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In search of 'the good life'

In search of 'the good life'

As part of its continual strive to bring guests meaningful and real travel experiences, Trafalgar undertook some thought-provoking research to uncover what travellers are truly seeking from their holidays and what ‘The Good Life’ really means to them. The results were surprising and somewhat disconcerting, with the overall sentiment stipulating that rather than travel evoking wanderlust, the wonder of travel is getting lost.

A staggering 89% of respondents, including a large sample of New Zealanders, said travel is enjoyable but stressful and difficult to plan, and 49% surveyed claimed that “real” travel experiences didn’t actually feel that real – that travel is becoming a common tourist trail. 37% surveyed felt they didn’t see any “real culture” on their last trip and almost half of participants said if they did, these experiences were not unique. Another alarming statistic unveiled 61% of travellers are feeling the negative effects of overtourism, with over-crowding (experienced by 66%) putting a dampener on their holidays. The burden of social media is also getting to travellers, with 53% saying that the pressures of posting on holiday were enough to put them off.

The study showed that respondents believe ‘good’ travel is an opportunity to step away from daily life and pressures, be surprised and challenged, learn, appreciate and experience something new. Spending time with loved ones in a relaxed state of mind is key and remembering one’s own values in life, personally and philosophically, is what’s important. Trafalgar’s findings showed that 83% of participants said happiness is more important than success and 79% valued being well more than being wealthy. 76% preferred having experiences over having “things” and 71% saw trips where they had new experiences as being more important than those where they visited all the sights – 47% feeling a sense of guilt when they hadn’t checked them off.

These findings are what has driven Trafalgar’s innovation across its new Europe & Britain 2020 program, focusing on the three general themes that make a ‘good’ holiday – one that is easy, allows you to make connections, and brings true joy.

Real Ease

Real Ease

The logistics of formulating the perfect itinerary such as quality accommodation, comfortable transport, plenty of meals, VIP admission to the sites and unique Trafalgar highlights are all included so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Your Travel Director is your expert friend in each destination, together with Local Specialists guiding you through the exciting and unknown, showing you plenty of hidden gems along the way and offering advice on what to do in your free time.

Combine this with unique experiences you couldn’t do independently, such as a visit to the Pope’s gardens at Castel Gandolfo via the shortest national railway system in the world (300 metres). What if you were taken to get your iconic photo of the Eiffel tower, but also got to go somewhere else incredible without the crowd, such as a small group in-depth guided tour of the Louvre? This formula is what allows you the freedom to just be; be in the moment, be happy and be inspired.

Real Connections

Real Connections

Break bread with locals who are proud to bring you into their homes, share their cultures and tell their tales on Trafalgar’s exclusive Be My Guest experiences, which also help sustain their communities. Join a family in Croatia’s coastal town of Opatija for dinner, experiencing Mediterranean flavours unlike any other and hear their stories of life in the Kvarner Gulf. Or stay somewhere that’s more than just a bed for the night, on one of Trafalgar’s Stays with Stories.

This includes Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg dating back to 1736, where some of the most romantic scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed – your time here aids in funding its preservation for future generations to enjoy. Meet Marta Cucchia, the last person in the world creating stunning renaissance silk and wool pieces using her family’s 20th century Umbrian weaving techniques. Via JoinTrafalgar, your visit will help to keep this local craft alive.

Real Joy

Real Joy

When the elements of ease and connections come together, allowing you to really be in the moment, really connect to each destination and help to sustain the people, places and planet along the way – that’s when real joy is experienced, perspective is felt on what’s important and one’s core values are uncovered. This is ‘the good life’ – what travel is all about.

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team