Travel

AAA travel advisors share where they're dreaming of going & what they're doing

A traveler with a notepad next to a packed suitcase

AAA's travel advisors, like the rest of us, are fantasizing about the trips they'll take once it's safe to travel again.

For now, they're working around the clock to help members whose existing plans were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic—rescheduling to later dates, managing reservations, securing refunds, and keeping clients posted about the latest developments.

But these travel professionals love traveling too, and they're dreaming about future trips big and small. We look at where these travel experts want to go and what they want to do when the time is right.

Allison Walker travel agent portrait

Allison Walker

San Clemente, California


If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

The innate instinct to plan and anticipate is being harnessed. It can be depressing if we did not look forward. I have much to look forward to and can’t wait to get there! My dream vacation wish list includes: a Greek islands cruise, a tour of New Zealand, and trekking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Two boats off the shore of a Greek island

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

Once able, I want to plan a family heritage trip to the Dalmatian coast including Slovenia. My mother-in-law has always wanted to take the family to her mother’s homeland. I want to bring them on an Insight Vacation Tour. That would be ideal!

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

My upcoming flexible plans include going to see my daughter back East who just bought her first house, and a visit to British Columbia.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I would love to say I have learned a new skill during this time, but the truth is that my work days have been quite busy and long. I have been rearranging clients’ 2020 trips impacted by the interruption to new plans later this year or next year.

I want everyone to keep their travel dreams alive and assume the positive. This too shall pass, but the value of experiencing the world will live on.

David Pehle

Washington, Missouri

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

It has always been my dream to go to Machu Picchu in Peru. If I could go anywhere right now, this would the place—to get away from civilization and take a step back into history.

A view from a stairway at Machu Picchu

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

I have been taking advantage of places offering virtual tours. Just last week, I toured the new St. Louis Aquarium and I was also able to check out some great national parks. Technology has really helped me and quite a few people cope with being stuck inside.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

Once we get the all-clear, my wife and kids are going to Mexico. It was supposed to happen in June this year, but with everything, we moved our dates. It’s going to be really special as this will be our first time visiting Mexico and my kids’ first time on a plane and going international!

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

The only trip I have made reservations for is my Mexico trip, but who knows what next month brings; there could be a great sale for a trip to the Amazon!

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I have planted a huge vegetable garden this year, and of course home remodeling. The other thing is teaching the kids our native language, as we are Choctaw Native American. I love hearing them catch on to some of these words so quickly. 

Stephanie Webber travel agent portrait

Stephanie Webber

Nashua, New Hampshire

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

I would love to be on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Lots of sun and relaxation!

A white sand beach with palm trees in the Dominican Republic

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

Instagram is one of my favorite travel resources. Travel vendors always keep it up to date with their policies, and it’s a great source of inspiration for future trip ideas.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

I will probably be taking some long weekend trips that we had planned and weren’t able to do. Montreal is at the top of the list!

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

I have made plans to travel to southern Florida this fall. We go every year and are hoping we can this year. Luckily, the airline is offering flexible booking policies in case we are unable to travel at that time.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

Social distancing and working from home has made our house more organized than ever. I cannot stop redecorating, organizing, and moving things around!

Amy Hockwalt travel agent portrait

Amy Hockwalt

Fort Worth, Texas

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

It would be my dream to go to Japan, where this whole career started for me. When I was in seventh grade, my father, the local school superintendent, signed me up to travel to Japan for 3 weeks with one of his local middle schools. I was only 13 years old and I was scared to death, but completely fascinated. Japan was such an exotic destination.

Everything was different in Japan and that is what I loved! Art is everywhere, from the roll of sushi to the placement of a cup during a tea ceremony to the way flowers are arranged in a vase to the tie on the obi of a kimono. Everything is so beautiful.

I long for the day when I can return to Hakone National Park, enjoy some Japanese grilled corn, and admire the beauty of Mount Fuji’s reflection in Lake Ashi.

Cherry blossom trees bloom in Japan, with Mount Fuji in the background

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

I still have 2 of my 3 children at home, sixth-graders ages 11 and 12. I have been trying very hard to give them a diverse educational experience while they are out of traditional school.

One thing we have done is virtual museum tours. It is very unlikely I will ever be able to take them to Uffizi Gallery in Florence or the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, but with online tours, we can view the masters together.

We also like going to YouTube and finding other families that like to travel. Right now, we’re hooked on the Bucket List Family. The kids and I watch the episodes together and then we talk about all the fun things they see and do.

Lastly, we like to play “I Won the Lottery.” We pretend that I just won the biggest lottery ever and we can afford to go anywhere in the world we haven’t been to already. They research different ways to get there, the best places to stay and why, the top attractions, and what foods we should try. We have had some fun adventures and they have chosen some shocking destinations.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

Once it’s safe for us to travel again, I need to see my eldest daughter in Orlando. I have not seen her since February and I miss her terribly. She is getting married in October and her wedding dress is here with me in Texas.

As a bonus, she works for Disney and I have been blessed to have visited the Orlando area theme parks more than 20 times (I stopped counting once I made 20 separate trips). I can’t wait for the parks to reopen. Disney World is my happy place. I have not a care in the world when I’m there—I get to be a kid again. I have stayed in all types of resorts there, but my favorite by far is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

The location can’t be beat: It’s on the monorail line, there are incredible views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach, and their quick service food court had Dole Whip!

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

I have airline tickets and hotels for my daughter’s wedding in October, and a hotel reservation for Cancun in November.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

My family and I have been trying to give our children more responsibility (with supervision). Our 11- and 12-year-olds have been learning how to do their laundry and cooking more.

My husband and I love to cook and have dozens and dozens of cookbooks. We have worked out a system where each child creates a menu of new recipes they want to try and cook. In the beginning, we were seeing options like pizza and nachos. The other night we had spiral zucchini noodles with a pesto sauce and spring mix salad with apples, goat cheese, and candied pecans. Can you believe the difference 45 days has made?

Sandy Marks Johnson travel agent portrait

Sandy Marks Johnson

Birmingham, Alabama

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

My dream vacation would be a trip to Greece. The allure of the ancient Greek civilization and culture, the iconic blue-domed buildings of Santorini, and the famous sunsets of the islands seem ideal at this time!

The iconic blue domes of Santorini, Greece.

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

For my travel curiosity and fun, I enjoy using Forvo, a pronunciation dictionary. It’s great for learning a language for your next trip abroad, mastering a foreign accent, studying the language of the day, and seeing what’s trending in the world of languages.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

My first adventure will likely be a weekend escape to our beautiful Gulf Coast in Alabama, an easy 4-hour drive from our AAA headquarters office in Birmingham to sugar-fine sand and crystal waters.

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

I have made plans to take my 3-year-old grandson to Walt Disney World for Christmas, flights and a resort stay, later this year. In 2021, I will resume international travel, hosting some groups to great destinations. Stay tuned!

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I have been learning to develop a stronger social media presence to expand my travel base. While not new, I continue to work on my songwriting and music projects for my duo. I hope to master the violin with more practice.

Joseph Gervasi travel agent portrait

Joseph Gervasi

Encino, California

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

I would go to Africa. I love learning about different cultures, communities, history, architecture, and the wildlife in other parts of the world. It allows me to share that knowledge with my clients, family, and friends from my personal experience. 

Two giraffes at a game reserve in South Africa

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

I follow the EarthPix account on Instagram, then look up information about the amazing destinations they post pictures of.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

The Caribbean, on a cruise with all my family and friends making it a big celebration.

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

We have tentatively booked a cruise to Mexico in October. We’re still waiting to see whether family and friends can get the time off and have the finances to travel.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I’ve been baking bread from scratch, something I haven’t done in years; trying new recipes; and building LEGOs of iconic architecture from all over the world and learning about those destinations.

Ruby Goldberg travel agent portrait

Ruby Goldberg

Evansville, Indiana

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

I would be happy to get on a world cruise right now. Cruising gives you the chance to be in an environment where it’s easy to block out day-to-day life. This has been such a unique year to work in travel that a nice long break from reality sounds great! And isn’t travel about taking a break from our daily routines to experience new adventures? My favorite destination is always somewhere I haven’t yet been. 

A cruise ship docked in Shanghai

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

I would love to go to Japan, Panama, and Israel.

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

No, but I will fly to see family in other states soon. 

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes. I have a degree in home economics and have taught cooking classes, so I have many cookbooks. It was time to dust some of them off and test out a few things! I have also been using the time to purge/clean some storage areas in our home and sew masks for family and friends. I have doubled my normal exercise routine, so that’s been a great addition to my schedule. Puzzles, writing notes of encouragement to friends, at-home spa time, gardening, reading—I can always find things to do! 

Page Goodrich travel agent portrait

Page Goodrich

Ridgeland, Mississippi

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

I had planned to visit the Summer Olympics in Japan. They’ve been put off for at least a year, but a dream vacation would still be to return to Japan. I would revisit what I have seen in the past and take the train to all the tiny historic countryside villages and ancient sites, shrines, and temples I have not seen. I’d either go in the spring for the cherry blossom festivals, or in the fall for the beautiful changing colors of the leaves.

I also collect original indigenous art from countries I have visited around the world, and I currently favor Pacific Rim art including Japanese and Chinese, and plan to add to my collection.

Torii gates at the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Kyoto, Japan.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

When travel opens up, I will hopefully visit parts of Alaska I have yet not seen in my 5 visits to that beautiful state. En route I’ll revisit British Columbia and will stop at my favorite North American city, Vancouver, and the whole of Vancouver Island, including Victoria and the wild northwestern coast around Tofino. I’ll fish for salmon off a small Quadra Island resort with my local Indigenous guide named Bear.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I have worked on framing some of the international art collections I have acquired over the last several years, as I have enjoyed learning to frame pieces from all over the world—it’s very relaxing and a reminder of where I have been and what I have experienced. First Nations, Indigenous, and local original art is rarely framed. This is a project I have put off for years.

I also have access to a beautiful small private lake full of trophy bass and bream that is one of the most peaceful places I know. At sunrise or sunset on weekends, it’s full of Canada geese, egrets, blue herons, and deer. This opportunity to visit and view all the wildlife and natural beauty (and catch a bunch of fish) is a tremendous respite from the work and challenges of our efforts to provide our legendary AAA Travel service. There’s nothing like watching the mist rising off the lake at sunrise. 

Julia McAloon travel agent portrait

Julia McAloon

Encinitas, California

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

I would really like to be in Tahiti or somewhere tropical right now. I’ve been dreaming about white sand beaches and snorkeling with stingrays.

A snorkeler swims with stingrays.

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

I love watching other people’s travel journeys on YouTube. I’ve learned a lot about destinations and what’s unique. Most videos are very real—I like that you can see someone else’s genuine opinion about things and their experiences.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

We have planned a family trip to Jamaica in late fall and a Royal Caribbean cruise this Christmas. I am hoping it will be OK to travel by then.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I guess I watched too much HGTV, because I have been redecorating the house and taking small DIY projects here and there. The result? I got a new room. My kid got a new room. The living room, kitchen, and backyard are all refreshed. We’ve been spending so much time at home, I wanted to make our place enjoyable. I tried baking, but it turns out it’s not really my thing. I also started doing yoga; hopefully I will be able to keep it up.

Khaney Muyderman travel agent portrait

Khaney Muyderman

Biddeford, Maine

 

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

In fourth grade primary school, my French teacher assigned me the name “Claire” for class. I studied French for 5 years and learned about the culture in books. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to travel to "The City of Light," one of the most romantic places on Earth: Paris.

I am a person who lives and breathes travel. I am very passionate about the opportunity to help clients book their dream vacations, and take my personal travel very seriously! In May, I would have been in Paris making new travel memories with my family. My dream vacation would have started out with the top of the Eiffel Tower to simply take it all in, the smells and the sounds. I planned to walk along the banks of the Seine to find the perfect spot for a picnic lunch, complemented with a good selection of French cheese, baguettes, fresh fruits, and all the local meats. As an art lover, I also spent months leading up to this trip planning which art treasures of the Louvre I would visit first.

On day 2, I would have explored the neighborhoods walking through Saint-Germain-des-Pres and the Latin Quarter, an area of the city recognized for its intellectuals and artists hangouts. Sweets are a must when traveling, so I would taste native pastries like macarons, artisan chocolates, and savory French pie. I would then find a unique spot at a local café where I would spend the rest of the afternoon. In Paris, there are over 10,000 cafes throughout the city. Cafe culture is an essential part of everyday Parisian life—sipping my French coffee while people watching.

On day 3, I would hop on a short bus ride to the visit the Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here I would be accompanied by a local art historian to explore the Hall of Mirrors and end the visit at the lush gardens.

My dream Paris trip would not be complete without enjoying a glass of French champagne at the famous Harry’s New York Bar that Ernest Hemingway and Gloria Swanson visited. Though America gave birth to jazz, Paris was the first to accept it as an art. I would have ended my evening with some of the best jazz talents at the New Morning nightclub. Paris, wine, and jazz would have been one of my highlights! 

A view of Paris

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

A few of my favorite online sites are TravelAge West and TravelPulse Daily. These are great resources for travel advisors, offering the latest updates on travel industry topics.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

I will travel again and rebook a trip to Paris eventually. For now, I’m staying home, reflecting, staying safe, and protecting others.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I have tried my best, weather permitting, to hike the gorgeous Maine hiking trails nearby. Being with nature, among the elements, centers me during this challenging time. I’ve also tried a few amazing new French recipes to keep the inspiration alive. We will eventually fulfill my dream to visit the City of Light. Like savory French crepes filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese, to French fries with truffle oil, I’m ready. 

Ally Paz travel agent portrait

Ally Paz

Riverside, California

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

Ireland has been on my bucket list for some time. The beautiful greenery, majestic castles, and cliffs make it a great destination to just get away and take a breather after some trying months.

An aerial view of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

I follow a few different news and media outlets that cover travel all over the world, including Travel + Leisure and Roam the Planet. They keep me inspired to dream of all the beautiful places I’ll get to visit soon.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

My family and I are planning to take a road trip up the coast of California, just a nice getaway as a family to take in the sandy beaches.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I’ve been rearranging my home, which allowed me to refurbish a lot of my furniture. It’s been a great way to relax and use my artistic side.

Bebe Williams travel agent portrait

Bebe Williams

Metairie, Louisiana

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

My dream vacation would be a month-long stay in a villa in the South of France with friends.

Seaside villas in Menton, a town in the South of France.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

I’m planning to visit the beautiful white sand beaches of Pensacola, Florida.

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

I’ve postponed a New York City girls trip from fall 2020 to spring 2021.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

Book club over Zoom, happy hour over Zoom, and gardening. 

Jennifer Zelaya travel agent portrait

Jennifer Zelaya

Lancaster, California

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

Since I’m turning 40 this year, my dream vacation would be a trip to Peru to visit one of the 7 wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. Then a 2-night stay in the Amazon rainforest, followed by a 3-night stay at Lake Titicaca on one of their floating islands, and a trip to Bolivia to see the Bolivian salt flats to end the trip.

A floating island on Lake Titicaca in Peru.

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

My favorite travel resource is Instagram because I can see awesome locations in a way other travel sites wouldn’t be able to show. For instance, I can go to a travel enthusiast’s page and either see their live story while they are at the location, or their highlights from previous trips. Both can give you suggestions and ideas.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

I would still love to go to Peru and make my dreams come true.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I’ve been continuing to work out, plus selling stuff online through sites like Mercari and Poshmark. I’ve also been baking low-calorie treats and redecorating rooms in the house. I’m still working, so I have to manage my time.

George Molina travel agent portrait

George Molina

San Antonio, Texas

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

I think what draws me to travel the most is the adventure of experiencing and learning from different cultures—the thrill of different cuisine, sights, and aromas. In this spirit, I would say my dream vacation is a cruise from Dubai to Mumbai, sailing through the Gulf of Oman into the Arabian Sea, with stops in the Maldives and southern India. I would add extensions to include Jaipur and Agra as day trips.

The exterior of the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, India.

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

Lonely Planet’s Arrival Guides give great information on destinations including restaurant and cafe recommendations, best spots to enjoy a cocktail, and best sunset views. Arrival Guides have been a great tool to explore and travel virtually.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

When everything is clear, I plan on supporting our local tourism industry in the U.S. I have been meaning to check off a few of our great national parks on my bucket list.

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

I am always planning personal travel and have made plans for a holiday Christmas market river cruise down the Rhine. It’s something of a tradition for me: This will be my third year experiencing European Christmas markets, having done similar cruises on the Danube and Seine rivers. With so much uncertainty, it’s great to see cruise lines and tour operators offering a risk-free booking policy with security and flexibility. This gave me the confidence to move forward with my travel plans in 2020.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I have enjoyed being outdoors and spending time researching horticulture for my garden. Working in the garden can be as rewarding as planning a dream vacation: You plant an idea that will evolve into a dream vacation. With the proper nurturing, you create a blooming relationship that bears fruit for years to come. This year, I have decided to grow tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and as crazy as it may sound, a couple of olive trees. This past year, I was fortunate to travel to Greece, where visiting a Kalamata olive orchard fueled my inspiration to grow olive trees at home.

Eric Slatkin travel agent portrait

Eric Slatkin

Pasadena, California

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

I would be on a Uniworld river cruise through Europe! I love the freedom, relaxation, and options river cruising offers, as well as the chance to be with people (but not too many). I would either cruise the Rhone through the South of France to Nice while spending the first few nights in Paris and finish with a few nights in Nice, or I would be just as happy to be sailing the Danube, but this time, I would go from Budapest to Bucharest, spending time in both cities between the cruise. 

Aggstein Castle in the Wachau Valley on the Danube in Austria

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

My favorite online travel experience has been working with my clients every day from home on their current pre-booked trips that have been put on hold, and looking into how, where, and when they are going to use their future travel credit. I’m fortunate to work for AAA and to have access to so many of our preferred vendors that I know exactly which company I need to tap into. This is my travel resource, and I’m getting my own ideas while searching for them.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

My first planned trip will be to see my parents in Reno and visit friends in northeastern California. This would be a 5- to 6-day road trip from L.A. through Reno to a little town called Susanville. The scenery and diversity on this drive is magical. The drive from L.A. to Reno can be done in one long day, but I’d spend a night in Mammoth as a halfway point. The next day, I’d be off to Reno for a few nights. From Reno, I’d visit friends I grew up with in Susanville and drive through an amazing hidden gem: Lassen Volcanic National Park. I’d spend another day with my parents visiting the many Reno antique shops, attending free outdoor concerts, and having lunch in the little historic mining town of Virginia City.

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

I’ve been working with my close friend on her husband’s surprise birthday party to Amsterdam. After 12 of us had an amazing time together in Prague for my birthday this past February, my friend said we should all do it again next year in Amsterdam. Spending a week in an amazing city is pretty affordable, and with a group of friends and family, it’s much easier to navigate than a multi-destination trip. We’re planning a couple days all together and maybe a side day trip or 2 to another city outside of Amsterdam. That would leave plenty of time for those who want to explore on their own. No reservations have been made yet, but we’re discussing our options.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

One of the best things we’ve tackled has been a 1-month trial run on vegan food. Some of our good friends are vegans, so they hooked us up with a vegan home delivery service called Purple Carrot. Every week for 4 weeks, we’ve received a box in the mail with all the ingredients for 3 meals. All the spices, vegetables, and other ingredients for each dish are pre-measured; we just follow the directions and enjoy our newly created vegan dish for 2. It’s been great learning about ways to create amazing tastes and about the different ingredients. 

Barbara Langhammer travel agent portrait

Barbara Langhammer

Little Rock, Arkansas
 

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

I would go back to Bora Bora and stay in an overwater bungalow.

Over-water bungalows in Bora Bora.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

I’d like to go on a luxury cruise or to luxury all-inclusive resort.

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

My air miles will determine where I go—if the airlines don’t cancel the program!

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I bought my mother’s house last June (she passed away in April) because she has a pool, and I love sunning! Right now, I’m still unpacking boxes and settling in.

Randie Adams travel agent portrait

Randie Adams

Oceanside, California
 

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

My dream vacation has always been a visit to the Maldives, and that’s exactly where I would go right now. I love anything warm and tropical, and it’s so beautiful there. I always like to keep a picture of it handy as a reminder of what I’m working for.

An aerial view of a tropical island in the Ari Atoll of the Maldives.

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

I enjoy reading Condé Nast Traveler magazine. I also really enjoy reading Lonely Planet travel books on destinations I haven’t been to that are on my list. I find it’s a good way to get excited for a new destination and learn about it while safe at home.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

I would love to plan a trip back down to Costa Rica once it’s safe to travel again. It has always been one of my favorite places to go to for the views, people, and culture, and I would love to go back this winter.

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

I am due with my first child at the end of June, so it’s hard for us to make any flexible travel plans right now. We are hoping to plan a trip to Hawai‘i for a long weekend before the end of the year to get back into traveling.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I have been mainly working on getting our nursery ready and reading a lot of baby books. We also got a new grill and are trying some new barbecue recipes, as well as Instant Pot recipes.

Rachel Kelso travel agent portrait

Rachel Rose Kelso

Round Rock, Texas
 

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

If money was no object (and I wasn’t 6 months pregnant), my dream vacation right now would be to go to Kruger National Park in South Africa. I would love to be sitting outside my safari tent, sipping a sundowner while listening to the sounds of the lions roaring, monkeys chattering, and hyenas laughing. 

Three rhinos at Kruger National Park in South Africa

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

I love watching the livestreams from national parks all over the world. Parks like Yellowstone have rangers giving lectures and it’s fun to watch the animals and gorgeous scenery even if you can’t leave the house. Some parks and lodges in Africa, such as Tintswalo Safari Lodge, are even doing daily virtual sunrise and sunset safari drives.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

Personally, I can’t wait to take my son (due at the beginning of August) on a plane for the first time. I’d like to say my first trip will be somewhere exotic or far away, but realistically it will be to visit family in California. Texas lakes are nice, but I do love the California beaches!

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

My mother-in-law is running the Ironman Cozumel race in Mexico on November 22, and we plan to join her. Baby will be 3 months old and already traveling internationally!

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

Besides child-proofing my house, preparing the nursery, and reading parenting books, I have been trying new recipes and spending time with my husband and my dog before the baby arrives. I have also taken this time to expand my professional knowledge, including taking the Certified Travel Associate course and doing destination trainings for places I have not been to yet. 

Ann Sims travel agent portrait

Ann Sims

Costa Mesa, California
 

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

I would be hiking the Inca Trail in Peru with my adult children. I used to backpack when I was a young adult and want to have that experience with them while they are still in that same stage of life. I am especially looking forward to encountering the beauty and spiritual nature of Machu Picchu at the end of the trek. I have been dreaming about this trip since I was in sixth grade and did a report on Peru.

A hiker traverses in the Inca Trail high in the Andes

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

I will be traveling to Scotland with my daughter, cousin, and best friend. We had to postpone this trip that was originally planned for April. We will be experiencing all the history, culture, and beautiful landscapes Scotland has to offer. We will be staying in a variety of accommodations including a castle, a lodge, a highland cottage, and B&Bs; visiting the major cities, the Highlands, and a few of Scotland’s many islands during our trip. We have always wanted to visit Scotland and are also fans of the Outlander books, which have brought this country to life for all of us in a completely different way. I also happen to be a connoisseur of whiskey, so we will be partaking of a few tasting opportunities as well. This will be an amazing girls trip!

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

I have booked our accommodations, car rental, and tourist passes in Scotland with flexible cancellation terms for September, hopeful that everything will be open and ready for tourism again by then. I’m waiting to book our flights since the airlines are modifying their routing and schedules, but plan to book them soon. I am also planning to travel with my colleagues and brother to Greece in November for our Award of Excellence trip and adding on a little time in Croatia or Italy on the way home. My brother has never been to Europe, so I’m very excited to share this adventure with him!

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I’ve been cooking, gardening, learning Italian through an app, writing cards to friends (a lost art that I hope I will continue), and rearranging my living space for a fresh perspective at home. I painted my home office and have enjoyed having the time to spring clean as well. I’ll be ready to host a dinner party once we are free to gather again!

Daphne Richmond travel agent portrait

Daphne Richmond

Arlington, Texas
 

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

My big dream vacation has always been Italy and Greece. I originally wanted to do a fully independent tour. After being a travel advisor, I have changed what my dream would be. If I had the means to do so, I would put together a customized guided trip to Italy and Greece to see all the things I want to see at the pace I want to see them, while still in full luxury. 

The dome of the Duomo in Florence, Italy.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

We are looking at booking a trip to Cancun Secrets right now. Like most of our clients, we’re ready to go somewhere, but are a little hesitant to go too far. Mexico is a nice compromise and somewhere we have not explored yet. Not to mention it’s a big destination, so it’ll be a great selling tool to have firsthand knowledge of the property and the activities.

Have you made any flexible plans to travel?

We made flexible flight arrangements with Southwest Airlines over a month ago to fly to Chicago for a family reunion.

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I have been working on my yard. We built a new flower bed and I found out one of my trees is bearing fruit. They are called loquats and are related to apricots, peaches, and plums. I am closely monitoring those to see when they are ripe enough for us to taste. We are also renovating our guest half bath right now. 

Joanne Thompson travel agent portrait

Joanne Thompson

San Luis Obispo, California
 

If you could go anywhere and do anything right now for a dream vacation, what would it be?

My dream vacation would be to go to Tahiti and Bora Bora. I would love to stay in one of the iconic overwater bungalows, see the beautiful white sand beaches, and be completely immersed in the Polynesian experience. A short flight to Bora Bora to see Mount Otemanu would be amazing.

A view of palm trees and Mount Otemanu on Bora Bora.

Do you have a favorite online travel resource or experience you’ve been using during social distancing?

My favorite online travel experience has been the Celebrity Cruises Instagram account, which includes their yoga and cooking classes. This week’s cocktail was a taste of the Caribbean, a daiquiri from the Sunset Bar.

Where are you planning to go once it’s OK to travel again?

I’m hoping that it will be OK to travel by August, when I plan to go to O‘ahu to help my daughter move into her college dorm. She will be attending Hawai‘i Pacific University, majoring in criminal justice. I am so proud of her!

What activities have you taken up during social distancing, other than working from home?

I have taken up cooking and baking. I have had the most fun trying the recipes from Joanna Gaines’ new cookbook, Magnolia Table, with my family. Their favorite so far has been Mina’s Lemon Bars. They’ve been a big hit!

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When the time is right, travel with confidence with AAA

Navigating all the options is no small task if you're considering scheduling a future trip. One of AAA's travel advisors can help find a flexible itinerary that's right for you. Call our dedicated travel advisor phone line, submit a request for assistance online, or find a AAA branch near you.

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