Home > New Jersey > Donna Carlson > Personalized Europe

Donna Carlson

Roseland, New Jersey Travel Agent

Personalized Europe

I have traveled extensively in Europe and love the variety of experiences you can find there. On top of all the history and art and different cuisines, there is the beauty of the landscapes and the architecture. And the cultures are fascinating—they can change from one valley to the next.

One of the things I love doing is arranging special experiences. Sometimes it’s challenging to please every member of a family, but it’s important to take everyone into consideration. For example, one wife wanted to tour a winery in France but her husband didn’t care for wine. I suggested that instead of going to one of the big wineries, they visit a small one. I set up a visit where they were the only guests and were welcomed like family. Over wine and cheese, they learned the history of the family as well as how the wine was made. And now her husband appreciates wine too.

I recently sent a family to the South of France—the parents invited the son with his future wife. I arranged for some amazing things like a helicopter trip into a gorge where they hiked to a glorious spot to picnic and swim. Then, on their way back to Paris, they took a hot-air balloon ride over the lavender fields. At the end of the trip, the fiancé asked me to plan something special as a thank you, so I set up a photo shoot and dinner at the Eiffel Tower. 

Thanks to my contacts and the power of Protravel, I can arrange some unique experiences. For example, near San Sebastian in Spain, there is a goat farm where you can have lunch in the field as you watch the goats graze and play, and then see how goat cheese is produced. And along Italy’s Amalfi Coast, I arranged an at-home visit for a mother and son, hosted by a local woman. They cooked together and then sat at her dining room table looking out at the coast as they shared the dinner they had created.  

I often can pull strings. One couple had their hearts set on going to a very in-demand Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy for their 25th anniversary dinner. They were thrilled that I was able to pull it off, plus the restaurant congratulated them when they arrived and treated them like VIPs. 

Little things can often make a trip really special. For example, many people visit Split in Croatia for the history. But it can be really cool to take a ferry to Hvar and hang out on beach for a day. I lay out each detail and I’m with you all the way, so even independent outings like this are easy. And you always have my phone and email, if there are questions along the way.

Whether you want to get off the beaten path, dine like a local and stay in a boutique hotel decorated with local art or a wilderness hideaway in Sweden where you are likely to see the Northern Lights, or hire a private guide to see the main sites in Paris and stay a grand hotel like the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris, I can make your Europe dream vacation a reality.

Share my profile: