Who needs a whirlwind trip when you can take it slow?

It’s a far cry from seeing Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the Roman Colosseum – the package travel hit parade – in a week.

“We used to book a lot of Europe and Asia where people just wanted to tick places off their list,” Denise Ambrusko-Maida, travel consultant and owner of Travel Brilliant travel agency told Buffalo, NY “People move away from tourist hot spots. They don’t want to be crowded and in line.

Rebecca Werner, a Chicago-based travel consultant at Protravel, recently booked a summer train trip to Glacier National Park for a Wisconsin family of four who are fans of the Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit” . It was a “good way to catch up with their kids and see beautiful scenery, as well as play chess on the train,” she said.

For these travelers, the pursuit of personal passions has supplanted the to-do list.

Working with bespoke travel agency Untold Story Travel, David Demers of Naples, Florida is planning two trips of nearly a month to Israel and the Mediterranean next year with enough time to pursue his interests in the history, theater, gastronomy and art.

“In the past, traveling was about packing as much as possible, running around checkboxes, which becomes mechanical,” said Demers, who recently sold his healthcare business. “The pandemic has taught us all that it’s okay not to go fast, to focus on what is important. “

With that in mind, travel company Sojrn recently launched month-long trips to a destination, each with an educational theme such as philosophy in Athens, wine in Italy, or the Spanish language in Colombia. Travelers stay in local apartments and participate in weekly dinners and events, leaving plenty of unstructured time to work and explore.

“I try not to plan everything up to the minute like I’ve done in the past,” said Cara Wright, of Apple Valley, Minn., Who plans to continue working for a nonprofit for several years. his stay in Italy in October with Sojrn.

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