The first question people typically ask when planning a vacation is “where do I want to go?” But really…shouldn’t the question start with “why?”

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Knowing what travelers want to get out of their trip is equally as important when helping them plan for it. The tour operator members of USTOA believe it’s critical to uncover “why,” the emotional connections people seek when exploring the destinations and cultures they plan to visit.

USTOA embarked on a journey to answer that very question – “Why do you travel” – through a collection of videos and articles that followed travelers on four tour operator member itineraries. We hope their testimonials will inspire you to ask yourself the same question. Find out some of their reasons below.

Go Ahead Tours’ traveler Ann Girres shared, “I travel for many reasons – for fun, for adventure, to better understand history, to experience other cultures, to see wondrous sites – but mostly because it helps me understand the world better.” Girres traveled recently on Go Ahead Tours’ “The Wonders of Ancient Israel, where guests tour the cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv before traveling to holy lands, including one of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem. The trip also includes visits to Mount Zion and the Dead Sea.

Roberta James, a guest on Audley Travel’s “Journey Along the Silk Route” China itinerary explains she travels to expand her horizons and knowledge. “I love meeting new people, eating new foods and visiting historical buildings. For me It’s about trying to absorb the whole picture of a country,” James said. Audley Travel’s 21-day Chinese adventure follows the ancient Silk Route taking travelers through stunning desert, mountain and countryside scenery, along with fascinating architecture and cultures.

Tauck’s “Switzerland: Europe’s Crown Jewel” 11-day itinerary, promises guests like Diane Buchanan views of Switzerland’s famous soaring panoramas and serene beauty. During the trip Buchanan said, “I travel because the world is a huge and amazing place. It makes you feel alive because you’re touching as much of it as you can.” Her trip also included a train ride to Gornergrat to view the Matterhorn, a wine-tasting cruise on Lake Lugano, and time to explore Bern, Lucerne and more.

African Travel, Inc. guest, Diane Rankin says, “Travel helps me be a better person. It gives me perspective on what’s important to other people and why.” Rankin was part of a custom trip to South Africa where she climbed to the top of Table Mountain via cable car, searched for “the Big Five” on a safari through Sabi Sand Game Reserve, visited a winery in the Cape Winelands, and more.

Whether it’s personal growth, meeting new people or gaining some perspective, USTOA encourages you to ask yourself – why do you travel?

Daniel 2- credit GET Creative

Credit: GET Creative

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