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December 6, 2023

Major Recap: Top 5 Itineraries Booked in 2023

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To our dedicated readers, welcome back! To our newcomers, welcome – we’re so happy to have you here! While  it can be said that the height of personal blogs might have peaked in the 2010s, we are firm believers that blogs have a serious impact still to this day. For us at Major Traveler, this blog is a place to learn, to get questions answered and essentially to serve as a bespoke search engine for you to dig into places we love, things we’re reading about in travel news and so much more. Happy reading!

To jumpstart the pastime of blogging that we love (it’s been a minute since our last entry), this post highlights our Top 5 Itineraries booked in 2023. A crazy busy year… more on that in our newsletter this week (sign up here!), our clients’ wanderlust never stopped. From the edges of Asia to the Cape of Africa to idyllic Grecian Isles, we had the pleasure of sending clients to some of the most magical spots throughout this year. Here are our Top 5:



An off the beaten path itinerary curated for a group of girlfriends, this trip allowed us to be creative in new ways. A 5 day trip, this Backroads Itinerary was a biking tour through the Finger Lakes in New York crafted in partnership with Backroads Travel (an outdoor adventure company specializing in group trips, primarily around biking adventures). For those unfamiliar, the Finger Lakes are a group of eleven long, narrow lakes in the northern part of New York State directly south of Ontario, Canada. 

The weeklong trip began on a Monday along the waterfront at Emerson Park in historic Auburn, kicking off with a scenic picnic lunch. Following, our travelers embarked on a warm-up ride along the silver expanse of Owasco Lake, a route which meandered through a patchwork of fields dotted by silos and red barns ending lakeside of the charming Finger Lake, Aurora. For the first two nights of accommodation, our ladies stayed in the Inns of Aurora where they were treated to outstanding hospitality within its cozy colonial-style guestrooms and sweeping tranquil views overlooking Lake Aurora. The second day was filled with breathtaking rides between the lakes, breaking to visit a family-run country store and spending the late afternoon enjoying the amenities of the Inn: paddleboarding on Lake Aurora, strolling down the main street and indulging in the hotel’s quaint spa.

Day 3 brought a change of pace with a continuation through the Finger Lakes, moving to the Lake House on Canandaigua Lake. Our clients tackled the rolling roads linking Seneca, Cayuga and Canandaigua Lakes, following part of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. Pedaling past Seneca Falls, where the suffragette movement was ignited, the day was filled with scenes out of It’s a Wonderful Life (no really!) and magnificent views of the landscape. The Lake House on Canandaigua became home for the last two evenings of the trip; located in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region, guests of the property enjoy lakefront access, impeccably designed guestrooms and a myriad of on-site amenities including world-class dining, cocktail lounges, a luxury spa, picturesque sauna garden and more.

Across the 4th day of our clients’ journey, farmland turned to forest as they biked into the backwoods on a spectacular ride down the east shore of Canandaigua Lake. The hilly landscape is nestled with wineries which welcomed our biking ladies for an afternoon tasting of Cabernet Franc and Riesling accompanied by sweeping vineyard views. Toasting to a dreamy week and exploring new terrain, the fourth evening was met with celebration over dinner at the Lake House’s elegant tavern. To cap off the week, Friday morning featured sleeping in, a leisurely breakfast, a final spin along the Canandaigua lakeside and a boat ride on the glacial lake to see the landscape from an alternative perspective. 

Off the beaten path, creative, idyllic and highly memorable… this was one of those itineraries that we can’t wait to replicate. If you’re looking for an outstanding stateside adventure that is active, encourages unplugging from reality and is full of natural magic, this might be a trip worth asking us about. This trip was booked in early August but we’d recommend this itinerary across the year with the exception of late November – February due to ice and potentially snowy road conditions.

top 5 itineraries booked: Greece



A family trip of a lifetime, we send a husband and wife and their two young adult daughters to the Greek Isles for a week. With a goal to traverse destinations not typical of Grecian family vacations, we had the opportunity to highlight some of our personal favorite spots and great partners  across the Ionian Islands. The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in the Ionian Sea, west of mainland Greece. Our clients visited Corfu, Zakynthos and Kefalonia throughout their travels. 

Arriving in Athens on a Sunday morning, the trip began at the Perianth Hotel situated in Agia Eirini, a lovely Byzantine-era square near many of the Greek capital’s major attractions but off the crowded tourist trail. The hotel is a joyful ode to modern Greece with interiors humming with terrazzo floors, marble furniture and clean lines. Monday morning kicked the vacation into high gear with a visit to the Acropolis and the Parthenon with a private guided tour of the Acropolis Museum (a favorite in the world, personally).  Without too much on the itinerary, Monday was a day to bask in Athenian culture, walk the streets, do a bit of shopping and enjoy the metropole for one day ahead of escaping to the Greek isles Tuesday morning.

An early morning wake-up allowed our clients to transfer to the island of Zakinthos Tuesday morning and the island experience began in full. For the first two days of island hopping, this family checked in to the Lesante Blu located in the picturesque village of Tragaki Zakynthos. Offering a one of a kind experience, this hotel boasts private infinity pools, an adults-only policy and a world class staff. An idyllic locale to unplug, sit on the beach and  enjoy a cocktail, our clients were treated to a sea view and the day to enjoy the property amenities.

Wednesday’s excursion took our clients on a luxury yachting cruise along the north side of Zakynthos Island. A spectacular place to explore, everyone had the opportunity to snorkel around and disembark along the famous Shipwreck beach, Blue caves and isolated private beaches…including Xygia Beach, recently voted one of the most idyllic beaches in all of Europe. Throughout the 5 hour tour, the family were treated to snacks and beverages to keep them fueled for morning on the water. With two full days spent relaxing and exploring Zakynthos, the family prepared to ferry to the Isle of Kefalonia Thursday morning.

Arriving at F Zeen Retreat, the family was welcomed into an ancient Greek philosophical way of living for two days while they experienced a new island. A haven of tranquility amid a serene landscape of tropical flora and Mediterranean pine trees, F Zeen Retreat honors well-being in every touchpoint of the guest experience. Guests are encouraged to recharge, reconnect and be well throughout their activities on property. Following two days basking in the beauty of this spot, exploring the island of Kefalonia and enjoying the treats of a wellness-oriented property, our clients hopped to their third and final island via a quick 2 hour (1 stop) airplane transfer.

Our clients completed their Greek Isles vacation on the Island of Corfu at the Corfu Imperial hotel for four days. One of Greece’s most impressively located hotels, the Imperial is perched above the olive groves at the end of the panoramic Peninsula Kommeno. A world of seaside olive trees, marble & palms, beach coves, fine dining and a lovely promenade, our clients got to relax, explore and share quality time together in one of the world’s most beautiful locations. 

Designed to be structured yet with a  few planned activities, our clients experienced an exclusive week in the Greek Isles with some unforgettable highlights. For anyone looking to visit Greece with a focus on destinations not often frequented by Americans or tourists, this is an itinerary worthy of inspiration that we’d love to build off of for you. 

top 5 itineraries booked: Bali



A honeymoon worthy of inspiration for any Southeast Asian vacation, we loved planning this trip to Bali and Singapore for a great newlywed couple. Beginning in Singapore and ending in Sanur, Indonesia, this 10 day itinerary highlights relaxation and adventure in beautiful locations across Southeast Asia. 

Kicking off their honeymoon, our clients arrived in Singapore and spent three nights at the Warehouse Hotel. Housed in a beautifully restored heritage building that was once a bustling warehouse on the Singapore river, this hotel seamlessly blends its rich history with contemporary design. With stunning views of the skyline, the property is in a quiet enclave located just a few minutes walk from the busy Clarke Quay and Boat Quay for easy access to explore the city. The first full day of the itinerary began with a private guided tour of Singapore. For 4 hours, our clients were exclusively guided through some of the city’s most spectacular sights: beginning at the National Gallery of Singapore rooftop to take in the panoramic view of old and new landscapes, the couple then had the opportunity to visit the country’s old Supreme Court building, stop at the Arts House which was the former Parliament house, visit the Victoria Concert Hall, cross the Cavenagh Bridge and end up in The Merlion Park.

Diving right into all that Singapore has to offer to interested visitors, the couple embarked on a private Michelin Guided Street Food Tour the second morning of their stay in the city. Starting at the Chinatown Food Complex, the couple were treated to learning, tasting and experiencing this world famous locale – the tour continued to the Amoy Street Food Centre and Little India for additional exposure and culinary delights. Following an early dinner reservation, the couple capped the second day off with a Night Zoo reservation at Singapore Zoo.

Next up, the couple flew to Bali where they were welcomed as guests of the Alaya Resort in Ubud. With plans to stay for three nights, the couple had the opportunity to relax and unwind. The Alaya is a fantastic base from which to explore Ubud; inclusive of guided walks, yoga, cooking classes and a world-class spa, this is a spectacular destination to enjoy while in Bali. While there, the couple accentuated their days with a downhill mountain-biking tour from Mt. Batur to Ubud (an outstanding experience to spin through scenery of rice terraces, forests and picturesque villages), a day spent with a respected local artist and hike through a rice field (the artist toured the couple around his residence and studio, led the couple on a walk through the cascading rice paddies and dropped the pair off at another local home where they had the opportunity to tour the gardens and prepare a traditional lunch)  as well as a day of leisure to choose from a range of destinations and activities with a private driver.

From Ubud the couple transferred to Sanur to experience more of Bali. Setting off from Ubud on another highly scenic drive to Bali’s south coast, Sanur is a laidback beach resort. On their way to their resort, the couple stopped at the charming Sala village for an intimate water blessing at a small local temple. Following this experience with a Hindu priest, the couple made their way to Keramas Beach to Bali’s first and only winery for a wine tasting and tour. From here the couple traveled to Maya Sanur Resort & Spa where they finished out their honeymoon with four nights accommodation. Peppered in with a few bespoke activities, these last four days of their trip were focused on relaxing seaside and enjoying the amenities of this incredible property in their ocean-view villa with a private pool. 

For anyone looking to plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Southeast Asia, this is a precedent itinerary we would want to walk you through to add color and inspiration to dreaming up a trip for you. Feasible  as an intimate part leisure part adventure honeymoon, these destinations are also incredible options for groups of couple friends and families with older children.

top 5 itineraries booked: Botswana



Every trip we plan is thrilling as we are in the business of curating experiences where priceless memories will be made and captured…that being said, we do have a soft spot for Africa. As a consummate traveler, my experiences in Africa remain high on my list of favorite moments, scenes and experiences. Therefore planning this trip to Botswana for a couple for their anniversary  was a true highlight of 2023 for me. This itinerary covers three key areas in Botswana where our clients had the opportunity to experience unique camps and animal sightings.

The couple flew into Cape Town, South Africa where they spent two nights at the Mount Nelson Hotel. This exquisite Belmond property has been called “a most excellent establishment” by Winston Churchill, was a favored meditation locale for John Lennon and attracts stylish visitors from all over the world. With outstanding views of Table Mountain, this 120-year old establishment understands and produces luxury in inspiring measure. After two days spent relaxing and enjoying Cape Town, the couple took a two and a half hour flight to Botswana.

To kick off their tour of the country, the couple were welcomed at Wilderness Little Vumbura, a small and intimate camp embodying all that is best about the Okavango Delta. Characterized by its breathtaking beauty, remote, peaceful island location, abundant game and varied landscape, our clients experienced warm hospitality throughout their two night visit. While on property they had the opportunity to go on Game Drives (Safari), Guided Nature Walks and float along a crystal-clear Okavango waterway by mokoro to scan for reed frogs and waterlilies. After a beautiful and inspiring first stop, the couple moved onto Wilderness Jao in the heart of Okanvango set amongst islands fringed with riverine forests and vast floodplains prolific with wildlike. Staying here for three nights, the couple had the opportunity to partake in Game Drives, Night Drives, Boating, indulge at the Jao Spa and visit the property’s Wilderness Museum & Gallery. While on property, the couple spet one evening sleeping out in a tree house where they had the opportunity to hear and see wildlife at night.

To complete the trip, the couple took a charter flight to Eagle Island Lodge where they were welcomed at this Belmond Safari. The lodge is decorated to reflect an explorer’s base with design highlights inclusive of twelve spacious deluxe tented rooms with views of the delta, private plunge pools and outdoor showers. While on property, the couple had the opportunity to experience the remoteness of the Delta and get a bird’s eye view of the inaccessible lakes and islands. The couple experienced aerial safari by private helicopter with a horse-ride through one of the world’s last true remaining windernesses while staying at Eagle Island Lodge. This excursion offers a new way to explore the UNESCO world heritage site and its magnificent inhabitants and is truly one of the most exciting experiences we are privileged to offer our clients as an option when they visit Botswana. 

This trip is one we couldn’t recommend more highly for those looking for an intimate, unique and exclusive safari experience. 

top 5 itineraries booked: italy



A festive family vacation to Italy, this itinerary hit Rome, the Amalfi Coast and Sicily. There are so many ways to do Italy – it’s a spectacular country to visit with endless amounts of cultural, culinary and scenic moments to explore. We love this itinerary for its richness in catering to a husband and wife and their three college-age children. 

Flying into Rome, the family began their Italian vacation at the Parco Dei Principi Grand Hotel with spectacular views of Borghese Park. The first afternoon was spent with a private guide touring the Colosseum and strolling the streets of Rome. Following a great day in Rome, the family got ready to head to Positano the next morning. Staying at Hotel Poseidon for five nights, this once private villa is an elite hotel with a spectacular view of the town and the sea with easy access to the beach. In this quaint Amalfi Coast town, the family was able to relax and explore throughout their stay. While in Positano,  the family took a ferry to Capri one day, took a cooking class in a private local house and beach hopped to nearby beaches.

Next, the family of five took a flight to Taormina, Sicily where they rounded out their vacation with a five night stay. Staying at Capotaormina, this charming and elegant retreat on Siciliy’s coastline offered a private beach, wellness center, swimming pool and easy access to the authentic Sicilian town of Taormina. While visiting, our clients took a half day excursion with a guide on a walking tour with local food tasting, had a driver take them to visit small hamlets nearby inclusive of visiting the medieval town of Savoca chosen by Francis Ford Coppola as part of The Godfather movie set and visited Mount Etna by private 4x4s, the highest active volcano in Europe which ended in a wine tasting. 

This two week family vacation was filled with plenty of sightseeing, architectural exposure, authentic cuisine, local shopping and downtime to spend time together. For couples, friends and families looking to plan a seaside-focused trip to Italy, we loved preparing this itinerary for our active and curious clients! Pssst. Sicily is particularly hot right now as a destination owing to its fame as the White Lotus filming spot. 


If you are interested in booking one of these itineraries, or curious to learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out via our contact form at

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