What Bucket List Travel Means in 2022
There’s no better time than now to fulfill your wanderlust.
Throughout the year, we make it our mission to be tapped into—and ahead of—the latest travel trends. From looking at what’s happening in the industry and around the world to hearing from our clients about where they want to visit and do while there, we stay in the know.
And these days, it’s all about bucket list experiences. But we don’t mean just visiting a place to cross it off a list. Right now, it’s about choosing places that are meaningful, about spending time with loved ones and great friends, and about seeing the world through an even more thoughtful lens. “After a hiatus of almost two years, I think everyone realizes that life is short and time flies quickly so you have to enjoy life to the fullest,” says F1S advisor Christina Gula. And we couldn’t agree more. Read on as F1S advisors and clients share the what and why behind their most anticipated 2022 bucket list trips.
Being in a Remote Location
While Antarctica has always been a top bucket list destination, with more ships sailing to the continent these days and the inherent social distancing built into visiting such a remote location, this is a particularly great time to visit. F1S advisor Stacy Weigant recently organized a trip for her clients on the new Crystal Endeavour, Crystal Cruise Line’s first expedition-style ship, a luxury ship that holds 200 people and offers lots of amenities—from zodiacs and a multi-person submersible for exploring to numerous culinary options, an on-board casino, spa and more.
“Antarctica has always fascinated me. I was curious about the icebergs and penguins. My husband needed a little convincing,” says Audrey Guth, Weigant’s client. “I think the extended lockdown in Toronto due to the pandemic made it easier for me to convince him that this was a trip of a lifetime and we should go now. The fact that the Endeavour was a small ship, few passengers and no shore excursions with other tourists, made this a perfectly safe journey during a pandemic.” And the two had an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guth says the suites were spacious, the food was incredible, the spa was wonderful, and the staff was knowledgeable and friendly. “Each day we had two excursions on zodiacs. Some days we did landings and were able to wander around with the penguins and seals. Other days we cruised around the ice floats,” she explains. “The scenery is nothing less than otherworldly and magnificent.”
Being with Family
F1S advisor Derrick Bloch has found that, since travel has resumed, people are prioritizing trips where they can get together with the people that are most important to them. One of Bloch’s clients, who is of Scottish descent, will be celebrating her milestone 70th birthday with her children and grandchildren in London, followed by time in Scotland to explore her roots and culture.
For multi-generational trips like this, there are many moving pieces. Not only does an advisor manage the logistics, but they also provide ideas for experiences that everyone in the family will enjoy—and then make the magic happen through their connections. Case in point: In London, the family’s trip will include a private Studio Tour of the Harry Potter film sets, as one of the grandchildren loves Harry Potter. For another grandchild who is fascinated by prop-driven airplanes, Bloch arranged a private tour of the Royal Air Force Museum with a flight in a WWII fighter plane.
From there, they head off to Candacraig, a 12-bedroom castle in the Scottish Highlands, a private stay for the whole family, where they’ll get in touch with their family roots, enjoying lots of country pursuits, like salmon fishing, as well as wearing kilts in the family tartan, which are being custom made for all the guests. The last leg of the trip will be decidedly outdoorsy and includes a stay on the gorgeous Isle of Eriska and a Seafari glamping trip to Scotland’s Hebrides Islands. “The level of detail they’re doing here is amazing,” says Bloch.
Being in Nature
Nature and outdoor-focused trips have been on the uptick since the pandemic—a trend that will continue into 2022, particularly with people choosing more eco-conscious destinations. Two of F1S advisor John Rios’ clients, for instance, recently decided to change things up and center their travel on nature and wildlife. “For this couple, the main reason for the switch is that they want to improve their health, spend more time outdoors, be able to social distance, and get in more exercise—since being in nature often makes exercising easier—as well to foster a sense of accomplishment,” says Rios. And, equally, as important, they want to travel responsibly in nature, contributing to the environment, he says.
Rios knew exactly where to suggest. “The Galapagos Islands first came to my mind when they explained their objectives,” he says of the archipelago off the coast of Ecuador, where the couple will be traveling on lux Relais & Châteaux Origin & Theory expedition yacht, which features everything from zodiac rides and expert-guided excursions (including on a glass-bottom boat) to a restaurant, bar and jacuzzi on board, and of course, gorgeous, panoramic views. “It’s a natural wonder and a nature laboratory. I told them that the advantage of visiting the Galapagos is that it offers visitors the opportunity to observe—from up close—the animals and how the earth has evolved. Plus, for years it’s had social distancing and enhanced safety protocols in place.”
Being Able to Explore Your Own Backyard
While we often think of bucket list trips as multi-week, far-flung journeys, they don’t always have to be. Not only can they be seamlessly incorporated into your busy schedule, but they can also be much closer to home than you think. One example: U.S. National Parks. Visits to National Parks have skyrocketed during the pandemic and between their outdoor setting and jaw-dropping natural beauty, we understand why.
For the same couple heading to the Galapagos, Rios also arranged a trip to Yosemite National Park in California. The couple has a work conference in Las Vegas and suggested visiting the park, which they’ve never been to. Balancing work and life has taken on a whole new meaning since the pandemic started, and this is a perfect example of how to achieve that. Plus, at almost 1,200-square miles, Yosemite, which boasts giant sequoia trees, waterfalls, and more, is breathtaking—and the couple will be staying at the Evergreen Lodge, a century-old property just outside the park with welcoming individual cabins.
Being Able to Experience Something Unique
You know the old saying: It’s more about the journey than the destination. That definitely applies with this nostalgic pick, The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, a redefined version of the 19th century Orient Express, complete with vintage train cars. And for F1S advisor Christina Gula’s clients, a couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, a night on the famed train was something the husband always wanted to do. “My clients love Paris and haven’t been for two years so will spend three nights in Paris before boarding the train. They were thinking of doing this in 2020 and then Covid hit,” says Gula. The ride from Paris to Venice is a truly unparalleled experience, evoking Old World luxury and a sense of glitz and charm that is hard to find these days, giving you the opportunity to travel in style and toast to the experience.
As we think about how we want to travel now and in the future, we know firsthand that travelers are prioritizing quality over quantity, that they are choosing trips that mean something to them—whether that’s spending time in nature, being more sustainable, or celebrating milestones with family and friends. And a travel advisor is an essential and trusted partner in this experience, providing the guidance, knowledge, and connections
to make it all possible. Reach out to us today and we can get started planning your dream trip.