SOURCE: Kensington Tours

Kensington Tours

November 09, 2010 13:25 ET

Kensington Tours 11 Travel Trends for 2011: Exciting New Destinations and New Ways to Rediscover the Classics

Nicaragua, Safari Houses, Iceland, Private Nile Cruises and Far Beyond Sightseeing!

WILMINGTON, DE--(Marketwire - November 9, 2010) -   With the end of 2010 fast approaching, Kensington Tours polled its team of destination experts to see what trends they saw on the horizon for travel in 2011. Their team, which coordinates thousands of private guided tours to more than 80 countries worldwide every year, came back with a variety of insightful tips for vacation planning for the new year ranging from hot new destinations to exciting new ways of experiencing old favorites.

1. Safari Houses -- Private African Paradises
Villas aren't just for Italy anymore. A number of luxury villa rentals and safari houses have sprung up particularly in South Africa and Botswana and are catching on for families and groups of friends seeking a special experience.

2. Second Layer Vacations -- Beyond Sightseeing
Coming on strong in well traveled Europe are "second layer" vacations that focus on experiential travel over more traditional sight-seeing. Travelers are looking for affordable alternatives to group travel and set itineraries. Demand for tailored experiences including personalized adventures tracing family roots, active adventures, epicurean journeys and multi-generational family trips are all spiking.

3. Nicaragua -- The Next Costa Rica?
With its great mix of tropical rainforests, vibrant culture, colonial history, heavenly beaches and good, affordable properties, Nicaragua is working its way up the hot list says Kensington's Senior Central America Expert. 

4. Iceland is HOT -- The Eyjafjallajökull Effect
Call it the Eyjafjallajökull effect but Iceland is back on the tourist radar after a tough go in the global economic meltdown. Kensington's experts recommend Viking tours, Northern Lights excursions, relaxing in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon, river rafting, snowmobiling, glacier trekking, whale watching and experiencing Reykjavik's colorful cultural scene.

5. Rwanda -- The Jet Set is Landing
Renowned for its primates, intrepid explorers have been trekking the wilds of Rwanda for chimpanzees and rare mountain gorillas yet until now the choices were limited for those in want of a little luxury. With a selection of new premium properties and eco-lodges opening, Kensington's experts see Rwanda attracting more travelers to this fascinating country.

 6. Brazil -- Why Wait?
With the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics around the corner, Brazil is on the cusp of exploding according to Kensington's Senior South American Expert. So get in before the crowds heat up the prices. But don't just do the beaches of Rio's Copacabana -- Amazon River cruises, thundering Iguazu Falls, samba lessons, Afro-Brazilian culinary courses and stunning new 'pousadas' (boutique properties) and remote beaches are the savvy choice.

7. Egypt -- Intimate and Elegant Dahabiya Nile Cruises
Privately chartered Nile cruises offer a more personalized spin on this classic destination for the increasing numbers of families and friends travelling together. Complete with the crew, chef and private Egyptologist guide, these luxurious small ships offer surprising value. They can also stop for spellbinding shore excursions that larger cruisers cannot, like the Temple of Khnum or El Kab.

8. Zimbabwe -- Diamond in the Rough
With the political situation settling as of late, this diamond in the rough is going to quickly attract adventurers according to Kensington's Experts. Its appeal goes far beyond majestic Victoria Falls. Hwange, Mana Polls and the private concessions of Imbabala will please even Africa connoisseurs. Zimbabwe's strengths include some of the best guides in Africa and value pricing.

9. India 2.0
While it is hard to steer first timers away from the classics in North India, Kensington's Senior South Asia Expert likes less traditional takes on the Golden Triangle like desert camping experiences in Rajasthan, tiger trekking and elephant back safaris in Central India and heading south to explore wild game reserves in search of leopards, sambars and chinkaras. In February of 2011, a stunning new resort, the Taj Bekal, is opening in peaceful Kerala and is expected to bring a new level of sophistication to India's southern beaches. 

10. Patagonia -- Untouched but Always Evolving
Luxuriously wild, the southernmost tip of South America has been attracting outdoor enthusiasts for years. Kensington's South American Expert likes the wider assortment of adventures suiting travelers of all types for 2011. In addition to trekking its landmark glaciers, travelers can experience authentic estancias (Argentinean ranches), relax at any number of eco-camps or enjoy a leisurely cruise along Patagonia's sparkling coast.

11. Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences Are Back
After a tough year in 2010, the demand for once-in-a-lifetime experiences and luxury level travel is on the rise again. VIP packages to events like the Masters, Wimbledon and Monaco Grand Prix are popular.

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    Lorraine Abelow
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