Mandarin Oriental is a leading name in luxury hospitality which has deep roots we’ve explored all across Asia. It… more>>
No matter what degree of world traveling you’ve engaged in up to this point: we can all agree on one thing. The world is a big place and there is a LOT to see. That’s where your personal travel advisors come in.
Maybe you’ve decided, for your great adventure, you’d like to see the Great Wall of China. In your research, you’ve come to the realization that it is over 13,000 miles long (to put that in perspective, if you measured the United States form Maine to Hawaii, that is only 5,100 miles long). So then the question becomes which part of the Great Wall of China do you want to see?
Here’s a free tip from your travel advisor: Badaling is a part of the wall that is accessible from Beijing. It is not run down like a lot of the other 13,000 miles. It has good parking. It even has a gift shop! Of course, once you’re in Beijing, you’ll want to do some exploring, see the Forbidden City, dine at the Pure Lotus (which offers classic local fare and is owned by a former monk). That’s all given. But how about a day trip to Tianjin? It’s a coastal city, about an hour-and-a-half away on a bullet train. Tianjin has beautiful parks and rivers but it is also one of the top 20 largest cities in the world. On this side of the world, though, hardly anyone has even heard of it!
Tourism is a huge industry and people around the world have perfected the art of making money at showing you around and telling you exactly what they think you want to hear. Their goal is to make you feel as comfortable as possible, to eliminate the surprise factor. It is completely safe. It is just like home!
Friends, what they are offering you is a ride in the bumper cars at the fair. Sure it can be fun, and a bit different from your everyday experiences – especially if you don’t get out much. But experienced bumper car riders will tell you, it’s also jerky and inauthentic. As your travel advisors, we’re here to help you find the convertible on the open road.
It may not always be the pristine part of the city that you see on the postcards (note: if that is what you are into, we can certainly keep you travels mainstream). It has been our experience, though, that the true adventures lay hidden elsewhere. We’ve seen them, and we really want to share them with you.
So part of becoming an adept traveler is making a lot of mistakes. Between the two of us, we’ve booked plane tickets for the wrong airport (airports in an inconvenient part of the city or with the least convenient layover situation). We’ve booked hotels at the worst times of year, set out on excursions during rush hour. Joseph even accidentally reserved himself the honeymoon suite at a hotel in Azerbaijan, complete with a bubble bath full of rose petals.
We’ve made the mistakes, we’ve visited the places that were more creepy than intriguing, we’ve visited Russia in the winter! And we learned! We learned how to avoid those things. We want to help you see something amazing, but also safe and as hassle free as possible. We want to put our expertise to work. We want to share the wealth of experience we’ve gained.
It varies of course based on your experience and desires. We’re here to help coach you in the whole process. We can help you review your budget and help you to be a bit more grounded (if necessary). We suggest relatively unknown destinations that we know to be beautiful and authentic. We suggest hotels, restaurants, airlines and general means of travel which we have tested and found to be effective in the past. We can even help you to book flights, hotels, and everything else on your trip if you are interested in a full-service option.
It doesn’t have to be. The thing is, even our full-service option can end up saving you money if you take advantage of our knowledge of economic means of travel and lodging. What’s more, we will work closely with travel agencies like Expedia to book your reservations affordably.
No we are not. We are active travelers who offer our expertise and advice for a fee to help travelers make the most of their trip planning and execution.
We don’t sell anything for the trip itself, rather we connect you with trustworthy travel companies for you to buy all tickets and reservations. If you prefer, we will be happy to do the bookings with these companies on your behalf to make the process as smooth as possible.
Please understand there are, occasionally, some things you just cannot avoid. Thunder storms, flight cancellations, lost baggage, an iPad left in the seat pocket on the airplane. We can only recommend you travel with some sort of insurance if you are concerned things might go awry. However, as our client, you can be certain we will be on the phone, aggressively pursuing with whatever airline company, rental car provider, or god of thunderstorms that exists an attempt to fix whatever went wrong. Here is the official disclaimer: We cannot guarantee the outcomes that the travel providers will give for the situation since we are advisors only. However we will advocate for you and assist you to find better or new options to readjust your trip in case of unforeseen interruptions. No one can guarantee an outcome, but we will be there to offer assistance.
We currently do not advise large group travel. Remember the pristine postcard cites we mentioned above? The ones we were trying to help you leave behind to see more? We don’t recommend that for a large group. Please speak to a travel agent.
Yes, definitely! We want to share our ideas and experiences with you so that you can become travel adept as well.
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