Hot Destinations and Smart Summer Travel Tips from from Flagler Beach Travel Agent, Nancy Cushing

Flagler Beach Travel Agent Nancy Cushing of Cushy Adventures
23 May, 2024

Unlock summer travel secrets with Flagler Beach travel agent Nancy Cushing from Cushy Adventures. Explore trending destinations, family cruise tips, and affordable travel options for a memorable Summer vacation.

Dreaming about getting away to the sunny beaches of Greece or the icy wonders of Antarctica? Get ready to plan your perfect Summer getaway with insider tips from travel expert and Ripple Coworking member Nancy Cushing of Cushy Adventures! In this interview, Nancy shares the hottest destinations for 2024, the best value vacations, travel ideas for families and where you can go if you need to unplug. 

Whether you’re seeking an adventurous hike, a relaxing cruise, or an affordable escape, Nancy’s insights will help you make the most of your travel plans. Dive in to discover where to go, how to save, and how to turn your Summer travel dreams into reality! For a summarized version of Nancy’s travel tips, check out June’s edition of our monthly newsletter, The Ripple Effect!

Ripple: Where are people going right now? Are there any trending destinations or category of travel?

Nancy: This year, I’m still seeing a lot of Greece and Italy, Europe in general, but mainly a lot of Greece and Italy. Also, Antarctica and the Arctic, particularly Svalbard, which is an island way up in the Arctic Circle. 

It’s funny, more remote destinations are getting on people’s radar these days, and I love it. I’m excited about it. These are the types of destinations I love, I’ve been there, and can highly recommend it.  

Nancy Cushing Travel Advisor Flagler Beach

Ripple: What types of vacations do you recommend for parents traveling with kids?

Nancy: Cruises have become very popular for families. They do a great job; they have these wonderful children’s programs on board that the children just love;  the parents love it because they get some time off and can relax by the pool and sip a piña colada while their kids are having a great time with the children’s counselors and meeting other kids from all over, so it’s a great experience for everyone.

Also, cruises are a great value: your dollar can go a lot farther for a family vacation on a cruise versus going to the theme parks or something like that. Disney, I’m sure most people know that adds up in a hurry. So, cruises are big for families this year. 

A popular cruise destination for families is the Galapagos Islands. Located in the Pacific off the coast of Ecuador known for their unique nature experiences, and families love it. A Galapagos cruise is a wonderful multi-generational family vacation. Grandparents, parents, grandkids, there’s something for everyone. 

Ripple: What’s more popular right now, active or resort vacations?

Nancy: I’m seeing a much higher demand for active vacations. This has been a trend now for the last couple of years. I think since COVID basically, everybody decided to try to be a little more healthy and which is a wonderful thing. 

There’s demand for bicycling vacations, hiking, walking vacations. Also, multi-sport vacations, which means a combination of hiking, biking, sometimes, river rafting and that sort of thing is also included. 

Also, heli-hiking is big, where they fly you up in a helicopter to the top of a mountain and you hike around. It’s a wonderful experience. They do this in the Canadian Rockies. There’s also heli-skiing as well for skiers out there. 

Remote destinations in South America are also trending. There are some wonderful active vacations, for example, hiking vacations in Peru to Machu Picchu. That’s very popular. There’s also another area called Patagonia, again very popular for active vacations.

Ripple: What would you recommend for someone who really needs to be unreachable/unplugged for a week?

Nancy: The most unplugged you can be is in Antarctica. You cannot be reached there. Not easily, anyway. Of course, in an emergency you can. You can be reached on the vessel that you’re on, but it is hard to reach you on your cell phone which is a wonderful thing. 

I went down there for nine days and it was the perfect excuse to not be reachable (of course, I got in touch with everybody as soon as I got back). 

Another good place to unplug is Africa. I went on a safari a couple years ago and that’s another place where you become very unreachable. And it’s just fabulous.

Cushy Adventures travel agent flagler beach

Ripple: These days, what should a couple expect to spend for a one week vacation with air travel? 

Nancy: It depends on different travel styles. Some people will stay in five-star luxury hotels. Some people are fine with a more basic budget type motel, like two-star motels. But if you’re somewhere in the middle, you can figure on around $3,000 to $5,000, depending on the destination. Some destinations cost much more than others. 

Exchange rate also matters. You can actually travel out of the United States and save money by choosing a country where the US dollar goes further. Canada is actually a really great destination this year. Your dollar will go 25% further. Also, South America, Chile, Argentina, Peru, are very economical. In Europe, the more economical countries are Spain and Portugal, Croatia, Greece, Ireland and Hungary.

Then, across the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand there are favorable exchange rates, so it’s a good time to make that trip if you’ve always dreamed of going there.

Ripple: Are there any nearby getaways you recommend for people who can’t get away for a week, but maybe drive 4 hours or less for a long weekend?

The islands off the coast of Georgia, Jekyll Island, Sea Island, have wonderful properties and you can get there within two hours. Then there’s, of course, the theme parks at Universal or Disney can be a wonderful long weekend. The Space Coast is also a nice little getaway. If you haven’t been in recent years, it’s worth checking out, and again, a short drive.

If you can drive a little further, you could go up to Charleston, South Carolina. That is a fabulous getaway. Lots of history, scenery, wonderful restaurants, food, it’s just a great, great getaway. 

Ripple: Why does it make sense for a busy entrepreneur to work with a professional travel agent like you rather than booking through a travel site online?

Nancy: There’s a number of reasons. It’s funny, I actually was looking up seafood restaurants in New England, and I watched a review online. As he’s halfway through the review, the guy states he doesn’t really eat seafood, and doesn’t really like fish. And meanwhile, he’s doing this review on this seafood restaurant and trying to talk about the fish and the scallops and I’m thinking, ‘why am I watching this review’? He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I would never take a seafood restaurant recommendation from this person. 

I think that with travel, we tend to ask our friends and family for advice. A lot of times they haven’t been there or they were there 20 years ago. You’re not getting the best advice. In this day and age, vacation time is so important. It’s an investment in yourself, your mental health, your family and your life. It’s just so important to quality of life. 

So, I think it’s important to seek good advice for your vacation time and that is where an experienced travel advisor is one of the best people you can have in your life. Similar to a financial advisor who can help you make great financial decisions, a travel advisor can help you make good travel decisions so that your vacation time is everything you hoped it would be. 

They can also help you save some money and can also help you get some nice upgrades. So, there’s a lot of reasons to use a good travel advisor.

A Personal Recommendation from a Busy Entrepreneur: A million years ago, my wife and I were scheduled to spend our Summer holiday in a popular vacation spot in the Northeast. Unfortunately, the weather forecast called for cold temps and rain all week. Hoping for some beach time, in a pinch we called a travel professional who booked us a last minute trip to Cancun. There was much eye rolling when she suggested it (last time I was in Cancun was on College Spring Break). It turned out to be one of the best trips we’ve ever taken and at a tremendous value. And it was one that we would have never chosen without an experienced travel professional. Recently, the kids were bugging us to try a cruise for Summer break, so we booked it through Nancy. We’re first-time cruisers and didn’t have extra time to do a ton of research about the different ships and services. Nancy made it super-easy for us, and the family is excited to cruise for the first time! 

Ripple: We happen to know you’re on an extended trip while you’re doing this interview, where are you and what are you doing?

Nancy: I decided to go to Wyoming because I enjoy hiking and nature photography – it’s just a hobby of mine, both of those – and I decided to try working remotely. The laptop lifestyle, as everyone calls it. 

So, I thought I’m going to give this a shot and see if I can get away for a month, work from my laptop and then indulge in hiking and photography. It’s been wonderful. I work in the mornings, and I hike in the afternoon. I bring my camera and I’ve even managed to capture some grizzly bears. 

I saw the famous grizzly bear 399 with her cub. I learned all about it from the naturalists and the rangers and the famous photographer out here, Mangelson. It was actually just on PBS. 

There’s a whole documentary about these bears, and there’s a big movement about conservation of the grizzly bears and the wolves and so on. And I’m kind of involved in that as well. So that’s why I’m in Wyoming, which I know sounds kind of crazy, but it has been wonderful.

 However, the weather forecast is a little scary. They’re forecasting snow tomorrow night!

Want to Book Your Next Trip Through Nancy? 

Nancy Cushing and Cushy Adventures are valued members of Ripple Coworking’s Flagler Beach location. You can reach Nancy at:

Tel: (386) 299-8777

Email: [email protected]




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