Is Butler Service Worth It?

Posted by Tammy Murphy

October 30, 2020 at 12:00 AM

                                                      download                                                                                              
Just ask anyone that has had Personal Butler Service at Sandals...Once you have experienced vacation with a butler, it is really hard to imagine not having a butler on all your vacations.
 
Why do butlers make for the best travel experience? It's where luxury meets exceptional hospitality!

Many clients are interested, but may be a little skeptical at first.  Some say "I don't need a butler, I'm not high maintenance."  While this may be true, none of us really need a butler, but if there is any way I can help elevate my clients experience - the butler service is one that makes them so happy.
 
I too was apprehensive at first about having a butler. When we first made the decision to have a suite with butler service, I was almost too embarrassed to let Nicola (our first butler) do anything for me. Then I learned what an honor it is for the staff to become a Butler. They sincerely love their jobs and it's almost disrespectful to not them do their jobs. They strive to do any and everything in their power to make your stay as special and as perfect as possible.  
 
13-493-Seabourn-61-DeckTomLanaServedDrinks-009214CN-moresky
 
When clients contact me about planning their trip, I try to share my experiences with a butler to see if that is something they would enjoy.  We determine what they are comfortable spending and if there is any way the budget will allow a butler, I highly recommend it.

Ten years ago we were planning our first visit to Sandals and we had dreamed of visiting St. Lucia for quite a while. However, after looking at what options fit our budget, we opted to visit Jamaica with a butler as opposed to St. Lucia without a butler.  As much as I hated not seeing St. Lucia ten years ago, I still think its the best decision we ever made, never before then have I felt so pampered --It's not something most of us experience too many times (until we return to Sandals). While the Sandals website provides a short list of the butler perks, it is only a starting point and just barely scratches the surface. I can never fully explain how awesome the butler service can be, because they take the que from each client. Their goal is to anticipate your every need and then exceed it. As a Sandals specialist, it makes my job so much easier because I feel relieved once my clients are in the hands of the butler, I know everything will be just perfect. Almost every client that has selected a suite with personal butler service comes back from vacation bragging that "their butler was the best ever." In fact I typically hear more about the butler than the excursions.  I have also noticed that clients that experienced butler service usually have their friends calling me within days of their return. I think really connecting with the local hospitality through the butlers, and island people fill our souls with gratitude and service. 
 
Curious about how to get the most value of butler service at Sandals?  Here are a few important things . .
 alev-takil-3syTDiVAc7w-unsplash
Work with a travel professional!
Your travel professional will communicate your preferences the butler prior to your arrival. When you arrive, your travel professional will have already double checked that your suite is confirmed and your butler will have double checked that it is prepared per your preferences: Club Sandals Lounge keys, His and Hers plush robes with bed slippers, 24 hour room service, In-suite bar stocked daily with Mondavi wines, spirits, sodas, juices, water, fine Egyptian cotton linens and pillow menu including feather down pillows, coffeemaker with Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and free wifi in room. Everything just to your liking!

The butler knows your expected time of arrival and will be waiting for you in the lobby with lemongrass-scented hand towels to refresh you from your flight.
Here are just a few ways a butler enhances your arrival:
 
  • Welcome cocktails and culinary treats
  • Escorts you to your suite for check-in in the privacy of your suite and coordinates your luggage handling
  • Provides you with resort and room orientation
  • Reviews your personal preferences communicated through your travel professional
  • Supplies a cell phone to reach him during your stay
  • Offers to unpack your luggage
  • Press your first night's clothes complimentary
download (1)


During Your Stay

  • Butler makes your dinner reservations, cabana rentals, spa treatments and any other activities you have added to your stay.
  • Reserves your chair at the beach or pool and serves your favorite drinks while you relax
  • Serves your lunch at the beach or pool
  • Confirms your room is serviced while you are away and ensures it is kept in perfect order
  • Ensures your table is arranged at the restaurants of your choice and escorts you to your table with preferential seating, skipping all lines
  • Per your request, arranges a perfect romantic dinner for two in the privacy of your suite or patio.  They can order from any resort restaurant menu for dining in-suite.
  • Shine/clean shoes for dinner
  • Tend to your wardrobe
  • Collect and return all laundry
  • Leaves amenities in your room between meals (per the preferences provided by your travel professional or things he hears you mention during your stay)
  • Ensures your bed is turned down and that you have anything you need for the night.

    beach tiki

Before your Departure

  • Provides you with check out details
  • Offers to pack for your departure
  • Ensures your bags are brought to the departure area
  • Escorts you to the butler lounge to process check out
  • Escorts you to your transportation and bids you farewell (i promise you will want to take them home with you, I know I did)
engin-akyurt-6zOBC1zRq84-unsplash
 
 
 A few other tips your Sandals specialist can help you decide: 
  • For the same price as an entry level butler suite at one resort, you can stay in one of the top butler suite at another
  • The higher the category of room, the bigger the room and better the view (usually)
  • Some rooms have a private plunge pool or tranquility outdoor tub

Loosen Up:  

They will make it abundantly clear that they are at your beck and call, but who can wrap their head around that, right?  Remember, this is his job and you are depriving him of what he loves to do.  Making the most of your butler experience may include asking him for your favorite drink while you are on the beach,  or saving your chair at beach or pool or reserving your table at your favorite restaurant, etc.  The more you allow him to get to know you and learn about him and his life on the island, the more you will enjoy your stay.  Imagine your surprise when you return from dinner to find this?  He mentioned that he heard you mention your feet hurt.  

download (2)

What to Expect?

Ask your travel professional what to expect.  Think about how much you hate to pack and unpack, take advantage of his offer.  I usually recommend that you unpack a few personal items and leave the rest for him to unpack while you are exploring the resort.  Or another idea would be to pack your personal items in a carry on which you unpack and ask the butler to unpack the other bags when they arrive.   Here's a little hint, my butler unpacked and packed WAY better than I did.

Remember, the only way they know what you want is if you speak up.  

Nothing makes you feel more special than a personal note on your pillow from your butlers reminding you "Love is All You Need".

    IMG_9852.jpg

True VIP Travel Experience is anything you want at the press of a button.  

It's okay to say no. Butler service is not for everyone and we understand and respect that. For those that are not comfortable with the idea, the concierge service at Club Sandals may be the right fit for you.  Club Sandals is a quiet lounge offering snacks and drinks and free wifi, televisions and even kindles to borrow.

As you know Sandals has a strict no tipping rule. However, butlers and spa attendants are the only Sandals employees that are able to accept tips from guests.  If your butler does an outstanding job enhancing your stay, consider leaving them a tip to show your gratitude.  If you aren't sure how to tip them, ask your travel professional. 

So is butler service worth every penny?  For me 100% yes, but you are the only one that can decide for yourself.  The one thing I tell my clients is if you aren't afraid to use your butler service, it is worth every single penny and much, much more!!  In my very humble opinion, once you try the butler service, it is almost impossible to go back!

Read more

Topics: #girlstrip, #bestvacation, #viptravelexperience, travel planner, planning the right trip, #reunion, travel concierge, travel consultant, #passportpassion, why use a travel agent, Best Vacation Value, #group travel, paradiseescape

Cruising Through Provence

Posted by Justin Murphy

October 27, 2020 at 2:10 PM

mitchell-henderson-wUzB7REX4c0-unsplash


To begin our journey we boarded our flight from the US and hopped across the pond to Lyon, France. Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France with all the best eateries in as many variations you could imagine.  Here we were picked up and transferred straight to the ship. There was no line or assigned boarding time you just get to the ship and walk right on it was amazing. The ships decor was very elegant, yet casual and the main room was very spacious and staff extremely welcoming. We were ushered to our cabin which was also almost double what I have experienced on ocean cruise ship. We dropped our bags and then got right back off the ship to explore Lyon on our own for the rest of the evening. Upon returning to the ship, we stopped in the lounge and the staff set down a favorite wine that he had recommended earlier in the day (I was floored that he remembered that already-we had only met once). That was the first thing I loved is that there were less than 150 people on board at max capacity.

Fourvière Hill

The next morning, we got up early to discover dynamic Lyon, starting in Fourvière Hill, part of the city’s historic region that is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 19th-century basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière. We continued on to the old town of Lyon, followed by a guided walk through the St. Jean district, where you will be introduced to the city’s unique covered walkways, known as “traboules.” During the afternoon we took a walking food tour around old town, I was amazed by the murals of local living on the buildings. We boarded the ship, enjoyed the complimentary cocktail hour then headed to dinner. As we were eating dinner the ship departed for our next destination so we were able to see Lyon's skyline lit up as we cruised down the river.  Not only did we enjoy the cultural sites in the country but each day fresh local produce and wines were brought on board so that you have the convenience of traveling on the ship, but you are tasting the farm to table foods and wines of that region.  Next day, different area and different locals foods and wines. 

Day 3, we woke up and headed to breakfast.  Starting with breakfast, all of the meals on board were fabulous. As we were eating breakfast we realized that we were docked once again in the small town in the middle of the Beaujolais wine region—known as the Pays d’Or or “land of the golden stones.” We had the option to indulge in a wine tasting at a traditional winery and learn about the history and techniques of their vineyard. We enjoyed the afternoon at leisure exploring the town and its quaint charm before boarding the ship and sailing to Vienne. Also something I loved about traveling during the day you can sit on the upper decks and have amazing views of the surrounding areas while coasting along this beautiful river or laugh at Tammy rushing to the front of the ship to watch every detail of passing through the locks (she did not miss one of them).

Day 4, We arrived in Vienne situated between the wine regions of Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône. Vienne 's  alignment with its Roman past can be seen in its marvelously preserved ruins. We had several excursion options (regular departure, late risers or active) to follow the footsteps of the ancient Romans on a walking tour to see the amazingly well-preserved.

IMG_8312

Augustus and Livia Temple, the Saint Maurice Cathedral, a Gothic church that took more than 500 years to build, and St. Pierre Abbey—one of the oldest surviving churches in France, and now an Archaeological Museum. For those wishing to be more active (Like me), you can either take a guided bike tour along a portion of the ViaRhôna bike route or a guided hike (Mom) from the ship to the Monastery at Mount Pipet. The bike ride is the tour I chose. It was beautiful we crossed bridges, rode through vineyards, rode along the river, and through farm land passing chateaus and beautiful ruins.  Each night we gathered in the main lounge for a brief local entertainment from that particular village.  We ended each night with a little music and dancing and wine. There was a small wine club group from New York on board and they welcomed us to their group and we enjoyed meeting up each evening to discuss the different excursions and experiences everyone had enjoyed separately.
 
Day 5, After breakfast we were given the choice of three excursions. Take a train ride past magnificent landscape carved along the Gorge du Doux, stopping at the charming little station of Colombier le Vieux-Saint Barthélemy le Plain, where the train maneuvers in preparation for its return journey. Alternatively, lovers of wine and chocolate will want to visit Le Château de Tournon for a presentation and tasting on the pairing of red wine and chocolate . For a more active adventure, cycle through the French countryside or take a hike through the vineyards of Tain l’Hermitage, followed by a visit to a local winery where you’ll sample some of the wines.
 
kelsey-knight-udj2tD3WKsY-unsplash
 

I chose the wine tasting with chocolate pairing at Le Château de Tournon. It was an amazing experience. We were brought under the "castle" to a private room and learned about the history of this Chateau, wine region, and culture of Tournon. It was such a cool environment and the wine & chocolates were delicious. Afterwards we had the afternoon on our own to explore this riverside town and check out all of the shops and buy some wine to take home.   You could walk at leisure exploring or people watching or you could use the complimentary bikes on board the ship.  The ship stayed in port until 11pm that night so Tammy participated in a baguette making class as the famous Guarmandisi Bakery.  The aroma was amazing as they all returned to the ship with their freshly baked baguettes.    Did I mention that all of these awesome excursions are included in the cost of the cruise.

Day 6, Advancing to Avignon, aptly named the “City of Popes,” was the center of the Catholic Church in the 14th century when its “Palais des Papes” was the equivalent of today’s Vatican. Depending on your interests, we had three choices of excursions. Discover the history of Avignon on a guided walking tour that includes the Papal Palace and the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, if you enjoy cooking you can go into a local chef's restaurant to learn how to prepare a traditional meal.

If you preferred, you could visit three venues around Avignon to taste regional specialties including macaroons, cheese and wine, and tapenades. We decided to do the cooking class and it was the ABSOLUTE highlight of our trip. It was so much fun to learn from a local chef in his own restaurant. During the afternoon, we enjoyed free time in Avignon touring the Palais des Papes. After visiting this enchanting Provençal town, we went in search of the highly prized “Black Diamond” truffles with a farmer and his trustworthy canine companion followed by a visit to an olive farm where you’ll learn about age-old Provençial traditions from a master olive miller as well as sample the olive oils. In the evening, we enjoyed an illuminations cruise around Avignon to see the city aglow along the river. This night we had dinner at the Chef's table  Dining Experience (complimentary and reservations required) for an open kitchen meal experience. We watched the chef prepare each of our 6 courses each as scrumptious as the previous. It is located at the back of the boat with floor to ceiling windows so the views were enchanting sunset as we sailed away from Avignon.

 

IMG_8393

 

IMG_8669

 

Day 6, Artistic Arles, considered one of the most beautiful cities in France. For art lovers, you’ll wish to visit Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum, where Vincent van Gogh once lived and painted.  Afterwards, we went to the Carrières de Lumières, where we were treated to a spectacular presentation of art, sound and history projected on the walls of caves. Alternatively, you could have chosen to venture to the medieval hilltop village, Les Baux de Provence, or for a different adventure, journey to Aigues-Mortes, known for its well preserved medieval walls and guard towers, followed by a visit to the beautiful Camargue National Park, a protected natural territory with more than 400 different species of birds. During the afternoon, we joined a walking tour of Arles highlighting top sights, including the Romanesque cathedral and Roman amphitheater; Also offered for those who wish to delve further into Van Gogh’s Arles, join a special walking tour along with a visit to the Vincent van Gogh Foundation, showcasing his legacy.
IMG_8820
Day 7, we had breakfast and then disembarked this magnificent journey. Not quite having our fill of adventure. We opted into their post-cruise extension and boarded a motorcoach to Barcelona, Spain. There we spent 3 magnificent nights exploring that amazing city, but that is a story for another day. I hope you enjoyed and can now envision yourself cruising down the Rhine, Rhone, Danube, Moselle, and/or Main Rivers.

Some of the highlights for us on river cruising were virtually everything was included so there were less decisions to be made.  Our dining, shore excursions, entertainment, wine, beer and soft drinks included during lunch and dinner.  We could tour in the mornings, return to ship for lunch then stroll the city on our own in the afternoon.  The towns/cities were small and we felt completely safe to walk around on our own.  The ship docking in the city center was a huge plus, high quality tours were high quality.   I also like the casual dinners, I wore jeans all nights with exception of the Captain's farewell dinner.

There are many choices of river cruise ships and itineraries.  Activities vary based on the river and destinations.  If you would think river cruising may be in your future, don't hesitate to call us.  There are some big differences by ship, we would LOVE to chat and hear which things are most important to you and help you choose the ship that is just right for you.   We have incredible connections with several cruise lines and also have some added amenities that are exclusive to our agency, we would love to share those with you on your next travel experience.  

 

When you feel like it's a dream come true, it just keeps getting 

better!
IMG_6323

 

The most important thing is to enjoy your Italy vacation.  Be  a  traveler, not a tourist. 

Sharpen your photography skills so you can capture "a snapshot in time" to remember the experience and preserve the memories forever  as you explore Venice, the city on water. Looking at my photos BRINGS ME BACK and its always such a beautiful memory! 

I truly hope you get to go to Venice.  If this sounds like the kind of ITALY trip you would enjoy, call me, I would LOVE to help you plan the perfect Trip of a Lifetime!  Please tag us when you show off your Venice Travel Adventure  @VIPTravelExperience! (P.S.  don't get too caught up in the photos that you MISS the moment).

Read more

Topics: river cruise, #VIPRiverCruise, #RiverCruise, why use a travel agent, luxurytravel

Venice, Italy and All It's Charm

Posted by Justin Murphy

October 25, 2020 at 2:00 PM

sam-mouat-X9cxOd01_Ig-unsplash

Read more

Topics: why use a travel agent, First Time Tips to Italy, LOVEITALY, Italy Vacation, Italy Travel, luxurytravel

Australia Is Alive and Well

Posted by Justin Murphy

October 22, 2020 at 6:00 AM

Cute Koala in Sydney, Australia
 
Thursday, February 13th I packed up my bags and was chauffeured to the airport by dear old mom for an adventure I will not soon forget. I was spoiled by American Airlines with roundtrip Business Class airfare to LAX which included priority check in. That along with my CLEAR membership and TSA Pre-check it took a total of 12 minutes from getting out of the car to sitting down at my gate. I am loving the new terminal in New Orleans.
 
Arriving in LAX we were allowed entry into the American Airlines Flagship Business Lounge which was a treat in itself. It was adorned with modern decor, amazing food, and premium liquors. For a longer layover this was just what I needed to sit and relax before my long haul flight to Sydney, Australia. As if this wasn't enough of a treat when I boarded the flight to experience the AA Flagship Business Class with fully reclining seats I WAS IN HEAVEN for my 14 hour flight! It truly flew by and I landed feeling like I had a full night's sleep and ready to take on the day.

961daaa8-5c36-4b5c-a04c-c0335219c2d5
 
Day 1: Settling into Sydney, we were whisked to the Hyatt Regency Sydney in a private luxury  van. After checking in to our rooms and dropping off our bags we hit the ground running boarding a luxurious yacht for a cruise around theHarbor enjoying Sydney's famous sights from the water. Our first stop was Doyle's at Watson's Bay for a quick appetizer which was absolutely delicious. After a few drinks and some fresh calamari we embarked on our journey to Balmoral Beach for our main course. After some wine and some delicious grub we boarded the ship and made our journey back to the wharf. We had a couple hours to relax and unpack before our own private 6 course dining experience hosted by the Hotel Manager and executive chef. The food was to die for. My favorite part of the meal was the wagyu beef cooked to perfection ...it melted in my mouth. Having eaten my entire body weight in delicious food today I decided to call it an early night before an early morning of adventure.

akhter-alam-KrBodEWRlBw-unsplash
Day 2: Sydney Harbor Highlights, we woke up at the crack of dawn to get our own private Backstage Tour of the Sydney Opera House. This was one of the coolest tours I have ever been on. We explored the hallowed theatres and foyers where more than 1600 concerts, operas, dramas and ballets take place each year and our experienced guide lead us through every aspect of the building’s 14-year creation and 58-year history. Running our hands over the world-famous shell tiles, taking a seat in the elegant custom-made white birch timber chairs and marvel at the vaulted ceilings of one of the biggest pillar-free chambers in the world. 
Read more

Topics: why use a travel agent, luxurytravel, #australia

What Is Your Travel Personality?

Posted by Tammy Murphy

October 20, 2020 at 2:30 PM

susan-flynn-1-wQrKkKevc-unsplash

Travel heightens the experiences life gives us.
It caters to the unique interests of each discerning wanderer. Taking ideal journeys for food and wine lovers, history buffs, families, the culturally curious and anyone who dreams of exploring this great wide world we live in.
 
Every person has a different travel personality. This can make it difficult in finding what should be top priority for the trip and it's our job as Travel Experts to figure out what type of traveler YOU are. This helps us customize your vacation to be exactly what you have dreamed and hoped it to be. There are many different personalities for travelers and none are mutually exclusive.

Here are just a few examples of some of travel styles we see most often.
 
Untitled design (23)

What travel personality are you?

Escape Artist
For those choosing to escape for the holidays or escaping with the whole family and make it just a little more special, like Christmas in the Swiss Alps. These clients would probably prefer something cozy and more intimate to enjoy the company they're with as well as the scenery surrounding them. This client wants experiences to last a lifetime and add a little something extra to the festivities. Some activities may include dining or cooking class in home of local chef or in clients private villa renal, as opposed to cooking school.

Foodie

They seem to enjoy the culture and culinary experience
 from many different destinations and may be more interested in wine tastings, and authentic cooking classes over the typical sights and landmarks.

kate-hliznitsova-GyE2Iuk3j9g-unsplash
 
Active adventurer - All adventurers are not alike!
Testing their limits is what this traveler is all about. Clients that want action and adventure are usually going to want more secluded destinations that have kayaking, rock climbing, zip lining, hot air ballooning.  Anything to get that adrenaline flowing.  Yet the wanderer can be anywhere enjoying the exploration and immersing themselves in the culture maybe taking leisurely hikes or what about biking through wine country.   

drif-riadh-YpkuRn54y4w-unsplash

Sightseers
Laid back, calm, happy-go-lucky, and typically the type of person who is up and ready to go so you can start soaking up anything and everything possible to fully take in your destination. These clients might have a specific destination in mind and ready to check places off that bucket list.

History Buffs
These clients love history, museums, and the arts. The client will be more prone to traveling to older, historically rich destinations. The want to see and hear about everything. They thirst for knowledge and are anxiously observing all the sights and sounds around them. Gearing the vacation to landma
rks and museums, or maybe even the occasional castle.  These clients may enjoy after-hours tour of museums and other tours along these lines.

richard-clark-8tS8ywl126Q-unsplash
 

If you're wanting more travel inspiration and ideas for a travel inspired life click here.

 
Read more

Topics: #girlstrip, #bestvacation, #viptravelexperience, travel planner, planning the right trip, Italy, #reunion, travel concierge, travel consultant, why use a travel agent, Best Vacation Value, First Time Tips to Italy, #group travel, paradiseescape

A Little Behind the Scenes

Posted by Tammy Murphy

October 16, 2020 at 8:00 AM

 

renan-brun-kG52KwOxQeo-unsplash

 

Hey VIP Travelers! I want to check in with you to see how are holding up.

I hope you are finding some peace in your "new normal" during these times of social distancing and stay at home.  We are moving forward here.  I'm so thankful for the direction of improvement around the world.  Thank you to all that are helping to be part of the solution.

We are definitely experiencing a completely different fall season than we had anticipated, but making it count just the same.  I'm very hopeful that we will come back stronger and better for the experiences we learned from this experience.  While my heart hurts, grieves really, for the many trips that were so beautifully imagined, designed and then grounded.  I hope your hopes are lifted for the future...that you will fly when you choose the time is right for you.  

121056978_3377947105573944_3425567777397480433_n

Through our associations with our national travel association, ASTA, we were able to voice concerns and arm ASTA with information needed for their talks with governmental officials to let them know how consumers were being affected.  As an industry, we sent many emails to our congressman begging for relaxing of rescheduling deadlines. 

I recorded this little clip Behind the Scenes.

I am so grateful for our clients' patience, understanding and for the many random acts of kindness from many of you.  It was very helpful to Justin and I. 

I have really enjoyed following you on facebook and seeing the many positive and uplifting ways that you have made limoncello from the lemons we have been served.

Do me a favor and shoot me an email and let me know is what information you would like to read about, what is helpful to you. 

I'm anxious to move forward, whatever that looks like . . . 

Keep Dreaming, we sure are!IMG_2083 2

 

 

 

justin@viptravelexperience.com tammy@viptravelexperience.com
I would love to make your dream come true.

Are you looking for the perfect travel destination to dream about?
We would love to help you with travel tips and more.

Read more

Topics: #viptravelexperience, travel planner, planning the right trip, why use a travel agent, Best Vacation Value, #group travel, Italy Travel, experiencesnotthings, sicily

6 Stunning Travel Destinations for Couples

Posted by Tammy Murphy

October 15, 2020 at 10:00 AM

120700094_3366475543387767_2787424169519087843_n

What’s better than a romantic getaway with your partner? Every year couples plan magical trips to relax, bask in the sun, and reconnect with one another. Maybe it's to commemorate an anniversary, a birthday, honeymoon, or just for fun - there are plenty of travel destinations perfect for any celebration. As we are now trying to navigate a new normal we want you to know that travel is possible to some international destinations and to be fair, you can certainly make a couples trip out of almost every destination around the world. Here’s a peak at VIP Travel Experience’s list of the top six stunning destinations for couples.

Read more

Topics: travel destinations, Italy, Provence, St Barts, Romance Travel, Belize, Islands in the Sun

What's On Your Wanderlist?

Posted by Tammy Murphy

September 24, 2020 at 8:45 AM

 
Life is short (1)
 

If you have travel dreams then you should have travel plans!

While travel to some countries is currently in an unknown territory, we don’t want to push aside dreams of embarking on a trip -- in fact now is one of the best times to start considering your travel goals. Currently many of us plan our vacations in our free time. What if we PLANNED TO LIVE just like we PLAN TO RETIRE. Of all of your life priorities, leisure time is one asset you can't earn back. Let’s face it, if we don’t plan for it 9 times out of 10 it won’t happen. And before we know it another incredible travel opportunity has slipped through our fingers. Perhaps you’re not ready to travel just yet. We get it, you should travel when you feel it's right for you. But for today, let's talk about your travel plans in the next 5 years. A milestone event need celebrating?

That’s why we are proud to be one of Virtuoso’s certified Wanderlist Advisors. What’s Wanderlist? Wanderlist provides you with a customizable travel portfolio that is used to prioritize the most ideal vacations for you + your travel companions while also mapping out your future travel possibilities.

It pays strong dividends to collaborate with us, your seasoned advisors, to maximize your most precious non-renewable asset - YOUR TIME!

How It Works...

Elia-Locardi-Travel-Photography-Roman-Radiance-Rome-Italy-1440-WM-DM-60q

CURATE: EXPLORE: PLAN:
Your Wanderlist journey begins with each traveler ranking their interests, & travel dreams by using an online tool to organize everything all in one place. A personalized travel portal (& app) for you to easily explore the places and specific experiences you long for tailored to all travelers interests. We’ll work together to create a plan for you & all companions future travel possibilities based on your travel portfolio.


Wanderlist builds on the model of financial advising and blending the popularity of the bucket list. A travel portfolio will help save you time and money, as well as prioritize what matters most to you - a clear path to fulfilling your dreams of seeing the world. Wanderlist makes it easy to start living out your travel dreams.

We're here to help you plan a lifetime of extraordinary trips. The world is waiting and we want to be the one to hold your hand to curate the journeys that begin with YOUR dream destinations.

Inspired to see the world?

Schedule your call to learn more about how Wanderlist can change the way you plan travel.

Plan Your Dreams
 
 
 

Life is short (2)

Together we can create the best vacation experience for YOU.  It's a big world out there -- we hope you EXPERIENCE it.  
 

justin@viptravelexperience.com or tammy@viptravelexperience.com  

Read more

Topics: travel tips, luxurytravel

Best Greek Island Destinations

Posted by Tammy Murphy

September 23, 2020 at 9:30 AM

 
Beautiful view from the island of Santorini
 

Greece has always been an idyllic Mediterranean vacation destination. With over 200 inhabited Greek islands to experience, each holding their own beauty with turquoise waters, incredible sunsets - it can be hard to choose which ones you want to consider "must sees" when thinking about where you want to visit.  This is where I come in, we can chat about your preferences and dreams and together we can choose which islands are the best fit for you based on experiences you enjoy, level of luxury you enjoy and best time for crowds and weather.

#1. Milos

Located in the Aegean Sea, Milos is home to the best beaches in Greece. With a beautiful volcano, this island is rich in minerals as well as history. With white-washed Cycladic villages and black sands this island is nothing but picturesque. With some beaches only accessible by boat, there are over 80 mini beaches to explore. Our top favorite include Firopotamos, Kastanas and Paliorema.

david-t-KeTZcPnlIjE-unsplash-1

#2: Folegandros

What we consider to be the best Greek Island for an intimate couples getaway, Folegandros is an untouched piece of true, pure Greece with a relaxing, serene atmosphere. Not having the crowded streets from tourists you'll be whisked away to a lovers paradise with a broad selection of restaurants and cafes, open landscapes and beautiful clifftop housing.

#12 Greek olives fun facts

#3: Crete

Rich with archaeological & mythological history, Crete reflects so much history in its ancient ruins and cultural attractions. Soak up the charming atmosphere of Chania Town’s Old Venetian Harbor or check out the majestic Mt. Ida, which is said to be home to the cave where Zeus was born. Cretan cuisine is some of the best of the Greek islands and focuses on all-natural ingredients and can be enjoyed at any local tavern throughout the islands.  Some dishes include Dakos, Gamopilafo, Mizithropita and Apaki.

 

#4. Paros

With gusty winds that can be seen from a mile away Paros is best known for great kiteboarding and windsurfing sport goers. Santa Maria, Prassonisi, and Pounda are the main beaches where the sport is practiced.  The Thalasea Sports Center is the bay of Mikli Vigla and is a popular hub for the sport.

#5. Santorini
Crescent shaped beyond beautiful, Santorini is the precious gem of the Aegean, is actually a group of islands. The whole complex of islands is still an active volcano and probably the only volcano in the world whose crater is in the sea. Venture into the seaside treasures and dive into the deep blue waters with beaches filled with beautiful white, red or black sand or volcanic pebbles, spectacular rock formations and impressive lunar landscapes. This island is one filled with lots of spectacular views, culinary paradise, and perfect for a romance getaway.

santorini

 

justin@viptravelexperience.com or  tammy@viptravelexperience.com  

Plan Your Dreams

Read more

Topics: travel tips, luxurytravel

How Travel Ready Are You?

Posted by Tammy Murphy

September 1, 2020 at 10:25 AM

 
jeshoots-com-mSESwdMZr-A-unsplash
 

Starting the Countdown for travel produces more endorphins in anticipation than actually arriving in destination (well sometimes!). More to that point - I have been a very busy bee and I can tell you I have been experiencing some endorphin overload especially after a full week of seeing new properties and new experiences for future travels. Typically this time each year we travel to Las Vegas to attend Virtuoso Travel Week. Virtuoso is an invite-only luxury travel consortia. Being part of this consortia has incredible perks for our clients. We meet one on one with hand picked representatives from boutique hotels, luxury cruise lines and on the ground partners from many countries around the world.

It is always a treat to meet new friends and nourish the old, attend continuing education programs and socialized with many partners over cocktails, dinner with partner friends and also other travel advisors. As with all things 2020, we pivoted and I attended one to one meetings via video format with 130 individual partners. Of course, NOT meeting our friends in person was a drag, but there were many, many positives. I was able to be completed zoned in and sometimes the background of the meeting was in destination so I was able to see the view from hotels in Spain, France, Italy, etc. At a time when we cannot travel to Europe, brainstorming and seeking new accommodations and experiences was beyond exciting!!!! Building my knowledge and professional relationships with friends around the globe makes me better prepared to choose which of the many options is the best fit for you, your family and your travel preferences. It's always nice to say "I have a VIP Client I'm sending, please look out for them. 

 

lonely-planet-h_lvEhh25ro-unsplashAfter each of my clients return from their trip that we've planned I send an email asking what's on their radar for the future. And here's why I ask - I have a notebook of who wants to go where and having planned their past trips, I know what kind of experience and accommodation they are looking for and I choose my meetings based on this. So before we actually start the detailed planning, I've kept each of their destinations on MY RADAR for a year sometimes.

Many of my clients have already reached out, but for anyone that I haven't spoken with, I would love to know how you are feeling about travel for 2021?. We've received phone calls, "Where can you send me, I gotta get out of here?" and some that say, "let's start planning 2021." And I'm sure many of you can relate, or may fall somewhere in the middle. Whether you want to plan for future travel or just dream for now, it's all OK, we want you to feel comfortable and we would love to know HOW YOU FEEL!

And as we continue to navigate this temporary travel landscape, we are checking on and staying in touch with our travel partners and tourism boards for the most relevant information. While many countries in the Caribbean are opening borders to the US, many European countries are not opening borders to US citizens at the moment. Some tourism boards have said that countries will need to flatten curve for a minimum of 60 days before possibly lifting the ban.

 I would love to get your thoughts on a couple questions to help us get a better idea of how you are feeling about your future travels - we would be so grateful to hear your feedback. Just click the link below to answer our quick 2 question anonymous survey to help us better provide you with the best information.

How Travel Ready Are You?

 

justin@viptravelexperience.com or  tammy@viptravelexperience.com  

Plan Your Dreams blog stories

Read more

Topics: travel tips, luxurytravel

Subscribe to Email Updates

VIP-ebook-cta 

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all