Have you ever wanted to take that vacation to Italy, Greece, Spain or even travel the United States? But felt as though you have no idea where to start or question if you can even afford it?
In 2011, travel spending abroad by Americans totaled over $110 billion, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
It may be a good idea to consider a guided tour, a form of tourism in which travelers are escorted in a group to various destinations as opposed to a self-guided tour, where the tourist is on their own.
Guided tours are conducted by a tour director who takes care of all services from the beginning to the end of the tour which includes airline flights, transfers between airports and hotel, hotel stay, most meals and sightseeing. Guided tours are often conducted by motor coach and usually no more than three nights are spent in each location.
“Now is the time to book a guided vacation for next year,” says Paula Naruo, travel counselor with the Los Gatos AAA. Naruo is a certified destination specialist and master cruise counselor.
“A travel counselor can work within your budget to create a vacation based upon your interests and travel goals. Travelers can take advantage of discounted saving by booking now for travel in 2013.”
When you travel in a guided tour you feel like a traveler and not a tourist. Guides will often share the hidden places not mentioned in guidebooks, introduce you to the local people and their traditions that you may not have discovered by a traveling by yourself.
With the increased usage of the Internet as people tend to self plan their own vacations, AAA of Los Gatos, Travel Counselor and Certified Destination Specialist Susan Cowden states that there are good reasons to go with a travel counselor and book a guided vacation.
Cowden said that “travelers enjoy peace of mind knowing that you are not alone in resolving any problem you may encounter before, during or after the trip. AAA Travel Counselors are familiar with the destinations and have a strong working partnership with the travel companies that they work with.”
Guided vacations provide the right balance of included sightseeing and free time. Traveling is just as much about the sight that you will see as it is about the friendly local faces that you meet. With each unique encounter, you’ll be immersed in the local way of life as if it were your own.
The Los Gatos AAA Office, 15450 Los Gatos Blvd., has representatives from Celebrity Cruises and Insight Vacations on hand to discuss vacation destinations along with AAA Certified Travel Counselors. Details: Amy.Boehner@goAAA.com, or contact Naruo at 408-399-8408, or Cowden at 408-399-8426.