Many travelers have a purpose when spanning the globe — a quest for knowledge and cultural experiences, according to the USTOA. The association gave some examples of such purposeful international travel. "Whether it is practicing yoga and meditation in Bali, sampling Tuscan wine and cuisine, or exploring China’s history and archeology, U.S. Tour Operators Association members serve up varied special interest tours and custom itineraries, with an eye on value."
Three examples that must be booked from the end of March to mid-April cited by the USTOA include:
Book by March 31
Practice yoga and meditation in Bali
Eat, Pray, Love….in Bali, 8 days/7 nights
Immerse yourself in a spiritual journey of meditation and yoga on an 8 day, 7 night “Eat, Pray, Love….In Bali” custom-planned vacation with Goway. Activities featured are yoga and meditation programs and a palm reading by Ketut Liyer, the medicine man in “Eat, Pray, Love.” Also included are a cooking lesson in local Indonesian cuisine, a Balinese village tour, and a cycling tour. The itinerary is priced from $999 per person, land, for seven nights at Ananda Cottages, daily breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, touring with private, air-conditioned vehicles, entrance and donation fees, as well as round trip airport transfers in Bali. Book by March 31 for travel available through December 31, 2011. International air fare is additional. For reservations and more information, phone 1-888-469-2988 or visit www.goway.com.
Explore China’s history and archeology
Historic Cities and Yangtze River Silver Experience, 13 days/11nights
Travelers can learn about the history and archeology of China on Pacific Delight Tours’ 13 day, 11 night “Historic Cities and Yangtze River Silver Experience.” The cruise tour visits Shanghai, Xi’an, Beijing, and Chongqing, with major sites such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and the Terra Cotta Warriors. Also included is a four- night Yangtze River cruise, complete with educational lectures. Price begins at $2,599 per person including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles (add $200 for New York), saving travelers up to $1500 over independent booking, according to Pacific Delight Tours. Additional tour features include transfers, intra-China flights, deluxe hotels, most meals, and sightseeing. Book by March 31, for travel valid until March 1, 2012. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-221-7179 or visit www.pacificdelighttours.com.
Book by April 14
Sample the wines and cuisine of Tuscany
Tuscan Experience, 8 days/6 nights
Follow your passion for food and wine, spending six nights in a wine-producing villa in Tuscany while sampling Tuscan cuisine and vintages. Celtic Tours World Vacations’ “Tuscan Experience” escorted tour offers a wine tasting, two Tuscan feasts and one dinner at the villa, plus the opportunity to take an optional cooking class. Price begins at $1,003 per person, which Celtic Tours estimates saves $350 over booking the same arrangements separately. Daily breakfast and a tour of Florence are also provided on this 8 day, 6 night tour. Travel must be booked by April 14 for travel through November 17, 2011. International airfare is additional. For reservations and more information, phone 1-800-833-4373 or visit www.celtictours.com.
All prices are based on double occupancy, USTOA says. Restrictions and additional security fees, departure and local taxes and fees may apply. Prices may vary based on departure date. Visit www.USTOA.com.