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Dottie Simione

Roseland, New Jersey Travel Agent

Entertainment and High-End Leisure Travel

Entertainment travel encompasses many specialties. There’s planning for celebrities, who need kid-glove, VIP treatment, which is similar to planning high-end, VIP leisure travel, and there’s planning for the crew, who have a lot of special requirements, and then there’s the unforeseen, often last-minute requests, like the need for a special dog or an antique car for a scene they’re shooting.

My edge is I used to travel as a performer so I know the logistics from both the entertainment and the travel planning side. I handle a lot of musical groups on tour. For confidentiality reasons, I can’t mention their names, but if you’re a music lover, you’ve probably heard of many of them. 

Handling the top talent, with all their special requests, is usually the easy part. It’s a lot like the VIP leisure travel planning I do. You get to know their special requests, what they want and need, and then everything else falls into place. Almost every high-end hotel has a group or someone who deals with celebrity requests and they make sure even the quirkiest requests are catered for. For example, one performer doesn’t like to step on a cold marble bathroom floor so the hotels will put in a rug; another wants satin sheets and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot; that’s easy.

The support crew can be more challenging. For them, budget is a huge factor. I usually have to find the most economical way to fly them in, find a place to stay near the venue and arrange a ton of logistics, and sometimes fly them on to their next gig quickly. Usually, they need fast Wi-Fi, room service, and because they work strange hours and need meal when they need it, and laundry service, because they’re always on the road. Plus everything must be pre-paid and pre-keyed because usually, they need to drop their stuff off and race to the venue to get set up, do sound checks and not waste any time waiting to check in. 

Over the years, I’ve developed a huge network and love to leverage my connections. Sometimes, I get phone calls for unusually specific last minute requests. Maybe they need a special prop, or a sound crew, a crewed yacht, or a pet for a production they’re working on. For me, it’s all in a day’s work.

It is glamorous because you’re dealing on a personal level with celebrities and I love it because it keeps my foot in the business. But it’s also really fun because anything that can happen will happen.It’s not just booking flights and hotels. It requires being on call from start to finish...no matter what comes up. I like to think of myself as a one-stop shopping service for VIP and entertainment travel. If that’s the kind of service you’re looking for, I’m here for you!

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