2019 has been a jam-packed 365 days for Abbotts Travel! We celebrated 25 years with Sharron, Julie took an incredible trip to Malaysia and Borneo, we sold out four incredible showcase events and Julian found some free time to write us a great blog about where to stay in New York City.
But one thing hasn’t changed - we believe that your next holiday matters.
So amongst introducing our clients to fantastic destinations, new hotels and unmissable experiences, we spent the year researching and experiencing all things travel, as well as nurturing our relationships with hotels, resorts and tour operators, to make sure our clients are always well looked after.
Next year is set to be another fantastic year and we can’t wait to make all your travel dreams come true.
Read on for our top five travel tips for 2020...
1) Travel sustainably
Travel brings you face to face with the world’s stunning scenery and beautiful wildlife, but it also has the power to transform entire regions and the lives of people who live there (for better or worse). There are a variety of ways you can make a positive impact while you travel and with demand higher than ever, eco-friendly escapes are popping up all over the globe.
With companies like G Adventures operating under the belief that travel is an exchange, not a commodity, your experiences could give back as much - if not more - than what you take away with you.
Imagine authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport as a way to introduce you to the highlights of a destination while offering the freedom to explore it on your own.
Intrepid Travel took this one step further. What began with two bearded backpackers and a typewriter, turned into what will be the first climate positive travel company in 2020. Not only are they striving to make a positive difference in the world, they’re legally bound to do it.
It’s not just about the tour operator you choose, destination is key.
The Haida Gwaii Islands, just off British Columbia’s northern coast are perfect for those who want to venture to the ‘edge of the world’. Next year, Intrepid’s first tour to the region will be led by a local leader to make the remote islands more accessible, allowing you to visit traditional Haida villages that live in harmony with pristine wilderness.
The Bahamas’ Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will also be welcoming its first guests this year. Set to become the last eco-destination for the cruising crowd, this travel hotspot will focus on restoring the existing natural beauty of the former sand extraction site to create a flourishing marine reserve.
If you’re looking for an excuse to go on an extra holiday in 2020, ‘saving the planet’ may just be the best one.
2) Cruise the river
Possibly the easiest and most stress-free way to explore somewhere new, river cruising allows you to sit back and enjoy the ride, without having to worry about the logistics.
Ships that travel on rivers have to be limited in size for locks and low bridges, meaning even the largest vessels can carry no more than 200 passengers.
Who knew cruising could be so intimate?
The small nature of the boats mean you’re twice as likely to be tied up in the middle of town, ready for your shore adventure (if they can entice you off the boat that is).
Not to mention it’s great value for money, you’ll always have a view and you don’t need to worry about seasickness because you’ll be smooth sailing the entire way.
River cruises are also increasingly environmentally friendly, with new technology delivering a quieter, vibration-free, more planet friendly ride.
3) Take the train
Far from your Monday morning commute, holidays by rail have never been so luxurious.
Experience a once-in-a-lifetime coast to coast rail journey across the USA, take in the stunning scenery through the heart of the Swiss Alps, or embark on an Indian rail tour which takes in temples, palaces, ornate gardens and the iconic Taj Mahal.
Alternatively you could marvel at the breathtaking scenery of the Napa Valley, where Napa Valley Wine Tours has made drinking on public transportation just about the classiest thing you could do with your Sunday afternoon.
These incredible holidays are usually based around top-class hotels, including excursions to admire the stunning scenery and local culture. Trains are equipped with all of life’s luxuries and the gourmet meals will ensure every guest rethinks what can be achieved in a tiny kitchen.
So if you’re thinking about how to get from A to B, take the train.
4) Let your taste buds guide you
Food is the way to our hearts, so nothing quite excites us the way culinary tours do.
If you’re looking for a foodie holiday, the best place to start is Spain.
Eat Northern Spain was born here, where food is life. Food is their way to translate local culture, and they’ve welcomed new friends and familiar faces to share it with them since they were founded in 2009. They strive to bring an unforgettable experience to visitors who want to immerse themselves in local food culture during their culinary holidays.
Once you’ve eaten your way through Northern Spain, it’s time to indulge yourself in some first class cooking lessons at Foresteria Planeta, a small and well-appointed abode near Menfi, owned by Sicily's most celebrated wine producers, the Planeta family.
If you had a bad time with food growing up, then embarking on a culinary tour will open the wormhole of food-themed trips on the market. But getting them right takes the right ingredients and expert handling, which leads to tip number five…
5) Book with an expert
It always comes down to who you know. And odds are, we know the right person.
We have resources that could get our clients a better seat on an aeroplane, a seat on the perfect escorted tour, room upgrades or event tickets. Sure, flicking through the pages of travel brochures is fun - but planning every detail of a trip is hard work. Our team travel the world, checking every detail, from the weather to the size of the bathroom and the dining options nearby.
We don’t just plan your holiday, we’re your advocate. We look for the best deals, the perfect accommodation and the experiences that we know will make your heart skip a beat. And when things go wrong - whether it’s volcanoes erupting, earthquakes shaking or airlines failing - we’re there to clean up the mess. We believe that every holiday maker should have one thing and one thing only on their to do list… pack.