13 Ways to Fill Your New Year with Experiences, not Things

There’s been a subtle, but sizable shift in what people want from their vacation over the last several years. It seems that that just getting our passport stamped doesn’t really satisfy the dreams underlying the bucket list. It turns out that more and more of us are looking for authentic experiences that give insight into the true culture and history of a place.

Maybe we can blame it on “Millennial Mentality” waking us up to the excitement and pleasure of accumulating experiences. Maybe globalization has made us more curious about the way other people live. Whatever the reason, travelers are hungrier than ever for genuine experiences. Travel Maestro and the expert vacation designers at Covington have put together just a small list of all the amazing experiences you can enjoy in your travels.

      1. Hear the eerie groan of a giant ice chunk as it calves off the face of a glacier and splashes into the icy water of Alaska’s Glacier Bay.
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    1. Pick grapes in a vineyard set against the foothills of a medieval Portuguese village and then stomp them in huge fermentation vats.
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  1. Feel the adrenalin pumping as you embrace the adventure of a jet boat ride, rafting, hiking, biking, or bungee jumping in Queensland, New Zealand.

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      1. Witness the glorious spectacle of the sun rising above the clouds at the summit of Haleakala Crater, the Hawaiian mythical “House of the Sun.”

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      1. Swim in the crystal-clear waters of a secluded subterranean cenote deep in the jungles of Yucatan, Mexico where ancient Mayans once lived.

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    1. Gallop on horseback through the meadows, moors, and beaches of Scotland following the routes of the 1745 Jacobite uprising depicted in the Outlander series.

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      1. Spend the morning market shopping with a French chef, then learn her secrets to a perfectly rich hollandaise sauce in a hands-on cooking class.

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    1. Dance a sultry tango at an impromptu Milonga in the streets of Buenos Aires.

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    1. Team up with a Tuscan trifolaio and his dogs for a morning of truffle hunting, followed by taste-testing all the delicacies at the November truffle market stalls.

    Disney Cruise Line

    1. See the magic and wonder in the face of your kids or grandkids as they meet Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and Elsa from Frozen on a Disney Cruise.

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      1. Watch the deceptively lazy yawn of a regal lion from an open jeep only 20 feet away, as he lounges with his pride on the Tanzanian savannah.

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      1. Summon your inner mermaid/merman as you swim with dolphins in Hawaii, whale sharks in the Sea of Cortez, sea lions in the Galapagos, or stingrays in Grand Cayman.

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    1. Stroll serenely, bathed in the diffused light and distinctive rustling sound of towering green stalks in the Sagano Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan.

    Our world is a big and fascinating place with thousands of intriguing experiences to discover. The vacation advisors at Covington have literally thousands more ideas for awesome travel experiences and the global contacts to arrange even the most unique and remote experiences. Contact us to increase the value of your next vacation.

    Covington Vacation Advisors Debi Franke, Karen Kilyk, and Valerie Ambrose contributed to this post.

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