellin from the most dangerous city in the world into a fascinating melting pot of cultures with possibly the friendliest and warmest people in the world. Also new is the possibility of extending this trip to include our tour of Panama (CM5). Click here to see further combination possibilities with Costa Rica. Colombia Redefined Tour: CM1 | 11 Days | Departure date: 19 Jan 2016 | Details Colombia & Panama Tour: CM5 | 20 Days | Departure date: 19 Jan 2016 | Details
PERU: NORTH & SOUTH – February 2016Northern Peru boasts a unique and fascinating cultural history. The entire region is dotted with archeological sites; many of the gold and silver, artifacts, ceramics and weavings made by the Chimu, Moche and Sican people are housed in the Sican and the Royal Tomb of Sipan museums. Near the “White City” of Arequipa is a spectacular attraction: the Colca Canyon. This canyon cuts 3182 m (10,607 ft) into the earth—twice the depth of the Grand Canyon in Arizona! The Colca is shadowed by snow-topped mountains, many of them volcanoes, and sliced by the Colca River. Around Lake Titicaca, traces of a rich Indian past still stubbornly cling, resisting the Spanish conquistadors’ aggressive campaign to erase Inca and pre-Inca cultures and, in recent times, the lure of modernization. When Peruvians talk of turquoise blue Titacaca, they proudly note that it is so large it has waves! Join us on this very comprehensive and varied tour to uncover the secrets of the still little known pre-Inca cultures of Northern Peru and its myriad unique natural wonders, as well as the renowned attractions of the Incan capital of Cuzco and the wonders of Machu Picchu. PR1, PR2 Peruvian Explorer Tour: PR1 | 17 Days | Departure date: 06 Feb 2016 | Details Peru: North & South Tour: PR2 | 20 Days | Departure date: 03 Feb 2016 | Details
VIETNAM & CAMBODIAThe northern winter is our strongest demand period for our flagship tour of Indochina – Vietnam & Cambodia (VN2), and our dates in January, February, and March are booking now. Not only is this the most comfortable time of year to visit this fascinating region, with its rich and varied history and cultural milieu, it is also currently one of the world’s best travel values. This is 19-day tour, which travels the entire length of Vietnam, from Halong Bay and Dien Bien Phu in the north, to Hoi An, Hué, and Saigon to the south. A highlight of any trip to the region is the temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and astonishing and vast site famous for its well-preserved temples and storied past as one of the world’s great civilizations. Vietnam & Cambodia Tour: VN2 | 20 Days | Details Departure dates: 12 Jan 2016, 02 Feb 2016, 08 Mar 2016
MYANMAR – You said it!“Every excursion was excellent. We would not change any of them. All local guides were caring, interesting, and knowledgeable. All hotels surpassed expectations. We had an outstanding leader. He always retained good leadership while getting to know each of us on a personal level. A rare gift! He was fun, had a good relationship with local guides and a huge enthusiasm for the unknown. The best guide the we have ever had with any company.”
Ann S. (Malibu, CA, USA). Our 14-day tour of Myanmar showcases all of the highlights, plus a few relatively unknown surprises, in a nicely-paced, comfortable and highly-varied and comprehensive experience. Next available departure 31 Jan 2016, code SE5. Myanmar (Burma) Tour: SE5 | 14 Days | Departure date: 31 Jan 2016 | Details