"In a few minutes, we will be arriving in..." That familiar sentence spoken by a flight attendant makes any leisure traveler's heart beat just a bit faster. The arrival may be in a new land waiting to be discovered. It could also be a return to a familiar destination you fell in love with on a previous trip. Either way, one’s passion for travel, adventure and new horizons will soon be fulfilled.
Yes, there are some hassles traveling these days, but it's so much easier than it was for the generations that preceded us. Walking into the glorious Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor in Cambodia built in 1932, you wonder how the tourists of the day even got there. Equally amazing is the impressive Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, built by the French in 1901, two years before the birth of powered flight! Despite today's travel hassles, getting from Paris to Hanoi in 1901 was surely much more difficult.
The hardware of the modern day jetliner flying at almost 600 miles-per-hour makes every corner of the world accessible in about a day. The software of the digital age gives us virtually unlimited travel choices. Combined, this means being able to travel in a way generations before us never experienced. The key in the early years of the 21st Century is not really in getting to your destination any longer. It is in making the most of the time, effort and dollars you invest on the total experience. And having more choices lends itself to increased risk of making more of the wrong choices.
Sometimes the right choice is an important one, such as choosing a slightly higher fare to avoid changing planes in suspect cities in winter months. After all, who wants to get stuck at O'Hare or JFK in a snowstorm? How many regular folk know that Americans can no longer enter Argentina by air without purchasing an entry visa at $160 USD in advance of your departure?
Sometimes the choice is less important, such as choosing an aircraft with a 2-3-2 configuration in economy so that the two of you can have a bit more privacy. The great deal you see for that cruise looks good, but for $40 more maybe you can get a much better stateroom using special upgrades.
A professional travel counselor takes your wishes, aspirations and desires, and designs a comprehensive program that fullfills and even enhances them. They look at every aspect of the trip, big and small. The itinerary is designed from the start to minimize travel time, give you the most time to explore in each area and to maximize your enjoyment.
Everyone has their travel priorities. For some it may be being one of the privileged few viewing the Sistine Chapel on a semi private tour before the general public is allowed in. For others it may be a private wine tasting in Tuscany to elevate your skills. For still others it may be rising to the third level of the Eiffel Tower for the very first time without the normal three-hour wait. What about adopting a elephant for the day in Thailand or taking a well-tuned high-end auto out on a test track in Germany?
Yes, most everyone these days has access to the world via laptop, iPhone or tablet. The key is finding accurate and current information, interpreting it and putting all the pieces together into an experience beyond your expectations. Without a knowledgeable and experienced professional, so much is left to chance and randomness for the information you need to make this truly a journey from your dreams.
The depth of knowledge and skills of TravelStore’s leisure counselors is virtually unmatched. Most call centers and mega on-line agencies hire young, enthusiastic and well spoken service representatives who have been trained to assist in the best possible way. What they usually lack is first-hand experience, and that is the missing link to the best possible trip outcome. At TravelStore, virtually the entire world has been personally covered by our experienced counselors. How about a cruise specialist who has sailed on 108 cruises of all shapes and sizes? How about a journey to Ethiopia or to emerging Myanmar(Burma), or someone who has climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro? How about an enthusiastic civil air follower who has attended the prestigious Farnborough Air Show and had a special tour of a test A380 aircraft? How about a counselor that has inspected five special and unique hotels in Paris in one day, and has the best basis to make objective comparisons?
Add to this our first-hand connections around the world with general managers and sales directors at the best hotels, resorts and villas, on and off the beaten track, all working toward the goal of your satisfaction. This includes special rates and added inclusions in many cases that give you added comfort and the atmosphere of a VIP.
TravelStore professional travel planners have the personal experience, extensive training and knowledge to advise our clients of the best combinations of time and money to make each travel adventure an experience of a lifetime, inspired and completely fulfilling. Make you next leisure travel adventure your best travel adventure. Why spend hours researching on your own when TravelStore travel professionals can do it quicker, easier and with the best possible outcome? After all, this is our job and we do it everyday.
Hilton Smith plans trips for clients and travels frequently.