Travel restrictions are easing worldwide, and travelers are clamoring to make up for lost time and book vacations they could only dream of for the last two years. Some people savor planning every vacation detail, while others prefer to have someone else make the decisions.
There is no doubt that travel is returning with a vengeance; the World Travel & Tourism Council predicts more than $1.1 trillion will be spent on travel this year, the bulk of it occurring over June, July, and August.
Yet, it may be thrilling to research unique destinations and plan novel itineraries, nothing beats the power of artificial intelligence (AI) combined with the experience of the best travel curators in the industry. Meet Origin, the travel planning app you never knew you wanted.
Full-service Travel Planning Right From Your Phone
I once loved to plan my own vacation. The excitement of researching a new destination, checking flight routes, booking excursions and tours, and finding that gem of a restaurant that only locals know about is what I live for.
And then, I was introduced to Origin's travel planning app and travel curator Christian Gibney who planned my family's dream trip to Portugal. All our communication was done on Origin's app using the 24/7 chat feature. There was no sorting through loads of email correspondence; we could talk in real-time, which meant we could easily make decisions, and the whole process was efficient.
There are so many handy features on the app, but the chat function is possibly the best.
A full itinerary of each trip is easily accessible in the app with various shortcuts making it incredibly user-friendly. Payments are all made within the app, and if you are looking for inspiration for your next vacation, there is an “explore” feature to keep you occupied for days.
A Portugal Itinerary Travel Dreams Are Made Of
Imagine a private evening boat cruise along the Rio Douro, catching the sunset while sailing under the Dom Luís I Bridge. Fancy a hike through breathtaking vineyards in the Douro Valley followed by a sumptuous lunch with wine pairings from the region?
Better yet, an e-bike tour from Porto to Matosinhos with a gourmet picnic lunch prepared by your private guide while you relax in the afternoon sun. These are a few of the excursions that were part of our Portugal itinerary, all suggested by Origin. The private luxury boat cruise was a highlight of this trip and a spectacular way to bring our vacation to a close.
A photo from our Portugal trip of my two young sons lounging on the boat's bow with their hands behind their heads, looking like they don't have a care in the world, depicts how we all felt on our vacation.
Technology has made endless travel options available to us in this day and age. Unfortunately, while it provides us with more choices, it also makes things more complicated and time-consuming for the average consumer. There is now a noticeable divide between having access to more travel options and being able to personalize them for your own needs and desires.
This is where having a personal travel assistant comes in handy. Origin's tech-based travel startup is shaking up the industry by offering 24/7 personalized service while their team of travel curators customizes each trip to perfection. It is proving to be a game-changer. The more you travel with Origin, the more customized your experience becomes.
Alternative Destinations To Avoid Those Summer Crowds
With record numbers of travelers returning to international travel this summer, certain destinations will be jam-packed with tourists, so why not take Origin's expert advice and let them plan your dream vacation away from the summer crowds?
If you were hoping to make a last-minute trip through the Italian countryside or to some other in-demand destination, don't fret. The curators at Origin have compiled a list of the five countries they recommend for a phenomenal holiday that isn't totally overbooked.
Instead of Tuscany, Try the Douro Valley, Portugal
If sipping on wine surrounded by rolling hills of vineyards sounds like your kind of vacation, look no further than the Douro Valley of northern Portugal. The namesake river weaves through the mountains, making this not only one of Europe's best wine regions but also one of its most picturesque.
Instead of the Dolomites, Explore the Vestland, Norway
Summertime in the mountains means cooler temperatures, hiking to panoramic viewpoints, and flowing rivers for taking a dip, and you'd be hard-pressed to find somewhere more breathtaking than Western Norway.
Instead of Rome, Go for Rio
Get big city vibes without high-season crowds and scorching temperatures in Rio de Janeiro. The months of June, July, and August are the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, but it never truly gets cold thanks to Brazil's tropical climate, and winter is also the dry season, so even laying out on the beach can be a part of your plan.
Instead of the Amalfi Coast, Visit Costa Del SOL, Spain
The Costa del Sol of southern Spain sets a high expectation with a name that translates to “Sunshine Coast.” However, with about 320 sunny days each year, it lives up to its name.
Instead of Sicily, Travel to Crete
Greek mythology stories are tangible in Crete, where you can walk through the cave where Zeus was born or visit the ruins that housed the legendary Minotaur. Every beach is somehow more breathtaking than the last on over 600 miles of Mediterranean coastline, but move inland, and it becomes dramatic mountains and gorges.
Origin believes strongly in having a positive impact on the world and on the places its members explore. That's why the company carbon offsets all members' trips and prioritizes accommodation and destinations that strongly connect to the local community and share Origin's sustainability values.
Origin recently joined the Conscious Travel Foundation, another indication the company is working toward reducing the impact the travel industry has on the planet.
“We want to be part of a seismic change in the travel industry and promote travel as a force of good. Our goal is to create trips that don't take away from our environment, but that actively give back to the destinations, local communities, and our planet,” wrote Tamar van de Paal, Co-founder & COO of Origin on Medium.com.
How to Book a Journey With Origin
Download the Origin app (available on Apple Store), create a user profile, and submit a trip request with your desired destination, itinerary, and preferred budget. An expert travel curator will then be in touch with you via the app's chat to start planning your trip. Imagine your dream vacation, entirely planned using an app on your smartphone.
This post was produced by Savoteur and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Featured Image Courtesy of Origin.