Tourism marketers are always trying to tempt you with new ways to part with your holiday budget. In some ways, this is a good thing – because the more options there are, the higher the quality of those products, otherwise they won’t survive.
One very hot trend these days is the “tour” – and even with tours, there are trends! It may feel like all too much to stomach, but trust me on this one. Here are some interesting tours to consider on your summer holiday.
We all have to eat, so why not do it in style on a food tour. These are nothing knew, but the level of sophistication and organization on these tours is growing, and I’ve become much more fond of them now that I’ve tried a few. Why? Because you get to do a lot of sampling. For example, in Los Angeles I went on a neighbourhood food tour and got to try no less than 15 restaurants – a falafel here, a chocolate there, etc. I was quite full at the end and got to try so many things I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I also think food is a great way to get a feel for a destination, so be sure to look for food tours that make stops in very local, historic spots. Also, bring water and wear comfortable trousers!
TV is filled with behind-the-scenes and how it works shows, so it is no surprise that we’re now seeing this translate into holiday themes. And again, these are nothing new but they’re getting a bit more fun. For example, everybody knows you can go to Hoover Dam and get a tour, but how about a guided tour behind the scenes of a famous Las Vegas show or get a sneak peek into the restaurant kitchen? These tours range from the inexpensive (free at some hotels) to the very limited and very expensive, so check reviews before booking so you know what you’re getting into.
By design, I mean interior design. And yes, it’s a trend – again, mirroring our TV programs and fascination with homes and real estate that we probably could never afford. The idea of a design tour may sound drab to some, but what if it was the hotel’s penthouse? A cave paved with real gold (in London, no less)? These tours are certainly ‘out of the box’ and seem to to be somewhere between quirky and outrageous.
Last but not least is the tour where you get to do all of the work! Or, most of it. And what’s nice is you have something to take home as a souvenir. This could be a cooking class, for example, but recently on a visit to Tacoma’s glass museum, I went to the glass-blowing studio and made my own paperweight – it was hard work, so I am pretty proud of my creation! Doing work on holiday is not exactly everyone’s cup of tea, but I encourage you to be open minded – it’s a great distraction from the worries of life, and you might just uncover a hidden talent you didn’t know you had.
Posted : Thursday, March 21st, 2013 at 11:00
Andy Hayes is based in sunny Portland, Oregon. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he works on his own lifestyle publication, Plum Deluxe.