Our Travel Advisors Share Their Favorite Destinations

08 Feb 2022

What’s your favorite vacation destination? For some people, that’s an easy question. Others may need time to reflect, compare the pros and cons, and narrow it down to just one favorite. And some haven’t yet found it (though we’ll bet they’re having fun as they seek it out). 

But what exactly makes a destination worthy of being a favorite? At Acendas Vacations, we’ve heard a lot of favorites from our clients, ranging from the cobblestone streets of Quebec, safari lodges in South Africa, to the beaches of Hawaii. In our experience, your favorite is likely grounded in an emotional connection you share with the destination.

Sometimes our favorites stay with us for a lifetime, and others may move down the list as our life experiences change and we travel more. Regardless, a favorite is always worth sharing! 

We rounded up three of our travel advisors to share with you their favorite destinations. Read on to discover what might be your next favorite.

Carol Nichols

Carol Nichols Acendas Travel Advisor

Carol has been in the travel industry for 32 years. She has worked at Acendas Vacations for 12 years, specializing in European destinations. 

Favorite destination:  Italy, specifically the Amalfi Coast (Positano, Ravello, and Sorrento).

Why: The scenery, friendly people, food, and history.

Recommendations: “The Amalfi Coast is experienced best when you sit back, relax, and take in the scenery. You don’t want to be rushed while there.” Sorrento is a great central location and a wonderful walking town. The Isle of Capri makes for a great day trip where you can swim in caves and enjoy beautiful coastal views. Carol recommends booking a private guide to drive you around the coast. “It’s a must-see – you will learn how olives are harvested and learn about traditional lemon varieties at a limoncello tasting. Be sure to fit in a few days at the start or end of the trip to visit Rome. The Vatican is a once in a lifetime experience you can’t miss.”

According to Carol, families or couples can enjoy the Amalfi Coast. “There are many romantic hotels and family-friendly accommodations and activities, like learning to make mozzarella.”

Accommodation: The Grand Hotel Ambasciatori in Sorrento. “I haven’t yet stayed here, but I have booked many clients accommodations at the Grand Hotel, and each return with raving reviews. And the views are amazing!” 

Carol says the summer is very busy on the Amalfi Coast. May and September are the best months as the weather is nice and it’s not as crowded.

Tracy Wilbeck:

Tracy has 15 years of experience in the travel industry. She has worked with Acendas for three years, specializing in Mexico destinations.

Favorite Destination:  Jamaica, specifically Negril.

Why: “It’s the first place I ever vacationed, so it has always had a special place in my heart. And each time I return, it’s just as wonderful as I’d remembered. The people are so friendly and treat you like family, the food is great – especially the Caribbean Jerk, and I always feel safe there.”

Recommendations: Tracy recommends Negril as an excellent place for families, couples, or groups. “I book a lot of destination weddings in Negril. The beaches are beautiful, and it’s a scuba divers paradise.”

“You’ll find the best weather from January through March. For those looking for a budget-friendly option, consider traveling from October through December. Take

 advantage of Club Mobay, a VIP service offered at the airport that allows you to skip the lines at customs and immigration.”

Accommodations: Tracy recommends Secrets Orchid for adults and Beaches Negril for families. For those traveling in a large group or for a destination wedding, the Royalton offers an adult-only section and a family section, effortlessly appealing to everyone. “I love to stay at the resort and enjoy all it offers during a vacation, and I want a beautiful beach and awesome pools. These resorts have everything you could want, whether you’re on a honeymoon or a family trip.” 

Maisoon Barghouty

Maisoon began her travel career in 2014 with Acendas Vacations. She specializes in European and exotic destinations. She couldn’t pick just one, so she’s sharing two of her favorite places.

Favorite Destination No. 1: Amsterdam

Why: Amsterdam appeals to everyone. “You can never run out of things to do or experience in Amsterdam. There is an abundance of history and museums to explore. There are wonderful restaurants and shopping, and most Dutch speak English, so language isn’t an issue.”

Recommendations: Try to have a minimum of 3 days here. Take in the scenery outside town, where you’ll find small villages, windmills, and gorgeous tulips! Maisoon recommends Amsterdam for couples and adults more so than for kids. “There is a lot of walking and bicycling, which might be hard for little kids, and a fun nightlife scene that shouldn’t be missed.”

Maisoon suggests you bring a good pair of walking shoes to explore the city. And while you’re building up an appetite, be sure to try the fries. “There is a different fry vendor on every corner, whose specialty is the unique toppings they put on their fries. When you’re done taste testing fries, you have to get a Stroopwafels with chocolate as a treat followed up with a romantic canal cruise.” 

“September and October are great months to visit but remember to bring a jacket for the evenings. The best time to see the tulips bloom is in April. June through August is the busiest season.”

Accommodations:

Maisoon’s favorite hotel in Amsterdam is the Andaz Amsterdam. It is the perfect location, and the food is phenomenal. Plus, the art is something to see for yourself…even inside the elevators. 

Favorite Destination No. 2: Fiji

Why: Maisoon loves Fiji for its natural beauty, outdoor activities, and the uniqueness of having over 300 islands that can be explored by air, water, and land. “Your taxi might be a helicopter or a small boat. You can stay on one island the whole time or island-hop. The possibilities are endless!” 

Recommendations: In addition to the beautiful scenery, she finds the locals are incredibly kind and caring. “Go visit a local town and see how the Fijians live. When you do, bring school supplies for the children. They are so appreciative.”

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in island life is to take a local cooking class or participate in a traditional Fijian kava ceremony, a ritual in every village where you’ll make and drink kava, the national drink of Fiji.  

Accommodations: “One of my favorite experiences in Fiji was staying at a hotel in the mountains with a private shower outdoors! Just like there are endless options of islands to choose from, there’s also no shortage of amazing accommodations.”

Maisoon recommends traveling to Fiji from May through September. “Nanuko Resort is wonderful for families and has a great kid’s program. The Likuliku Lagoon Resort and the Namale Resort & Spa are luxury adult-only resorts that will meet every expectation.” 

We’d love to hear more about your favorite place, and why. Maybe it was where you honeymooned, and your heart flutters each time you reminisce – or a location you visited as a child with your parents, and you now take your children there. Perhaps it was the local cuisine that you can still smell when you close your eyes, the sights, sounds, or the way your body felt when genuinely relaxed while lounging in a hammock. No matter your reason, a favorite is always worth sharing.