Do you love to travel? Are you planning a trip? Many of our clients are seasoned travelers or hold travel as one their life goals. And we love to help clients reach their goals.
We held a Travel Workshop on April 4th, 2023 led by Lindy Schuch, travel expert extraordinaire at Perfect Landing Travel. It was on Zoom for easy access from all over the world - we had attendees from as far away as Ecuador and England!
Travelling is a passion for all three of us on Team SMB as well. I asked Team SMB to share which of their travel experiences were their favorite.
~ Sarin chose her trip to Paris on her 30th birthday with her husband Al. She got lost in the gardens of Versailles, enchanted by the beauty. They even dipped their toes in Monaco.
~ Liana chose traveling to Iceland. She saw the Icelandic horses, Diamond Beach and the Northern lights! #travelgoals
~ I chose my trip to Peru, when I travelled with my Peruvian born husband Rene to Machu Picchu. We travelled with my 1-year-old son and my daughter (who was in my belly because I was 4 months pregnant). Petting the llamas in the Andean sunshine was unforgettable and so worth all the work to get there.
Gathering the SMB community together to talk travel hit some high notes and being together is always so fun! There was a buzz of excitement as Lindy covered different travel options from Adventure Travel, to different types of Cruising and dug into her favorite locations to visit in Africa as well as go on food tours. Did you miss the workshop? Not to worry, I took notes and distilled my Top Five Take-Aways from Peru to Africa...
1. Budget/Total Cost
Many people have never worked with a travel agent and do not have clear ideas of what a trip will cost or even what they have truly spent on prior vacations as they pay for the trip in pieces - flights one month, hotels one month etc.
Working with an agent like Lindy lets you get a total cost estimate which makes it easier to keep it in budget. She presented slides which gave estimated costs for trips to Africa, European cruising or active travel to Patagonia which were helpful for getting an idea to save and budget for. At SMB, we are big on honoring your budget and saving goals as you plan a trip! She reminded us of some of the hidden costs to consider when setting a budget such as:
- Food and Wine
- Travel Insurance
2. Excursions are Key
There was a great discussion about how excursions can really make or break a trip. One attendee asked about tips for travelling with teenagers and Lindy talked about the excursions in Africa and Italy causing her teenage daughters to leave the phone behind and really bond with the family. They had experiences together that they never had with their friends, and that gave the family a feeling of unity and connection. It's a good idea to plan excursions so your teen isn't just walking around a city without a plan and complaining. Cooking classes in Italy, and other destinations is a great way to bring the culture home with you. So if your in the middle of planning and wondering if the historic neighborhood tour, wine tasting or museum pass is a good idea, this is your sign that it is!
3. Tips for Visiting Africa
Lindy shared that while each country in Africa is unique, three of the most common countries to visit are South Africa, Botswana and Kenya due to the availability of the flights from the U.S. Budgets vary based on the number of days on safari and time of year. High season is different for each country.
In South Africa, your money stretches further due to the dollar strength with the Rand. She recommends Cape Town which has its own allotment of time with history, beauty, the ability to visit the Cape of Good Hope and see penguins!
Botswana is more of a pure wildlife destination than South Africa. Johannesburg is the easiest flight from the U.S. which then requires another flight to Botswana. There are elephants in Chobe National Park, and the Okavango Delta is one of the most sought after destinations. It allows you to experience the wetlands, boat down the waterways, experience mammals and birdlife. It is a delicate ecosystem and caters less to tourists. In Botswana, there are less fenced in areas and it has a wilder feel. Peak season is July – October with October being one of the warmer months.
Lindy told us that Kenya is accessible quite easily from the U.S. and coming off a recent trip there, was one of her favorite destinations. Flying into Nairobi, a quick flight to the Masai Mara will take you to some of the best areas for viewing animals with its flat plains. You will see the most awe-inspiring animals here, and can have a cultural experience with the Maasai people who embrace their heritage and dress. Prime season is July-September due to the great migration but the animal viewing and temperature are great year round.
4. Culinary Conquests
Many people love to travel for wine and food, whether in couples, families or groups.
Like any destination, rates vary per season and the best times to visit are the shoulder seasons with fewer crowds and better rates. What is the shoulder season? 'Shoulder season' is a travel industry term used to describe the off-peak months of the year. More specifically it's the period between the high (most popular) season and the low (least popular) season. Depending on the country, the peak season can be in winter or summer. Lindy told us great locations for a food trip are Portugal, Mexico, France and Peru. And there is always Italy!
Did you know that two of the top restaurants in the world are in Peru?
One of those restaurants is Central. According to theworlds50best.com, Central’s roots run deep: Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s flagship restaurant, Central, is an ode to Peru in all forms. The dishes celebrate the unique landscapes, history and traditions of their homeland by using an abundance of locally-sourced produce. Sweethearts of 50 Best, the husband-and-wife team were married just four days after Central’s first appearance on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013.
The other restaurant is called Maido - the creation of chef Mitsuharu Tsumura and located in Miraflores, offers a fusion between Peruvian and Nikkei cuisine. Maido was named the top restaurant in Latin America in 2019.
5. Don’t Cross Active Travel Off of Your List
Places like Patagonia and Iceland seem like they might only be for the most fit travelers, but one misleading thing about adventure travel is that you must be in prime physical shape. There are many ways for people to participate at any level - like using an e-bike! Clients shared that e-bikes have been a game changer! One of our clients Jeanne, shared a great resource for active bike travel that she has used and loved called VBT Bicycling Vacations. VBT is based in Vermont and has helped thousands of people explore the world each year. Travel + Leisure magazine has recognized them as winners of their World’s Best Awards eight times. Jeanne used them to bike through Tuscany. What a great way to really soak up the scenery!
Which of these five takeaways will stay with you as you plan your next trip?
Here at SMB, we truly love to see clients live their best lives! In fact, that is what we spend all of our time focused on. How can we bridge the gap between your current place and your dreams? We want to see you out there enjoying your time, feeling peace of mind about your spending decisions. We want to see you smile. You might think Financial Planning is all about taking away items to spend on, but it’s more of a process for prioritizing the things that matter most to you.
If there is any way we can help you get organized, get clarity, and take action toward your big goals in life, like that next big trip, we are here to help!