Hotel and Experience Pairings

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Dad and the boys want to go to Iceland. Mom will agree as long as they also visit the Basque region of Spain, where her family originally hails from. Sound like a request your agency might get?

Increasingly, travelers are combining vastly different destinations and experiences. Here’s a sampling of what we’ve been working on:

• Merging all-inclusives with a la carte travel: Most safaris are all-inclusive beginning and ending with airport transfers. But for clients headed to South Africa, there are countless non-bush adventures to experience privately that can be easily added on. Some of our favorites include touring the winelands of Cape Town, taking the Blue Train or Rovos Rail between Pretoria and Cape Town, and shark cage diving on the Cape’s coast.

•  Combining experiences: She wants to do a cooking course; he wants to learn to sail. The solution? They are going to Italy, staying at a medieval villa where they can take a 5-day cooking course. From there, they are driving to Lake Garda in the north of the country, which is famed for its sailing.

•  Striking a balance: Heading to Japan, one couple wants a hotel where they can have all the Western comforts they are familiar with, but they’re also eager to sample local traditions. Their upcoming trip is a nice blend of both—they are staying in Western-style hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto and ryokans outside Kyoto and in Hakone.

•  Matching dazzling destinations with laid-back, away-from-it-all retreats: A couple celebrating an anniversary wanted to put together a few all-out glamorous nights with several days of relaxing alone together. They wound up going to a sparkling hotel in Miami Beach and then jetting down to Saint Lucia and hiding out at one of the island’s wonderfully romantic resorts.

•  New town and country couplings: It used to be town and country meant London along with the Cotswolds or Paris with the Loire Valley. While these combinations never get old, clients come to us with cravings that can only be satisfied by thinking out of the box. They want serious outdoor adventure
but also a taste of urban European culture? What about pairing white water rafting and hiking in Norway with a visit to Copenhagen? The possibilities are endless.

Susan Farewell is the owner of Farewell Travels LLC (,
a travel  design firm based in Westport, Ct.  Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @FarewellTravels.