Preston Travel Centre's Blog

A New Year of Travel Trends

Happy New Year!  2017 is ramping up to be an exciting year of travel. So we thought we'd share stories about the hottest travel trends that are going to impact where - and how - you travel in the coming months and even years. What do we see in our crystal ball/ champagne glass?  

Whether you're planning family, 'bleisure' (business/leisure), solo, romantic or couple travels, gal or pal getaways, from the uber luxurious to the economical, 2017 travel will be all about:

  • Wellness and Adventure: Getting outdoors and being active, returning more healthy than when you left, doing something other than pounding pavement or cobblestones every day...  visitors have more and more new, healthy and adventurous (not necessarily dangerous!) ways to experience destinations.
  • Cuba: Travel to Cuba has changed forever now that relations with the US are normalizing. If you haven't already been, there are even more ways to explore one of the world's last restricted travel areas.
  • New Cruise Ships: Ocean or river, luxury or expedition, new cruise ships, with itineraries, designs, amenities, activities and celebrity entertainment or culinary partnerships that battle to outdo each other just keep on coming!  What WILL they do next on a ship? We'll keep you abreast of all the latest developments. If you're one of the last few people who still thinks cruising is about 'blue hair and buffets', you should take a look at the latest generation of cruise ships... and passengers.  There really is a cruise out there for every traveler.
  • Celebrations: Canada commemorates its 150th birthday in 2017, and it's also riding a wave at the top of nearly every 'best place to travel' list.  Did you know as many Americans travel to Canada every year as go to all of Europe?  And with the dollar and other considerations, it's never been a better year for vacationing close to home.  So throughout 2017, we're going to share some of our favorite stories about Canada to inspire your travels. 
  • Local and authentic: Local food, local artisans... everyone is looking for authentic, local production, creation, and consumption. There's a global awareness that we're all looking to be more connected with each other and the items we consume.  Products with provenance and people with passion and rejuvenated cities and neighbourhoods.  There's more and more of it out there to discover.
  • Connecting: Staying connected with those at home, and connecting with the people, Nature, and wildlife where you're traveling.
  • Customization:  It's never been easier to work with a travel expert to craft a trip of your dreams.  In the past, it may have been harder to tweak a trip to get exactly what you want, but a new age of crafting travel itineraries is upon us, at every price point.  If you're just saying 'yes' and dropping down your credit card, you're missing out.

We want to inspire your travel imagination in 2017... and then make those dreams come true!

So we're also introducing BestTrip.TV - an 'online travel TV station' with inspiring videos you can watch right here on our web site (click on BestTrip.TV on our home page).  We'll be sharing BestTrip.TV videos throughout the year.

Safe and memorable travels in 2017!




2016 is Sailing off into the Sunset...

And here at Walnut Grove Travel, we're looking back on some of our best, most inspiring travel stories of the past year... AND bringing you some fresh ideas to start your travels off right in 2017.

Thank you for being part of our community of travel lovers this year.  We wish you a very Happy New Year 2017, and whether you travel on business, for pleasure, on your own, with colleagues, family, friends, or that special someone, we hope you have many exciting and memorable journeys ahead!

(Top Photo: BestTrip.TV in Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Intrepid Doubles Family-Themed Itineraries

Intrepid Travel is doubling its family-themed tours for 2017 with 48 itineraries tailored to families in two new styles of travel, Comfort and Active Family.

The decision to launch more than 20 tours comes as a result of the increasing demand for multi-generational travel. Intrepid Travel has also experienced significant demand for its teen trips, designed for ages 12 and up, inspiring the launch of teen trekking itineraries in Peru and Nepal, among other destinations.

“Intrepid Travel’s kid-friendly tours shake up the typical family vacation, offering a sense of adventure suited for all generations,” says Leigh Barnes, North America director for Intrepid Travel. “By significantly increasing our Family tours for 2017, we hope to be the go-to operator for family adventure travel.”

Ideal for meeting like-minded families, Intrepid Travel’s family-only adventures offer action-packed experiences steering off the beaten track, away from ball pits and buffets. Transforming travel into a form of education, the tours encourage families to use the world as their textbook by immersing into the destination and culture. With an average group size of 12, travelers can hop aboard local transportation, eat at family-run restaurants and kick back in home-stay accommodations. Family-friendly tours with 2017 departures offer one-of-a-kind experiences including:

  • Act like Mowgli in search for Shere Khan and other Bengal tigers for a true “Jungle Book” experience on the Comfort Northern India Family Holiday.
  • Visit Chiang Mai’s Elephant Nature Park, recognized by World Animal Protection for its protection of elephant welfare, on the Thailand Family Holiday.
  • Punt along the waterways of the Okavango Delta’s vibrant ecosystem by traditional canoe, greeting grunting hippos on the Namibia & Botswana Family Adventure.
  • Take on life as a local Gozitan shepherd for the day, tending to animals, cutting corn, making ‘gbejniet’ cheese and preparing lunch with the host family during the Malta and Gozo Family Holiday.

Start your Trip!

A version of this article previously appeared in

Our 'Plan a Cruise Month' Smorgasbord of Offers

Mark it on your calendar. October is 'Plan a Cruise Month'. 

This is the time of year when the world's top cruise lines introduce some of their best offers of the year.

And with the nights getting chillier, thoughts of getting away this winter to the Caribbean's turquoise waters, exotic Polynesia, or fun loving Australia leap to mind.  Or an expedition of a lifetime to South America or Galapagos. And there's always Europe and the elegant Mediterranean in the spring.

There's a smorgasbord of cruise offers available right now, so if you were thinking of a romantic escape, a family or multi-generation holiday, an expedition cruise of a lifetime, even an employee incentive trip or a group getaway with your club, here's our round up of some of the best offers available.

Start your Trip!

Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana The landscape is an eminent example of cultural interchange between the Islamic and Christian cultures of Spain. The evidence of Moorish cultivation (from the 8th to 17th century when they were evicted from the land) is visible especially in the waterworks networks and olive groves in the area. read more
Bourges Cathedral - You gotta go here The Bourges Cathedral is one of the most symbolic pieces of architecture that influenced the Gothic architectural style as the strength of the Medieval France Christianity. The cathedral takes the tag of being one of the most magnificent pieces of Gothic architecture, mostly for proper management of space and high quality of artwork done on both its exterior and interior walls. read more
Travel Tips: How to Get around in a Spanish Speaking Country Although some countries in the Latin America train their hospitality staff how to speak and write English, some of them have not embraced this. This is why you will find that Americans avoid a majority of the Latin American countries and go to Belize and Costa Rica where the hospitality practitioners speak some fluent English. read more
Best Burger joints in Prague What is not in doubt is that there is booming business in serving the German-invented American delicacy - the burger. Trust me; anything you eat in the following burger joint will be as good as any burger you have eaten in the US, if not better. read more
A brief history of Sydney Sydney remains the hub of Australian economic activity, with its two major infrastructures i.e. the Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport and Port Botany being responsible for around 20% of Australian imports and Exports. read more
5 Olympic sites you need to see in Grenoble The year is 1968 and the idyllic village of Glenoble in France is poised to host one of the biggest global sporting events - the X Olympic Winter Games. As fate would have it, 32 countries would compete in the games and for the first time since the USSR entered the games in 1956, Norway would haul in more medals than the USSR...this marks the start of the domination of the sports by other countries. This is not all. The '68 event marked the first time that the International Olympic Committee would allow East and West Germany to enter the event separately, and the first time ever the IOC ordered drug and gender testing of competitors. Below are some of the sites where these historic activities happened. read more
10 Interesting facts about Jerusalems old city Jerusalem is an old holy city that has been in contention amongst all the Abrahamic religions that include; Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. All the three religions have a claim to the city as all of them has their roots in it. Below are a few facts about the city. read more
Top 5 can't miss night clubs in Sydney The most populous city in Australia has several things to offer its residents and tourists. Among these things is as wild a nightlife as you can imagine. Below are some night clubs in Sydney that will bring to fore your partying juices. read more
Exciting family adventures in Czech Republic Getting your family together for an exciting adventure is what every good family member does. It brings your family members closer to each other and helps forment good relations among the family members. This is why family adventures in Czech Republic listed below should make you sit straight and take notice. read more
Dine Under The Stars On A Romantic Grand Cayman Dinner Cruise The Cayman Islands are among the world's most popular vacation destinations and for good reason. With their swaying palm trees, white sand beaches, and turquoise waters, these islands offer the ideal setting for a tropical getaway. read more
Tips For First Time Family Travel Traveling as a family is one of the greatest activities that anyone can experience regardless of where they come from. And while traveling is fun and exciting, it can be a lot of work, particularly with a few kids in tow. read more
A breath taking view of London on a Circular Cruise The river is a major shipping lane for the United Kingdom. It also attracts sports such as Rowing, Swimming, skiffing, Punting, Kayaking and canoeing, Sailing and Rowing. Apart from the sports, you will realize that River Thames is divided into piers and each pier has its own peculiar tourist attractions. read more
Embark on a quest to meet mountain Gorillas the worlds most endangered species while in Africa Humans maybe the smartest primates on the planet, but they are not the largest. This tag goes to the mountain gorillas. read more
Revisit a dark history at the Paco Park cemetery The Philippines is an absolutely fantastic place to take a vacation. The country's unique sights and exotic and storied culture make it the consummate tourist destination, particularly for history buffs. read more
The Ultimate Autumn Experience at Butchart Gardens Perhaps with the 6 flower gardens including Sunken Garden, Concert Lawn Walk, Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and the Mediterranean Garden, Jennie Butchart - the brains that created the Gardens over a hundred years ago - has shown the world that the incredible autumn season is not as bleak as it seems. read more
5 of the World's Most Remote Destiantions Sometimes when you are on vacation, you want to get away from it all. The sights, sounds, and the people. There are remote locations for just the ideal vacation you have in mind. read more
Relax and Unwind at Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenada Of all the resorts in Grenada, Spice Island Beach Resort is a godsend for those seeking relaxation and unwinding. The resort is owned and run by one Sir Royston Hopkin together with his family. They make sure that their guests are comfortable by providing spa facilities, world-class cuisine, comfortable and spacious accomodation, as well as spa and massage services. read more
Privacy and Luxury are Yours:  Book a Maldives Private Island Trip Take yourself and your friends or spouse to a private getaway on one of the luxurious islands in the Maldives. read more
Explore Mt. Vesuvius on a ‘Pompeii from Rome Day Trip’ Walk to the crater of the famous volcano Mt. Vesuvius, and see what it did to the city of Pompeii—now a UNESCO World Heritage Site—almost two thousand years ago. read more
Discover Myths and Legends on the Tillicum Village Cultural Experience Want to learn more about Native American culture? Then check out a Tillicum Village Cultural Experience in Seattle, Washington. On this tour visitors will learn about the Native American culture, watch a traditional song and dance show and enjoy a delicious Chinook salmon buffet. read more
Dubai and Abu Dhabi-Join us for the Chamber of Commerce Travel Series, in the Florida of the Persian Gulf. read more