I Am Your Travel MasterChef

I was invited to exhibit at the Ottawa Senior’s Expo yesterday. What a great gathering. Several of my clients (including Ron, Maria, Bonnie, Jean-Louis, Lloyd, Karen, and Frank) made the trip to the Nepean Sportsplex to check out the show, and came by to say “hi.”  It was lovely to see them (you), and I had the chance to meet some new friends as well.

What an eclectic group of people this expo attracted. Of course, ‘seniors’ (nor any group of individuals – family travel, zoomers, boomers, gen x’ers, millenials) cannot be defined by any one set of interests, let alone any one preferred travel style; and while I suspected that there would be many with an interest in European river cruising (and there was), there was an equal amount of interest in active & hiking and cycling holidays as well. (And I’m sampling some of those trips in the newsletter below.)
Expo visitors happily lightened my stock of brochures for river cruise companies such as Tauck, AMA, Scenic, and Emerald, and ocean cruising partners such as Crystal, Azamara, and Paul Gauguin. But there was, in equal measure, interest for the Exodus cycling & hiking trips, World Expeditions bike ‘n barge and European hiking, Intrepid to Asia, On the Go to Turkey; as well as Lindblad Expedition’s cruising to Antarctica and Iceland, Big Five Tours’s safaris, Natural Habitat’s wildlife trips, and International Expeditions trips to the Amazon.  What a wonderful way to go around the world with people (in the confines of a sportsplex :-)..) , and help them discover where they want to travel next.
Of course, that’s what I really love about my job. Every client is unique, and what interests them, and I could never (nor would I want to) take a cookie-cutter approach to what appeals to their family. I love leveraging the relationships I have with my travel supplier partners around the world to help curate clients’ travel dreams. And I love helping clients plan the trip that is right for them.
I love being the ‘masterchef’ (travel advisor) to prepare their perfect ‘meal’ (travel experience).
It was great to speak with some new clients at the Expo. I loved the couple who already had a 5-year-plan of where they wanted to go, and were looking for ideas on how to make that happen.  I showed them my display of brochures, and explained my ‘masterchef’ analogy. I am your travel ‘masterchef’, and this display of travel suppliers/ product offerings is just a sampling of the ingredients in my travel kitchen. When we work together, I find out whether you feel like a Big Mac, or a gourmet burger type of experience (or perhaps one of each for a multi-faceted trip), and then I can combine the ingredients/ suppliers to fit the meal/ travel experience you choose. With my Virtuoso connections, I have the resources and feet-on-the-ground around the world with my VIrtuoso suppliers that we can deliver a pillow-to-pillow experience (from your home to your destination) that suits what you have in mind.
As an example of me pulling together suppliers to build an itinerary that suits you, here’s a quick video interview I did with Lesa Bain of Lindblad Expeditions, and Ashish Sanghrajka of Big Five Tours about one client’s trip that combined both supplier partners’ expertise.
putting Lindblad & Big Five elements together for perfect trip!
putting Lindblad & Big Five elements together for perfect trip!
As your travel masterchef, I can mix and match, and combine the ingredients/ travel suppliers I have (leveraging the relationships I have through the power of my Virtuoso connections), and prepare the perfect meal/ travel experience for you.  Give me a call, and we can get sorted on a plan/ meal for you! 🙂
Sheila Gallant-Halloran