2014 Religious Travel Planning Guide

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Roaming About God’s Green Earth

While a trip to the Holy Land may be the dream destination, plenty of equally worthy adventures await churches that organize trips for congregation members. A church travel program can include everything from local getaways to faraway places. Some trips are faith-based, others purely recreational. All promote fellowship.

For a small-town church, it might be a weekend jaunt to the nearest big city. Many groups from the Midwest, for example, come to Chicago for museums, architecture tours, a Lake Michigan cruise and a visit to the lofty Sky Chapel under the spire of the Chicago Temple, downtown’s First United Methodist Church, the tallest church building in the world.

Few places in the world fuel my wanderlust more than the Middle East. Though it calls for a substantial commitment in time and money, traveling to the holiest sites in Christendom creates memories to last a lifetime. A trip to the Holy Land, moreover, is a magic-carpet ride to cities, villages and desert outposts where people keep camels, haggle at exotic bazaars, and speak Hebrew and Arabic. My article on page 12 offers tips on planning a tour to Israel and Jordan.

For ideas on types of church group trips that might not have been on your radar, see Kevin J. Wright’s piece on page 24. Among his suggestions: Cruises, wildlife safaris and agritourism experiences.

When Christian ladies get together for a retreat, there can be some meaningful moments, but it’s not always a bed of roses. Our feature on women’s retreats by Rachel Gilmore, author of The Complete Leader’s Guide to Christian Retreats, talks about how to handle some thorny problems. Also in this fourth annual edition of Religious Travel Planning Guide are Cindi Brodhecker’s interview with Gigi Graham, a daughter of Dr. Billy Graham, and “Making a Splash with Church Youth Trips,” which spotlights opportunities for energizing a youth travel ministry.

Complementing our print publication are online resources for planning your group trip. With listings and links to group-friendly destinations and businesses, ReligiousTravelPlanningGuide.com is the premier research tool for the faith travel market. Our monthly e-newsletter, InSite on Religious Travel, offers plenty of ideas as well.

As many of you know, planning for travel is half the fun. With that in mind, we hope this 2014 edition of Religious Travel Planning Guide, combined with our online resources, will inspire you to develop the best group trip ever and chart new paths for your community of faith.

Bound for Holy Ground

Bound for Holy Ground

Editor

Picture your group on the banks of the Jordan River or sailing across the Sea of Galilee. Ponder the meaning of a worship service at the Church of the Beatitudes—on the very spot where Jesus is said t…

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Planning Women’s Retreats: The 411 for 911s

Planning Women’s Retreats: The 411 for 911s

Editor

Youth, men and family groups seem much more, shall we say, adaptable. Even if things aren’t to their liking, for the most part, before long, any personal irritations caused by the location or other pa…

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Jan
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A Chat with Gigi Graham

A Chat with Gigi Graham

Editor

Gigi also has been a world traveler, and we talked about how travel can broaden your horizons, stretch your understanding of other people, and change the mindset on what can you do in the world for Go…

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Jan
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Inspires Faith Travel Groups With Switzerland

Inspires Faith Travel Groups With Switzerland

Editor

Faith-based groups visiting Switzerland are treated to a real eye-opener, and that’s because this small country, about the size of West Virginia, is big on views, whether it’s views of the snow-capped…

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Jan
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Making a Splash with Church Youth Trips

Making a Splash with Church Youth Trips

Editor

Some trips should just be for fun and relationship building, while others should focus on discipleship, evangelism or service. Fun trips, retreats and mission trips are the three most common types of…

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Jan
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