Peter Greenberg is the
winning travel editor
for CBS News and host
of The Travel Detective
on public television
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WHEN IT COMES to travel, I’ve always embraced
the philosophy that the true definition of a goal is a
dream with a deadline. I take the dreaded five-letter
word “later” out of my vocabulary. And I begin to
look for financially and logistically creative ways to
pursue my dream trips.
First, these basic rules:
There’s no such thing as an off-season. My
most memorable dream trips weren’t Rome in July
or St. Barts in February or Montana in June.
Take the map and turn it upside down. Be
counterintuitive. A dream trip doesn’t have to be linear. Often a truly affordable dream trip requires going
in the opposite direction. Or taking a surprising airline. New York to Singapore? Don’t head west. Head
east through Frankfurt. Los Angeles to Malta? Don’t
fly through London but through Istanbul on Turkish
Airlines. Los Angeles to London? Air New Zealand.
Don’t think in a one-dimensional manner
about a singular destination. It’s time to bookend
your dream trip. If you go to the Seychelles, stop in
Abu Dhabi. If you fly to New Zealand, stop in the
Cook Islands on the way. Take your bucket list and
add a comma to every destination.
Think alternative airports. You will often find a
better deal and better service. Liberia instead of San
José in Costa Rica. Or, in the U.S., Providence,
Rhode Island, instead of Boston.
Pack light. Remember, the real dream trip is
about authentic life-changing moments, genuine
experiences and definitely substance rather than
style. Carry-on bags let you enjoy your dream trip
That said, here are my
choices for dream trips that
are guaranteed to upgrade
your usual vacation.
• Go to Hawaii, then Tahiti. Most folks don’t
realize you do not cross the international dateline
when flying to Tahiti. It’s a very manageable flight,
and a win-win with two tropical dream destinations.
• Go to Venice, then Slovenia. Slovenia is a true
gem. You’ll love Lake Bled and be surprised to learn
how many Slovenians are also beekeepers (
translation: You will be bringing home exceptional honey).
And it’s only about a 90-minute drive from Venice.
• Go to Florida, then head to Georgia. Don’t
miss Sea Island, Kiawah Island and other beautiful
• Go to Mexico, then Costa Rica. It may not
seem like it, but this is totally doable.
• Take the train. Rovos Rail departs from Pretoria
in South Africa and travels through Zimbabwe all
the way to Victoria Falls. Via Rail crosses Canada in
style. And one of my favorite trains—Amtrak’s
Crescent—starts in New York and about 37 hours
later glides into New Orleans (get a ticket that allows
you to get off at many stops along the way and pick
the train up the next day).
•Orlando and the theme parks? Add Cape
Canaveral and NASA.
More often than not, the price tag will not be
excessive when you combine two locations. Go out
of season to avoid crowds and higher prices (you’ll
also get better service).
Even better, the off-season gives you the time
and the opportunity to truly interact with and
immerse yourself in local culture, and to have conversations with people who can easily make a huge
difference in your travel experience. Sun tan?
Probably not. Bragging rights and lifetime memories? Absolutely. C