fbpx

Why you should consider Tauck tour and cruises for your next family vacation

a brochure cover from Tauck tours with some lake and mountain scenery

Tauck has been around for over 95 years. They are a family owned tour company. Started with a local tour in New England.  Their commitment to service has won them a loyal following and they have greatly expanded their tour offerings across the globe and now also offers their own river cruise ships and have chartered small ships to different parts of the world with a showcase of interesting itineraries.  Whether it’s their land tours in Europe and Africa or the very popular family river cruises for multi-generational groups, Tauck products have consistently win the highest mark from my clients. They truly excel in all aspects of a tour.

Many of their guests are repeat guests.  Most enjoy traveling as a group with other like minded travelers and who enjoy cultural explorations and traveling with ease.  When tours started canceling last April due to the pandemic shutdown, over 80% of their guests have chosen to rebook the exact same tour with them for a year later.  And for those who did not rebook, got all their money back.  That isn’t the case with all travel / tour companies. Many chose to hang on to the guests’ funds.  It is a testament to Tauck’s strong financials and integrity.

a large family all wearing berets posing in front of Eiffel Tower in Paris during their Tauck tour
pc:Tauck; Tauck Family Adventures in Paris

Tauck has won Travel & Leisure’s “World’s Best” list for 23 consecutive years.  What made Tauck so popular?

  1. A wide presence, offering tours everywhere. You can choose to travel all 7 continents with Tauck if you love their consistent service.
  2. Exclusive access. Tauck’s long standing relationships have gained them partnerships with suppliers and museums to create unique experiences built in to their itineraries.  For example, they have exclusive after-hours access to the Sistine Chapel so you’re visiting with your own group of 40 or 20 fellow tour mates and not packed with the general public of thousands.
    They have special lunch in castles or exclusive performances arranged for their guests that turns every trip into a trip of a lifetime.
  3. Tour directors and local guides are their true assets. Their tour directors not only ensure a seamless travel experience, but their knowledge and caring attitude fosters a deep connection with guests.  Sometimes, I get requests to do the next tour with the same tour director wherever he/she is assigned due to their thoughtful, personal service.
  4. Great value. Tauck is not about spending as little as possible. But about giving you the best they can give for your money.  Quality hotels & ships, exclusive access and experiences, and itinerary planning that showcases the best a destination has to offer so that everything you should see is already included in the tour price and nothing extra to offer on tour.  In addition, gratuities are included in tour price so you don’t have to stress about getting local currency during tour.

You’ve heard from me and my clients’ feedbacks. Would you like to hear from Tauck directly?
This Thursday, 2/4/21, at 3pm PT, or 6pm ET, will you please join me on this virtual live presentation with Tauck? Hosted by Steve Spivak, Vice President of Global Sales and Partner Relations, the event will cover the current status of travel and what you can expect this year, along with great destinations to consider.  Here is the link to register.
https://tauck.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VWcu3823SE2-e_G0YvphGw
If you have another commitment, you can register and they will send you a recording afterwards. But if you can attend live, there will be opportunity for Q&A.

Space is Limited! Register now by clicking the link below:

Thursday, February 4, 2021 3:00 PM PST

https://tauck.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VWcu3823SE2-e_G0YvphGw

Maybe I’ll see you on Thursday! And of course, if after the presentation and you are interested in finding out more about joining their tours or need help selecting an itinerary, I’ll be honored to help.  email me, call me, or click the plan a trip button up on top!

Here are a few of Tauck’s popular tours:
America’s Canyonland

Danube Family River Cruise and Tour

Galapagos Island Family Tour and Cruise

All other guests favorites

If you’ve missed this event and would like to be notified of future opportunities, please sign up for our newsletter!

Why you should start planning 2021 and 2022 vacations now

20221 and 2022 vacation planning

Traveling in 2020 has become a very difficult decision for many of us.  It is very personal for sure. Some of my clients are ready to travel.  Some wish to travel but still hesitate due to health and safety concerns.  But with the recent rollout of the vaccine and an estimate that many will be vaccinated in spring and summer and throughout 2021, hopefully, it is the good news we have been waiting for.  Looking at trends, travelers are optimistic and ready to travel again …. and if you’ve not started putting 2021 or even 2022 vacations on your calendar, I suggest you better start taking action right after the holidays.  Here are a few reasons why:

funnel for 2021 and 2021

#1. Demand will be high, and supply will be low!
A lot of travelers have transferred their 2020 vacation to the exact same plan but a 2021 date.  They already have a seat! Yet, a lot of tour companies and hotels will be subject to limited capacity to still provide social distance for guests.   They’re also going with smaller group size as that is preferred now. As people start getting vaccinated and ready to travel, any remaining seats will be filled very quickly.  Don’t miss the boat!

#2.  Travel companies and cruise lines are ready… for months already

Every sector of the travel industry has a safe travel protocol in place. They’ve spent months developing those plans and getting the supplies and staff training they need in order to start providing the tours and experience travelers have been so hungry for.  They are committed to your health and safety. Many are just waiting for international borders to open and without asking people to quarantine.  It’ll be easier to travel.  Airlines have started providing Covid testing to passengers before they take off. Airports will have rapid testing centers.  Multiple airlines have formed alliance to set up “digital health passports” to aid travelers to more easily comply with travel restrictions for traveling overseas. Hotels and resorts now provide contactless stays and have elevated cleaning protocols.

River cruises and cruise lines are still pouring over the CDC manual to comply with new guidelines and most plan to start sailing again in April and beyond, if not sooner.  Some will provide testing to their guests while onboard. But again, they likely cannot have 100% capacity so, you will need to reserve early.

#3 Flexible change policy and small payment commitments

Many airlines have eliminated change fees for domestic AND international travel. Tour companies and hotels and cruises are doing the same.  They understand that uncertainty and disruption is still out there and they are doing everything they can to make you feel comfortable.  I’ve never seen such low deposit requirements.  Most also postponed the final payment due dates so you really have a very low commitment needed to put some happiness back to your calendar.  Great peace of mind offers.

 

excited young traveler sitting on flying suitcase with arms spreadout like wings

#4   2021 and 2022 schedules and itineraries are published

There are some exciting new itinerary options and many are already at full capacity.  Most have begun to offer small group tours or very attractive private tour discounts. Maybe you’d still like to be close to home. There are new USA tours, new ships, new resorts.  I’m especially excited about a new Rocky Mountaineer train itinerary in the Southwest through national parks. Ask me about it if interested, but hurry.

There has been studies that confirm people derive more happiness from anticipation of a planned vacation than the vacation itself! Wouldn’t it make you feel so good to have a plan locked in place and something wonderful to look forward to?

Reach out when you’re ready and I’ll be so honored to help you with your next vacation. I’ll help you understand all the travel restrictions, supplier terms and policies, and put together a plan to protect you with the right travel insurance.

Great ways to see our US National Parks for your next family vacation

Family hiking in Yellowstone National Park

I know many of us enjoy traveling overseas to foreign countries and experience different cultures and local customs.  We get excited visiting iconic sites and creating lifetime memories. But we often forget to take advantage of visiting our own national parks in the US.  Without a passport or long haul flight, it is easy to do and can provide a great family vacation.   Let me show you how to elevate your experience though.  Forget packing your family into the car and do a road trip.  Drop the DIY vacation.  Instead, use a tour operator.  Join a guided tour.  Preferably one that is small group of no more than 12 guests, or better yet, one just for your family, or maybe your own multi-generational family group.  Or another family or friends you enjoy traveling with.  Form your own exclusive tour.

Let me share a few benefits of joining a small group or private guided tour:

1. They can do it better.
You can do all the driving, plan out the lodging, figure out where to eat or what to see or where to hike. But imagine having someone do it all FOR YOU.  And not just anyone, but someone who has experience leading tours every day and know the ins and outs. They're the experts of the destination you're visiting. They can take care of all the details so you can truly      have a vacation.  Doesn’t that feel good???

family hiking in Yellowstone National Park
family hiking in Yellowstone National Park, pc: Austin Adventures

2. The Guides
Guides from great tour companies are passionate about sharing their knowledge and ensuring you have a trip of a lifetime.  They keep the trip fun. They can share about the history of the parks and knowledge of the wildlife and plants you came across. And they can also tell you the best restaurants in town.  More importantly, they show you the best way to see the parks and sites given the limited vacation time you have.  They know the best hikes and bike rides, the best spot for your pictures for the Instagram post, the hidden gems.

3. Connections
In these times of traveling during a pandemic, you want to travel with guidance.  A tour operator who has the behind the scenes access to information or partnerships with a hotel or a sought after activity provider.  Or even insider connections with National Park Service.  Let someone take care of the details so you can enjoy the moment and be present. Someone who takes care of the safety protocols and provide a stress free experience.

Maybe this is something you can consider for next summer vacation. It’s great for our mental and physical health to spend time outdoors.  Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Bryce/Zion, what’s your pick?  I have partnerships with some great tour operators. I work with the best and I know you can trust.   Some of these small group scheduled tours are very popular and already beginning to get booked up for 2021.  I can design custom itineraries. RV guided tours.  Or I can set up a luxury home stay with guided activities for you based on your wish and interests.  I know you miss traveling.  I hope I can send you on another adventure soon.  Reach out if you want to get started with planning.

Private Home and Villa Rentals for your next Family Vacation

Mexico Villa Rental

a family gathering over the holidays

I know many of us are really getting tired of the same view at home, plus, we long to spend time with our extended families.  Grandparents want to see their grand-kids.  Cousins want to hang out. Siblings want to wine and dine and catch up in person vs. over Zoom or Facetime.  What if you can do that?
Plus, how are we going to handle the Turkey and all the holiday trimmings for our festive holiday meals?
Perhaps you can consider having a small get together of maybe 12 or less family members over the holidays at a large home rental that can fit everyone.  I recommend prior to the gathering, everyone try to be extra careful with hygiene and social distancing for 2 weeks.  You can even get Covid tested first before the gathering to give yourself more peace of mind.

I don’t arrange Air B&B or VRBO rentals for my clients.  It’s mostly because there is just no way I can guarantee the quality and service of each rental.  If something has to go through me, they have to be vetted and secured and that I know you will have access to a great customer service team should any unexpected issues arise.  I’ve been partnering with multiple villa rentals service providers over the years.  I have a large inventory and access to many home rentals throughout the world.  Most only work through travel advisors and not direct with consumers.  These companies have strict policies that they make each homeowners abide by, before they let them join the rental program.  Even before Covid, the cleaning standards are high, and now each has agreed to even more to keep guests safe.

10 Reasons to consider a private home & villa stay:

  1. It’s just you and your family, not thousands of strangers.
  2. Large portfolio of vetted, inspected, guaranteed and managed properties to choose from.
    ( 2 bedrooms to 12 bedrooms; amenities like private pools, gym, arcade, home theatre)
  3. Many villas feature impeccable landscaping and views, outdoor spaces, interior design and furnishings, and more.
  4. Each home is cleaned and staffed by professionals and maintenance team.
  5. Some homes come with Your Own Villa Concierge who is committed to providing around-the-clock personalized services.
  6. Explore the local attractions, national parks, best beaches, and more. We can arrange everything you need to craft a truly unique experience designed around your wants and wishes.
  7. Arrange your own cooking classes, pizza party, wine tasting, private chefs, even yoga classes in your villa!
  8. We can stock the villas with groceries pre-arrival, and provide on site staff like chefs, nanny, head housekeeper, driver and gardeners.
  9. Security: many villas are in gated communities and also some has night watchman
  10. A unique way to celebrate with your family and make memories that last.

 

Ideas for your next villa.

United States:

There’s no need to travel far for the getaway of your dreams! We have coastal and mountain homes with amazing views and hiking trails throughout California, fun themed homes in Florida, and mountain retreats in Colorado and Utah for your next ski trip.  And of course, now that Hawaii is lifting quarantine with a negative Covid-test starting Oct 15, it’s always a good idea too!   I can find the perfect villa for you. A one-of-a-kind getaway may only be a short flight (or drive) away.

Mexico:

The easiest international destination to travel to currently.  No testing required. And only a short flight from US airports, with consistent reliable flight schedules.  You can land and be transported straight to your villa for your week long stay.  We can arrange private services for your snorkeling trip or sunset cruises so you can enjoy the view and warm water that is Mexico.  Just make sure your passport is not expired!

Caribbean:

Turks & Caicos, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua are already open to visitors for a few months now. More islands are considering reopening their borders to international travelers soon.  Whether you’re looking for a 1-bedroom couple’s retreat or a sprawling seaside estate for the whole family, I will help deliver that to you.

Villa in Mexico facing the ocean
pc: Villas of Distinction
kitchen and dining room in a rental villa in Colorado
pc: Villas of Distinction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More affordable than you think.

Villas can accommodate larger groups so you can have more share the cost.  The cost per person is often less than a hotel room or a resort stay. You get far more space. Food & Beverage expenses are significantly lower.  You can have a more personalized experience with more privacy.

I have suppliers offering attractive promotion.  Some are offering up to $2000 destination credits for you to use during your stay.  Some villas even offer 1 or 2 free nights stay.

Peace of mind booking policies:
Most villas now have a more flexible payment terms policy. Most have late final payments due date and a more relaxed cancellation policy. Plus, I can always recommend travel insurance policy to protect your vacation investment.

­­­_______

Do you feel ready?  Or still have concerns or lingering questions? Please reach out to me to get started before all the inventory is gone.  If you want to explore some more before contacting me, here is a link for your to preview some homes.

Remember, it is always my wish to help you plan an effortless vacation and one that you can cherish the memories forever. Renting a villa is simple and I’m here to help guide you along the way. Start Planning!