SETTING EXPECTATIONS IN ADVANCE IS KEY. THIS WILL ALLOW EVERYONE ON THE TRIP TO HAVE MAXIMUM ENJOYMENT. WE KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE THAT FAMILY BONDING WHILE ABROAD IS INTENSE AND UNFORGETTABLE. IT’S A WILD RIDE OF THRILLING SIGHTS, SOUNDS AND SMELLS.
TO EXPERIENCE IT ALL WITH YOUR LOVED ONES IS HONESTLY A GIFT. FOR THE TRUE WANDERLUSTERS OUT THERE, LIKE ME, TRAVEL ENTAILS OPENING YOUR MIND, NON-STOP LEARNING, GREAT EXERCISE, WITNESSING DRAMATIC SCENERY FIRST HAND, AND EXPERIENCING INCREDIBLE HIGHS AND LOWS ALL IN THE QUEST FOR ADVENTURE AND KNOWLEDGE.
GIVING THE GIFT OF CULTURAL EXPOSURE AND ADVENTURE TO YOUR KIDS IS PRICELESS. TIMING IS KEY. THE AGE OF YOUR CHILDREN IS A GOOD STARTING PLACE FOR DECIDING WHAT TYPE OF TRIP TO TAKE. I CAN HELP YOU MAKE THESE CRUCIAL DECISIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, AN AFRICAN SAFARI OR A TRIP TO PERU IS HONESTLY BETTER FOR CHILDREN OVER THE AGE OF TEN. BUT PARIS FOR A FIVE YEAR OLD CAN WORK, AS LONG AS YOU PREPARE!
DETERMINING when to go
IT STARTS BY CAREFULLY MATCHING UP WORK AND SCHOOL CALENDARS. ASKING IF ANYONE CAN MISS SCHOOL OR MISS WORK IS AN IMPORTANT STEP. IF NOT, AND YOU MUST TRAVEL WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE SCHOOL BREAKS THEN YOU WILL NEED TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR HIGHER PRICES AND LOWER AVAILABILITY ON FLIGHTS AND HOTELS. THIS IS WHEN PLANNING FAR IN ADVANCE CAN HELP TREMENDOUSLY. WE CAN HELP YOU MAKE THE TRIP WORK WITH A COMBINATION OF CREATIVITY AND FLEXIBILITY.
DECIDING WHO TO TAKE WITH YOU (OR JUST GO SOLO!)
THIS IS WORTH TAKING THE TIME TO THINK ABOUT. MAKE SURE TO TAKE EACH PERSON’S TEMPERATURE SEE HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT TAKING THIS TRIP. TRAVEL TAKES A LOT OUT OF PEOPLE AND YOU DEFINITELY WANT TO START A BIG TRIP WITH ALL PARTICIPANTS FULLY ON BOARD!
CHILDREN AGES 10 AND BELOW MAY NOT REMEMBER MUCH ABOUT THESE TRIPS WHEN THEY ARE OLDER. KEEP THAT IN MIND AS YOU PLAN OUT THE MEMORY-MAKING AGENDA. YOU MAY GET CUTE PICTURES OF YOUR SEVEN YEAR OLD IN FRONT OF BIG BEN OR THE EIFFEL TOWER BUT IN A FEW YEARS THAT CHILD WON’T HAVE TOO MUCH TO SAY ABOUT IT.
SHOULD THIS BE A FAMILY TRIP? OR SHOULD YOU TAKE ONLY THE OLDER CHILDREN? SHOULD JUST THE ADULTS GO? OR SHOULD THIS BE A BONDING TRIP WITH ONLY ONE CHILD? SHOULD THE GRANDPARENTS JOIN IN? SHOULD THIS BE A TRIP WHERE YOU GO SOLO? WE CAN HELP YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT THIS FROM EVERY ANGLE SO THAT IT MAKES THE MOST SENSE FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY.
WE CAN HELP YOU ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS OF YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION.
Deciding where to go
This is an easy one for us. we have been so many amazing places (see travel resume) and we can certainly guide you well in this important decision process. we have our crew on the ground in many parts of the world. They live and work in the countries we know best.
Help with BOOKING FLIGHTS
THERE ARE SO MANY SEARCH ENGINES TO CHOOSE FROM BUT SOMETIMES IT’S BETTER TO BOOK DIRECTLY WITH THE AIRLINE. BUT IN WHAT CASES? WE CAN HELP YOU NAVIGATE THIS COMPLICATED WORLD OF AIRLINE TICKETS. AND WE ALSO HAVE EXPERTS WHO CAN QUICKLY ASSESS WEATHER USING MILES IS BETTER THAN CASH. IT’S BEST TO DO ALL OF THIS FAR IN ADVANCE OF YOUR INTENDED TRIP DATE. WE CAN ALSO STEER YOU INTO THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL AND WHY.
FOR MANY COUNTRIES YOU NEED TO DO A FAIR AMOUNT OF PRE-DEPARTURE WORK FAR IN ADVANCE OF YOUR DATE OF TRAVEL. SOME EXAMPLES OF THIS ARE IMMUNIZATION SHOTS. WE CAN HELP YOU NAVIGATE THE MURKY WATERS OF “RECOMMENDED VERSUS MANDATORY.” THERE ARE A NUMBER OF ESSENTIAL AREAS TO PAY ATTENTION TO FAR IN ADVANCE OF A BIG TRIP, SUCH AS PASSPORTS AND VISAS. WE CAN HELP MAKE SURE THAT YOU DON’T ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT WITH AN INSUFFICIENT PASSPORT.
advice on TOURS AND TOUR COMPANIES
THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS OUT THERE, BUT I CAN ADVISE YOU ON WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN CHOOSING (OR NOT CHOOSING) TO GO THIS ROUTE. THERE ARE CERTAINLY ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES TO SIGNING UP FOR WITH A FULL SERVICE TOUR COMPANY.
THERE ARE MANY ASPECTS TO THINK ABOUT, INCLUDING PRICE AND HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT TRAVELING WITHIN A LARGER GROUP FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. I’VE EXPERIENCED MANY TYPES OF TOURS, FROM FULL PACKAGE GROUP TOURS, TO MORE PERSONALIZED TOURS, TO DAILY TOURS. I CAN TELL YOU FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE HOW THEY COMPARE AND WHAT EACH HAS TO OFFER VERSUS THE REST.
WE ALSO OFFER GUIDANCE WITH ARRANGING YOUR TRIP IN A WAY THAT MAXIMIZES THE ATTRACTIONS YOU WANT TO SEE. KNOWING WHICH TICKETS TO BOOK IN ADVANCE IS KEY.
tips on TOUR GUIDEs
IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT IF YOU ARE NOT GOING WITH A FULL PACKAGE TOUR, BUT WANT THE ADVANTAGE OF A DAILY TOUR GUIDE, THAT YOU LINE IT UP IN ADVANCE. WAITING UNTIL YOU ARRIVE IS LEAVING TOO MUCH UP TO CHANCE, SUCH AS AVAILABILITY AND YOUR ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE PRICE. WE HAVE SO MANY GOOD GUIDES ALL OVER THE WORLD WHO WE HAVE LIKED AND WHO WE TRUST AND CAN ARRANGE.
Our packing tips are endless, but it all starts with the list. The packing list is the key to successful travel. And packing far in advance is critical. Last minute packing causes over-packing of non-essential items. The trick is to pack light and pack smart.
We have so many packing tricks (some that I learned as long ago as my college backpacking in Europe). I admit that I’m a huge fan of the clear plastic bag approach. There is so much in the way of packing aids offered nowadays that it’s hard to pick out which items are a waste of space and money and which are the real time and space savers. I can help you find the right items and stay away from the wrong ones.
Long haul flight insights
Packing for long flights is essential to arriving at your destination recharged and ready for the adventure to begin. To be comfy for hours on end you need to come prepared. Among many other items, I don’t board a plane without noise cancelling headphones and eyeshades. I’ve come to realize just how smart compression socks and slippers are!
CARRY-ON BAG tips
WHEN TRAVELING, MY CARRY-ON IS MY LIFELINE TO THE WORLD, FULL OF PROMISE AND PURPOSE. IT NEEDS TO MOVE EASILY AND BE LIGHTWEIGHT. I LOVE MY CURRENT ONE, IT’S A HOT PINK KIPLING AND SPINS WITH FLAIR NO MATTER THE TERMINAL. I HAVE A GREAT TRICK WHICH ALLOWS ME TO STASH THE BAG IN THE OVERHEAD AND KEEP MY AIRPLANE ESSENTIALS WITHIN REACH DURING FLIGHT. I HAVE PAGES TO SAY ABOUT WAISTBELTS AND PURSES IN TERMS OF SAFETY AND CONVENIENCE.
WE FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT FOUR WHEELS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO, FOR BOTH CARRY ON AND CHECKED LUGGAGE. TWO WHEELS OR NO WHEELS (GOD FORBID!) IS JUST A HASSLE AND A NUISANCE (AND PRACTICALLY PREHISTORIC!) WE CAN GUIDE YOU IN HOW TO THINK ABOUT YOUR LUGGAGE DECISIONS, FOR BOTH CARRY ON AND CHECKED LUGGAGE. IT IS IMPORTANT TO MATCH THE BAG TO THE TRIP AND WE CAN TELL YOU HOW TO DO THAT. WE CAN ALSO HELP GUIDE YOU TOWARD KEEPING YOUR BAGS SAFE AND IDENTIFIABLE AND ALSO EASY TO MANAGE WHILE YOU ARE TRAVELING.
Foreign Currency tips
We can help you decide whether to pre-order currency for your trip and how to do it the right way. You will want to give money to those peddlers that you will undoubtedly encounter in places like Cambodia and India.
Credit Card tips
We can help navigate you through determining which credit cards are best to use abroad and why. I have plenty of tricks to avoid international transaction fees and to best accrue extra mileage points.
Converter plug tips
Our advice is to make sure to bring a converter for each device. I can tell you about the benefits of certain plugs and why. I will also tell you why it’s important to consider who is traveling with you and keep their devices in mind. Fighting over who gets to use the converter plug is a bad use of vacation time.
tips on Communication Apps & International Data Plan
There are so many options and they keep changing, I can advise you on which apps to use to make WiFi calls and texts for free while abroad. It is imperative that you tell your wireless carrier that you will be abroad. I can help you minimize the wireless costs by choosing the right international plan prior to departure.
Let’s face it, doing laundry while you are traveling is a pain, but we have found some essential items and methods that make it quite bearable. Sometimes you just don’t have the time to wait for the hotel to do your laundry (and it costs a small fortune). So it’s often better to wash small essential items and let them dry overnight in your hotel room.
Buying and bringing home souvenirs is an art form, in our opinion. We can help you bring the best ones home safely. Shopping, especially for clothing, is most certainly a way to embrace and understand the culture.
We have great ideas on what to look for and how to bring home the perfect gifts for friends and family and for yourself too.
Shipping large or fragile items home can be extremely useful, but in certain cases it can be extremely expensive. We can help guide you so that you avoid the latter.
tips on Shoes and Clothing
We can advise you on your “go-to” shoes and socks. Clothing has a lot of layers, literally!
We can cover everything from hats to versatile pants to convertible evening outfits.
tips on TRAVELING WITH INJURY
WE HAVE FOUND SO MANY ITEMS HAVE MADE TRAVEL WITH INJURY MUCH MORE BEARABLE. KNOWING WHICH ICE PACKS, BRACES, OTC AND PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES TO BRING CAN INCREASE YOUR TRAVEL EXPERIENCE EXPONENTIALLY. FROM BAD TENNIS ELBOW TO TORN ACL’S JUST PRIOR TO LONG INTERNATIONAL TRIPS, I AM ALL TOO FAMILIAR WITH HOW TO TRAVEL WHILE INJURED. I HAVE LEARNED THE HARD WAY.
tips on FIRST AID
WE CAN ADVISE ON WHAT ESSENTIALS TO PACK TO PREPARE FOR ILLNESS OR INJURY ON A TRIP.
Chargers, chargers, chargers, Batteries, batteries, batteries! We can tell you which tech gadgets you can never have too many of (SD cards!!) and which items you do not want to lug with you.
One of our tips: If you choose to travel with your laptop, as we do, make sure to back it up to an external hard drive that you leave and lock.
The path to Preserving those memories
We believe in putting a lot of forethought into documenting your trip. It is an investment of your time, energy and money, so capturing the trip to share and enjoy in the future only makes sense. We have so many tips to share on this topic! We love our iPhones, yes, but there are some essential supplements to consider while on a trip.
Deciding which selfie stick to bring (if any at all!) and how to manage your photos each day of your vacation can save you so much time and headache later on. We can also give you tips on how to take better pictures, ones you will treasure not trash.
I have 35 years of travel journal experience and I know how to organize it. Done well, in conjunction with your photos and videos, your trip can make a beautiful presentation rather than just sit in a drawer or live on your phone.