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Zicasso Travelers' Top Destinations for 2021

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Cape Town, South Africa

As our Traveler Care team is in constant conversation with our Zicasso travelers, we are frequently asked if anyone is actually booking a trip for 2021?  The answer is yes! For those who have booked their next trip, there have been some changes to what they are looking for and how they want to travel. We spoke to travel specialists from all over the world as they have already begun to reinvent to ensure the safety and comfort of our travelers for post-pandemic travel. We looked at some of the most popular destinations people are booking with Zicasso for 2021 to learn more about the travel trends and the current atmosphere in each country.

1. Italy

Manarolo in Cinque Terre, Italy

Italy is a country that celebrates life, both ancient and contemporary. Visiting the Colosseum is equally as enticing as sitting at a cafe sipping espresso. The experience is not just in touring famous monuments but also in enjoying the Italian way of life. We can easily imagine the idyllic towns clinging to the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast or wish for the scent of fresh-made pasta coated with black pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Most travelers are still looking to fulfill their long-held dream trip to Italy. "The requests that I have received during this time are the same as those I received pre-Covid," Cameron, an Italy travel specialist, says. "In fact, some of Italy's more popular and exclusive hotels are already fully booked for parts of summer 2021."

Italy moves us beyond expectation, where the reality of the country surpasses its reputation with art from da Vinci to Raphael, ruins from the Greeks to the Etruscans, and scenery that includes the snow-capped Alps, vine-covered hills, and enticing sun-soaked beaches. "We foresee a busy 2021 and 2022," Cameron continues.  While the logistics of travel in 2021 remain complicated, an Italy travel specialist can ensure flexible plans and experiences.

2. England

Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island in Northumberland, England

England is often best known for the city of London, but even within the borders of its largest city, there is so much more to see and do. Unending charm is the easiest way to define England’s allure that sweeps from the coastal beaches to the rolling hills and pristine lakes. Consistently a popular destination, many that have moved forward with plans have only made a few adjustments. “Travelers that have booked during this time have mostly required reassurance that they can postpone their trip to a later date should the need arise or that high-level travel insurance is included,” says Daniel, an England travel expert for Zicasso.

England can feel like a dream with its stunning scenery and layered history. With dramatic castles and elegant estates found alongside neighborly pubs, there is something for everyone to enjoy. “I think that some people are just more optimistic for the future and need a dream and a hope to look to for the future. What better way than to have an amazing trip to historic England planned for when we are through the other side of this tough period, in order to celebrate life again!” Daniel added.

3. Greece

Church with blue dome at sunset on Santorini island, Greece.

Known for modern luxury and extraordinary hospitality, Greece overflows with charm. From sidewalk cafes to lively markets, the flavors of the Mediterranean bring enticing spices and delicate sweets alongside ancient wonder and remarkable history. Always a top region for Zicasso travelers, there are a few changes to what they are looking for.

“Social distancing is crucial, and clients are looking for private experiences in most cases. For example, private yacht charter (for the group rather than sharing with others) is popular for 2021 and beyond as are private customized trips with a driver/ guide,” says Julian, a travel specialist for both Greece and Croatia. Greece instills part of its culture into us during any visit, allowing us a deeper connection to the relaxing ambiance of a seaside sunset or the incredible mosaics hidden inside a hanging monastery.

“People looking to book a last-minute trip next year may find fares to be eye-wateringly expensive. This is an opportune time to design that perfect customized itinerary and really get the full attention you want from your travel expert, along with some room to wriggle on price,” adds Graham, a Greece travel expert.

4. France

Amboise, in France’s Loire Valley © Léonard de Serres / ADT Touraine

Often the choice for a first-time visitor to Europe, a trip to France is on many bucket lists.  The rich culture of France is woven into the medieval villages, the sparkling cities, and the lavender fields with familiar warmth blending with the charms that make life in France an artform. “Most tourist sites are open, and I experienced a superb first at a renowned Padirac Cave the other day.  The difference from a normal year was that we had to arrive only at our prearranged time. And of course, the queue was shorter,” says Stephen, a France travel planner for Zicasso.

The beauty of France is just as accessible across the country, from the Eiffel Tower to the Lascaux Cave, Nice’s Esplanade to the Beaches of Normandy. As travelers, we always hope for a better deal or a way to include more for less. We want the most out of our vacations as we maximize both our time and our travel goals. “Travelers are asking for similar kinds of trips as in the past, but we are encouraging less time in Paris and more time in the beautiful under-populated countryside,” Stephen says. “The reason why travelers choose to book now is the same as always, the hope for a better deal by booking ahead, and they are right to book now….also so that they have something to look forward to.”

5. South Africa

Lioness and her cub in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Lioness and her cub in Kruger National Park, South Africa

There are few places in the world as dynamic and dramatic as South Africa. Deserts possess haunting beauty, pristine beaches fade to colorful coral reefs, and the famous plains support wildlife, including lions, leopards, rhinos, and elephants. The astounding diversity of South Africa could keep you endlessly discovering the country from a new perspective.

As we become comfortable traveling post-Covid, Natalie, a South Africa specialist for Zicasso, shares that many things have changed. “All hotels will have fever screening upon check-in, public places have sanitizing stations in various locations, all employees are screened daily before the start of their shift, and they wipe every service with sanitizer on a very regular basis.” Hotels, restaurants, and shops have all put protective measures to add a layer of protection for both visitors and locals.

South Africa offers a different type of cultural experience focused on the diverse cities, unique cuisine, and the alluring landscape that embodies the Wild Coast to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve. “At present, the USD is very strong against the SA Rand, therefore, I do feel that combining 2020 pricing for travel in 2021 and the exchange rate makes for holidays to Africa very affordable,” Natalie says. A safari is a perfect way to practice social distancing while on a luxurious vacation. Small lodges in remote areas with few other guests offer privacy and exclusivity, while also following the national safety protocols in the lodge and on safari vehicles. “South Africa is ready for tourism and has many protocols and procedures in place to ensure travelers can have a lovely holiday,” Natalie confirms.

6. Spain

Alhambra palace in Granada, Andalusia, Spain

The way we travel has changed, and the way we consider traveling has changed, especially in places like Spain, where surrealist cities meet world-class museums. Passion feeds contemporary culture with a sophisticated devotion to enjoying life. “Things have been relatively normal,” says Elena, a Spain travel expert. “All restaurants, museums, and monuments are open. Many people were considering renting villas instead of hotels. Everywhere it is mandatory to wear a mask and keep distance from other people.”

Life and art are cyclical imitations of each other in Spain for a rare combination of historic prowess and unique perspective. Roman ruins, soaring cathedrals, Moorish architecture, and spirited dancing peel back only the top layer of heritage. Steeped in creativity and a rebellious spirit uncovered from Madrid to Bilbao, Catalonia to Asturias, Spain’s timeless charm attracts interested visitors from around the world.

The eagerness to discover the usual cities and classic beaches mixed with touches of something new continues to inspire travelers to Spain, especially with the prospect of safely touring with private transfers. “[Currently] all hotels and providers are maintaining their 2020 prices. But as soon as more bookings come along, the prices will go up. Even the European travelers who used to be more last-minute travelers are already booking for 2021. There is a strong desire for everyone to go back to traveling,” Elena confirms.

7. Croatia

View of Old Town Dubrovnik on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia

Our inability to travel recently has only reaffirmed our eagerness to explore. Croatia’s preserved authenticity highlights the country’s unique and unspoiled character. Emphatically clear waters hug the coastline and epic medieval walls encircle historic city centers. Croatia is a country that welcomes the new, celebrates the old, and defies the norm. “People are going stir crazy from the lockdowns, and the fatigue of quarantining for months is motivating them to book an international trip now,” says Christy, a Croatia travel specialist. “They've heard of the hotel deals and reduced crowds and they want to take advantage while they still can.”

Traveling in Croatia brings to light how we can separate from the typical route and why a combination of famous places and off-the-beaten-path destinations can make a more memorable experience. Croatia is a cultural feast easily explored and is still attracting visitors from around the world. “Locals who work in tourism are thrilled with whoever comes and are even more eager to showcase their beautiful towns, country, and warm Croatian hospitality,” shares Christy.

While open to travel for much of 2020, Croatia's borders are closed as of December 1, but most travelers are looking ahead. “More people seem to be concerned with private experiences and transfers than they did before,” Christy says. “2021 is already quite full with clients who have rescheduled from this year, but if someone has flexibility, there is still availability at different points in the season. If someone books for 2022, they will have first pick at our favorite ships, properties, and our very best local guides.”

Why not start planning now?

Winding road through Tuscany, Italy

Now more than ever, a customized, private trip is the best path forward. With over 450 Zicasso travel specialists that are local experts to their regions, you can book with confidence that your plans will be designed perfectly for you.

Every Zicasso trip is designed together with our travelers with your goals, timeline, and budget in mind. Where do you want to go in 2021 and how do you want to experience it?  You can plan ahead with Zicasso by submitting a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707. We are here for your questions when you are ready and eager to help you embark on your next adventure.

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