Author: Becky Lukovic

Five Things to Do Before You Depart

I know, you’ve read packing guide after packing guide—they all sound the same….toothbrush, toiletries, extra socks, a poncho (who really wears a poncho on vacation??)…..you’ve read about the “must sees” and the “not worth your times.” You are ready for your trip….right? Maybe not…. If you are looking for a true cultural experience, whether it be inside the good ole US of A or in a foreign country, there are a few things you should really do.  Plan early and prepare yourself as well as you plan your packing list. 1. Learn to communicate. It sounds elementary, but in order to truly appreciate a different country or different culture, you must be able to interact with its inhabitants in some form or fashion. You don’t have to sign up for a full-fledged Rosetta Stone course, but a little time to learn a few words is helpful. Learn your numbers – you will spend the majority of your time shelling out cash or credit—whether it be in restaurants, museums, gas stations, grocery stores or shoe shopping. A grasp on numbers is helpful. Learn the important pleasantries of good morning…..good evening….thank you and excuse me. People are more willing to assist a polite person than someone who doesn’t have the courtesy to address them. Let’s not forget about the food–Eat—you must eat, therefore, you must learn a few food words—including how...

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Tuscany – Have You Ever…..

Viewed the Florentine landscape from your hotel rooftop? Driven the famous Fiat Cinque-Cento through dusty Brunello vineyard roads? Watched Italy play a championship soccer game just steps from the Campo in Siena? Brewed coffee the old school way in a Tuscan hillside villa? Eaten clams just minutes after the fishing boat brings them in? Consumed your bodyweight in gelato?? OR Have You Ever….  Listened to the men from the Bruco Contrada serenade their horse moments before Palio Practice? Call today to begin planning your next adventure……because creating adventures is our specialty!  Email ...

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Traveling can be stressful—heck traveling IS stressful…..even for the expert traveler.  There is something about airports, train stations, and car rental companies that rachet up you blood pressure, your anxiousness, and your need to learn the art of patience.  Somehow, getting from point A to point B is exhausting……just utter exhausting. My horse trainer used to tell me to “Plan for the emergency” and travel is no different.  There are ways to mitigate your stress, make traveling a bit more pleasant, and get you to your destination a little less weary.  Plan for the inevitable travel emergency – a gate change, a long check-in or security line, delays in shuttles, heavy traffic en route, etc.  It’s far better to have a cushion than to worry about missing your flight. 1.         Arrive early….seriously…..arrive early!!  I know…..it’s a pain to sit in the airport……the chairs are uncomfortable (if you can even find one), the food is atrocious, and it’s easy to get bored—-bring a book, a deck of cards, your music—whatever you need to make the wait bearable…..just arrive early.  Although security lines can be an issue, the real point of arriving early is to check-in early enough and presenting yourself at the gate early enough to keep your seat.  If you do not make the minimum required time, you will be denied boarding—the amount of time depends on your final...

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You Can’t VIP Yourself!

As my good friend, Kelly Shea of Kelly Shea Travels says, you can’t VIP yourself…. Even with 10 years in the travel industry under my belt, I am still amazed at how true this statement is! Like many of you, I prefer at times to take my destiny into my own hands, plan every detail, schedule every activity, and pour over every hotel before I book—that’s why I became a travel agent.  The problem is, however, that you can’t VIP yourself.  It’s like being in a conversation and saying, “don’t you know who I am???”  9 times out of 10, they don’t and quite frankly, they don’t really “care” who you are.  And….it’s a little awkward asking for special treatment for myself….you know….”what can you give me special?”  It comes off as a little…well…shady….and cheap! If, however, while making your travel plans, a third party (and a third party with some influence) says to the hotel, “This is Becky’s honeymoon, I want it to be extra special for her….she is a good client of ours…can you do something above and beyond??” then the request has a more positive outcome.  After all, you can’t VIP yourself. While on my honeymoon last September, I was reminded of this time and again when my Virtuoso Onsite, who helped me with arranging private drivers, spa appointments, tours, hotel stays, romantic dinners and the like,...

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Photo Scavenger Hunt

  Oh those family reunions……the times where everyone sits around and talks about the good old days…..  Why not mix it up a little bit??  On our last family vacation, we tried something new—A photo scavenger hunt. With today’s smart phone technology, Scavenger Hunts are a snap to organize and execute.  Our family divided up into groups and set out on a “treasure hunt” for specific photo ops.  Since our vacation was in the Florida Keys, the hunt had a pirate theme.  We took group photos with pirate statues, the Lost Shaker of Salt and, of course, Mile Marker 0. We visited Hemmingway’s home,...

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