Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

How You Are Changing the Travel Industry. Yes, You.

by Billie Cohen | January 21, 2020

We can’t thank you enough for so thoughtfully filling out the “Start a Trip” questionnaires on our website, and for providing such detailed post-trip reviews when you return from those trips. There are good reasons why we ask you to share your thoughts with us both before and after your travels. As you know, your reviews help Wendy constantly refine her WOW List of Trusted Travel Experts. But here’s what you might not know: We also rely on your input—anonymized, of course—to help WOW List trip planners understand what sophisticated travelers really want and need right now. When we gather with the 2020 WOW List experts for our Global Travel Summit in New York (Jan 26–28), we’ll make sure they know your preferences. Thus, by sharing with us the sorts of travel experiences you want most, the biggest trip-planning challenges you face, and what you find most valuable and memorable about your travels, you help make everyone’s next trips better. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ve told us you want out of travel in 2020. Are we hearing you right?

What you’re asking for in 2020

  • To get off the beaten tourist track
  • To spend time on the water for at least a day
  • To hike to villages, meeting interesting locals en route
  • One-of-a-kind boutique accommodations with a sense of place
  • A flexible itinerary you can change whenever you like
  • Expeditions to see nature and animals
  • Custom-tailored experiences unique to your interests

Your biggest pet peeves

  • Tourist crowds and lines
  • Follow-the-yellow-flag group tours
  • Guides who recite a history textbook
  • Chain hotels

The biggest challenges you cite

  • Avoiding crowds, lines, tour groups, tourist traps
  • Getting shut out because you waited too late to book (e.g., Christmas in Morocco; spring break in the Galapagos; safaris in July/August)
  • Keeping the kids engaged and enlightening them
  • Combining beach with culture (or otherwise making a trip not feel like all one kind of thing)
  • Pinpointing the best timing for your trip (and the best days to visit sites)
  • Determining where to save vs. where to splurge
  • Finding something you (or your neighbors) haven’t done already

The one-of-a-kind experiences you love most

  • Having a landscape all to yourself (e.g., lunch alone in a vast lavender field)
  • Private boat excursions
  • Cooking classes with local families in their homes
  • Dining in wineries with the winemaker
  • Sleeping in castles
  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes access at museums and landmarks
  • Entry to monuments and museums before they’re open to the public
  • A hotel-room view so spectacular that you could sightsee for hours from your window
  • A savvy local guide who makes spontaneous recommendations that end up being a high point of the trip


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