Dream Vacations

The #SpiritofTravel is strong and while we wait for safe travel someday, we’ve asked our AAA Travel Professionals to share some of their favorite dream vacations. Click below to read about their dream vacations and future destinations or submit your own!

Scotland | Sri Lanka | Australia | Egypt

Peru | Tahiti | Southern Charms | DisneyLondonBalkans | Italia | Africa 

A Scotland Adventure

Anne McAlpin | AAA OR/ID Packing Expert

I’ve dreamed of traveling to Scotland all my life. Growing up we raised Highland Cattle and I’ve always wanted to see them roaming the Scottish countryside.

I’d also like to spend some time in the medieval city of Edinburgh – with its iconic castle – and travel to the tiny island of Iona – only 1.5 miles wide by 3 miles long – with an Abbey that dates back to the 13th century.

While there I’d take the ferry to The Isle of Skye, to wander through the charming villages and walk The Quiraning: a 7 mile trail with rugged cliffs and ancient stone walls.

With weather similar to ours, I’d be sure to pack a raincoat and save room in my luggage to bring back a beautiful tartan scarf.

 

Mystical Sri Lanka 

Candy Curiel | AAA Corvallis Service Center

My dream would be to keep the Club Adventures Uncover Sri Lanka plans I have for this coming November.

As a child and as an adult, I have always dreamed of the exotics and especially those destinations that call my name; quite literally! I want to visit Kandy and her bio-diverse rain forest and surrounding tea plantations, along with other Unesco sites in Sri Lanka. My husband wants to surf the Eastern shores famous for their waves, I can imagine laying in a hammock watching him out in the distance during our post trip. The idea of being in far off island removed from the norms of technology or media sounds majestic.

So if all goes well, which I am very optimistic then even this year, I will experience my dream coming alive. Enjoy yours!

 

G’Day Australia 

Matthew Gray | AAA Corvallis Service Center

Scuba diving and swimming with whale sharks and humpbacks at Ningaloo Reef. Some fun in the city of Perth. Enjoying time visiting the wineries of the Margaret River. Experiencing the wildflowers, pink lakes, giant ancient forests, amazing wildlife and beautiful beaches. Getting a bit of surfing in.

And, of course, some shrimp on the Barbie!

 

Egypt Highlights

Doreen Loofburrow | AAA Senior Vice President, Travel & Operations

I first traveled to Egypt in 2010, and hope to go back soon! I enjoyed visiting sites that were constructed thousands of years ago, viewing ancient artwork, experiencing a new culture and being immersed in a desert landscape.

Cairo, Giza, Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Karnak, Aswan, and King Tut, here I come!

 

Portraits of Peru 

Sarah Busse | AAA Beaverton Service Center

Originally, I went to college to become an architect! What really fascinated me about my early studies was the structures and buildings still standing today. They were built when these civilizations had nothing close to our modern construction equipment or technology. Since then, it has been a dream of mine to see Machu Picchu in person. My Peru trip for this March was cancelled due to COVID-19, but I can’t wait for the day when I can go and see this incredible place in person.

 

Tropical Tahiti 

Valerie Duggan  | AAA Lake Oswego Service Center

My dream vacation is to explore the islands of Tahiti and Moorea. I will indulge in hiking, snorkeling, relaxing, eating local cuisine, while taking in as much culture and history possible during my stay. I long for the crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches of French Polynesia. As a bonus, I would add an 8 day Dreams of Tahiti island cruise with Windstar to extend my vacation and see more of the Society Islands. Yes, this is a definite future goal.

 

Dreaming of Southern Charms 

Kimberly Cartee | AAA Boise Service Center

I have wanted to go to Louisiana since the 5th grade. I was given the state to study and present for class. I learned a lot about Louisiana and all of the great places it has to offer. I can’t wait to visit and explore all amazing places like New Orleans, Baton Rouge, the capital city, and the Greater River Road area with the plantations.

 

 

I Dream of Disney 

Melissa Ludwig | AAA Medford Service Center

Those who know me are well aware that I have been a long-time fan of Disney Destination travel. I am always dreaming about the next Disney vacation for myself and my family. In working through my training as a shiny new North America Travel Agent, I am now highly interested in visiting one of the Universal theme parks as well, since I have yet to do so. My current dream vacation would be to sunny Southern California for a few days at the Disneyland Resort, along with a day at Universal Studios Hollywood and possibly a day at Legoland. I recently had a peek at Legoland’s website and I’m pretty sure my 4-year-old daughter would be a huge fan.

With this dream trip, I could catch up on the updates to Disneyland/California Adventure Parks since my last trip there, and experience Universal for the first time. I’m a Harry Potter nerd too so I can’t wait to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As a bonus, this would allow me to better serve clients who are planning So-Cal trips of their own as I am starting out in this new career! I know that every day that passes is a day closer to being able to travel again, and I’m ready to make vacation dreams (including my own) come true when that time finally arrives.

 

London Calling 

Kathleen McNeal | AAA Clackamas Service Center

I love to visit historical cities! London, New York, Istanbul, to name a few.

When I reach my destination, I appreciate a good local tour guide that can point out famous spots, amazing architecture and where to have the most memorable meals. But one of my favorite parts of travel is the planning and anticipation. I love reading up on the history of the area – fiction, non-fiction, biographies. It’s like cheating because I am enjoying the destination, looking forward to the trip, making delicious lists of places to visit, all from the comfort of my couch! Learning about a destination puts me in a great frame of mind to explore and experience from my home.

On a recent trip to London, I had two of the most memorable meals. While sharing a story about a great meal is not as wonderful as sharing the meal itself, I find that members are always happy to listen and share their own stories. I have a restaurant recommendation for most destinations.

Upon arrival in London, I had the afternoon to explore and get acclimated to the new time zone. I was totally prepared with several spots within walking distance of my hotel. My first thought was to visit the famous Savoy Hotel. It was June and a walk along the Thames sounded like a good way to spend the afternoon. It was a sunny, warm day, the first in a long while so everyone was out walking along the river. It was a bit crowded and distracting so I headed over to St. James instead. After a nice walk through the parks I came upon Boulestin restaurant, on St. James Street next door to Berry Bros. a famous, historic wine shop, and it was time for dinner!

I enjoyed a really fun fish and chips dish with deconstructed mashed peas, but the best part was my table outside, in the sunshine overlooking the door to St. James Palace. This was a magical moment for me. Although Anne Boleyn did not live long enough to enjoy the palace which Henry VIII had built for her, I did!

That little meal, on a sunny day with great wine and a great view is a memory that I cherish. And I relive it often, but I cannot wait to get back.

 

Back to the Balkans 

Patty Morgan | AAA Bend Service Center

So many places, so little time…

If I had to pick just one place, I would pick a return to the Balkans with Budapest and an extension to Bucharest. What draws me to these destinations is not only the extreme beauty and the amazing history of the region, but the people themselves. They have a resilience that I haven’t seen before, they are genuinely grateful for life, and they truly understand what is truly important in this life; people and relationships. They are proud of their history and themselves. They are very anxious to share with us. I want my husband to be able to experience for himself the genuine welcome that awaits us there.

The Landscapes are breathtaking, (understatement) especially the views of the Adriatic from anywhere along that coastline. I want to know more about the culture and history of that whole region. What I do know is only a fraction of what I have left to learn. I can’t think of a better way to learn more about them than to travel there and learn from those who know it best. To be like a local for a short time.

 

Bella Italia 

Emily Balo | AAA Beaverton Service Center

Last year at Spring Break I had the opportunity to go to Italy on a FAM trip. Less than an hour after landing I was texting home to say that we all had to return someday.

I want to be able to take my family to see Rome and the sites. Then head to Italian Wine country. Italy has so much history, culture and a slower pace that I wanted to share with my family.

On a piazza sipping wine, ideally close to the Adriatic Sea, is my happy place and I want to return and share that with my family.

 

Africa Adventure 

Katie Sokol | AAA Grants Pass Service Center

I have always dreamed of viewing majestic elephants, zebras and lions in their natural habitat in the wild. I would love to go on safari and experience the wonder of Africa with a tent stay experience and interact with local people. I know it would be a life-changing trip which is why it is at the top of my bucket list.

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