Tag Archives: top destinations

Brook posing above Lysefjord with snowy mountains in the background.

Live Answers to Your Travel Questions: Join Us on Zoom for WOW Week 2024, February 5–9

UPDATE: WOW Week 2024 is now over. Thank you all for joining us! We have posted the Zoom recordings below, in case you missed any talks or want to share them with your friends. Stay up to date by signing up for our newsletter



This year is shaping up to be another huge one for international travel.  We’re seeing more travelers booking trips farther in advance than in past years, as well as travelers taking more family and friends along.  Based on these bigger groups locking more trips in place earlier— especially to Western Europe—we’re predicting that Europe’s iconic locales, from Italy’s Amalfi Coast to the Greek island of Santorini, will be packed again this year, and that peak season will extend from May through early October.  Sadly, we’re not seeing any relief from the sticker shock that grew out of the post-pandemic demand for travel, what with Europe’s summer season coinciding with events such as the Olympics in France in July, the G7 Summit in Puglia, Italy, in June, and Taylor Swift concerts all over the U.K. and Europe from May through August.

Not to worry:  We’ve got solutions, and Brook (pictured above in Norway in November) and Hannah and I, plus special guests, will be sharing them during WOW Week, February 5-9, when we’ll host a Travel Talk every day at 7 pm EST.  Bring your burning questions!

NOTE: If you have trouble signing up for our Travel Talks, make sure you have a free Zoom account that is associated with the email address you are using. 



Where and When to Travel in 2024

Monday, February 5, at 7pm EST

Last year broke travel records, and you should expect—and prepare for—more records to fall in the year ahead. Wendy, Brook, and Hannah reveal what’s shaping up for 2024: opportunities to take advantage of, challenges to zap, and the coolest under-the-radar places, off-season values, foodie experiences, and more.



South America Now: Smart Choices and Good Value

Tuesday, February 6, at 7pm EST

Wendy and Brook explain why the continent should be on your list for 2024, and WOW List experts for South America share what’s new, what’s best, what you haven’t thought of, and how to ensure your trip goes smoothly.



Successful Family Travel in 2024

Wednesday, February 7, at 7pm EST

WOW List experts with the latest intel for maximizing your travels and minimizing stress—in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, and beyond—will share solutions. Learn how to keep everybody in your travel group happy, whatever their ages or conflicting needs and interests. Bring your questions!



Travel Insurance and Emergency Assistance: How to Protect Yourself

Thursday, February 8, at 7pm EST

Learn how to prepare for the unexpected, from surprise injuries to natural disasters to political unrest. Experts explain and simplify how to minimize your risk, both financial and medical, and they’ll take your questions live, so bring your list of what’s been perplexing you!



Take Better Travel Photos with Your Phone!

Friday, February 9, at 7pm EST

Photojournalist Tim Baker (a.k.a. Mr. Wendy Perrin) reveals simple tips to help you take much better travel photos with your smartphone–better action shots, group shots, food shots, night shots, video, and more. Tim’s advice is device-agnostic: Apple and Android users welcome!



A big thank-you to our WOW Week sponsor, Medjet:

Medjet is a global air medical transport and travel security membership program that can give travelers greater peace of mind. Their sponsorship enables me, Brook, Kristine, and the rest of our growing team to spend time answering your travel questions (via our Get a Personalized Trip Recommendation feature) and finding the smartest trip-planning specialists for you (see Wendy’s WOW List).

Don’t miss this special WOW Week discount:

Medjet is offering our WOW Week audience an exclusive discount of up to $50 off New Medjet Annual Memberships. The deal is available from Monday, February 5 at 9am EST till Monday, February 12 at 5 pm EST. You can learn more about Medjet and get the deal by clicking the red button below. 



A few dream trips destinations selected by our travelers.

10 Top Dream Trips for 2024

Many of you are thinking ahead this year and booking trips much farther in advance than in the past—which is smart, given the travel rush we saw last year: Many people waited too late and got shut out of the most charming places to stay and less-discovered locales.

These ten travelers are especially on top of things:  Their dream trips are already booked and on their calendars. They’ve worked with destination specialists on The WOW List to design their trips, some of which they’ve dreamt of for many years, and all of which they’ll remember for a lifetime. For the rest of us, we hope these trips provide ideas and spark inspiration.

Hoping to make a dream trip a reality this year? Click the button below to get started.


Puglia: Italy regulars head to a lesser-known region to practice their Italian

Beautiful town of Alberobello with trulli houses among green plants and flowers, Puglia.

The town of Alberobello, in Puglia, with its iconic trulli houses. Photo: Shutterstock

Dana Perry and her husband, Charles, have been to Italy many times, where they put the Italian language they are learning to good use—most recently to Sicily with a WOW travel expert. They love slow travel and off-the-beaten-path activities—and are serious foodies. They wanted to head somewhere new to them.

“Italy has a perfect mix of cultural attractions, history and beautiful scenery—we chose Puglia for our 2024 trip because it’s a bit under the radar and got such positive reviews from travelers. I think we keep coming back to Italy due to the mix of attractions and to go deeper. We’ve hit the major cities on previous travels—by getting to some of the less touristy destinations we have more authentic experiences and can slow down the pace. We’re looking forward to a nice mix of historical sites, food and wine tours, cultural things, and relaxation.” —Dana Perry

This trip was arranged by WOW List Puglia experts Antonello Losito and Alison Pike. To get your own WOW trip, start with our trip questionnaire, reached via the black button below.


India: “the people, colors, sounds, and food…”

Women servants dressed in sari.

Some of the people and colors you might see at the Amber Fort in Jaipur, India. Photo: Shutterstock

Ron Klausner and his wife stay home in the summer, where their family joins them by the beach. In the wintertime, they often head to warmer climes. After a trip to Sri Lanka, India sparked their excitement.

“We are hitting the major tourist sites in Northern India: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, and Jodhpur. We may also add in Varanasi. After those major sites we are taking a seven-day Brahmaputra river cruise in northeast India. We’re so excited to experience the unique culture—the people, colors, sounds and food. I can’t imagine there is anywhere else in the world quite like it. Anticipation is one third of the joy of travel, the trip itself is a third and the memories are the last third.” —Ron Klausner

This trip was arranged by WOW List India expert Sanjay Saxena. To get your own WOW trip, start with our trip questionnaire, reached via the black button below.


Norway and Svalbard: unique scenery, fjords, polar bears, midnight sun…

Polar bear, Svalbard, Arctic

A polar bear relaxing on the sea ice in Svalbard, in the Arctic. Photo: Shelley Fry

Tom Redburn, his wife Lisa, and their friends are retired journalists and nature photographers. Prolific travelers, Tom had wonderful memories of hiking in Norway in college and has always wanted to return.

“The trip is to fulfill a long-standing dream for both of us, a return to a place Lisa loved visiting with a close friend (who tragically died a couple of decades ago from breast cancer), and for me, to add to our great outdoors adventures by witnessing the stunning natural landscape of Norway. We’re looking forward to a different way of traveling this time. We’ve never taken a cruise (apart from a small 16-passenger adventure cruise to the Galapagos) and we’re not likely to ever take a conventional cruise. But as we’re getting older (we’re both 73), we found the idea of expedition cruising through a gorgeous remote landscape very appealing and are expecting the adventure-seeking atmosphere on the NatGeo expedition ship.

I’m probably most excited about two aspects of the trip: the spectacular scenery of the fjords and enjoying them both from the deck of our ship and exploring by small boat, kayak, and short hikes; and the chance to see polar bears in their natural environment. I also think it will be very exciting to be traveling to the land of the midnight sun during the very long daylight hours of June.” —Tom Redburn

This trip was arranged by WOW List Expedition Cruise expert Ashton Palmer. To get your own WOW trip, start with our trip questionnaire, reached via the black button below.


Scotland: green rolling landscapes, country castles, Scotch tastings…

Kinnoull Hill tower ruins, Perth Scotland, overlooking the River Tay on a clear day

Overlooking the River Tay from Scotland’s Kinnoull Hill tower ruins. Photo: Shutterstock

Sue Paolucci was ready for her third WOW trip after heading to Spain in 2019 and Greece in 2022. Our team helped her and her companions land on Scotland for their next trip, chosen for its unique mix of history, landscapes, and culture.

“My husband and I are recently retired physicians, and worldwide travel has always been on our bucket list. Although admittedly in this age of COVID, and global unrest, leaving the safety of our home base gives us pause. So, we decided to travel intelligently and safely (and this is where you and your colleagues come in!) and decided that our raison d’etre would be as ambassadors of goodwill and peace as we represent our country going forward. We knew we wanted to experience local flavor, not just the usual touristy sites…and if we went to a ‘touristy site,’ we would like to see it from a different, exclusive angle. We are most looking forward to wonderful green rolling landscapes, tasting Scotch, of course, and trying to decipher the Scottish brogue.” —Susan Paolucci

This trip was arranged by WOW List United Kingdom expert Jonathan Epstein. To get your own WOW trip, start with our trip questionnaire, reached via the black button below.


Southern Africa: a bucket-list safari to celebrate a high-school graduation

Namib Desert, Namibia

Namibia’s Namib Desert is right on the Atlantic Ocean. Photo: Shutterstock

This family of four—mom, dad, and two boys ages 16 and 18—are celebrating their eldest’s high-school graduation with a trip they’ve long dreamed of.

“South Africa and safari has been on our bucket list for decades. But we just never made it happen—other trips, finances, time, distance from L.A., etc. All sorts of excuses. But with our older son’s high-school graduation this June we realized that if we were going to do it as a family, we needed to finally pull the trigger. And we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate him than to take this dream trip. It will be the first time to Africa for all of us.

Namibia is what we are most excited about. It has been on our list—its isolation, alien beauty, remoteness, uniqueness. We thought that we would have to wait for another trip once we had the traditional safari under our belts. So, we were extremely excited when Julian was able to include Namibia.” —Julie Heimark

This trip was arranged by WOW List African Safari expert Julian Harrison. To get your own WOW trip, start with our trip questionnaire, reached via the black button below.


Vietnam and Cambodia: Off-the-beaten-path experiences and time with locals

small rowboats in Halong Bay Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam, is home to thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rainforests. Photo: Shutterstock

Molly O’Neill-Emmi and her husband, Tom, love to travel. Before the pandemic, they had pushed off many of the bigger trips for later. The pandemic changed their philosophy: “No more thinking ‘one day’ we’ll get there—now‘s the time,” Molly said.

“We didn’t want to limit ourselves to just one region in Vietnam, so Sandy provided expert guidance and recommendations for a comprehensive and diverse itinerary. We’ll start in Hanoi, travel to Hue and Hoi An in central Vietnam, and then spend time in the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam. From there, we fly to Siem Reap to explore Angkor Wat and temples off-the-beaten-tourist-path, as well as engage in hands-on experiences with locals.

There are so many elements of this trip that have us excited. True hands-on experiences with locals, including spending a day gaining insight into elements of rural Vietnamese life, such as planting rice, paddling a bamboo basket boat, etc. Exploring a war-time tunnel complex and a secret bunker. Meeting a former North Vietnam fighter pilot. Attending sunrise meditation with monks. The list goes on and on.” —Molly O’Neill-Emmi

This trip was arranged by WOW List Southeast Asia experts Sandy Ferguson and Ethan Crowley. To get your own WOW trip, start with our trip questionnaire, reached via the black button below.


The Galapagos Islands for giant tortoises, playful sea lions, and scuba diving

photo of Sea turtle swimming underwater in the Galapagos island

A sea turtle in the Galapagos Islands. Photo: Shutterstock

Andrea’ Phillips’ family of four—two adults and two teenage daughters—wanted to see and interact with as many sea lions, sharks, turtles, and penguins as possible. They learned that securing a Galapagos trip a year in advance is crucial to ensuring that their preferences are met.

“We are most excited about the extraordinary wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and unique ecosystems. We love nature and creating unforgettable experiences, so to have the opportunity to meet giant tortoises, interact with playful sea lions, and dive alongside hammerhead sharks in crystal-clear waters is nothing short of a dream come true for us! In fact, we’ve arranged a trip to the Philippines this April, also planned by a Wendy-Perrin-recommended expert, specifically to prepare for scuba diving before our Galapagos adventure.” —Andrea Phillips

This trip was arranged by WOW List Galapagos expert Allie Almario. To get your own WOW trip, start with our trip questionnaire, reached via the black button below.


France: biking, hiking, cooking lessons, exploring with grandkids…

A colorful and old town street of Aix in Provence, France.

The ancient town of Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. Photo: Shutterstock

Karen Dalfen planned this trip with the intention of sharing fun and lifelong memories with her grandkids, ages 13 and 16. They love being active and have limited patience for museums and historical sites.

“I usually plan a vacation many months ahead as I want particular rooms, restaurants, entrance tickets and plane seating. This becomes particularly important when traveling alone with grandchildren. It’s important that plane seats are close by, that rooms are either next to each other or a family suite, that meal times are spaced properly. Given that Paris is an extremely busy city, planning way in advance is a must.

We will spend half our time in Paris, and the other in the region of Aix-en-Provence. There will be cooking lessons, site seeing, craft visiting, some hiking and biking, a food tasting day, and my favorite, a night at Versailles. I have discovered that it is not important to see everything on a vacation. In fact, this can be exhausting. The deeper and richer the experience is, will in turn help to create the long-lasting memories.” —Karen Dalfen

This trip was arranged by WOW List France expert Jennifer Virgilio. To get your own WOW trip, start with our trip questionnaire, reached via the black button below.


Argentina and Chile: meticulously preserved nature in Patagonia and legendary wine estates

snowy mountains reflect perfectly in a blue lake in Torres del Paine park in Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park, in Chilean Patagonia, brims with mountain peaks, glaciers, and lakes. Photo: Knowmad Adventures

Andy and Marci Shapiro have used WOW List experts to plan trips to India, Sicily, Croatia, Mexico, and Thailand. Next up: wine tasting in Mendoza and breathtaking mountains in Patagonia.

“Patagonia, as well as both Argentina’s wine country/Mendoza and Chilean wine country, has been on my wife’s and my bucket list for a long time. We love nature and we love wine. Patagonia is one of the most preserved places on the planet with incredibly dramatic natural scenery. With man’s impact on earth, we’re concerned our natural wonders are being adversely affected and want to visit these places sooner than later. As for wine, Argentina and Chile produce some of the most iconic wines anywhere in the world. We’re looking forward to visiting the estates of some of our favorite wines that we’ve been drinking for decades, including but not limited to Catena Zapata, Viña Cobos, and Clos Apalta. As my wife and I enter our 60s and with the pandemic behind us, our life approach is ‘If not now, then when?” —Andy Shapiro

This trip was arranged by WOW List Chile, Argentina, and Patagonia expert Jordan Harvey. To get your own WOW trip, start with our trip questionnaire, reached via the black button below.


Belize: snorkeling with stingrays, watching manatees, sailing with young kids…

aerial photo of Tobacco Caye with sailboat and blue green ocean

Tobacco Caye, a tiny tropical island in Belize. Photo: Absolute Belize

For Kim Segal and her family, Belize—where they can fly direct from their hometown—seemed a great international travel option with young children, ages 4 and 7, without the challenge of jet lag. They planned highlights for the whole family, including a night walk to look for nocturnal creatures and creepy-crawly bugs and spiders.

“I can’t wait to introduce my older son to great snorkeling. He was so excited to see fish in the ocean when we were in Croatia last year, but those fish were pretty boring compared to what we will see in Belize! I hope that my kids enjoy all the activities, and I really hope they like Shark Ray Alley. Watching them experience all these cool places and things—it’s as fun as experiencing them myself. I’m excited to watch them play on the beach; they spent hours doing that in Croatia and they just had a blast. Also, they got super into shell collecting in Croatia and in Cabo San Lucas, so hopefully they can do some beachcombing as well in Belize. Mainly, though, I’m just excited because travel allows me to focus solely on enjoying time with my family, something that is harder to do at home when I have a household to run and we all have busy and hectic lives. I set my email on out-of-office, let the organization I volunteer with know I’m unavailable, and I focus on having fun times together as a family.

Personally, I’m also hoping to see a manatee (haven’t seen one of those yet in the wild!), and I’m looking forward to cruising around on a catamaran checking out the views, maybe lounging on the trampoline of the boat with a good book and a glass of wine in hand, and of course I’m looking forward to a week of sunshine in the middle of winter!” —Kim Segal

This trip was arranged by WOW List Belize experts Patricia Johnson and Rachael Wilson. To get your own WOW trip, start with our trip questionnaire, reached via the black button below.



Be a smarter traveler: Sign up for Wendy’s weekly newsletter to stay in the know. Read real travelers’ reviews, then use the black CONTACT buttons on Wendy’s WOW List to reach out to the right local fixer for your trip.