Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What will I do ALL Summer with My Kids???

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day holiday... Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate in many places, but that's why Netflix was invented, right?!?!

Next holiday is July 4th and typically the weather at the mountain resorts can be more reliable for a great weather holiday week. Yay!

Do you know this guy?

Perhaps not literally, but you've met the type if you've been on s snow vacation.  We call them the 'locals'.  They call you the 'tourists'.  Sometimes you are grateful for each other.. sometimes you can't stand each other, haha!  But, you share a mutual passion for adventure and outdoor play.  And they certainly have figured out how to do it cheaply.. It won't cost you a bundle either, promise!!

So this summer, take your kids on an inexpensive road trip to a BIG mountain... Here's what you'll need to do when you get there... ALL for FREE :-)
  • Enjoy the cool breeze and no bugs!  Imagine not needing air conditioning, and only a light jacket.
  • Look at the stars on a clear night.
  • Photograph the wildflowers.
  • Chase a fox back into his rock 'home'.
  • Explore a hiking trail, clear creek, and waterfall and not care when you lose cell phone service.
  • See a bear.
  • Watch the fireworks and say ooohhhh!!!
  • Take your headphones off, the whole family.

Check out these great Destinations TODAY!

Give us a call 866-981-SNOW or send us an Email... We'll tell you the facts and figures quickly!

Looking forward,


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How My Lodging Unexpectedly Changed My Trip

This past weekend, my daughter graduated from college (GO BEARS!).

We had 10 family members from all over the US convene in Berkeley, California.  In my role as the 'professional' travel arranger, I was the family nominee to organize the trip.  I selected our hotel based on location and where I could get the best industry discount, of course, ha!  And there we landed at the Marriott Renaissance ClubSport in Walnut Creek; not the closest location, but the price was right and it had the right bed configurations. These are comparable priorities I use when I organize snow destination vacations for clients.
Here's the 'typical' preliminary conversation and questions discussed when I help a client narrow their snow vacation lodging search:
  1. How many people? Is the group couples, singles, kids, group of friends, family, etc.?
  2. How many bedrooms (or hotel rooms)?
  3. What is your minimum quality requirement?  This relates to budget.
  4. How far from the lifts, skier village will you stay? Ski in ski out, walk to lifts, shuttle route, or perhaps you'll use a car each morning?
  5. Do you have any specific special requests? Hot tub, pool, fitness facility, childcare services etc.
Anyhow, we got to the hotel and quickly learned that we had inadvertently arrived to a mini-resort and that the hotel offered amenities well beyond our expectations. I had seen the written bullets about the facilities, but really didn't pay much attention. Our trip included a lot of people, was taking place over a short period of time and a seemingly had a very full agenda.  We thought the accommodation was 'just a place to sleep'.

Well, within the first 24 hours we found that our dinner plans needed to be modified cause the Friday commuter traffic heading to our destination was going to be intolerable. The hotel had a great poolside bistro, a reasonably priced menu and delicious food. Problem solved!
Next, we needed a place to 'chill' between the commencement ceremony and our celebration dinner and there were many, many choices of gathering lounges in the hotel.
And finally, this property offered one of the largest and most luxurious fitness facilities I had ever seen and included 10-20 daily options in exercise classes at no additional charge. Our whole gang enjoyed a Sunday morning of side-by-side treadmills, spin bikes, weight training et al.
And we never even got to the spa...

In hindsight, our accommodation became our focal point.  We didn't have to commute to visit together, and we didn't have to worry about weather, traffic, entertainment, or any other logistics. The commencement was thrilling, and we had no other worries...

Why am I telling you this??? Cause I want to sell you the best snow destination vacation EVER! The realities...
  1. It's cold and it might snow.
  2. It gets dark EARLY in winter.
  3. You will be tired at altitude.
  4. Skiing and riding often make for sore feet, knees, backs, and everything else.
  5. You might have a hangover. After all, you are on VACATION!
Very often clients tell me "It's just a room.  I won't spend anytime there." Perhaps, but based on parameters noted above, wouldn't it be nice if you could?? I'm not saying you need to spend more $, but certainly evaluate your needs and priorities with a better assessment of the actual.  Your accommodation is IMPORTANT and I / we (our team) have the experience, exposure and relationships to make the best match for you... AND, we don't cost any more than if you would have done it yourself.  So, there's a great deal all around... 

One last plug, summer is magical in the mountains...  Let us show you NOW!


Monday, May 11, 2015

My way into the travel industry and the difference between online booking sites and me..

Do you remember the times when you were little and your family asked you what you want to become when you are older? My answer was “I want to be a travel agent so I can be on vacation forever.” Well, that didn’t quite work out. Yes, I am a travel agent but no, I am not on a never-ending vacation. I am still very happy about my career choice though. Do you know why? Because I get to help other people go on vacation and create memories.
When I got older though and it was almost time to actually choose a profession, I doubted if becoming a travel agent was a smart choice (especially since I knew by then that being a travel agent does not mean being on vacation forever).
It seems like everyone used online booking sites to book their vacation. No need for travel agents, right? NO! I was wrong.

I know…online booking sites give you options on flights, lodging, etc. as well; but there is a big difference in using an online booking site and booking through a real person.
Let me give you some examples:
  • you save time. A LOT of time. Why? We do the research for you…where the best snow is, which hotel meets your needs (yes, we listen to your needs), what the best access is from YOUR preferred airport, etc. Instead of giving you 500 options from which only 3 meet your expectations, I give you these 3 options directly. There is no need for you to look through all 500 options.
  •   We know the business. Do you know what this means for you? We know where to get you the best service and the best price from PERSONAL experience.
  •  Our sessions don’t expire! What does that mean? Well, I’m sure you experienced this before: you finally went through all 500 lodging options and it’s time for dinner. You leave the computer on so of course when you come back you see the page with the hotel you chose…but wait now it says, “session expired”. Which page was my hotel on? There are 180 pages! Well, this will not happen when you book through us. Remember? We are real people, our sessions don’t expire.
  • There are NO hidden costs. We give you the total amount you have to pay directly. No extra credit card charges, taxes or service fees as a bad surprise. Yay!

 These are just a few examples but I think you get the point.
So, I guess becoming a travel agent was still a very good choice. Now it’s time for you to make a choice.  Are you ready to book your next vacation and create memories?

Have a great week,


Monday, May 4, 2015

The Off-Season in a Snow Town

Early May... The last of the ski resorts closing.  Sometimes it snows, sometimes it rains, sometimes we have sun, warm or cold.. we just don't know.  You can count on a 'bluebird day' once in awhile and they will come more often that that.


What happens when the mountain closes and the tourists are no longer around?  Well... the same as everywhere else, just with more empty beds in the neighborhood.  We have school, work, prom, sports, home care, grocery shopping, car repairs and so on...  We refer to ourselves as the 'locals' and I guess we become a little more like everyone everywhere else.

This season doesn't last long... The snow resorts turn to summer playgrounds just as school lets out and the magic is back. perfect climate, lots to do outside and EASY to get to... If you love it here in the winter, you'll love it more in the summer!