Best Life-Changing Trips 2010
Courtesy of Black Tomato
Trips from top tour operators created exclusively for T+L, and guaranteed to change your life.
A fight to the bottom of the
world. A private expedition to see emperor penguins. A kite-skiing excursion
across an icy horizon. A luxury tent camp atop a 200-foot icefall. This isn’t
your average vacation. This is the trip of a lifetime.
While any trip to Antarctica is
extraordinary, this one from Kensington Tours includes truly unique
experiences. That’s because it—and 21 other dream trips—was crafted exclusively
for Travel + Leisure by one of the world’s top outfitters. So whether
you’re ready to plan your own dream trip or just looking for inspiration, these
itineraries can’t help but inspire.
And more than ever, travelers
are looking to be inspired by unique experiences, says travel agent Bonnie
Brayham. People want trips that “expand horizons, remove you from your comfort
zone, and prompt you to reevaluate what’s important in life.”
Sometimes, inspiration comes
from the behind-the-scenes access that only a great tour operator can provide.
On its trip to Kenya, for example, Micato Safaris introduces travelers to the
current generation of the famous Leakey family studying the roots of
civilization. Working alongside the Leakeys, visitors will spend the night in a
research station where 3.5-million-year-old hominid fossils were recently
discovered, then do their own digging in search of human origins.
For other travelers, the trip of
a lifetime may be about experiencing a familiar location in a new way. On
Butterfield & Robinson’s cycling tour of France’s Loire Valley, travelers
bike past acres of the valley’s sunflower fields, dine at the home of renowned
local chef Jean-Claude Rigollet, and overnight at the 15th-century
Châteaux du Rivau, an estate where Joan of Arc was once a guest.
Since all 22 of our trips were
planned exclusively for Travel + Leisure, they’re brimming with the kind
of destinations and access that are next to impossible to find on the typical
vacation itinerary. “For a trip of a lifetime, I always try to incorporate
something unexpected,” says travel agent Peter Lloyd. “These are the moments
that people love and remember.”
So whether you’re dreaming of
food, philanthropy, culture, or adventure, read on: your trip of a lifetime
awaits. —Nina Fedrizzi
Note: Subject to availability, all trip prices are per person based on double occupancy and may shift based on dates, group size, and other factors. International airfare is excluded except where noted. When booking, please ask for the T+L Trip of a Lifetime tour.