Wednesday, September 10, 2008

La Bella Italia

It's another one of those trips I'd like to be on myself...I could use an Italian food infusion, that is, an Italian food infusion IN Italy. I am sending clients to Florence, Sorrento and Rome next month and I am really excited about the way things are shaping up. The hotels that I've proposed are all so appealing I'd have a hard time deciding myself which ones to choose. OK, maybe not that hard because I do definitely have my own opinions. But I don't let my personal preferences crowd out those of a client.

I tell the truth--why I'd choose one place over another--but without the expectation that another individual would come to the same conclusion. People have different priorities when it comes to all aspects of travel; in selection of accommodation, you must weigh the price as well as what's on the inside (cleanliness, decor, service, square footage, bathroom, hipness, etc) and what's on the outside (a quiet neighborhood vs. lively one, safety, convenience to transportation and attractions, etc). And then you want to avoid things like, oh, ripoffs, overcharges, lost reservations bedbugs, rude staff, rodents...all the usual (and unusual) horror stories that will crush any potential for repeat business. With so many variables and factors to consider for any trip, I try to present a handful of options in each case that are selected based on exhaustive research and client preferences I have learned from the Mon Voyage Travel Style Questionnaire and conversations with clients. Fortunately, I seem to be doing just fine in pairing people with plans.

Soon I should know what choices this client prefers in terms of lodgings...can't wait to find out. Then I'll make arrangements for some guided walking tours, a wine tasting day trip in Tuscany, secure a rental car, find some great restaurants and lesser-known museums that suit them, make their driving maps and travel packet...soon I can have another vicarious travel experience...

Everyone always asks where we'll be traveling next and I have to say I honestly do not know!!! The list is endless but the pocketbook is not bottomless.

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