It was about this time last year that I penned a column about not having any major travel plans for the summer. I heard from several readers who wondered how a travel publisher could find himself in such a predicament.
This year is shaping up more nicely for me. We’ll join three other couples in Santorini in September, where we’re staying in a house one couple rents each fall for a month. Do four couples qualify as a small group? In my world it does. The couple that organizes this outing each year for a few of their friends are voracious travelers and would fit the description of volunteer travel planners in today’s world.
Then, in November, my wife and I are doing a Collette Spotlight trip to Tuscany at Collette’s invitation. I did a Spotlight trip two years ago to Nice and loved the independence it afforded. Our group was 18 or so travelers, and we had one full day and two afternoons on our own to do independent travel. Some of us stayed in and around the French Riviera, and others caught trains for day trips to other places in southern France.
This past weekend, we saw a friend at the lake who said she and a girlfriend were headed to Tuscany in three weeks with a boutique tour company called Strada Toscana. The owner splits time between Italy and Florida and hosts small groups of 14 or fewer for trips off the beaten path in Tuscany. Our friend has traveled with the company before and loves the small-group dynamic those trips afford. I’m anxious to compare notes with her when we’ve both returned later in the year.
This is shaping up as a big travel year for most of you, too, and we look forward to sharing your stories, photos, recollections and recommendations with our community of Select Traveler readers in the months ahead.
Email me anytime with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.