Getaway gifts: Kristin Songy Diehl of Depart & Discover on presents you can’t wrap

While all the items that are soon to cover the skirts of Christmas trees across the Capital City are sure to bring immediate joy when hastily unwrapped on December 25, how long will those items stay in the playrooms and closets of the recipient? In an environment that is increasingly focused on the experience over the ownership of things, Kristin Songy Diehl, the travel agent behind Depart & Discover, is taking a new approach to gifting–one that she says is focused on the immeasurable value of time spent together.

“There are a few ways to ‘gift’ a trip,” explains Diehl, noting that for some people, making the decision during the holidays to go light on Christmas and instead plan something for the future takes the place of a traditional present. “The beauty of working with an agent is that you have the luxury of leeway with things like dates. That way, we can get started planning but everything doesn’t necessarily have to be booked.”

Here are a few of Diehl’s suggestions, based on different gifting methods:

To surprise your partner, I suggest riverboat cruises like Uniworld’s Splendors of Egypt 12-day Cairo cruise. Not only are riverboat cruises easy to plan, but they also offer flexibility if you need to change a cruise date or destination. Perfect for a surprise.

To surprise your kids, forget Disneyland! I suggest visiting Europe or another international destination with Adventures by Disney, which are tour-based trips that offer culturally immersive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that parents and kids can enjoy.

If you and your partner are sharing equally in the planning, there are countless options. From an easy getaway at Gateway Canyons in western Colorado to a custom-tailored trip through Asia, you can work together to find what speaks to you and make the whole planning process part of the fun.

To treat yourself, I suggest taking a retreat dedicated to solo travelers at BodyHoliday Saint Lucia. During the month of September, the resort designs each guest a personalized schedule of daily spa treatments, fitness classes and an entire array of sports on land and on water. In addition, the resort also organizes an assortment of hosted group activities that range from cocktail and dinner parties to sunset cruises.

Diehl says if you are opting for surprising your partner or kids, one fun way to make up for the intangibility of a future trip is to wrap things like luggage tags, a travel journal or even a small item that is customary to the place you are going.

“I have a client who is gifting his wife a Viking River Cruise for later this year,” says Diehl. “Since one of the places they will be going is Amsterdam, he is going to give her a bouquet of tulips when he tells her about the surprise.”

And for Diehl, it’s the thoughtfulness of a moment like that one that makes trips the ultimate gift. Not only do they key into things like bucket lists, but they allow a couple, family or just yourself to set aside time dedicated to creating memories.

To learn more about Diehl, check out this story from the inRegister archives. And to get started with the booking process, visit depart-discover.com.

Story by: RILEY BIENVENU, To view the original story, click here.

10 questions with travel agent Kristin Songy Diehl of Depart & Discover

All you need to do is check your Instagram feed to know that it is officially the peak of travel season. There’s someone sipping espresso on the streets of Paris, a couple zip-lining through the Amazon, and yet another of your friends lounging on some beach with a tropical drink in hand. To get our readers en route to their own perfect escape, inRegister sought out the expertise of travel consultant Kristin Songy Diehl of Depart & Discover. Diehl shares advice on destination, pricing, packing and the benefits of using an agency.

1. What is the most important thing to consider when deciding on a destination for travel?

Date and duration. Knowing your target travel dates will help determine the ideal locations based on season and peak travel time. The duration of your trip dictates the distance you should consider traveling. For example, if it is a quick weekend trip, you need an easy flight or drive to maximize your time.

2. Before diving into the planning of a trip, how should travelers conceptualize their price range?

Start with the hotel nightly rate you are accustomed to paying or that is ideal, then multiply it by the length of your trip. Then add in your estimated airfare and a daily balance for any tours or excursions.

3. What are some major must-dos when preparing for a trip?

Spend some time considering what you want your vacation to look like and what you want to take away from the experience. Do you need a stress-free, relaxed setting? Are you looking to make as many memories as possible with extended family? Do you want to stay active and engaged the whole time? Worry less about exactly where. If you know your date, duration, budget and preferred experience, I can create a unique package just for you.

4. Do you suggest preparing a strict itinerary or “going with the flow” while on vacation?

I suggest a balance of activity and leisure. Scheduling an itinerary in advance helps clients make the most of their time, but I always include a balance of leisure time for relaxing, resting and the amazingly unexpected.

5. Any money-saving tips for the frugal traveler?

Book in advance and take advantage of shoulder seasons to avoid surge pricing due to last-minute bookings and the high demand of peak travel seasons.

6. What are your favorite locations for clients traveling this summer?

Romantic getaways: Amanyara in Turks and Caicos, and The Allison in Oregon’s Willamette Valley

Family vacations: Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens in Costa Rica, and Rimrock Resort in Banff, Canada

Weekends with friends: Faena Hotel in Miami Beach, and Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara

7. Packing! Tell us your secrets.

Keep it simple. Organize what you pack by day and try it on beforehand. Use the same colors to coordinate shoes and accessories.

8. Do you have any favorite travel resources? Blogs, authors, etc.?

Yes! My team of SmartFlyer agents. The tourism industry is ever changing, but being connected allows me to book what our team knows and trusts. That means that the hotels I work with will do everything they can to take care of my clients. In return, I share the positive experience with my future clients and team of agents.

9. What is the one thing you never leave at home when you travel?

Chargers and a basic extension cord. Let’s be honest, outlet placement and availability isn’t always ideal.

10. What are the benefits to working with an agent instead of planning it all on your own?

Time savings, suggestions on new areas to explore, up-to-date information, tangible and reliable travel assistance, and help managing costs through insider access and travel perks without additional fees.

Many people have the false impression that using an agent will cost more! But actually, there are no additional costs to the traveler. Just like online booking companies (Expedia, Hotels.com, etc.), agents make commission paid to them by hotels, airlines, tour operators and cruise ships.

Story By: JORDAN LAHAYE, To view the original story, click here.

Hey 2018! Where are we going?

Where are we going in 2018? Here are my personal favorites from Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2018.

Marrakesh, Morocco
The Moroccan city has attracted an artistic crowd since the 1960s, when everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Mick Jagger fell for its vibrant sensory landscape. Now the city’s cultural scene is being reinvigorated, thanks to two landmark happenings in the world of art and design. First came last October’s launch of the YSL Museum — a striking geometric building next to the Jardin Majorelle, which Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, bought and restored in the 1980s. Then, in February, the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair will debut at the storied hotel La Mamounia. Marrakesh has had an art biennial since 2005 — the next is slated for 2020 — and the city is home to a number of well-regarded galleries. But the arrival of 1:54, which has editions in London and New York and draws names like Billie Zangewa and William Kentridge, is set to position the city as a hub for African art. There’s also hotel news. Oberoi is poised to open its third African property here, a lakeside resort surrounded by citrus orchards. And Royal Mansour has added a 6,450-square-foot pool flanked by seven air-conditioned cabanas. —Flora Stubbs

Grenada
Grenada, known as Spice Island, remains one of the Caribbean’s under-the-radar gems, even though it’s got what every traveler wants: uncrowded beaches, preserved rain forests, and a lively local culture and cuisine. The island, which was spared from last fall’s brutal hurricane season, is poised to attract new luxury travelers when the Silversands Hotel opens in March 2018. The first major resort to open on Grand Anse Beach in 25 years, Silversands will offer 68 rooms and suites, nine villas, and the longest pool in the Caribbean. After a recent renovation, the beloved Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel is now part of Relais & Châteaux, only the fifth hotel in the Caribbean to be invited to join the celebrated hotel group. Getting to the island is a cinch — JetBlue added daily service from New York City last year, and Grenada is now a port of call for 33 new cruise ships — and visitors will soon have even more options for high-end stays, with Kimpton Kawana Bay and the Levera Beach Resort both in the works.

Salina Island, Italy
Of all the islands that make up Italy’s Aeolian archipelago, Salina is arguably the most alluring: it is not yet a celebrity haven like its neighbor Stromboli, where Giorgio Armani, Domenico Dolce, and Stefano Gabbana have homes; and it’s not yet overrun with the luxury yachts of affluent soccer players like nearby Panarea. That the isle has stayed blissfully unspoiled for this long eludes those who know of its imposing natural beauty — steep mountains blanketed in blossoming trees and wildflowers, small villages speckled with olive and lemon groves, fig trees, and miles of terraced Malvasia vineyards. The Relais & Châteaux property Capofaro Malvasia & Resort is one of Salina’s finest places to check in to, thanks to its secluded location, private beach, Tasca d’Almerita wines, and restaurant spotlighting local flavors (think wild fennel, orange, and caper leaves). Once you’ve settled in, skip on over to the town of Lingua to watch the sun set on the Marina Garibaldi, and order the best almond granita of your life at the Da Alfredo waterfront café. —Rocky Casale

Toronto
With its recent 150th anniversary celebration, pop-culture cred (Drake, Ryan Gosling, and Justin Bieber have Canadian roots), and charismatic prime minister, the Great White North has finally begun to receive the international recognition it deserves — and Toronto has been preening itself for this lead role. Luxe properties and forward-thinking restaurants have been popping up across the city: there’s Queen Street’s historic Broadview Hotel, which reopened in the burgeoning East End with guest-room details like vinyl turntables and burgundy velvet drapes, and the stylish Bisha Hotel downtown, where the likes of Lenny Kravitz and celebrity chef Akira Back have lent their design and culinary expertise. In stereotypically modest Canadian fashion, Brothers Food + Wine — one of the city’s most exciting new openings — is housed inside a tiny, nondescript space just above the Bay Street subway station, but dazzles with seasonal dishes like crispy steelhead trout with braised gem lettuce and yogurt-and-caper sauce. Next up: in Spring 2018, the Museum of Contemporary Art will move into a century-old former factory in the Junction Triangle. —Jennifer Salerno

Ireland
The Emerald Isle has seen a rush of American visitors recently, spurred by favorable exchange rates and increased airlift. If you haven’t yet made the trip, now’s the time to go. Adare Manor, a hotel set in a grand 19th-century mansion on 840 acres of rolling County Limerick countryside, reopened in November after an 18-month overhaul. The picturesque estate now has a new 42-room wing, a redesigned golf course, and the first La Mer Spa in the British Isles. Ireland’s whiskey scene has been quietly blooming for the last decade, and recently historic estates have embraced the trend. In August, Slane Castle in County Meath opened its new distillery to the public, and later this year, the iconic Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow will debut its own craft facility. In Dublin, Pearse Lyons, a wealthy Irishman with Kentucky-bourbon bona fides, recently opened his namesake distillery in the former St. James’s Church, and more whiskey destinations with visitor centers are soon to come from the Dublin Liberties and Roe & Co. And now that Luas, Dublin’s light rail system, has finally completed its latest expansion, getting around the city is a breeze — the $433 million project has linked two lines and added new stops near many of the city center’s most popular sights. —Lila Battis

Mendoza, Argentina
It’s one of the world’s great wine capitals, and like any great vintage, Mendoza is only getting better with age. Start your tasting tour in the Uco Valley, where Casa de Uco’s vineyard-view eco-villas will debut this year. Head down the road to to Vines of Mendoza’s Winemakers’ Village for small-production wines from the likes of Corazón del Sol and SuperUco, and to dine at winery Bodega Monteviejo, where renowned Spanish chef Nadia Harón cooks up Mediterranean-tinged fare inspired by the wines. In Maipú, wineries like Club Tapiz and Trapiche are giving visitors a true taste of the local terroir, using produce grown on the vineyard grounds in their restaurants. Back in town, plot your return trip over a pie at Francis Mallman’s year-old pizzeria, Orégano. With new direct flights from Lima, Panama City, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo, and low-cost carrier Norwegian Air plotting dozens of new routes, tacking a Mendoza stop on to your next South American itinerary will be a breeze. —Sorrel Moseley-Williams

Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv has attracted a lot of attention for its nightlife and creative culinary scene in recent years. These days its center of gravity has shifted south, to the site of the ancient port town of Jaffa (technically part of the city itself). This month, the Setai opens in a former Ottoman prison; a new W Hotel housed in a 19th-century former convent and pilgrims’ hospice is scheduled to open in March. It’s just the latest in a growing list of upscale hotels, restaurants, and boutiques to arrive among the winding streets of this former fishing village. Jaffa’s once-shabby flea market is now populated by a number of high-end antique dealerships, which sit alongside trendy cafés and bars — many offering live music into the night. Don’t miss Maskit, an iconic Israeli fashion house known for its embroidery that has been recently reincarnated after closing in the 1990s. Numerous interesting chefs have also set up shop among Jaffa’s churches, mosques, and archaeological sites. Try Beit Kandinof, a restaurant housed in a 17th-century building, where creative dishes like artichoke-and-pesto bruschetta are served alongside local art exhibits. —Sara Toth Stub

 

Spring Break Options

It is not too late to plan an unforgettable spring break. From sun to ski, I have a variety of options to perfectly fit your travel needs. Need a suggestion? Here is a few.

Lux Privacy
For perfect for multi-generational families or a group of families, head to Villa Manzu 4-Bedroom-awithin the lush grounds of the Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica. This completely private sanctuary offers eight suites and can fit up to 22 guests. In addition to the 180-degree sea views, this completely staffed (from an executive chef team to an activity staff) villa offers two swimming pools, a spa, theater room, expansive bar/party room. The grounds are dotted with hammocks, chairs and restful areas, perfect for watching monkeys cavort in the trees.
Inquire for pricing information and full inclusions
http://www.villamanzu.com/

Entertaining Culture
Dust off your dancing shoes and soak up some salsa at Quiebra Canto Cartagena while hotel-casa-san-agustin_147204946735staying in Cartagena, Columbia. Cartagena offers plenty of history and activity. This town is perfect for those who prefer to burn the mid-night oil. Stay in Old Town at the elegant Hotel Casa San Augustin. The hotel features a sexy, low-lit bar, beautifully prepared food and a romantic pool in the central atrium. Want to bring the whole family? Cartagena offers plenty of villa options in various price ranges.
Prices Vary
http://hotelcasasanagustin.com-cartagena.com/

Ski in Style
Jackson Hole offers some of the world’s best and most challenging runs in the world—and this hotel boasts ski-in/ski out capabilities. Hotel Terra is an eco-friendly, ultra-chic lshotel. The two-bedroom suite is fully equipped; every necessary kitchen item is available for conveniently making meals at home. Oversized windows open to a terrace with a breathtaking mountain view. Conveniently, the hotel is home to two of Jackson Hole’s best restaurants, Il Villagio Osteria and Terra Cafe.
Nightly rate starting at $899 for two-bedroom
http://www.hotelterrajacksonhole.com/

POLAR BEAR MIGRATION FLY-IN PHOTO SAFARI

This is an exclusive polar bear photography tour and a rare opportunity. This cabin-based photo safari is specially designed to get you close to one of the world’s most magnificent predators in their natural habitat.

MICHELLE_VALBERG_Polar Bear_V3X2117
Photo Credit: Michelle Valberg

Fly by private charter, along the west coast of Hudson Bay from Churchill, MB. On this short, 50-minute flight, a lucky few may even get a chance to view and photograph Arctic wildlife from above.

Strategically located in “polar bear alley”, our Polar Bear Cabins site is situated directly in the path of polar bears as they search for the first sea ice forming on the bay. Get the opportunity to safely photograph polar bears at ground level, behind an unobtrusive electric fence. Polar bears are known to wander right up to the fence!

Escape and unplug at our intimate, remote and rustic private cabin complex for an exclusive and comfortable experience in the North.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Safely observe polar bears up-close from our Polar Bear Cabins, surrounded by an unobtrusive electric fence
  • Experience a remote and fascinating tundra environment with some of the world’s best polar bear viewing
  • Short hikes over frozen tundra with seasoned Inuit guides
  • Enjoy the magical Northern Lights at night
  • A 50-minute private charter flight over the tundra – perfect for aerial photography
  • Stay in private guest cabins with en-suite bathrooms and private showers, and enjoy gourmet food prepared by a private chef
  • SAFELY SEE POLAR BEARS UP-CLOSE: AN AUTHENTIC ARCTIC TUNDRA EXPERIENCE

    Polar Bear and Man_DAVID_BRIGGS__MG_3461 - edited high res
    Photo Credit: David Briggs

 

TRIP DETAILS:
PRICE: USD $7,995 (+ $399.75 tax) *based on double occupancy
LOCATION: 110km south of Arviat
LENGTH: 7 days/ 6 nights
AIR PACKAGE: Flights from Winnipeg, MB (YWG) to Churchill, (YYQ) round-trip: USD $1325 (+ $66.25 tax)
INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY: Winnipeg, MB (YWG)
GROUP SIZE: 8
TRANSPORTATION: Private aircraft
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE: -20°C to -5°C (-4°F to +23°F)
DAYLIGHT: 8 – 10 hours
DATES:
October 16 – 22, 2017
October 24 – 30, 2017
October 28 – November 3, 2017
November 1 – 7, 2017
November 9 – 15, 2017
November 13 – 19, 2017

INCLUDED:
Meals: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches and snacks, 4 dinners
Accommodations:
4 nights in the Polar Bear Cabins
2 nights in a Winnipeg hotel
Services of Arctic Kingdom Expedition Leaders and Inuit guides
Private charter aircraft from Churchill, MB to the Polar Bear Cabins

NOT INCLUDED:
Round-trip flight to Winnipeg to Churchill (Ask about our special rates!)
Round-trip flights from your home to Winnipeg
Accommodation in Ottawa
Tips, gratuities, personal expenses
Travel, medical and evacuation insurance
Additional costs associated with weather and/or layovers in Winnipeg or Churchill
Meals in Winnipeg
Polar Clothing Rental Package strongly encouraged

Feature Image Photo Credit: Francoise Gervaise

Pricing Costa Rica

Enjoy a tropical escape in

Options like this package don’t come often. This is how Costa Rica is traveled right! Contact me about booking or to personalize this trip.

Let your cares melt away as you experience the very best in Costa Rica. Your unique tour of Costa Rica starts in the capital city, San Jose. You will spend your first night at Hotel Grano de Oro, a converted Victorian mansion nestled in the heart of the city. Enjoy a cocktail in the gorgeous courtyard before you embark on a wonderful fine dining experience.a43d6830-8237-42c6-9d09-4645ea29b024

Next you will fly to the pristine Southern Zone of Costa Rica where you will spend the next 3 nights at Hacienda AltaGracia, an Auberge Resort, surrounded by lush mountains. Immerse yourself in the beautiful natural scenery and be sure to take an ultralight flight and ride the extensive trails on horseback.

After you take in the full mountain experience, you will fly to Costa Rica’s popular, 6739bd49-3934-4a7c-bb45-e6b6637ddd16celebrity-favorite beach – Santa Teresa. Indulge all of your senses at Latitude 10, an exclusive beach retreat. You have 5 nights to truly relax, unwind and become one with the laid back culture of this Costa Rica beach town. The seafood is fresh, the sand is white, and the vibe is totally Pura Vida. This mountain and beach combo trip will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed!

Pricing for this 9-night program:
From $2,190 per person, double occupancy
Valid for Travel: now – December 19, 2017

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Details:
• Hotel Grano de Oro – acommodations for 1 night in a Deluxe King Room
• Hacienda AltaGracia – accommodations for 3 nights in a Deluxe Casita
Includes: Breakfast daily
Virtuoso Benefits: Upgrade at time of arrival (subject to availability)
Guest choice of: Personal tour of the State of the Art Equestrian Center with a 30 minute horseback ride for 2 people OR a $100 Resort Credit (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
Early check-in/Late check-out, subject to availability
• Latitude 10 – accommodations for 5 nights in a Master Suite
Includes: Breakfast daily & a complimentary candle-lit dinner for 2 with sparkling wine

All private ground transfers and domestic flights are included. There are many wonderful tour offerings in both areas, we can customize your tour options to fit your interests.

Catena Safaris Argentina

Some clients want boutique hotels and beaches, but others prefer adventure! Let me introduce and book a trip to be remembered.

But hurry, limited spots for peak season of 2018.

Real adventure can be found immersed in the culture of Argentina! After flying into the booming city of Bueno Aires, hop over to Catena Safaris Argentina’s Andalen Lodge. Andalen Hunting Lodge is located 34 miles from the city of Santa Rosa, in the province of La Pampa. The Ranch was established in a location of the Argentine Pampas where the ongoing study and monitoring of species ensures guests the most prized trophies in Big Game Hunting Argentina, but with the most careful consideration of nature and the healthy practice of the sport.

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Catena Safaris Argentina is the result of a family hunting and fishing tradition.
Nicolas Catena founder of the company, son and grandson of big time hunters and fisherman, has become a lover and specialist of the outdoors activities and hosting of international hunters, and since the last 10 years, he positioned the company as one of the Top Outdoor Companies in South America.

 

“We know the value and treat of confidence a client gives us when he books a Safari with us, that’s why we take care of our clients from the moment they arrive to Argentina, meet & greet service upon arrival, personalized hosting, professional outfitting on the Hunting/Fishing fields, helping with hotels in Buenos Aires, booking local flights and any other need the client may have… making their stay with us an unforgettable memory…”
“Nico” Catena – Founder & General Manager

c5Andalen Lodge
Full board accommodations based on double rooms, with wine and/or beer, drinks at meals and international Chef service. These do not include national taxes, insurance, tips, hunting licenses and air fares.
March – August US$ 390/hunter/day – Trophy fees priced separately. 

Big Game Hunts. High Season MARCH, APRIL, MAY (BEST TIME). Late March and April is when the Red Stag and Fallow Deer Takes Place. Also great weather.

Check out Catena’s video for more information!

Hunting:
Our hunts are 1 hunter, 1 guide. (Except for big groups of more than 4 hunters). The hunting method is stalking. We use blinds for bow hunters.
Available options to add:
Dove additional combined with big game Pack $350/day/hunter
Dove Hunting Program High volume at “Capelen Lodge” $690/day/hunter
Fishing $800/day/Angler

Lodging:
Our Lodge is a high end hunting style lodge with 5 double rooms, each with its private bathroom. The lodge has a big living room and Bar decorated with all kind of trophies and a huge fire place.

Cuisine:c6
Continental or American breakfast, 3-courses- lunch and dinner are served. Our staff will delight you with Argentinian typical dishes and varied international cuisine to enjoy with a selection of the finest Argentinian wines. The ranch has an international chef in charge of our gourmet cuisine. He puts on the table of our guests a great variety of exquisite meals based in game meat (deer, wild boar, and so on) and the world famous Argentinean beef. The guests will also enjoy our traditional Argentinean dishes, especially the “asado” (barbecue).

Facilities & Services:
Capacity: 8 guns
Rooms: 6 double with private bathroom.
There is no surcharge for single rooms, subject to availability.
Dining room, sitting room, bar, recreation room, gun cleaning table and facilities.
Internet access and satellite TV
Gourmet dining with Argentina’s famed beef and fine wines, traditional asados (BBQ) and delicious desserts.
Maid and laundry service
Masseuse
Gift shop offers local artwork and crafts, logo wear and accessories
Gun rental
First class professional hunting guides
Pick‐up boys

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Note: Prices subject to change. Availability limited. Email kristin.diehl@smartflyer.com for more information. 

 

St. Lucia Honeymoon

Here is a preview of my process to tailor make the perfect trips for my clients.

My favorite clients are the ones that know exactly what they want but don’t know where they want to go. Working as a travel advisor, I have access to up-to-date information and can organize and compile destination information on the fly. Otherwise, all the information can be overwhelming. When a client knows what they are looking for, I can help them find the perfect fit for their holiday!23294888

Recently I have been planning a November honeymoon. My clients knew they wanted the Caribbean, romance, luxury, and above all a killer villa with a private plunge pool. Immediately I knew the answer for their request, but worked with them to make sure I provided a sample of options to verify we settled on the perfect fit.

To start, I always look at flights. I do not want my clients wasting a full day in airports when a much similar destination is a direct flight away. A departure city can frequently determine your destination, especially in the Caribbean. Going somewhere for more than a week? That changes things.downloadable-route-map-696x201

Next, I find a variety of hotels to make sure I understand how the client likes to travel. Is it traditional or modern rooms? Is it luxury all the way or a little bit of bohemian glamping?

For my recent honeymooners, we quickly realized that Sugar Beach was the perfect spot for them. Once the resort was selected we made sure their villa was a perfect fit, that the all-inclusive package would be the superior deal, and that the dates of travel were all perfectly aligned.

vsb-beach-1208-1280x720Sugar Beach is the ultimate honeymoon destination. Each villa has a private plunge pool. The All-inclusive package is an amazing deal and eases the stress of resort pricing. The lush green landscape and towering backdrop of St. Lucia is absolutely breathtaking.

I have no doubt these clients will have honeymoon perfection, which only leaves one question…

Where do you want to go?

Why Work with an Agent

Why work with an Agent?

Help managing costs through insider access

Thanks to the Smart Flyer network, I have global contacts. Therefore, big travel companies also give us access to special deals and discounts that you normally can’t find yourself by searching on Expedia, Priceline, Booking.com, or any of the other online travel agencies and meta-search sites. Not to mention the added perks of being flagged a VIP. Once booked under an agent, hotels will spoil you to ensure a positive review back to the Smart Flyer team. Enjoy room upgrades, free meals, hotel credits, and more.

Up-to-date information

Travel agents are privy to industry knowledge and experience to make sure their client’s travel is of the utmost quality. We only book with contacts we know and trust through our networks. Clients are never booked with a hotel, transfer service, or tour guide that has not been vetted by the Smart Flyer Team. We monitor all of our contacts through regular site visits and shared customer feedback. I have eyes and ears worldwide keeping me updated.

Time saving

Your time is valuable and travel planning can be overwhelming. Plus, I love doing it! Clients who book independently typically frequent the same locations. Let me make sure you have the best options to choose from. Let’s be honest, the internet can have an overwhelming amount of information for new travel. I can help you take the road less traveled.

Tangible and reliable travel assistance

From hotels to transportation (air and ground), I have you covered. Booking through the Smart Flyer Air service, you never have to worry about delayed or missed flights. Our team is available to reschedule and handle your itinerary without you being on hold with the airlines! Our contacts on the ground can accommodate any needs or changes to your plans. Plus, we have teams ready to handle International issues with visas and customs

 

How are agents paid?

For the most part, agents make the majority of their money on commissions paid to them by hotels, airlines, tour operators, and cruise ships. The tourism industry is highly competitive and ever changing. We only book with contacts we know and trust through our networks. That means, the hotels we work with will do everything in their ability to take care of our clients, so in turn, we share the positive experience with my future clients and team of 200 international Smart Flyer Agents.
There is an option for my concierge services, such as booking airline tickets, making hard-to-get restaurant reservations, getting event tickets, or securing rooms in smaller independent hotels that, unlike large international chains, don’t pay commissions to agents.

Click for more information

 

Pack & Sail

I am asked a lot about sailing trips in the Virgin Islands. It is one of my favorite types of trips. Most travelers make the mistake of over packing. Let me walk you through some of the essentials.

What to pack.

Most obvious, is a versatile cover up. Something you feel comfortable in lounging on the boat or shopping around town. Remember, even the beach towns require proper coverage while shopping and dinning. Bring your shoes and properly cover up when getting off the boat. White Bay on Jost van Dyke and other obvious locations are an exception.

Cover Ups.

 

You know you will need swim attire, but be bold and bring a statement suit. Even if it is a modest choice.

Statement Swim

 

I am a sucker for button up shirts, especially when sailing. Dressing up for a dinner on island, shopping in town, and lounging on the boat always calls for the perfect button up. Go traditional, add some SPF, or have fun. Obviously I’m a fan of classic white and stripes.

Button Up

There will be a lot of lounge time on the boat, especially early morning when you wake and want out of your cabin. Do yourself and your boat mates a favor by packing appropriate fitness and lounge attire. I suggest linen pants and a lot of Lulu. Your fitness can be duel for active hiking days or water sports!

Lounge/Fitness

Last, there are items you always need for a warm, beach destination…

Don’t Forget