Whether you’re into New Year’s resolutions or not, a fresh calendar is the perfect invitation to sketch out goals for 2019.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating: I’m not the best advisor for every traveler.
This month I am excited to introduce a new series: Milk + Honey Travelers.
Sometimes I’m a traveler.
Other times I’m on vacation.
Is using the services of a travel agent for everyone? No. Absolutely not.
What was my favorite city in Vietnam? Hands down, it was Hoi An.
Now that you have looked at your vacation in a big picture sense, it’s time to get started on the nitty gritty details.
The trips I plan often involve multiple stops and destinations.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like this year has literally flown by.
Travel is as expensive as you want it to be. I truly believe that everyone has it in their budget to travel.
Most people have great intentions of traveling more. They are wanderlust spirits with a strong desire to explore this beautiful world. And yet… they don’t. For one reason or another, their aspirations to travel don’t materialize.
Is planning a vacation last minute a good idea? No. Not if you really are trying to have your best experience. I think many people either don’t realize that planning in advance can work to their advantage, or they believe that all the best deals are found last minute. That’s simply not true. Planning in advance allows you to craft the perfect trip to suit your tastes, and gives you access to everything your trip should encompass. You aren’t settling, you are able to set the tone for your perfect trip.
So, the question to ask is when is the optimal time to start planning your next vacation? There are 3 main things to consider when deciding how far in advance you should begin planning, and booking all the necessary components.
I have an entrepreneurial spirit. I have always known that about myself, and it was further confirmed when I took a multitude of tests after I retired from being an athlete that were supposed to help guide me into my next career. It told me I was driven, self-motivated, unafraid of taking risks, resourceful, don’t need to actually get paid to work my tail off… and on and on.
I took that entrepreneurial spirit and paired it with my love for travel for two very important reasons. The first is pretty obvious — I am passionate about travel and love helping others experience more of the world in an authentic way. Planning and organizing is a skill set, and I pair it with my knack for understanding the desires of others and finding great joy in seeing their dreams come to life. The second reason that lights me up as well, is that it is a business I can build that allows me to have location freedom.
I don’t call myself a Travel Agent. But for all intents and purposes I am, in the sense that I have the proper setup and credentials in order to book and sell travel. But looking at it from that frame of mind would not encompass all that I do, nor highlight what I believe to be the valuable service I bring to my clients.
Working with a Travel Professional such as myself has it’s advantages because my business is set up to not just provide travel agency services, but also act as your advisor, consultant, and concierge. In that regard, you end up with a service that makes the planning and booking of travel through a Travel Agent a better, faster, and certainly more valuable way to go.
Could you imagine anything worse than a two week trip in Italy without being able to eat pizza and pasta?! I have a hard time wrapping my brain around such a concept, and an even harder time knowing why someone would consider a trip to the land of “BEST. FOOD. EVER.”, if they couldn’t eat most of it.
Such was almost the case of a recent trip to Italy that I planned. I believe that food is an integral part of any vacation, and I knew that some research and planning needed to be done so that this trip to Cinque Terre, Florence, and Rome could be vegetarian and sans gluten— yet still amazing in the foodie department.
I started my business with the belief that there absolutely is a need in this day and age for a travel professional-- an expert who is adept at navigating the endless amount of information and options when it comes to travel, and is able to provide travelers with amazing authentic experiences, all while making the process easy.
I have come to find that the type of service I offer is most helpful to travelers who fall into one of the following categories.
I recently had the opportunity to plan a very special honeymoon to Malaysia. This 10 day adventure was filled with a stay on Kota Kinabalu, where they visited mount kinabalu, dipped in natural hot springs, went white water rafting, and toured a cultural village. They then continued on to Mabul/Sipadan island to take advantage of some authentic bungalow living and some of the best diving anywhere in the world.
What’s so amazing about this honeymoon is not just that it was beautiful, authentic, and full of adventure, but that it was literally the first vacation ever for Jesel. She is slightly scared of heights, not nearly the adventure junkie that Caleb is, and was opening herself up to new experiences in so many ways.
When I saw the pictures from their vacation and heard from firsthand accounts what an amazing time they were having, it reminded me that sometimes life truly does begin outside of your comfort zone! Travel has an incredible way of broadening those horizons and introducing you to some of the best adventures you will ever experience, if you let it.
While they were gone, these were some of the messages I received letting me know that everything was unfolding perfectly…
Thank you very, very much for all that you've done to make this all possible. I cannot express enough our gratitude! We are very blessed and thankful! - Caleb
I just want to say thank you so much for everything you did for our honeymoon to be amazing!! I have heard a lot about you and even though I don’t know you personally, I am so grateful for your help and hope to meet you one day!! -Jesel
These messages make my job so worth it. I love helping people have these types of opportunities, and creating the experiences that really make a difference. If someone is going on a honeymoon and has never been out of the country before, it’s hard to create an experience like this. But with the help of a professional, the possibilities are endless.
If you have a honeymoon or a trip coming up that you want to explore what it looks like to step slightly outside of your comfort zone, and possibly have the time of you life, contact me and let’s chat about it!
For the last few days I’ve been in Charlotte, North Carolina at a conference with fellow Travel Professionals. We stayed at the beautiful Ballantyne Hotel, and for two days I immersed myself in learning and growing and basically figuring out how I can be better at what I do and service my clients to the best of my ability.
In today’s day and age, being a traditional “Travel Agent” can seem pretty obsolete. No longer is that the vehicle people must go through if they want to take a vacation or book an airline ticket, as it was in years past. In fact, if you ask me what it is I do, I won’t even use that moniker, even though it would probably be what most people would associate with my profession. I call myself a Travel Professional and what I do is use my expertise to create unique and custom travel experiences. Within that, you get a travel planner, advisor, and concierge all rolled up into one. And yes, I actually book the travel, as a travel agent would. But if all I did was book travel, I would basically be a mini-expedia, with .00000000001% of the budget and no cool commercials to let anyone know I exist. There really wouldn't be a point.
Creating custom vacation experiences that focus on the individual and their unique desires takes a personal touch. A search engine isn’t going to do a great job at finding the best place to stay for you, the most interesting adventures that fits the nature of your trip, and the amazing off-the-beaten path excursions that you are looking for. And believe me… the internet certainly won’t care that much if you enjoy yourself and have the time of your life. I do that.
So, yes I book travel just like a travel agent. Just like any other website on the internet that will let you make a reservation on your own. However, that is not all I do. I create travel experiences designed specifically for you because I do my best to understand exactly what it is that you are looking for, and then deliver that. It’s all of my expertise shared with people who trust me with their valuable leisure time and believe that I will work on your behalf and do my absolute best to ensure they have the most amazing experiences, in a way that makes it as easy and stress free as possible. When was the last time Expedia promised you that?
I love last minute trip plans. This may seem slightly counterintuitive to my personality because I am the queen of planning on top of planning cross checked with more planning. But there is definitely something exciting about deciding to go somewhere NOW.. just because. The anticipation that builds up once you know you have a trip to look forward to is enhanced because your trip happens to be just around the corner! I don’t know what it is about January, but that has been the mindset of a few of my clients who decided to find the time in their schedule to book last minute trips and make the time for a romantic getaway.
Starting your year off with a little unexpected R & R can do wonders for your sense of well-being and allow you to attack 2015 with a renewed sense of fervor and excitement. If that is sounding right up your alley, contact Milk and Honey Travels to help you escape the day-to-day, chase the sunshine, and put a little bounce back in your step as you get ready for the amazing year ahead.
The following are some beautiful shots from last week's getaway to the stunning Four Seasons Santa Barbara, where they were able to enjoy the gorgeous grounds, relax poolside and have their best friend tag along, as this resort also happens to be pet friendly!
Where would you like to go, and how can I help you plan it?