NEWINGTON - Looking to expand your horizons? The ladies at Frenchâ€™s Worldwide Travel have the latest scoop on trendy and up-and-coming destinations, where multiple generations of families are meeting up and what secret getaways couples are escaping to.
Travel agents Valeri French, Sandra Godbolt and Karen Powell each recently returned from their own vacation and work trips.
Godbolt traveled to the famed Cable Beach area in the Bahamas, where the long-awaited billion-dollar resort development Baha Mar just opened. She toured the hotels, experienced the nightlife, sailed to a deserted island and took a popular food tour featuring Bahamian cuisine - all to inform the agencyâ€™s clients.
Powell went on a southern Caribbean cruise with luxury cruise line Royal Caribbean, also for professional insight. French took a rare vacation with her husband. Usually, the agency founder embarks on educational trips hosted by the travel companies she represents, but this was strictly for pleasure. They stayed in an all-inclusive resort in Playa Mujeres, Mexico - one of her favorite countries to vacation.
â€śCompared to the other island destinations, Mexico has exceptional customer service and hospitality,â€ť French pointed out. â€śYou really canâ€™t get service like that in other areas of the Caribbean. I donâ€™t just suggest people go to Mexico, I go there myself for vacation.â€ť
Issues surrounding security and tainted alcohol - in the news last summer - are no longer concerns, she added.
â€śMost of the major resort chains have taken steps to eliminate any issues,â€ť French explained. â€śI didnâ€™t feel even a little bit unsafe.â€ť
In the spring she embarked on a river cruise on the Rhine through Germany. River cruises through Europe and Russia have become increasingly popular and affordable in the last few years.
â€śThe Rhine is beautiful,â€ť French said. â€śEach little town is so picturesque and unspoiled. The food is great. The convenience of a river cruise is that they include your drinks and sightseeing. Itâ€™s definitely a way to see a lot of places for a good value.â€ť
One of the latest trends agents have picked up on is young adults taking big, bucket list vacations.
â€śMillennials are going on trips of a lifetime,â€ť French said. â€śEven if it costs a lot of money theyâ€™re really prioritizing travel.â€ť
Places across the world that many used to hold off on until retirement are now being visited by those in their 20s, who usually live on a tight budget. Japan is one of the major destinations for this group.
â€śAnother trend weâ€™re seeing is exotic honeymoons,â€ť French added. â€śCouples are going to the Maldives, Tahiti â€¦ Thailand.â€ť
Family reunions are also big right now. Multiple generations of relatives are meeting up at all-inclusive resorts and in European cities. The United Arab Emirates and Dubai, specifically, has also become popular. This city in the Persian Gulf offers desert and beach climates as well as unusual activities for families.
â€śThereâ€™s a big world out there and weâ€™re happy to help you see it,â€ť French said.
Frenchâ€™s Travel is located at 50 Market Square in Newington. (860) 666-4625.