Travel

Travel Agent | Ingenious Travel

Posted in General Travel Information, Travel, on 12 July 2019, by , 0 Comments

“Do people still use a travel agent?”

It’s a question I hear often, and my answer is always the same…

ABSOLUTELY! At least, the smart ones do.

While the internet is chock full of information about every destination under the sun and there you will find a multitude of web sites dedicated to allowing you to book your vacations yourself, travel professionals still provide a valuable service for today’s savvy vacationers.

A quick Google search will put hundreds, if not thousands, of articles, blog posts, reviews, trip reports, photos and more at your fingertips. It can be more than a bit overwhelming!

How do you know what information is up to date and correct? Can you be sure those reviews are accurate and unbiased? Are those photos current and unedited?

And if you’ve ever said to yourself that you would never book with a travel agent because you prefer to do it all yourself, let me fill in on a little secret…

Those web sites you are using to search for the best price? They are all travel agencies.

Not only that, they typically have more restrictions and fees than working with a personal travel agent should you need to make a change or cancel your vacation unexpectedly. And then there is the issue of customer service, or in the case of many of these big online agencies, “customer no-service.”

Take a moment and compare the cancellation policies of your favorite travel discount website with those of the airline or resort directly. You’ll usually find them to be rather unforgiving. When you work with a travel professional, we typically have multiple travel partners we can use to customize your vacation, and we will take their cancellation and change policies into consideration in selecting the best option for your family.

And what about payments? Most of the time you will need to pay for your vacation in full when you book with an online discounter. A travel professional will be able to book your trip with a deposit and in many cases will allow you to make multiple payments on your vacation if you’d like to spread the cost out before you travel.

As a travel professional, I work with my clients providing them with top-notch service from the time they reach out to me until well after they return from their vacations.

I take the time to listen to their vacation wants, needs and expectations. I get to know them. I ask lots of questions to help make sure that the recommendations I make are right for them.

Sure, some of my clients come to me knowing exactly what they want down to the specific details, but more often than not what they’ve found either isn’t the right option to meet their expectations, or it isn’t the best value for their hard-earned vacation dollars. I am able to use my personal experience and vast industry network to recommend options tailor-made to meet their wants, needs, expectations, and budget.

Once we’ve found the perfect destination for them, I make sure that the options that go into their itinerary are the best value for their budget. I’ve spent years cultivating a network of relationships within the travel industry, and as a result, I am often able to secure additional perks or upgrades for my clients that they would not have been aware of had they planned their vacation themselves.

The services of a travel professional don’t end once you book your vacation. In fact, that’s often where the essential services begin.

It’s often the small details that make the difference between a good vacation and a well-planned, well-executed, outstanding vacation. Knowing that all of those little details are taken care of and have been double and triple checked by a professional means you can relax and enjoy your time knowing everything is taken care of for you.

You can also relax knowing that if anything should go wrong, you’ve got a professional in your corner helping to solve any problems and advocate for you should the need arise.

Whether it’s transportation delays or an issue at your resort, you need only contact me, and I will be working behind the scenes to resolve the situation. Because of my connections and the resources available through my travel partners, I can often facilitate a resolution sooner than you might expect.

Working with a travel professional is like having a personal concierge dedicated to ensuring that your vacation is expertly planned and customized to your family’s unique expectations. Allowing someone else to take care of the details and eliminate the stress and overwhelm of planning is a luxury you deserve to experience.

Planning the perfect experience begins with scheduling your vacation consultation call. Click here to request a time for us to meet. We’ll discuss the details and what you are looking for in your dream vacation. I’ll give you my suggestions and explain how we can best work together to plan the vacation of your dreams.

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Seljalandsfoss waterfall Iceland | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Travel, on 24 May 2019, by , 0 Comments

Iceland has become an increasingly popular destination for luxury travelers. It is the perfect trip for seasoned travelers, solo travelers, or adventurous families looking for a unique experience. Iceland is considered to be one of the safest countries on earth, so it is a popular destination for solo female travelers.

An Icelandic vacation can be filled with outdoor adventure or laid back and focused on its vibrant art and restaurant scenes. Regardless of what brings you to Iceland, it’s guaranteed to be a vacation you will never forget.

Most visitors are attracted to Iceland’s unique and varied landscape – this ice-capped, unspoiled, land is almost indescribable. Iceland’s dramatic vistas take center stage in many movies and tv shows. Its spectacular black volcanic fields, rocky beaches, majestic mountains, impressive glaciers, and vast areas of pristine snow have been the setting for productions such as Interstellar, Thor: The Dark World, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Game of Thrones.

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Luxury | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Africa, Australia, Europe, Food, Golf, Luxury, New Zealand, River Cruising, Tours, Travel, Wine, on 23 March 2019, by , 0 Comments

Here at Ingenious Travel, we’ve always defined our “niche” as luxury travel, but I’ve found that this means different things to different people.

There are some people to whom “luxury” means gilded walls, gold chandeliers, velvet covered furniture… and of course a hefty price tag. That’s not how we define luxury, and it’s not what most of our luxury travelers are looking for when it comes to their vacation.

We tend to focus more on exceptional, authentic experiences, a high level of service and hospitality, and a focus on comfort and convenience. Each client’s experience is customized and personalized to their wants, needs, and expectations. Moreover, we don’t focus solely on price because “more expensive” doesn’t always mean “better.” We look at the value rather than the price when evaluating travel experiences.

While it’s true that most of our clients book exclusive cabins and high-end suites, that isn’t the case for every vacationer. We also have clients who are less selective when it comes to accommodations and choose to focus instead on activities, experiences, and dining options for their vacation.

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Travel Insurance | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Africa, Australia, Cruises, Europe, New Zealand, Travel, on 8 March 2019, by , 0 Comments

Think about the last time you rented a car.

Did you take the optional insurance?

Do you see that insurance as a good investment or a waste of money? It seems like a good percentage of travelers say no to this optional upgrade for a variety of reasons.

The most common reasons are that they believe themselves to be a “good driver” and that they have car insurance at home that will cover them in a rental car… or that the credit card they used to pay for the rental offers additional coverage as well.

I don’t have strong opinions on rental car insurance, but when it comes to travel insurance, I’m always ready to hop up on my soapbox and let my clients know what I think!

I, like any travel professional worth their salt, recommend travel insurance to each and every one of my clients. Unfortunately, most travelers don’t understand what the policy covers and when they really should be spending the extra money to purchase travel insurance.

“We know we aren’t going to cancel so we don’t need cancellation insurance.”

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Group Trip | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Groups, Tours, Travel, on 16 February 2019, by , 0 Comments

Recently on the blog, we talked about taking the stress out of hosting a group trip. One of the more stressful pieces of a group trip, is deciding where to go. In this post, we’ll dive a little deeper into how to make that decision.

It’s hard enough choosing where to go on a vacation with your significant other, or just with your family. Throw an entire group into the mix, and suddenly you might have a plethora of conflicting opinions with everyone wanting to go somewhere different. How can you narrow the list, and choose a place that will make everyone, or at least the majority, happy?

The first step is to figure out a budget for everyone who is attending. Someone in the group should act as team leader and create an anonymous survey that allows everyone to write in their ideal budget for the vacation.

Why anonymous? Some people get uncomfortable talking about their true desires, and their budgets. You’re more likely to get honest answers if everything is anonymous.

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Incredible hotels | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Hotel, Travel, Unique Getaways, on 25 January 2019, by , 0 Comments

Travel is meant to transport you — to other places, obviously, but also sometimes to other times, other worlds, other possibilities. These four utterly incredible hotels are full of the magic, mystery, and wonder that travel embodies. These are places you might never want to leave!

The Taj Palace Resort, Lake Pichola, Rajasthan, India is for the person who’s ever wondered what it was like to see the world in the Golden Age of travel. This is the place (or palace) to get a glimpse of what it feels like to be royalty. Built in the middle of a lake, this huge marble resort features opulent 1930s rooms with intricately carved archways and rooms draped in sumptuous fabrics. You can dine al fresco with a view of the surrounding mountains and the warm lights of the shoreline, and then hop on a traditional sunset boat ride with your own personal oarsman.

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Travel Profile | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Theme Vacations, Tours, Travel, Unique Getaways, Weekend Getaway, on 5 January 2019, by , 0 Comments

There are, of course, thousands of possible trips out there. There are plenty of great trips to choose from — and then there are trips that are great for you. Being honest about what you want and need and getting to know your own personal travel profile can save you from the but-it-looked-great-on-paper trip disappointment.

Here are a few simple things that can help you better understand your unique and personal travel profile:

  1. Make a quick list of the twenty most fun memories you have of trips you’ve taken in your lifetime. Notice if there are any themes. While you don’t necessarily need (or even want) each vacation to be a carbon copy of things you’ve already done, you can use those larger themes to guide your planning of future trips. That way, if you decide to step out a little from your comfort zone, you’ll at least have a solid idea of what makes the most meaningful moments for you. Is it time with friends or family? A certain type of weather or geography? Certain activities? Quiet time? When you can build some of these elements into your travel, you’re more likely to come home energized and restored.
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gifts | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Gift Ideas, Travel, on 15 December 2018, by , 0 Comments

It’s no secret that many people adore traveling. It’s also not surprising that most folks can’t buy expensive trips for friends and family as gifts. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get someone who loves to travel the perfect present. In fact, I’ve found 8 gifts for a travel enthusiast that I think you’ll agree are so good, you might just want them for yourself.

1 Scratch-Off Map of the World

You’ve probably seen these on Facebook and Instagram. A scratch-off map of the world is exactly what it sounds like. It’s literally a map of the world that you can hang on the wall that allows you to scratch off the locations you’ve been too. How fun would it be to scratch new locations as you visit them?

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Tour | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Family Travel, Gift Ideas, Groups, Tours, Travel, on 7 September 2018, by , 0 Comments

What is the difference between an escorted, hosted and an independent tour? This is a common question in the travel industry, and in this post we’re breaking down what they are, and the advantages of each. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in!

Escorted Tours

An escorted tour is one that is conducted by a tour director. They will take care of everything from beginning to end. For example, your transportation to and from the airport, as well as transportation to and from your hotel for daily activities. You’ll also typically be with a group throughout your tour.

For some escorted tours it’s a one day affair where they will pick you up from your hotel in the morning, take you to see the sites, and then bring you back to your hotel in the evening. Typically there is a strict agenda with meal times, and places to visit set up for you as well.

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Travel with Kids | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Family Travel, Travel, on 13 July 2018, by , 0 Comments

“One day…we’re going to take the kids to Hawaii!”, “We really want to travel over to Europe, but we’re waiting until the kids are older” ; “We really want to go out West and see the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, but our summers are just too busy”. Do any of those statements sound familiar to you? The average American family doesn’t think they spend enough time together. Between school, work, sports, and extracurricular activities it’s no surprise that we are all feeling disconnected and burned out. The best way to reconnect with your loved ones is to get away. No distractions and no excuses: just you and your kids (or Grandkids) spending “quality time”, enjoying each other’s company and maybe even experiencing an unfamiliar culture together. “Next Year, maybe” turns into the year after that…and so forth…until you “blink” and are sitting at their high school graduation wondering what the hell happened!

Travel is proven to be a wonderful learning tool for children. Seeing how people live in other countries can open their minds and hearts and expand their imagination exponentially. Here are a few things that travel can provide for your family:

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