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Turn travel dreams into reality

Admiring the Statue of Liberty up close, hanging 10 in the Pacific Ocean or exploring Europe’s most charming cities are just some of the experiences that may rank high on your travel bucket list. Creating that list is just the beginning – the real fun begins when you start making your travel dreams a reality.

Inspiring people to make those getaways happen is the goal of a new effort by Hilton Garden Inn, which is helping plant the seed for travelers to embark on their next great adventure.

“Through the Garden Getaway Tour, we are reminding people of all the exciting possibilities available for their next trip,” said Judy Christa-Cathey, vice president of global brand marketing, Hilton Garden Inn & Hampton by Hilton. “Trekking your way through a list of all your favorite places is a great way to feel peaceful and alive, whether you spend your time discovering new places or reconnecting with loved ones.”

Get on your way to creating the travel experience of your dreams with these tips:

Chart your course.
If you haven’t already, make a list of all the destinations you hope to see, and post it someplace prominent so you are reminded of your travel goals frequently. You may choose to prioritize your most desirable locations, or simply keep your ideas random so you can seize opportunities when they arise. For example, with its Garden Getaway Tour, Hilton Garden Inn is giving travelers the chance to win a getaway to Hawaii – a great way to check an island excursion off your list. Learn more at HGIGardenGetaway.com.

Be sensitive to the seasons.
Be aware that many destinations have peak seasons when the attractions they boast are in top demand. Crowds are heavier and prices are steeper, but on the flip side, there are more options for things to see and do. If avoiding the hustle is your ultimate goal, visiting out of season may be more your ticket.

Don’t ignore your own backyard.
Though the temptation may be strong to journey far and wide, when your time away is short, you don’t want to waste precious hours on travel. A bucket list excursion doesn’t have to take you far from home. In fact, you may be surprised by what you find when you seek out the hidden gems near home.

Check for special dates.
Timing your travel to coincide with unique local events is a way to make your visit extra special. The jovial vibe of a fair or festival in your dream destination only adds to the excitement. Check the local calendars for events that are sure to deliver fun eats and lots of quirky, good times.

Book accommodations wisely.
Look for a hotel that you can count on to deliver amenities and services that make your experience enjoyable – but know that doing so can be affordable. Options such as Hilton Garden Inn (hgi.com), with nearly 640 hotels worldwide, offer a Satisfaction Promise, along with all the amenities you need to remain comfortable and connected while on-the-go: full service restaurants, free wireless internet access, fully-loaded fitness centers and more.

Rely on local experts.
The knowledgeable staff at Hilton Garden Inn can also be a resource when looking to do as the locals do. Once you arrive at your destination, stop by local visitor centers and ask what is unique to the region; there are some spectacular things to see that you can’t find in guide books.

Set a leisurely schedule.
Save the frantic pace for the office, and leave your itinerary loose for your time away. If you must, plan one or two must-do activities each day, but give yourself permission to go with the flow. Wander and explore and take advantage of the freedom to pass the day at your own pace. Take in incredible new sights, sounds and flavors, and don’t allow your mind to be distracted by anything but having a good time.

Leave the beaten path.
In each new location you visit, challenge yourself to try something new. Whether you gather the courage to parasail for the first time or sample the unfamiliar flavors of a favorite local dish, test the limits of your comfort zone and create truly unique experiences as you make your way across the country, or even around the globe.

Document the adventure.
Take time to collect photos and mementos representing all the places you visit. If scrapbooking isn’t your thing, consider a wall collage in your home office, or devise another way to capture all the memories you create along the way.

Great Getaway Destinations
Start planning your getaway to one of these top destination picks from the travel experts at Hilton Garden Inn:

  • The Colorado River at Yuma, Arizona: Spend a few days exploring the lake, spectacular scenery and canyons.
  • Everglades National Park, Florida: Explore one of the most unique ecosystems in the nation, and look for your chance to spot a manatee in the wild.
  • Krakow, Poland: Explore cultural attractions, such as the Cloth Hall, the world’s first shopping mall, or the Rynek Market and Kazimierz historical district.

(Family Features)

 

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