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Bucket List

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Travel is well and truly back, and our wonderful franchisees are busy booking lots of exciting destinations for 2022 and beyond.

We wanted to expand our training offering to help our franchisees increase their knowledge of destinations. We already host a huge variety of supplier webinars and thousands of online lessons on destinations around the world, but in addition to this, we have launched – Where in the World.

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Where in the World provides live, in-person training sessions, where we delve into the delights of an exciting destination – we already have destinations as varied as Morocco and Antarctica booked in!

With all this talk of exciting places, I asked our travel-mad head office team for their bucket list destinations:

Joanne Aldridge

Jo – Head of Franchise  – French Polynesia

“I went to the Cook Islands on my honeymoon and would love to go back to the South Pacific, I’ve never seen beaches like it!  It’s so tranquil and you have no choice but to take on a slow pace of life!

French Polynesia with its magnificent and iconic lush green peaks rising from crystal-clear, turquoise waters, offers some of the world’s most awe-inspiring scenery.  The peaks shelter these aquamarine lagoons, making them perfect for swimming and snorkelling.  Combine this with heavenly beaches and laid-back Polynesian culture, plus, the French Polynesian government have recently re-opened the borders!

Stay: You can stay put on one, but island hopping is well worth doing given the islands’ remote location and difficulty to reach. Experience beautiful Tahiti, lush Moorea, and stunning Bora Bora. If you are looking for a luxury remote escape, check out Marlon Brando’s private island – The Brando.

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Lilli – Marketing Executive – Bhutan

I would love to visit Bhutan, it’s so unique in its approach to tourism and life in general!  The country emphasises the happiness and well-being of the people rather than just making money. It is full of natural beauty, vibrant culture, spiritual and historical attractions and daring adventure

The Trans Bhutan Trail has – for the first time in sixty years – opened to travellers. Trekkers can now follow this epic route across the Himalayas with its incredible passes, authentic homestays, and amazing cultural sites – including the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

The mountain scenery in Bhutan is utterly stunning, equalled only by the country’s enchanting culture.

Stay:  The five Six Senses lodges across Bhutan are beautifully designed with local architecture in mind. Sustainability is also key with these properties, as it is everywhere in Bhutan.

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Luke Western

Luke – Head of Sales & Marketing – Costa Rica

“I love what they’re doing with sustainable living and would love to stay in an eco-lodge. I’d like to visit and stay at Palo Seco to see the sea turtles making their way into the sea. There’s all the stuff on the usual must-see lists as well like Manuel Antonio for the rainforest lined up against the ocean, Arenal, and Tortuguero National Park. Loads of hikes to do and one I have on my list is Bijagua to see Tenorio Volcano National Park”

Costa Rica – for a relatively small country – has a huge variety of incredible things to do. Hot Springs, volcanos, stunning national parks, outstanding beaches, exotic wildlife, great food and adventurous activities all await – it’s even the hummingbird capital of the world!

British Airways offer direct flights from the UK and there are relatively relaxed covid entry requirements.

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Stay: Pacuare Lodge – there aren’t many accommodation options in the world that you access by white water rafting!

Chris Storey

Chris  – Training Manager – Slovenia

“A job in travel means you are cursed by a never-ending bucket list of destinations, but I’ve gone for the beautiful country of Slovenia. I’ve always wanted to visit Lake Bled and the famous Postojna caves to see the Salamanders!”

Lonely Planet describes Slovenia as ‘jaw dropping’ and they’re not wrong.  To say Slovenia is green would be an understatement, and not just in colour – it was named the world’s first ‘green country’ and is one of the world’s most sustainable destinations, encouraging tourists to travel via train, bike or on foot.

Whilst its natural beauty is spectacular, it also has its fair share of gorgeous architecture. On top of that, it is one of Europe’s most active destinations, with a host of active pursuits on offer.

Stay: Hotel Grad Otocec for a stay in a castle straight out of a fairy-tale

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Kim – Business Development Executive – Ecuador / The Galapagos

“I would love to go to the Galapagos!  It’s one of the most unique places on earth, rich in wildlife and perfectly unspoilt”

Earlier in 2022, the president of Ecuador announced a new reserve which will triple the size of the Galapagos Island’s protected area.

The Galapagos offers wildlife encounters like nowhere else on earth. Think 150-year-old tortoises, marine iguanas, and playful sea lions which are more than happy to have you snorkel and swim with them. The mainland of Ecuador also offers plenty of unique adventures – it’s one of the world’s most bio-diverse destinations.

Stay: Mashpi lodge – here you can literally stay in a rainforest in the clouds, it’s home to spectacular wildlife – guests here have even helped discover new species!

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Joel – Recruitment Executive – South Korea

“Since I was young, I have always eaten South Korean food and watched South Korean TV. I am intrigued to explore it all in person!”

One of Asia’s great cities – Seoul offers skyscrapers juxtaposed alongside ancient temples, incredible food, and – of course – the home of K-pop! It is well worth venturing out of the capital too to see more of the country. Busan with its multi-coloured buildings is fascinating; the East coast is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and the volcanic island Jeju is a popular holiday spot for locals and foreigners alike (it has also been made more famous recently by Netflix’s Squid Game).

Stay: The Signiel, Seoul Situated in the Lotte World Tower in the Gangnam Area (yes, from the song!), this luxury hotel offers breath-taking views across the city’s skyline.

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Jordan Luxton

Jordan Luxton – Marketing Manager – Indonesia

“I’ve always been fascinated by Indonesia, I love the traditional aspects of it, but yet you have all the modern aspects in places like Bali and Jakarta. I am heading to Bali later this year and cannot wait”

Indonesia is vast with over 17,000 islands to explore. From the Maldivian-esque natural wonderland of Raja Ampat in the far west; to the cultural hotspot of Sulawesi; and from the jungles of Sumatra and Borneo; to the volcanoes and temples of Java – and not to forget spiritual Bali – it really does offer something for everyone.

Stay: Too many to choose from, but to pick just one it must be the superlative surf lodge come luxury hotel to the rich and famous – Nihi Sumba.

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Jenna McCullagh

Jenna – Business Development Manager – Mexico

“My ultimate favourite place is Mexico, I cannot wait to go back!”

Mexico truly has some of the world’s best beaches; its ancient history and site ruins are some of the most spectacular; and of course, who doesn’t love Mexican cuisine! UK travellers are branching out from the traditional Yucatan beach holiday to places such as the captivating capital, Mexico City, and the Sea of Cortez – home to everything from humpback whales, orcas, manta rays, sharks, leatherback sea turtles and the critically endangered vaquita.

Stay:  One and Only Mandarina – surrounded by lush rainforest on the west coast of Mexico. An incredibly luxurious all-villa resort.

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