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Hotel Review: Montage Los Cabos

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Contact me today for your 2019 Virtuoso promotions and amenities for Montage Los Cabos!

Every February, my husband and I use his birthday as an excuse to get out of town by ourselves for a few days. Typically, he can only get away from the J O B for a few days before he is back at the grind. I’m lucky if I can keep him off the phone for the short amount of time we are away. For the first few years after our twins were born (our last kiddos), we did Cabo. One stay at the One & Only Palmilla, another in a friend’s luxury villa complete with personal chef and pool. That was 6 years ago. That is so sad!

This year, I decided to surprise my guy by taking him away to Cabo San Lucas, as it has always been our happy place to relax, sun, drink and dine. I have to admit, the thoughts of, “Is Mexico safe?”, did cross my mind. But at the end of the day, the sea, sun and mezcal was calling our names- as was the brand new Montage Los Cabos- we couldn’t resist.

Montage Los Cabos Santa Maria Bay
Montage Los Cabos

Sitting exclusively in its own private alcove on the Sea of Cortez in the Santa Maria Bay, is the newest Montage property. You may be somewhat familiar with this brand, with properties located in desirable destinations such as Laguna Beach, Deer Valley, Maui and Beverly Hills. The service and offerings at a Montage property are second to none. (And, we also love their sister company, Pendry Hotels!) The Los Cabos property boasts of 174 oceanview guest rooms, suites and residences, 3 signature dining options, a world-class spa, a killer pool and the most amazing staff.

Montage Los Cabos Pools

February was definitely a perfect time to visit. We happened to be there right before the crowds started rolling in…we were leaving as they were coming. We had any spot to ourselves on the beach and pool. We watched the whales swim and play right in front of us- no need for a boat cruise! We had coffee on the beach in the morning, hand-crafted margaritas in the afternoon, the most delicious fresh-caught grilled lobster, and a Mezcal tasting experience to finish off our stay.

Morning coffee with coconut milk- like real coconut milk. Like from the coconut. Watching the whales swim in the sea in front of us…paraiso.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Being just the two of us, we chose the Oceanview King at 859 sq.ft., and it was perfect. The room itself is quite spacious, offering a morning wake-up view of the Santa Maria Bay. We enjoyed breakfast on our very spacious balcony each morning. The bathroom reminded us of our honeymoon in Bali complete with a stand alone soaking tub and an outdoor shower. The pillows on this bed were my absolute favorite, and I am still trying to find out if I can purchase them for my own bed!

Montage Los Cabos Ocean View Room
The rooms are quite spacious for two, but would work well with 1-2 small children as well.
The outdoor shower is not only relaxing, but can offer an additional shower for getting ready needs and rinsing off sand.
Our balcony could hold this generous sized sofa, as well as a dining table on the other side where we ate breakfast daily.

The Oceanview King sleeps 3 comfortably, with a roll-away or crib. If we were to visit with our 4 children, we would have to look at the 2-bedroom suite or a connecting room option. Although, we may just keep this gem on the Cortez all to ourselves!

DINING

Every meal at Montage Los Cabos was fantastic. I truly cannot decide which to tell you about…the hand cut tortilla chips with salsa, guac and sea bass ceviche to the chicken enchiladas for breakfast? Maybe the fresh cut papaya served with lime wedges and a basket of Mexican pastries? Or the homemade paletas as a refreshing afternoon treat.

Marea by Day highlights the continuation of blues as sky meets sea against the contrast of the light brown sand, vignetted by the surrounding mountains forming the cove. The swim-up bar in the pool is also part of Marea.

The Swim-Up Bar at Marea

Marea by Night invites a more romantic ambiance with candlelit pathways and shelves looking out into the sea. Nightly entertainment secures the atmosphere.

Fresh caught grilled lobster….I’m still dreaming of it!


Mezcal is the restaurant that also provides the room service dining. The special Mezcal tasting with a Mezcal Master can be arranged by the concierge. This was a really cool experience, and quite educational. We learned all about Mezcal, the difference between Mezcal and Tequila and how to sip and enjoy. This was also the place where I tasted my first cricket salt. Yes. Crickets. They were actually good- though I don’t think my mind would let me try them again. Good thing the Mezcal Master told me after the fact.


Mezcal also provides the in-room dining menu.
Mezcal looks out onto Santa Maria Bay while you dine on breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Cricket Salt paired with an agave based beer at our Mezcal tasting.

WHAT TO DO

We did a whole lot of nothing, eating and drinking, which was our plan. There was a debate for a minute on whether or not we should ride camels. But it was fleeting. The whales swimming in the distance was enough entertainment for us.

The concierge at the Montage Los Cabos will provide you with very accurate and relevant suggestions like camel safaris, zip lining and deep sea fishing. There is plenty to do if you are looking for some adventure or to leave the resort. However, being that the Santa Maria Bay is one of the few swimmable beaches in Cabo San Lucas, the Montage also offers complimentary use of kayaks, snorkeling gear, and SUPs to use in the bay. There is also the Twin Dolphins Golf Course, a Fred Couples Signature course.

Complimentary water sports equipment available to Montage Los Cabos guests: SUP, Kayak and snorkel gear

SPAAAHHH

The Spa at Montage Los Cabos deserves its own paragraph. It was that amazing. We enjoyed a couples massage, the Mezcal experience- some exfoliation, and smelly oils and one of the best head to toe massages I have had in a while. It ranks right up there with the Head, Body and Sole at Cavallo Point in the Bay Area.

There is an adult only pool located inside the spa. The spa facilities include sauna, steam and jacuzzis. Showers and lockers are available for personal use. There are also several relaxation areas for both separate male/female and co-ed sharing space.

Adult Only pool area

GETTING THERE

What happened to all the direct flights from Las Vegas to Cabo!? Hoping that this mini-boom of interest in the Southern Baja town brings back the direct flights from Las Vegas. There were many folks we chatted with on our flight coming and going from Vegas, through LAX. There is also a Phoenix option, but we preferred to fly Delta. American Airlines flies through Phoenix and SouthWest Airlines can get you there via Orange County, LAX, San Diego or Oakland.

Advice: Global Entry for an easier customs experience. American Express Card Platinum holders are given a credit towards Global Entry.

Once you get through customs, be prepared to walk the hustle of the city transports and timeshare traders. My advice is to arrange transport through your hotel or resort. We arranged for the Montage Los Cabos to pick us up- it was simple, comfortable, the driver spoke English very well, and we felt at ease.

To find your driver, you will have to walk through the airport, say, “No, Gracias,” a lot, and continue across the street to an area called The Beach. There you will see the organized transports through your hotel or arranged in advance.

GETTING AROUND

Though we set up a driver for transport to and from hotel to airport, we used the taxis to get us around to our destinations in Cabo. During our stay we visited the new Thompson Hotel The Cape, Edith’s Restaurant and Flora Farms. We took taxis to all of these locations. We felt safe every time. The cabs are much more affordable in Cabo, and Uber is not quite a thing there yet. Stick with the cabs.

FOR THE KIDS

The Montage is known for its children’s program, Paintbox, for children ages 5-12 years old. Fees and availability vary, and everything is listed on the website. There is also a Merits program, which works like a scavenger hunt offering ideas/activities for families throughout their stay.

ANY DOWNSIDE?

For us, there was no downside, but could see how there could be a few points of contention for some.

There is a bit of walking to and from the beach, but golf carts are available for an escort at any time.

We did speak to one gentleman who felt like he didn’t have enough privacy. If you are in need of absolute privacy, you may consider looking into one of the Residence options. With that being said, the resort does seem a bit secluded, and it was very quiet when we were there, but it could have been the time of year.

The food was magnificent, but with only two true dining options, I could see how this could be critical for an extended stay. We were there for 4 days and left the resort twice for dinner and once for brunch- but that was more for purpose of my work. I would have been very content to eat on property every meal for 4 days/3 nights.

The pool and hot tubs are somewhat limited and I could see if there resort was quite busy how that could possibly be cumbersome with a mix of couples and families.

WHO SHOULD COME HERE?

Anyone! It seemed perfect for couples, again, was quiet during our stay. Maybe consider that if you plan for a couples only trip as there is an adult-only pool at the spa, which we never had to use.

I would definitely recommend the Montage Los Cabos as a chic, luxury vibe with plenty of room for families, friends, and couples.

X O X O

Carry-On Bag | Flight Essentials

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What’s essential in your carry-on bag?
I have 3 or 4 of these packed and ready to go at a moments notice. Sometimes I’ll carry one in my everyday bag for back- up.

I love all my things here, but have to tell you- those Eat Cleaner Wipes are fantastic! Especially when you want to grab a piece of that fruit from the hotel lobby bowl but you’re kind of grossed out by whose hands have grazed it…yup.

I wear glasses and also have children with sticky fingers who like to play with my phone and laptop. Zeiss Lens Cleaning Wipes are convenient and really clean your lens and screen without scratching or leaving smudge marks behind. I love the clarity I get wearing my glasses right after a good Zeiss Lens Cleaning wipes.

Herban Essentials  Towelettes come in different scents like orange, lavender, eucalyptus and lemon which comes in handy on a plane, train, boat or random rideshare. Wipe that down! Or wipe your hands and breathe into them…whatever get you through to the next stop.

I don’t know about you, but as much as I love to travel, I hate getting sick. It is truly inevitable given your exposure to lots of different people from many part of the world, often in small breathing spaces. Sharing remotes and tray tables, elevator buttons, door knobs- PlaneAire helps take the nasty out of the air and replaces it with sunshine and rainbows and unicorn poop.

If you click and buy from my page, you are supporting my travel habit! Thank you! As I am an Amazon Affiliate.

XOXO-

Do I Need Trip Insurance?

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Even as a newer Travel Planner, I am always encouraging my clients to purchase travel insurance. Mainly because the old adage is true- “you never know what could happen”…and these last 8 months my business has experienced just this. From political riots forcing us to reroute clients to a whole other country one week before their trip (at Christmastime none the less) to another’s unexpected medical diagnosis that delayed their trip…it is so true…anything really can happen, especially things you wouldn’t imagine. Might as well be prepared!

As it would stand, countries around the world are also buying into the Travel Insurance stance and many are starting to require proof of yours for entry into their country. Travel Market Report recently published an article in January 2019, regarding this exact topic: More Countries Requiring Tourists Purchase Trave Insurance.

I encourage my clients to consider either a policy I can quote them from AIG Travel Guard, or if the package I am putting together offers one, I point that out as well.

You can always check with the credit card company you use to pay for the trip, as sometimes they will offer an option to protect your trip costs. But, you should also confirm it will protect YOU and your family if you should be in need of any medical assistance while on your trip. One wise friend who is an avid traveller recommends never leaving the country without MedVac coverage.

It is wise to start building Travel Insurance into your trip budget. If you already have a trip planned, but need Trip Insurance, I can help you with that- whether you booked through me or not.

Inquire at Stefanie@RSMLVTravel.com

A SoCal Escape: Park Hyatt Aviara

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Roughly 30 miles northeast of San Diego is the iconic coastal beach town of Carlsbad, California. Surrounded by the beauty of Batiquitos Lagoon and the famous southern California coastline, Carlsbad offers easy access to endless amounts of fun.

WHERE TO STAY

Whether you want to explore the area with your family, spend the day at LEGOLand California or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, experience the excitement at the races in Del Mar, explore marine life at the Birch Scripps Aquarium in La Jolla, or enjoy a full day of boutique shopping, golfing at award-winning courses or relaxing at the spa, the Park Hyatt Aviara is the perfect home base for your stay.


HOW TO GET THERE

Now there’s an even easier way to get to Carlsbad. Beginning November 1, 2018, new airline, California Pacific, will begin daily flights into the McClellan-Palomar Airport, about 5 miles outside of Carlsbad. Currently, service is set to take place from Las Vegas (LAS), San Jose (SJC), Reno (RNO) and Phoenix (AZA). Flight time from Las Vegas into Carlsbad is roughly
1- hour.

California Pacific Airlines | Photo Cred: California Pacific Airlines

WHAT TO DO

October starts the Holiday season of travel for families as well, and LEGOLand is on the action. On select weekends throughout October, LEGOLand offers fun Halloween festivities for the whole family with Brick Or Treat Party Nights. 

Brick or Treat at LEGOLand California | Photo Cred: Stefanie Van Aken

San Diego Safari Park is offering Kids FREE in October:

Throughout the month of October, kids ages 11 and younger receive free admission (with an adult). We’ve got special fun planned for the weekends, so go wild and join us over and over again! Kids Free admission in October 2018 includes the Africa Tram – no separate ticket needed! Kids can ride the Conservation Carousel for $6. Please purchase Carousel tickets at the Safari Park.

The holiday fun doesn’t end in October. You will find unique and entertaining options for Thanksgiving and the Festive season all the way to the end of the year, including New Years. So, if snow isn’t your thing this year- find your happy in Carlsbad at the Park Hyatt Aviara. 

Click here to see our recommendations for a Full Day Itinerary in Carlsbad, CA!

Exclusive to RSMLVTravel– enjoy your 4th night complimentary when you stay 3 at Park Hyatt Aviara, along with luxury amenities offered through Virtuoso: 
 –Daily breakfast buffet for two
 –$100 resort credit per stay per room
 –Locally-inspired culinary welcome amenity
 –Upgrade day of arrival if available
 –Early check-in and late check-out if available
 –Complimentary access to Aviara Spa amenities

Call to book now 702.743.5196 or email: Stefanie@RSMLVTravel.com.

Don’t Leave Home Without It | Flight Essentials

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Our Featured Travel Product Series| Don’t Leave Home Without It

Flight Essentials

*How we make money: Affiliate links through amazon.com

What’s In Our Travel Bag

Compression socks keep your toes warm and your blood pumping. Be ready for anything when you arrive. Leave puffy and swollen feet and legs at a minimum. The longer your flight, the more risk for DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and clotting. Plus, these make sliding in and out of your shoes easy for security lines and trips to the bathroom when on the plane.

Stay stylish and comfortable by adding an oversized cashmere scarf or pashmina to your travel outfit. Adding this piece to your travel wardrobe will keep you looking effortlessly chic and like a travel pro. Summer travel? No problem. Throw this oversized scarf over your tank and lightweight pants. The pashmina also doubles as a blanket for extra warmth on flight, but also on those chilly nights in the mountains, on the beach, or to cover your shoulders when travelling to exotic and faraway places.

We love this cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow for many reasons: 1. It works at any angle, upside down, around your neck, behind your head, against the window…it’s pretty amazing. 2. It can be smooshed up into a good-sized ball then smashed into your travel bag where it doesn’t take up too much room. BUT can also clip on the outside of a bag to take up even less room. 3. It’s Memory Foam.

Especially for long-haul flights, when it’s best to sleep when it’s night time at your destination, a sleep mask will work wonders. Even if you don’t like to wear them at home, you will love to wear one on a plane. Most Business and First Class flights will offer you a Sleep Kit with a sleep mask inside. Use that one, or bring your own. We like this one in particular because it wraps around your eyes keeping all light out. Plus it’s cute.


Haha! We didn’t think it was a real brand either, but it is one of the best out there for noise cancellation earplugs. No matter the length of the flight, it’s always nice to catch a few zzzz’s to get ready for action when you land. The Eargasm Earplugs combined with a sleep mask and your cashmere pashmina will have you sleeping like a baby on that flight in no time.

If you don’t want complete block out, but want to listen to your tunes, book or movie, then consider these mPow 059 noise cancelling headphones. We have purchased a set for our 8-year-old twin boys and they work fantastic. No more complaining they can’t hear their movie over the sound of the jet engines. These headphones can be bought in bluetooth and/or as a wired model.

Of course, don’t forget simple essentials like hydrating lip stuff, hand lotion, a skin spritzer and bottled water. We like to purchase a big bottled water once past security to have in our bag- even if flying Business or First Class. Then there is no need to wait to hydrate!

*The Travel Product Series: Don’t Leave Home Without It is a shopping page. We make money when you click and buy. Thank you for your support!

RSMLVTravel Travel More Subscribe Now Luxury Travel Family Travel Stefanie Van Aken

How to Plan Your Own Travel

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There are affiliate links in this post.

It is supposed to be fun and exciting and interesting, but often times planing your own travel can become daunting and overwhelming and stressful. So then we just stop doing it, or we only book air and hotel in hopes that when we get to our final destination, we will figure it out. Sound familiar? It is one of the reasons I got into this business…because I love doing what others dread or don’t want to do– plan, create and book an itinerary and trip that covers everything– down to every detail and putting it all together in an organized fashion so the stress is manageable or non-existent. I’m going to share some tips on how to plan your own travel so that it can be an enjoyable experience to prepare you for a trip you will love.

First Up: Get a pencil and a journal or notebook. Yes, I said pencil. You will change your mind many times, you need the eraser. A journal or notebook helps to keep notes in one place. Pick something pretty so your planning journey doesn’t seem like a chore. Personally, I prefer the Day Designer. I love how the rings allow the book to either lay flat or you can easily fold it to just have one side exposed. I also like the page layout…title, column and body space to make notes and label things. Plus, it is small enough to throw in your bag in case you have an idea during the day so you can write it down.

How to Plan Your Own Travel

 

 

 

Second: Decisions, decisions. Now is the time to get down and dirty and start asking the real questions: WHO is coming with you on this trip? WHAT is your budget? HOW are you getting there? WHEN are you going?  Now for the WHERE, and yes, do it in that order. Even if you start out by saying, “I want to go on a trip to Hawaii,” by the time you start asking yourself all of the above questions, that location might have to adjust, change or maybe you will indeed confirm, that yes, you are going to Hawaii. I didn’t forget the WHY, we will get to the WHY later and the 2nd part of WHAT.

Find yourself a cozy spot where you can have a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of wine. Make sure there is internet access for your laptop or iPad, and get to work! Let’s get started…

WHO is coming with you on this trip? This is important to consider for many reasons but mainly because in the end it will help you determine your budget, activity level, and the rest of the HOW and WHERE questions. For example, is this a family trip? Young children? Teens? Does the place you are considering offer accommodation options for families with children (connecting rooms, large enough suites, roll-aways, and cribs)? Are there enough activities to keep the teens interested and engaged? Does the resort accept families? (Yes, this is a real question especially when looking at places in Mexico or the Carribean.) Or maybe you are planning a multiGen vaca, which requires more thought on activity level, type of activities and accommodation. Girls trip? Couples Trip? Solo trip? All very important to consider as you embark on your planning journey.

WHAT is the budget? So you come up with a number. Does this include transportation and meals? Excursions? Tickets for shows? Don’t become discouraged if your budget seems low. There are always corners to cut or reward miles to be had that can enhance your trip. I love when I’m given a budget and work to meet the challenge of finding hidden amenities and treats that are included in pricing. This may also be the time where you decide if you’re going to work with a Travel Advisor. There is always some type of insider knowledge a Travel Advisor will bring to the table to help you meet your budget. Even if the sky is the limit or money is no object, you still want to hone in on the best ways to use your budget to get the biggest bang for your buck. Put the extra savings into that amazing restaurant you’ve been wanting to try or upgrade yourself to business class. A budget is just a number. You can do a lot with a budget. You just need to know how to work it.

HOW are you getting there? Again, WHO is coming plays into HOW you are getting there. Obviously, if you are planning an island vacation, your options are limited. Can everyone in your party fly? Can they fly for that long? Is anyone claustrophobic? Do they get seasick? Does airfare eat up all of your budget? Will the little ones be ok on a 12-hour flight to Tahiti? Is my car road trip ready or will I need to find a rental? Sprinter? RV? Does it make more sense to drive or fly? Is gas really cheaper than the airfare? Do you want the hassle of an airport or would you rather fly private. Don’t laugh, that’s a thing that can actually be worked into your budget. If you live in Las Vegas or California, JetSuite is an option to save you from commercial.

Jet between major West Coast cities on daily flights between Burbank (LA), Orange County, the East Bay/Concord, Reno, Oakland and Las Vegas. Hop on seasonal flights to Mammoth Mountain, and special event service to Sundance, CES and more!

Flying with JetSuite saves you the hassle of dealing with long security lines, having to be at the airport for hours before your flight, luggage conditions, and uncomfortable gates. When you fly JetSuite, you will go to a separate terminal, arrive within 30 minutes of flight time, and enjoy spacious cabin seating. Next time you are researching fares and you are visiting the cities JetSuite flies, do a price comparison. I’ll bet you will be surprised at the cost between JetSuite and Southwest…in a good way. If you book, here’s a code to get $20 off your first flight.

JetSuite Referral Link Stefanie Van Aken

WHEN are you going? So far, has any of the above questions changed your end goal? If not, this one might. Are your dates flexible? Are you working around when the kids are out of school? When can you get the time off? Do you have to meet the needs of several other adults in the group? WHEN is a big deal because not only does it affect your own personal time schedule, you also have to consider if the WHERE will work. WHEN is a biggie when it comes to working with a budget as well. Traveling during the holidays is high demand- 3-day weekends, Thanksgiving Break, Spring Break, Festival, Christmas, New Years…everyone else is going then, too. Expect crowds and inflated prices. It is always best if you can travel in the off-season, but the reality is that sometimes, it is just not an option. If this is the case, and you are working with a limited budget but do not want to sacrifice too much in the way of resorts or location, start planning as soon as possible. Most airlines will book 11 months out from your date of travel. Resorts will often start working with you once you reach out to them directly, but you may not be able to get released dates on third-party sites like Expedia or Travelocity sooner than 6-8 months prior to travel. Another great reason to have a Travel Advisor who is connected and get the ball rolling in your direction. Something else to consider for the WHEN question…season. Did you know hurricane season in the Atlantic actually begins June 1-November 1st? However, most hurricanes typically occur from August – October. Weather conditions are definitely something to consider for the WHEN part of the planning.

WHERE did you end up deciding to go after answering all of those questions? Still headed to the same place you thought? Awesome! Need some new ideas? No stress. I can help you figure that part out. Now that you have your answers, you can start building on the bullet points:

  • WHO is coming?
    • Number of Guests in Your Party
    • Ages
    • Passport Information (if applicable)
    • Separate guests by who will stay with whom so you know how many rooms and room types you will need
  • WHAT is the budget?
    • Transportation
    • Accommodations
    • Excursions/Activities
    • Meals
  • HOW are you getting there?
    • Planes
    • Trains
    • Automobile
    • Boat
  • WHERE are you going?
    • Time of Year
    • Weather
    • Length of Stay

And, now, for the WHY! WHY are you going? What are you expecting to gain from this trip? Relaxation? Rest? Build memories? Spend downtime with your significant other, kids, friends? Party all night, sleep all day? Achieve a personal goal or a lifelong dream? Really, these are questions you should be asking yourself. This question will help you identify things like…what about my budget is important to me? Where do I want to splurge and where do I want to save? What activities or excursions will help me achieve my goal? Which ones will just be a waste of time and money? Also, the WHY helps you identify and accept your level of expectation for the trip, and allows you to communicate expectations with those traveling with you encouraging everyone to be on the same page. Without this part, we can feel let down, or disappointed or exhausted and come home feeling like we still need another vacation. Let’s not do that. You are putting in good hard earned time and money on this trip and I want you to feel satisfied when you come home.

When you plan your own travel you become apart of it. Respect the process. Create the space. Set aside the time. You will be so happy you did and your fellow travelers will be grateful. So grateful that they will want you to plan the next trip, too!

RSMLVTravel Travel More Subscribe Now Luxury Travel Family Travel Stefanie Van Aken

Plan It Yourself

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We get it. Sometimes you just want to Plan It Yourself (PIY). One night stay? Quick weekend trip? Running off to somewhere for a private vaca and you don’t want anyone to find you? No worries. You can Plan It Yourself and still receive all the Virtuoso amenities you get when booking through us. Below are quick links to the Virtuoso Prefered Suppliers in all things Destinations, Hotels, Tours and Cruises. These links will direct you to our personal site and allow you to search and book all on your own. And, if you need some extra attention to a trip you book on our site, you got it! Just reach out and we will make sure everything is fantastic!

Stefanie Van Aken RSMLVTravel Destinations Virtuoso

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stefanie Van Aken RSMLVTravel Hotels Virtuoso | Photo Cred: VirtuosoStefanie Van Aken RSMLVTravel Tours Virtuoso | Photo Cred: VirtuosoStefanie Van Aken RSMLVTravel cruises Virtuoso | Photo Cred: Virtuoso

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RSMLVTravel Travel More Subscribe Now Luxury Travel Family Travel Stefanie Van Aken

What is a Travel Advisor and Why do I need one?

Ah…the questions that plague your mind when you see our posts…What is a Travel Advisor? Why do I need one? Can’t I do it all on the internet?

What is a Travel Advisor? 

Travel Advisors are relevant again, and here is why:

The State of American Vacation 2018, a report conducted by Project: Time Off, which is a national campaign dedicated to proving the value and necessity of taking time off, found that the average American employee takes about 17 vacation days annually, and that over 50 percent of Americans leave vacation days on the table at the end of the year. As a nation, that amounted to approximately 705 million unused days in 2017.

Here’s the thing…we can throw stats at you all day about how Americans need to utilize their earned vacation time and spend their hard-earned money…but what we’re going to offer you is the reason why you need a Travel Advisor. It is because you need time.

Time is of the essence. Time is money. Time is a precious commodity that we hate to see go to waste. It’s the one thing we can never get enough of or ever get back. As Your Travel Advisor, we get that. We work hard for the money, and we want our play time to be special and valuable and memorable. These are all the things you get when you work with a Travel Advisor.

First– we take the time to get to know one another. How do you like to travel? Leisure? Exploration? Cultural? Educational? Hotels? Resorts? Tours? Cruises? What are you looking to get out of your experience? Is dining top of your list or wherever you land? All Inclusive or Foodie to the Max? Public transportation or private cars? Stay in one place or try to cram it all in? Shopping? Shows? Beach? Mountains? Adventure? Walking? Biking? Hiking? Golf? What kind of memories are you looking to make on this particular trip? One or the other? Or do you want a little of everything?

We can make that happen.

Second– it’s about Who You Know…really. Not only are we members of the Virtuoso luxury travel consortium, we are also based out of Las Vegas. And, in Vegas, it’s all about who you know. We fully understand that concept. You want dinner reservations overlooking the Collesium in Rome lit up at night. We can do that. Sushi and Champagne at the most elegant resort on the Côte d’Azur…hit us up. The best tour guides in London, YouTube Star tours in LA, upgraded rooms, preferred views, early check-in/late checkout, and tickets to sold-out shows…done. We will send you the link to the itinerary where you can download everything to your phone and have it at your fingertips because we also have an app for that. But most importantly with who you know, it is the peace of mind knowing that you can and will get the value and experience you expect without the added stress of details and perfection and making everyone happy in the end.

You don’t need to worry about all that…we got you.

Third– the details are in the devil, the pricing is in the pudding. Honestly, we don’t know what all that means, but here’s how we can break it down for you: You want to plan a vacation for your family over Spring Break to Disney World? A European River Cruise to see the Christmas Markets over Winter Break? An African Safari to celebrate grandpa and grandma’s anniversary, your spouse’s big birthday and your child’s graduation? A private getaway for a special anniversary sans enfants? You have no idea where to start. Our expertise will help you narrow it down to the basics. We will ask you the questions you didn’t think to ask yourself. Together, we will find the best accommodations in the perfect part of the world. You provide us with passport information, and we will handle the rest. With our contacts and accessibility, we can help find you the best (if not better than internet) prices and packages that include VIP treatment, amenities, and upgrades you would not be able to secure if planning on your own. It’s your time. It’s your money. Let’s make them both work for you.

Don’t be thrown by the words luxury and advisor. It doesn’t always mean more cost to you. Our number one goal is to be Your Travel Advisor for the Modern Family. Sometimes it means a 100% luxury vacation dressed to the nines. Other times it means finding the right amount of luxury to fit your budget. Together, we will determine what part of “luxury” is important to you. Would you rather an upgraded room in a mid-level resort or the best rate at a luxury property? A trip to Peru can be a mix of luxury train cars meets mid-level stays and world-class experiences. Maybe you prefer all standard level hotels but fancy dining, private tours and exclusive entry to events. And, we will be honest. If there’s any portion of the planning that doesn’t make sense for you, we will let you know and provide other options. Whether you are traveling with or without your entourage…we will find a way to make it work to fit your needs, while respecting your budget and your time.

Oh, and those bookings you do on the internet? You can still do them. Why not? Sometimes the best prices available are found through some of the largest search engines on the web. We are happy to assist on a case by case basis. For quick trips, long weekends and overnight stays, the internet search engines might be your best bet. Domestic flights? Use your miles! Get the best fares available. We will be here for you when the planning starts moving out of your wheelhouse…and hopefully into ours.

Stefanie Van Aken Your Travel Advisor luxury travel family travel multigenerational travel based in Las Vegas Virtuoso Member

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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