I have been in the travel industry for 40+ years and some things remain the same while others are always evolving. That is what makes each day fun and exciting around here. Travelers seem to be increasingly motivated to take bucket-list trips for all kinds of reasons. Personal enrichment, celebrating a milestone, the search for authentic experiences, the thirst for unique, personalized trips are encouraging travelers to get out and make their vacation time truly memorable.
I consider myself more of a luxury vacation expert. But that does NOT mean all 5 star resorts, first class air, etc. Today’s concept of luxury is about the personal journey, the experience and the story behind it. My people have a desire for uniquely crafted travel that allows for new experiences and incorporate personal interests. I want to give my clients those authentic local experiences, like a wine and food pairing in the company of the winemaker himself. Who else can give personal insight into the nuances of a particular wine and why he or she chose to direct its taste one way or the other. Also why he has chosen the food that he did to pair with the wine. A perfect example is a recent group on Windstar Cruises sailing throughout Croatia and Italy. Sure, anyone can just book that cruise and enjoy traveling with 180-300 fellow guests. But, although the ship is lovely, the ship is just the means of getting from A to Z. It is the “private” tours in a smaller, intimate group not only to wineries and vineyards but also visiting hilltop villages, private showing of a traditional accapella group planned just for you or dinner reservations in a private dining room that make this trip so memorable. You cannot find this trip anywhere else. We have even had our group participants plant vine starts in a vineyard, jump in a vat of wine to stomp the harvested grapes, ride a camel up the Todd River, ride a hot air balloon over the Atherton Tablelands – these are unique one of a kind experiences that give you “bragging rights”. My clients tend to want to spend time rubbing elbows with townspeople, enjoy authentic home cooked meals at a family’s working farm. One of my favorite memories in Australia was rounding up sheep and then getting to shear them. My Merino gloves now bring back wonderful memories every time I wear them.
Everyone wants a great travel story, so these authentic experiences provide just that. A trip’s emotional value will mean something different to each person. Some of you may know right away what that might be, for others it may take some digging on my part to find out just what will be your “ahhh” memory. The last thing you want is to be caught saying “I wish I had known about such and such when I was there”!
Authentic experiences are growing in popularity, but due to the overload of information online it’s my job to know which are truly authentic and not just a well designed sales pitch. This is why it is so extremely important for me to vet the experiences, making sure I am offering something truly unique, personalized and authentic – and you guys just thought I was flitting here and there. NO, I am working!!
Ultimately finding and delivering the right experiences to my clients pushes my creativity and it gives me an opportunity to surprise and delight you. As I have mentioned in a past travel brochure, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. I love my job and I so enjoy helping you create some happiness and memories for a lifetime.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If I can help you create some delightful memories just contact me.