As the world has basically shut down, those of us in the travel industry have been working overtime to ensure our clients are protected. Between mediating and negotiating on my client's behalf with the airlines and tour operators for refunds and travel credits, to rescheduling entire trips, I have not had time to take on many new trip requests, let alone travel myself. But, that is all about to change as we begin to come out on the other end of this, and here is a way we can all travel, even if it only "virtually." Distinguished Travelers will be hosting a virtual cruise night happy hour Tuesday June 16, at 7:00 PM EST (that's 6:00 PM for those in the Central Time Zone) to visit the Greek Islands on an exciting 7 night itinerary that takes you to some of the most wonderful Greek destinations. Will you join me?
What is a virtual cruise night?
Well, it is just what it sounds like. We will be holding a ZOOM, online meeting that you can attend on your computer, phone, or other portable device. On our meeting we will get a taste of what a Greek Islands cruise itinerary consists of- an overview of some of the most iconic and loved islands in the Mediterranean including their most famous sights, discover the vessel we will be traveling on, and learn about the all inclusive benefits of all the amenties it has to offer while on board your floating hotel. Just because we can't physically go there now, it doesn't mean that we cannot enjoy the destination, if only virtually, and from the comfort of your own home.
Where do we go?
Well, I am so glad you asked! On our cruise we will be sailing round trip Athens. Our voyage will take us to the islands of Crete, Rhodes, Mykonos, Milos, Santorini, and Kusadasi, Turkey. We will have extended time in ports rather than on the ship as this is a port focused itinerary - the destination is Greece, not the cruise ship! We will spend time "exploring" each island and getting insider information on the available sights we can visit, and experiences we can enjoy in each location. You will get additional information on the two tours that are included in your cruise fare in two of the ports we will visit.
How do I sign up?
Signing up is super easy! You can either email me separately or click on the contact me button at the bottom of this post and I will send your our ZOOM link. Please note, if you have not used ZOOM in the past, you will need to install the application beforehand. But trust me, if I can figure it out, ANYONE can! I do not even pretend to be technologically savvy, so do not let that be a deterrent, and I am happy to assist those with the process if you have any trouble. I have had to learn to be a little more flexible in how I conduct meetings with my suppliers, clients, and colleagues during this time, and ZOOM has by far been the best thing ever in assisting me to stay connected and be able to continue to maintain strong partnerships as well as increase my training in the industry and deepen my knowledge in destinations my clients love.
Are there any perks to being on the ZOOM?
WELL OF COURSE! For all of my Distinguisehd Travelers that are on the call, not only will you enjoy escaping to this paradise for a while, but you will also benefit by being insiders as I have leveraged special group space for several departure dates in 2021. This gives you the advantage of leveraging my relationships in the industry to get special pricing on a 7 night cruise from the low price of only $1019 per person total (pricing varies based on departure date). This includes all taxes, port charges and fees, gratuites, a beverage package, and 2 included tours. Also, if you make your reservation by June 30, you will receive up to €100 in on board credit as a gift to you from me. Not only that, but the deposit amount is only $150 per stateroom, and that is fully refundable up to 130 days prior to departure!
Will you join me?
I hope this has inspired you to join me on this unique getaway from the comfort of your own home. But, even if you cannot attend, you can still take advantage of the promotions just for being one of my Distinguished Travelers. Just shoot me a quick email and I am happy to give you all of the information. Don't let the inability to make the virtual cruise night deter you from taking advantage of this promotion. And, stay tuned! In August we will be highlighting and traveling "virtually" to some of my favorite Italian destinations! So even though we may not be able to travel for now, I can at least help you get away for a little while and explore some amazing travel destinations.
Do you have what it takes to be a group leader? How leading your own small group can benefit you and your travel companions!
Happy Holidays! I hope you and yours have had a wonderful holiday season filled with laughter, joy, love, and memories you will carry with you for a lifetime. As you look ahead to 2020 and where the year may take you, consider sharing and creating more memories with your loved ones by traveling together. Did you know that as few as SIX people can make up a small group trip? See if you have what it takes to be a group leader for your friends and family, and reap the rewards of exclusive small group travel (read no big busses here) curated and customized just for you!
Who is your group?
alsoThis is a key component of deciding if you have what it takes to be a group leader. Who do you travel with? Who do you WANT to travel with? The answer to this question is actually, quite simple! Your group can consist of friends or family that share a common bond. Parents, grandparents, adult, and young children, extended family - traveling together is a great way to reconnect and share experiences together. However, not only family can be your group, but friends that share a common affinity also make wonderful travel partners! Do you have friends who all love food and wine? Maybe it's a couple's trip. Or, even a girlfriend getaway. Creating your own small group of travelers is not as difficult as it may seem, and the benefits of traveling together far outweigh any of the hiccups along the way. PARTICULARLY if you partner with a professional such as Distinguished Travelers to assist with your planning! We work to make your travel experience as seamless as possible for you and your group.
Where do we go?
Ok, so you have "your people," but now how do you decide where to go? Oftentimes, this question is answered BEFORE you decide on who your traveling companions will be. Maybe you have a bucket list destination and you know that you have friends or family that also have expressed an interest in that destination. In this case it is easy to fill your group because the common bond you share is the destination. Perhaps, though, you have your traveling companions but can't all agree on where to travel to. In this case it is best to partner with a travel professional that can help you narrow down your choices based on everyone's expressed interests and desired experiences. I work with my clients to determine the best destination for the type of trip the group wants, as well as taking everyone's budget into consideration. Sometimes, I can offer a destination that hasn't even been considered but will hit most of the marks for what the group finds important.
There are definite financial perks to organizing a group trip versus flying solo. When you plan for a group, you are able to share in the cost of special services such as the use of a private guide or driver. Those services can be pricey, but when you split it 6 (or more) ways, it actually becomes MORE affordable than even doing some off the shelf big box, bus tour! Depending on your group size, you may be able to get a discounted hotel room block or group airfare rates. You may be able to afford exclusive, high end, personalized experiences you've only dreamed of simply because you have chosen to curate and lead your own group trip. Traveling in a small group of even only six people is much more cost effective than even traveling as a couple!
Create Your Dream Trip
Another great benefit to leading your own small group is the fact that you will get to create your own unique travel experience that will be EXACTLY what YOU want. You will have the ability to select the dates that work for your group and hand pick the destinations and sights you and your group will visit. By partnering with Distinguished Travelers, you will have access to my knowledge, expertise, and wealth of in country destination partners that I have spent my travel career cultivating realtionships with to ensure your trip contains all of the components and rich experiences you and your group desire. I do not sell off the shelf tours to my groups, but rather curate each trip to your specifications.
How do I get started?
Are you ready to start planning? Do you want to find the destination that is just right for you and your small group? Do you want a travel consultant to make the vacation planning process as painless as possible and save you hours of online research only to realize you still have no idea if what you think you have found is right for you and your fellow travelers? If you are ready to stop dreaming about that next great small group vacation and start planning, please don’t hesitate to contact me. And, stay tuned for an upcoming small group trip I have curated to the next European destination hotspot just for my Distinguished Travelers. Who knows, maybe you have what it takes to be one of the group leaders for this next trip and WOW your friends and/or family!
As I get ready to embark on this year's conference in Italy, I am reminded of the wonderful time I spent in Slovenia. This time last year I was preparing to attend the annual TTG Conference in Italy. At this conference, buyers and sellers of travel set meetings over a span of 3 days to discuss if and how we fit within each other's business model and if we are a good fit to work together. I met with countless hotels, local guides, drivers and tour operators, and regional tour companies for many regions in Italy. My total trip ended being up totaling 23 days abroad, but I am here to tell you about the last leg of my trip to Slovenia. I was invitied by an industry partner who wanted to show me his country and all it has to offer to visitors. If you are like me, I didn't know too much about Slovenia. But now, I am going to share with you why I believe it is the next European hotspot and why you should include it in your next European vacation itinerary!
All ready for my meetings in Venice last year and I can't wait for this year's conference!
#1 The budget minded traveler:
It's all small world, after all - let me help you see it all.