Travel Spotlight

Indagare Team Travels: Where We've Been Lately, Summer to Fall 2021

As we've enjoyed the final long days of summer and are eagerly looking ahead to a fresh and revitalizing fall, many members of the Indagare team have been getting back out on the road, around the world—to explore destinations that have long held spots on wish lists, to revisit beloved haunts and to personally scout out the places that you, our members and readers, are most interested in visiting this year, to assess the current state of safety and entry requirements and more, as a growing number of countries see rising vaccination rates. Below, some of these team members share the highlights from their travels—from Maine to Alaska and Italy to Tanzania, Morocco and Thailand—and describe what it's like to go there now.

Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer to learn more about planning safe and meaningful trips, this fall and beyond. Our team can provide information on destination requirements, hotel policies and insurance options, transportation and much more. Plus: Read our recent article Where to Go this Fall for further inspiration.


Maine is a place that helps you slow down, and it fills (and calms) my heart with its rugged and spectacular nature and wildlife, its beautiful bays—and many of the genuine characters who live there who often have a tale to tell, when you take the time to listen. My family and I make an annual trek to Acadia to take in the view from the top of Cadillac Mountain and walk around Jordan Pond or along one of the 120 miles of hiking trails with amazing views of Mount Desert Island and points beyond. This year, my older kids brought along some college friends to share in the experience. They saw the Bass Harbor Lighthouse for the first time. We all agreed that Acadia felt more crowded than we expected this summer, with timed entries to the park (and getting an early slot is key), but they were still serving lobster salads, popovers and blueberry lemonade outside at the Jordan Pond House, so all was right with the world.” — Director of Content Strategy Jen Barr

Olympic Peninsula

“My parents had been wanting to go to the Pacific Northwest for years, and after some waffling, finally decided not to wait any longer. We timed it to my sister’s birthday, and had a group of nine explore the Olympic Peninsula together. Orcas, Olympic Marmots (who hibernate an envious eight months a year), bald eagles and super-tall, moss-covered trees: it was exactly the trip we’d been hoping for. One challenge: finding restaurants with seating for a big group in the towns near the park. Most places do not take reservations and were closing early, meaning limited seating at an already limited number of restaurants.” — Digital Content Manager Peter SchlesingerRelated: Where To Go This Fall


“For my first trip to Alaska, I hiked in Kenai Fjords National Park, where 40 glaciers flow from the famous Harding Icefield. I wanted to experience the vast wilderness and raw beauty of Alaska now, especially as these glaciers are disappearing before our eyes. Of the many amazing moments I experienced on the trip, I would say that my favorite was: On a full-day cruise through the Kenai Fjords, we reached Aialik Glacier and listened in awe to the ice calving, sounding louder than thunder. We also spotted humpback whales, puffins, sea lions, seals and sea otters!" — Senior Director of Marketing Diana Li

Venice & the Dolomites

“I stopped in Venice to explore for a few days preceding hosting the Dolomites Insider Journey. I stayed at a cute boutique hotel Il Palazzo Experimental, and the city was filled with the cool crowd for the Venice Film Festival. JFK is still woefully understaffed and disorganized, and it is still imperative for travelers to arrive three hours prior to departure. I cannot recommend expedited services like Clear enough. There is very little signage, so ask questions before standing in any line. TSA and the airlines are overwhelmed and overworked; kindness and patience are king. That said, arrival into Venice was a breeze. Once we were out of JFK, transit was easy-peasy. Customs took five minutes to get through, and we were off. In terms of the city, the level of people is totally manageable and pleasant right now. Piazza San Marco is bustling with tourists but not nearly as overwhelming as it would be typically. We feel like we have 'the real' Venice to ourselves: Locals walking dogs! Locals having a coffee or spritz in the square!

From Venice, I cruised 2.5 hours north to San Cassiano in the Dolomites to host our Insider Journey at Rosa Alpina. Our group has spent the past five days hiking through idyllic pastures and dramatic limestone cliffs, meeting goats and taking in scenic lakes and spectacular views of the UNESCO-protected mountains along the way. Each day, we hiked for three-to-four hours to the best rifugios in the region and rewarded ourselves with Prosecco, gnocchi, polenta and sausage and strudel before heading back to the hotel for an afternoon at the spa. Alpine landscapes and Italian gastronomy. What could be better?

Throughout the trip, our group has commented on how good it feels to be traveling again and how well the hotel and staff have handled protocols. In short, Italy is still Italy, with masks and way fewer tourists. It is well worth the Covid test to have the place to yourself.” — Senior Director of Membership Elise Bronzo

Related: 13 Insider Journeys and Special Offers to Book Now

Paris & the French Riviera

“After some time in Paris (finally!), I added on six nights at the Four Seasons Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera. While there was so much conflicting information on what the trip was going to be like, given the current state of travel, I was more than pleasantly surprised to feel like I had the true Côte d'Azur experience. Hotels were busy with guests from all over (running close to 100 percent occupancy), the beach clubs and restaurants could not have been more lively, and the blue water glistened just as brightly as ever. All of the experiences I had—from going to the seaside La Guerite for lunch during a boat day, to taking a vintage Rolls-Royce to tour the coastline—made me feel especially lucky to be back on the road, in such a wonderful destination.” — Trip Designer Caroline Hansen

Amsterdam & Tanzania

“A common layover stop en route to Africa from the United States is Amsterdam when you fly via KLM/Delta, making the city an easy add-on to countries like South Africa and Tanzania. To me, there are really few better trip combinations than a European city (which places me in discovery mode, wanting to eat at the most beloved restaurants, try new places, lounge in the cocktails bars and visit every museum) and a safari (an opportunity to reconnect with nature, shut off from the world and become absorbed in wildlife and wild places). And so, for my family’s first trip together since the pandemic hit, we opted to combine Amsterdam with Tanzania. Travel these days does require additional layers of logistics, but with the flexibility of working remotely from abroad, we extended the trip, giving us one week in each location and the opportunity to really settle into the time zone.Amsterdam is quieter than usual. The hotels are not close to capacity, museums are relatively empty (though I made advance ticket reservations, you could easily walk in to the city’s iconic museums, from the Rijksmuseum to the Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt House). Most of Amsterdam’s top tables remain open...on select days of the week. Reservations are easy to make, but must still be made at least a few days in advance. Tourists are beginning to slowly but surely trickle back into the city, and for the time being, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in local life (including biking without the crowds and visiting such markets as Noordermarkt and the Albert Cuyp).Unfortunately, in the last week, Amsterdam changed its entry requirements for vaccinated American travelers: Quarantine is once again required. However, you can still visit Tanzania without this step. The country has greatly improved its testing system—and compared to ‘normal’ times, the Serengeti is empty of tourists, with many lodges operating well under capacity. You will feel as if you have the wildlife and the mesmerizing, endless plains to yourself. On this trip, we visited the Olduvai Gorge, and we didn’t see another vehicle while there; we visited a Maasai Village moments before the President of Tanzania arrived to greet this particular community. We watched the Maasai break out into a traditional welcome dance wearing all of their celebratory garb; we also visited the Ngorongoro Crater with fewer cars than usual and had the opportunity to head to the Mara River to observe the Great Migration crossing. It is an unbelievably special time to go on safari, and there is no better way to directly experience the impact you can have as a traveler on a place and on its people.” — Global Experience Manager Kathryn NathansonRelated: As the World Reopens: Indagare Members Share Their Travel Stories

Marrakech & the Atlas Mountains

Morocco has long been a place I’ve wanted to visit—particularly Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains—and I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to visit late this summer. Of course, we felt a bit of hesitation before we departed, asking ourselves: Is this the right time to be traveling abroad? Is Marrakech the right place to be visiting at this moment? But Morocco is doing extremely well with their vaccination rollout (they are now on to anyone age 12+), and the country has ironed out their entry requirements for visitors and pre-departure testing, putting their visitors' safety and comfort at the forefront. The city appeared as buzzy and bustling as ever, with the souks and main square filled with locals, but some of the more heavily touristed sights like the Jardin Majorelle, the Museum of Confluences and Bahia Palace we had almost all to ourselves. It was the best of both worlds and a really unique way to experience the destination. Fewer tourists also meant we were able to have more meaningful conversations with our guides and hosts, taking time to more thoughtfully explore and appreciate the sights we were seeing, feeling the impact of our tourist dollar more than ever, and yet still imagining ourselves locals as we walked through Jemaa el-Fnaa Square among the residents of the medina.” — Bookings Development Manager Kial Church


Thailand recently opened their international border to tourists for the first time since March 2020 with their Sandbox Model, allowing vaccinated travelers to travel to the island of Phuket without needing to quarantine. The process included four Covid tests, a mountain of paperwork, and many more restrictions on the ground...but we were rewarded with seeing Thailand without many tourists, which will likely never happen again in my lifetime. Thailand continues to be my favorite destination in the world, with its unmatched hospitality, incredible food, pristine beaches and fabulous hotels. The country is eager and ready to welcome travelers back, and I can’t wait to help plan trips for Indagare members here as soon as restrictions ease.” — Associate Membership Manager Sarah LevineContact Indagare or your Trip Designer to learn more about planning safe and meaningful trips, this fall and beyond. Our team can provide information on destination requirements, hotel policies and insurance options, transportation and much more. Plus: Read our recent article Where to Go this Fall for further inspiration.

Published onSeptember 16, 2021

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