What does it take to plan the perfect vacation for an entire family? I had the pleasure as a Travel Specialist to help several clients plan lifelong dream vacations. One client in particular wanted her and her husband to take a vacation with all three of their children and two grandchildren. To quote her daughter, this is where the idea began: “Our family planned to take a celebration trip for years, but where? Each time I talked to my Mom, she told me about her current virtual vacation. In her mind and through others’ suggestions, she traveled to Provence, Maine and the western part of the US. I thought we’d never come to a decision. The weekend my Mom ’traveled’ to Italy, my Dad got invited to go there and made the final decision for us. ’Italy?’ I said mentally checking my bucket list and confirming that, ‘No, Italy was not on the list. Italy…’.
When my client first contacted me, her vacation idea was to go to Italy; her husband was to receive an award in Milan, and she thought this would be the perfect time to take that long thought of family vacation. Most of the family had never been to Italy; only a few had been many years ago. In planning this vacation, my role as a Travel Advisor is to get as much information about what your dream vacation would look like. This can be harder—but much more important– when you have eight family members input. Once I got the basics down of what parts of Italy they wanted to go to and things they wanted to see and do, the hidden work started. I contacted my suppliers, and we created a custom package for their vacation, from cities to see, hotels to stay in, what Villa would best suit their needs, forms of transportation from air to car to train, attractions they wanted to visit and tours to take.
After going over and tweaking the details, their lifelong Italy dream vacation was planned. Within two months they would be off on their family vacation. Having all of the particulars of a vacation fall in place is the best part of a great trip. Every client is different and listening to what each client wants and giving suggestions and guidance based on what their needs are, is what makes my job the best. Some of the questions I ask to get an idea of what this vacation looks like for my clients are, How much research have you done on your vacation? What is the most successful vacation you’ve ever had – tell me about it? What would make it positively memorable? In gathering the answers, it can easily form into the vacation of a lifetime.
As a Travel Consultant, the following testimonial is why I love what I do for a living. “Patiently, Darby worked hard fielding questions from many family members helping us to find things that everyone enjoyed doing even though she’d never been there herself. We learned how to make pasta in a cooking class. We visited world-class vineyards and tasted wine. We watched an artisan blow glass and toured the Sistine Chapel. Then, we rested in a Tuscan villa enjoying amazing dinners five nights in a row. And, when we got home, we even found some of us in the background of a picture of Selma Hayak at the Venice Film Festival! Our once-in-a-lifetime experience in Italy surpassed my wildest dreams. I will cherish those memories always! Italy may not be on your bucket list; I recommend you add it.”
If you have any thought of a dream vacation, let’s talk about how to bring that dream to life.
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