Cruise Inspiration: 5 Facts that Will Make You Want to Set Sail

More people are taking cruises than ever before.

 

In fact, the cruise industry is booming. It’s estimated 100 million people will take a cruise in the next four years. How’s that for cruise inspiration? But, if you’re anything like I was 10 years ago, you’re still a bit leery about the whole concept of cruising.

You may think it will make you less of a traveler because you aren’t planning every minute of your own itinerary or because you only spend a few hours in each port. But I’ve learned it’s just the opposite.

When you’re on a cruise, the entire world opens up to you in a whole new, luxurious, affordable way. Places that were once off-limits due to price, location, or other factors are now at your fingertips thanks to the cruise industry.

cruise inspiration

Still need more cruise inspiration? Check out these five cruise facts that will inspire even the biggest skeptic to hop on board a cruise ship.

  1. You get the same experience whether you pay top dollar or sail in the cheap seats.

    People in low-priced inside cabins eat at the same restaurants, swim in the same pools, and have access to the same entertainment as people who stay in high-end suites. Yes, there are some extra perks if you spend the big bucks, but you can still have an utterly amazing experience in an inside cabin. Cruising is all about affordable luxury.

  2. You can see a lot of places in a short time for a low cost.

    On a cruise, you get to sample a variety of destinations the same way you sample different foods at Costco. A little taste tells you if you want more so you can plan a longer vacation to a particular destination in the future. If you don’t have a lot of time or money and you want to be pampered, you simply can’t beat a cruise.

  3. It’s safe.

    There are cameras everywhere on a cruise ship, and you’re almost never entirely alone. People walk the halls at all hours of the day, and crew members are never more than a stone’s throw away. Cruising is ideal for solo travelers or women who want to enjoy their vacation without worrying about their safety. You’re more likely to be attacked by a bear than you are to fall overboard, sink, or be assaulted.

  4. There are so many ships to choose from.

    Over the next four years, there will be 65 new cruise ships sailing on rivers and oceans around the world. Big or small, there’s bound to be at least one that suits your personal style. River cruises will take you to ports larger ships simply can’t access. And ocean cruises will bring you unparalleled activities and entertainment. Which will you choose? I hope to see them all.

  5. You will have a good time.

    Nine out of ten cruisers say they will sail again. This means there is a 90 percent chance that you will thoroughly enjoy yourself on a cruise. Those are some pretty good odds.

Have I missed anything? What inspires you to cruise? Sign up for the members-only Wanderlust Wayfarer Facebook group to share your ideas about cruise inspiration with like-minded travelers around the world.

Travel Inspiration: Tips for Deciding on a Destination

How do you decide where to go on vacation? With so much world to see, we could all use a bit of travel inspiration.

 

There are so many places I want to go all across the globe that, sometimes, I don’t even know where to begin. Occasionally, I think about throwing a dart at a wall map and heading to whatever city it lands on. Often, I hear about a good deal and book it immediately. Other times, I fall back on these trusted sources of travel inspiration.

Newsletters and Brochures

Travel Inspiration

My number one source of travel inspiration comes in the form of weekly email newsletters I get from some of the best tour companies in the business. I also stock up on travel agency brochures featuring extravagant vacation packages. I can’t afford a single thing they offer, but I can dream. And I can use the itineraries they offer to create similar, more affordable travel plans. In fact, I often follow their exact day-to-day plan, finding my own transportation between communities, lower-priced boutique hotels, and local guides to show us around.

Occasionally, I get lucky, and one of the tours I’m coveting goes on sale. It pays to keep an eye on the prize. For example, last year, I scored a 7-day AMAWaterways Mekong River cruise for just over $1,000 per person. It was ridiculously luxurious and the deal of a lifetime.

Similarly, after seeing an amazing Costa Rican experience in an Adventures by Disney brochure, I was inspired to venture to this part of the world. I did some digging around and found a similar travel package from Caravan Tours for $995 per person. It wasn’t quite as intricate as the one offered by Disney, but it was within my budget and a great way to get a taste of a new culture.

Blogs and Social Media

travel inspiration

Surfing the net for random travel ideas can be tedious. Instead, I search hashtags like #travel and #wanderlust on Twitter. This is a great way to see where other people are going and find offers on places you may not otherwise have considered as a vacation destination. It’s also a great way to find travel bloggers, like me, who might inspire you in the long term.

A lot of the people who post in popular travel hashtags on Twitter belong to travel companies or websites. But many others are travel bloggers. On Twitter, you can find a brief profile outlining their special interests and a link to their website. Look for someone who has similar tastes to you, and subscribe to that person’s blog. There’s something for every taste. Some blogs highlight adventure travel or romantic escapes, while others focus on fun family vacations, for example.

Books and Magazines

travel inspiration

I love to get lost in the pages of a good book. And it seems I’m attracted to books that take the protagonists on adventures to faraway places. This makes for great travel inspiration. I always want to go to the places I’ve read about. I can’t read a single Laura Florand book without wishing I was in France. And don’t even get me started on The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club or Under the Tuscan Sun. A few years ago, I took a vampire tour of Romania after re-reading Dracula. You never know what might pique your curiosity.

Flipping through pages of a magazine can ignite similar wanderlust. Looking at pictures of beautiful places can spark a yen to know more about those places. If you feel like you simply don’t know where to begin your search for a vacation destination, grab a copy of Condé Nast Traveler. It’s rare I can afford the resorts they feature, but I do get plenty of ideas for places I’d like to go.

Friends and Family

travel inspiration

Listen to what friends and family have to say about where they’re going or have already been. Look at their vacation photos. Get a little jealous—actually, get jealous enough to take action. I know hearing about all of the cool places people have gone makes me want to go there myself. And getting a first-hand account of someone’s personal experience can really help when it comes to choosing accommodations and activities.

Lean on friends and family for advice. I know hearing about a friend’s African safari adventure or a cousin’s SCUBA story from Australia can really get me in the mood to make my own travel plans.

If you’re looking for travel inspiration, these are a few great ways to find out about new places or adventures. What inspires you? Head over to the Wanderlust Wayfarer Facebook group and share your ideas.