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Patti Fowler

Encino, California Travel Agent

Beaches for Families, Romance, Corporate Retreats

Beach getaways take many forms and my job is to ensure that your vacation provides everything you want. There is more to a beach vacation than most people realize. If you are traveling with little children, you may want a sheltered cove beach with shallow waters and no undertow, guaranteed connecting rooms or family suites, and perhaps a children’s program. Teenagers usually want a lot of activities and ways to connect with other teens. And couples may want a resort with a lot of activity or they may prefer true seclusion.  

Budget is another factor; you can sometimes save a lot of money if you are willing to forego an ocean view. Many clients appreciate all-inclusive resorts, where you pay a single up-front price and can enjoy a wide variety of restaurants and activities without having to consider costs. These are especially nice for grandparents who are inviting their families for a multi-generational family vacation.  

I look at all the factors that go into selecting the right destination and hotel and the experience you want once you are there.  

For those whose idea of the perfect beach is an endless stretch of pristine soft sand lapped by calm turquoise waters, the Turks and Caicos offer many options, while Aruba combines great beaches with shopping and gaming and almost-guaranteed sunny weather. 

Many beach destinations offer unique events and activities. In Los Cabos, the center of San Jose del Cabo closes to traffic and becomes an open-air art gallery every Thursday. The trees of this quaint, walkable town twinkle with lights, and open-air restaurant patios brim with patrons, so even if you are not an art enthusiast, it is a magical evening.  

Many beach lovers enjoy St. Lucia, a gorgeous, verdant Caribbean island with rainforest and mountains. It is great for hikers and you can also enjoy the mountains from the sea on a catamaran cruise around its landmark twin peaks, the Pitons. Adventurers can also go zip-lining and mountain-biking, and there are some great spa resorts nestled into glorious, mountain-backed coves. 

Costa Rica is a beach destination and much more. My husband and I went when we were first married and I still remember zip-lining through the rainforest canopy and walking along beautiful beaches and spotting iguanas. My favorite spots include the spas around the Arenal Volcano, where you can soak in natural thermal waters, and the jungle resorts by the sea where butterflies seem to be everywhere and the wildlife includes monkeys and almost psychedelic-looking green frogs with orange eyes. I have been back to Costa Rica many times and appreciate how friendly and trustworthy the people are, and how justifiably proud they are of their country. It has the highest literacy rate in the world and does not even have an army. And while Spanish is their language, English is widely spoken. It is a very special place. 

While most of my clients head for beaches in Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii, there are wonderful beach destinations around the world from Bali to the Seychelles where you can experience exotic cultures along with lovely beaches. 

As a professional, even when I have visited a property and know it well, I make it my business to make sure that their standards have not fallen before sending a client. I check their reviews and make sure there are no staffing issues. In addition, Protravel has a great network of sharing information, so I check with my associates for the latest information.  

One company plans two corporate group beach retreats each year: one is a thank you for vendors and employees; the other is an executive retreat with spouses. Generally, they want to escape the snow in early spring and have fun together at some lovely all-inclusive. Every year, I provide about five or six initial ideas, and once they have made their decision, I negotiate and contract for their hotels, flights, transfers, and activities. I always make sure they get great rooms and pre-arrange dinner reservations and tours. These are important annual trips, and I enjoy researching cool things they might want to see and do and cultural events they might enjoy.   

What is your dream beach destination? I would love to help you discover it and make your trip the best it can be.

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