Happy August! Now that summer is winding down, we’re thinking about back-to-school—and specifically, to college. This month, we’re talking about a new trend we’ve been seeing lately: Families taking special trips with their college-bound kids. And speaking of bonding travel, we’re also highlighting our recent retreat in Puerto Rico—including our top hosting tips. And finally, rounding out this edition is a great Q&A with Qatar Airways, which was recently honored with the distinction of “World’s Best Airline.” We hope the rest of your summer is fun and relaxing!
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
What’s new on the travel scene? There’s plenty to talk about—no matter if you’re ready to book your next big adventure or your travel is more of the business variety. We’ve got a look at some of the latest experiences and places that are sure to be on travelers minds—and itineraries.
Letting someone else take the pictures
Capturing your favorite family moments on a trip is a must—but for travelers who aren’t into spending their entire vacation behind the scenes (or, let’s be real, behind a screen), there’s another option: Leaving it to a professional. Hiring a local photographer to hit the streets and the sites with you gives travelers a chance to enjoy their time, plus leaves them with a slew of great snaps. First in Service co-founder Fernando Gonzalez did this on a recent trip to Cuba—scoring great shots of the architecture and the city, as well as memory-making photos of the whole family.
Venturing all over the map
Go big or stay home? That’s the mentality of many travelers these days, who are heading out to distant destinations, many of which offer the opportunity for unique experiences, particularly in nature. For U.S.-based travelers, that might mean places like Greenland and the Svalbard archipelago, which are more on the radar now due to climate change issues. Or places like the Salt Flats in Bolivia, the Atacama Desert in Chile or even the vast plains of Mongolia—not to mention places like Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for adventure-seekers. And some travelers are headed to places specifically to take in events, like the festivals in Papua New Guinea.
Incorporating fun on business trips
Sometimes, traveling for work is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean the only place to see is the inside of a conference room. Instead, in-the-know C-suiters and executives are integrating a little R&R into their business trips, whether that’s staying at a place that offers activities or tacking on a few extra days to their travels to truly enjoy the city they’re in.
Seeking out hotels in lux settings
While there will always be a place for traditional, luxury accommodations, lots of travelers these days are also looking for a chance to stay somewhere that offers many of those same amenities in a totally different type of setting. For example, Sheldon Chalet offers the chance to stay on Denali mountain in Alaska; at Hippo Point in Kenya, a wildlife conservancy, you can sleep in a room in the 115-foot Dodo’s Tower; and at The Muraka at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, you can literally sleep under the water.
Ditching the devices
Lots of us love posting on Facebook—but many travelers are saying no to it while on vacation. This year, more and more people are ditching their devices in favor of being more present in the moment. And while there, they’re taking in some of the great wellness opportunities that have been presenting themselves as of late, like the spa experience at the clifftop Southern Spa on Kangaroo Island in Australia or relaxing on the private beaches of Turtle Island in Fiji.