The Top 5 Guided Vacation Trends for 2022

These Trafalgar-led, intimate trips will bring you deep into the heart of your destination—with all arrangements already made.

Two women standing on a bridge in a European city.

If you’re like many travelers, you don’t want a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all vacation. You want to experience a destination as an insider, immersing yourself in the culture and having authentic interactions with the people you meet. Maybe you’re looking to connect with like-minded travelers who are seeking similar experiences. A guided vacation—where the planning and travel details are taken care of for you—can deliver all these things and more.

“With a guided vacation, you’re seeing the destination from the inside out, such as dining with a Parisian family in their home or taking a private black cab tour of Belfast’s murals while hearing personal stories about what life was like during the Northern Ireland Troubles,” says Chris Wommer, AAA senior travel product representative. “These are the kind of rich experiences guided vacations offer, and you simply won’t find them on your own.”

AAA Travel partner Trafalgar, the most awarded travel brand, is ready to make your dream vacation a reality. Offering 303 trips to 72 countries, Trafalgar is uniquely positioned to deliver the perfect mix of best experience and best value in an easy-to-plan vacation. Trafalgar’s range of experiences and destinations means you’re sure to find a guided vacation that’s right for you.

Here, the company highlights today’s top five guided tour trends—all offered by Trafalgar itself.

Small group active tours

For anyone looking to break out of the crowd and enjoy a more personal travel experience, there are Trafalgar’s small van tours. Custom-fitted luxury Mercedes-Benz sprinter vans offer top-tier comfort, accommodating active travelers in intimate groups of no more than 17 guests. Pick from off-the-beaten-path journeys to U.S. national parks that combine one-of-a-kind adventures, access to exclusive locations, and overnights at boutique hotels. Experiences include Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley in the Desert National Parks of California tour; the ultimate Grand Canyon tour on the Arizona Discovery and the Grand Canyon trip and the best of big sky country on the Yellowstone, The Tetons and Glacier National Park itinerary.

Croatia Dubrovnik City Wall Walk.

Solo travel

Solo travel—up 76% from 2019, according to Trafalgar—is “having a moment.” Trafalgar guided vacations are a great option for the solo traveler, traveling in a group with the support of a Travel Director every step of the way. And since you’re on a guided vacation, you won’t be burdened by the chore of planning, allowing you to fully focus on the travel experience. Top trending solo traveler trips include Best of Italy, from the ancient treasures of Rome to Renaissance Florence and everything in between; Highlights of Spain and Portugal, where you’ll explore Madrid, Granada, Lisbon and more; and the Best of Ireland, with spectacular sights like the Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry plus immersive stops in Dublin, Galway and Adare.

SWS Australia Freycinet Lodge Tasmania.

Women-only trips

Ready for a trip designed for women? Trafalgar’s women-only travel tours are led by an expert all-woman team of Travel Directors. Whether you prefer to go solo or want to travel with a friend or two (or three), you’ll share the joy of travel with like-minded women. Choose from glamorous Paris and glorious sunsets on the French Riviera on the Wonderful France itinerary; tread in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia on the Jordan and Dead Sea Extension trip; or cruise the Nile and discover lush river valleys and golden desert landscapes on the Best of Egypt tour.

The three I’s

Trafalgar guests’ perennial favorite destinations include the three I’s: Ireland, Iceland and Italy. See how Ireland got its nickname on the Enchanting Emerald Isle trip, where you’ll breathe in the fresh Galway air, wander through Kylemore Abbey’s flower-scented gardens and even dine with locals on one of Trafalgar’s signature Be My Guest experiences. Escape to the edge of the world in the Iceland including the Blue Lagoon journey, where you’ll get to know the people and culture in the quirky capital of Reykjavik as well as experience the thermal pools, waterfalls and basalt volcanic cliffs in this land of fire and ice. Or discover the charms of Rome, Florence and Venice on a tour of Great Italian Cities, where you’ll get to dine with an Italian family in their beautiful Tuscan villa.

Australia Great Barrier Reef.

Return to the land of the kiwi

Known for its mountains, manuka honey and Middle-earth landscapes, New Zealand is back on travelers’ radar thanks to easing travel restrictions. And with Trafalgar, you’ll connect to the real New Zealand in a way like no other. From Christchurch to the Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown to Milford Sound, you’ll visit some of the world’s most jaw-dropping landmarks on their New Zealand Uncovered vacation. Want an even bigger trip? Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand is an 18-day adventure that includes insider explorations of Melbourne and Sydney as well as a cruise of the Great Barrier Reef on board a high-speed catamaran.

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