Recommended By You
We asked some of our top Vacation Ambassadors which trip they recommend most for first-time travelers and why. From river cruising down Europe’s waterways to getting up close and personal with wildlife on an African safari, our Vacation Ambassadors have perfect suggestions for every type of traveler. Do you have your own set of trips you recommend to new travelers? Let us know in an email to TravelTalk@gct.com.
Great, Great Rivers
For those interested in cruising, I suggest a river cruise to start with, and The Great Rivers of Europe is the best. There they can start in a great city (Amsterdam or Vienna), unpack only once, and see many great stops along the way. In both cases the transition to foreign travel will be easier. They will get a feel for O.A.T. and Grand Circle, and our great Trip Experience Leaders. They will surely come back.
Thanks to: Chuck and Dee Dee N., 19-time travelers and 17-time Vacation Ambassadors from Huntington Beach, CA
We would recommend a River Cruise—The Great Rivers of Europe. It’s so much easier to only unpack once, especially for an inexperienced traveler.
Thanks to: Richard and Kathleen N., 16-time travelers and 16-time Vacation Ambassadors from Arlington, TX
The last trip we took was The Great Rivers of Europe with my daughter, her husband, our granddaughter and her dad (my son), my sister, who travels with us all the time, and our neighbor across the street. We wanted them to see the highlights. We’ve taken several River Cruises and that was the best one without a doubt. We celebrated our 63rd anniversary on that trip and Grand Circle treated us so well.
Thanks to: Billy and Myrtle M., 10-time travelers and 16-time Vacation Ambassadors from Stephenville, TX
My favorite trip was a River Cruise trip from Vienna to Amsterdam, The Great Rivers of Europe. My two brothers and their wives went with my husband Art and me. We extended our trip to Belgium where my older brother Dick got together with an exchange student that they had sponsored many years before—we got to meet his wife and family.
We have referred so many people because we get people interested in traveling, and they go on trips with us.
Thanks to: Sally A., 22-time travelers and 16-time Vacation Ambassador from Granite Bay, CA
Overlooking the Mosel River from a vineyard in Zell, Germany was an unforgettable highlight for Lillian and Phillip.
It is difficult to recommend only one of the river cruises when all of them are unique. Romance of the Rhine and Mosel always comes to mind because both times we have taken it, we have experienced different adventures. Speyer was delightful. When we were there on November 11, 2012, we made lanterns and participated in the St. Martin parade in the city with local people. It was nice to learn of local traditions and meet with some of the local people. Last year we enjoyed a ride in a "hay" wagon to the top of a mountain to tour a local vineyard in Zell. There are so many things we have enjoyed on all the river cruises that it is difficult to narrow them down to one.
The American Cemetery in Luxembourg visit always brings tears to my eyes and the feeling of pride and thanksgiving for the soldiers that gave their lives in the war. This was a most inspiring part of our Romance of the Rhine and Mosel cruise. The visit to the courtroom in Nuremberg where the Nazi war trials were held was also a great experience as was the stop at the Remagen Bridge Museum. So many other events that happened in WWII are available on Grand Circle cruises.
Thanks to: Lillian and Phillip B., 11-time travelers and 15-time Vacation Ambassadors from Waco, TX
Know Your Audience
Panama is consistently a top choice destination for first-time travelers because of its proximity to home.
Before recommending any specific places to a new traveler, I would try to find out destinations on their bucket list as well as the type and level of activity they are comfortable with. If I had taken trips that would meet their criteria, I would mention those first. The Panama Canal trip is a good suggestion for those wanting a shorter and closer trip. European trips are perhaps more appealing to those unused to more exotic cultures such as India or China and I would also mention the Croatian trip that I especially enjoyed. The Galápagos Islands or Patagonia are great recommendations for those who like animals and dramatic scenery.
Thanks to: Marty G., 12-time traveler and 15-time Vacation Ambassador from Hingham, MA
How adventurous and active a person is would need to be considered when recommending a trip. If someone is a little hesitant to travel, a river cruise to Holland & Belgium in Springtime is beautiful. If they enjoy an active trip, then Nepal or Bhutan would deliver a challenging hike. There is nothing that is more of an adventure than viewing wildlife up close on an African safari, hiking the glaciers on a trip to Antarctica, or arriving at Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan. China and India will introduce one to ancient cultures and remarkable structures.
Thanks to: Fran and Jim S., 15-time travelers and 15-time Vacation Ambassadors from Danville, IL
For a really new traveler, the Slovenia pre-trip extension added to the Dalmatian Coast trip. We loved the Julian Alps and Zagreb being too far inland to attract huge cruise ship crowds was a plus. Small ship cruising is just our style.
Thanks to: Jan and Harris A., 15-time travelers and 14-time Vacation Ambassadors from Essex Junction, VT