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Is a Tahiti Vacation Right for Me?

Tahiti is a truly special place: Yes, it is an island paradise, but it is also a fascinating cultural enclave; a treasure-trove of some of the most resplendent dive-sites that beckon even the world’s most seasoned divers; an escape from the hectic pace of everyday life. More than 30 years in the travel industry have made it clear to me that a given destination is not the right match for EVERY traveler. Each location has its own character that, when coupled with a particular visitor, can either make or break a vacation experience. This is why it is so crucial for me to learn about my clients’ personalities and travel preferences BEFORE we begin planning their dream holidays. If you’re considering a Tahiti get-away, then before you commit, ask yourself, “Is a Tahiti vacation right for me?” OR if you’d be better off visiting a different destination. 1) Which statement best describes you? A) I dream of waking early in the morning with a full schedule of daily sightseeing all the iconic architecture in some of the world’s most famous cities such as Rome, London or Madrid. B) I prefer to visit locations that are off the beaten path with incredible, stunning, natural beauty and interesting culture. A couple snorkeling in the pristine waters of a Tahitian island. 2) If you close your eyes to picture your dream vacation, which of the following descriptions most closely matches what you see? A) I picture myself filling every moment of my hard-earned vacation visiting the attractions of famous cities round the globe. B) I imagine myself snorkeling in crystal-clear water, learning...

Planning Your Perfect Girlfriend Getaway

One of the fastest growing travel specialties is the “Girlfriend Getaway,” and it is easy to understand why. After all the stresses of everyday life, there is nothing quite as enjoyable and relaxing as getting away from reality with those true friends who allow – and even encourage – you to be yourself without fear of judgement. Here are a few suggestions for upscale Girlfriend Getaways that some of my other clients have enjoyed: Spend a week shopping with your girlfriends in chic Milan How about a little retail therapy? Most women love to shop, so why not combine a week in Milan with great shopping, dining and entertainment options? Paris’ Champs-Élysées and London’s Oxford Street also come to mind, but there are many amazing options out there that are centrally located and served by convenient airports. Why not check into a luxurious spa or rejuvenating yoga retreat for a wellness getaway? A little pampering never hurt anyone, and you might even come home with some new healthy habits! For a truly decadent experience, check out the Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps, or I can help you book a once-in-a-lifetime yoga retreat in the Tahitian islands. Girls only luxury spa breaks at Schloss Elmau A week spent wine tasting, or possibly signing up for a cooking vacation, can be fantastic options for Girlfriend Getaways. Try something a little different, and take a wine tour through the beautiful Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia. Or combine the two activities into a sumptuous vacation by traveling to Tuscany, Italy, where you can taste some of the world’s best wines, while enjoying...

Are Holidays a Good Time to Travel?

Christmas at Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris, France Many people opt to not travel during major holidays for a variety of reasons. However, when clients ask me, “Are holidays a good time to travel?” I give them these five reasons why a holiday away makes PERFECT sense: 1. Use Fewer Vacation Days Extending a holiday that most people already have off minimizes the amount of time needed off from work. You’ll automatically get more bang for your buck. Now you can save those valuable vacation days for another getaway! 2. Step Away from the Hustle Bustle Kick back with a pool-side resort vacation – and take the stress out of holiday planning. Holidays can be a source of major stress for families (especially moms) as they juggle preparations, strong personalities of relatives, coordinate meals, shop for gifts and more. A luxury getaway helps them put the “pause” on all the planning. Sure, there’s preparation involved, but when the major decision of the day is deciding between the beach or the pool, it doesn’t seem too terribly taxing. Plus…I’m here to help with the planning and preparation…you just pack and go! 3. Create New Memories to Share Forever Make wonderful new memories to share with your family! Wake up early to watch the sun rise over the horizon. Visit a volcano. Explore the local music scene. Try new foods. Visiting a new destination can awaken the possibilities and a sense of adventure in any traveler. Sharing a unique, common experience is one of the best ways to strengthen bonds and create memories that you will cherish forever! 4. Leave...

10 Things You Need to Know Before You Visit Italy

I am often asked, “What are the things you need to know before you visit Italy?” Italy is, by far, the European country requested the most by my clients. In fact, over 46 million tourists visit this amazing country every year. They come from all over the world, for many different reasons, and many will return again and again for that magic that only Italy can deliver. Italians are very kind, outgoing, family-centric and extremely patient (unless they are driving!). The Italians realize how blessed they are to be the safe-keepers of some of history’s most magnificent relics and art treasures, and they are happy to share them. However, there are a few things that most Italians want Americans to know before we arrive in their country. Here is my list of the 10 Things You Need to Know before You Visit Italy: 1. Slow Down: You will NOT see it all! When in Italy, slow down to enjoy the experience. Trust me, the reason that the 46 million tourists descent upon Italy each year is because there is so much beauty to see and experience: culture, art, vineyards, food, museums, and the amazing people. A lifetime isn’t even enough time! So, slow down, take it all in, appreciate what you DO see…and then plan to return! 2. Dress more conservatively than you do at home. Miniskirts, short-shorts (they are for the beach only, in my opinion), halter tops and saggy jeans will not live up to the classic fashion taste of Italians. You don’t have to be formal and uncomfortable. You just have to appear neat, put-together and...

They missed their flights, but saved their $20K honeymoon. Here’s how they did it.

This couple missed their flights – but not all was lost. Like a lot of dramatic stories, this one starts with a couple in love. They’d just gotten hitched and were set to depart the next morning on their dream honeymoon to Bali. With their travel agent, a colleague of mine, they had planned for six months to make sure this was the trip of a lifetime. A stunning blue lagoon in Bali. For these honeymooning clients, she had booked ten incredible nights divided between the beach and a culturally-rich main city, complete with a private driver, 5-star resorts, VIP access to special honeymoon perks, and exciting excursions. For the honeymooners, this was not only a dream trip that represented a ton of planning time; it also was a significant financial investment for which they had worked and saved for months. Imagine their agent’s shock when she got a call on the morning of their departure: they’d uncharacteristically overslept and missed their flights to Indonesia. People think that the perks of hiring a travel agent begin and end with the planning, but that’s not true at all. The real benefit of hiring an agent is something you discover when an emergency arises and you’ve got to figure out what the heck to do. This travel agent saved the day! Their travel agent immediately moved into action. Here’s what she did: 1. She re-booked them on different flights that would get them to Indonesia as soon as possible without costing them another small fortune. Instead of paying $6,000 for new flights on the same carriers and through the same destination,...

Five tips for a stress-free, relaxing vacation

Ever feel yourself stuck in a vacationing rut? Maybe you try out different places, but they all kind of seem the same. Maybe you find the planning exhausting. Maybe you stress out over small things so that your energy gets sapped. Maybe you cram too many things into too little time, and you come back more tired than when you left. Maybe you bring work with you, even when you say you’re not going to, so that you wind up giving away precious vacationing hours to your job. I’m going to be bold and say: This is not what a vacation should feel like. Here are five tips for a stress-free, relaxing vacation. Trust me — you’ll never regret taking these on. Pick something to do every day that gives you a burst of activity. 1. Move a little bit every day you’re on holiday, especially if your job is the kind that has you sitting at a desk all day long. This isn’t about working out; it’s just about doing what your body and brain want you to do, which is move around a little. Lounging is great — there should definitely be time for lounging — but only lounging for days on end has an ironic de-energizing effect on the body. (It’s part of why desk work can be insanely exhausting, even though you technically didn’t do anything physical all day long.) Whatever your level of mobility or fitness, pick something to do every day that gives you a burst of activity: walking, swimming in the ocean, going for a bike ride, playing with your kids, doing...