Chicago, Illinois Travel Agent
European Capitals, Your Way
Every client has a different idea of what makes the ideal trip to Europe; my job is to make sure that the trip they go on fulfills their dreams in a wonderful and a realistic way. That means taking into consideration budget, energy levels and specific interests.
One of the most fun trips I’ve planned lately was a trip for three pairs of mothers and daughters. Four of them had never been to Europe, so I had to make sure that they saw what was most important to them without doubling up on what those who had been there had seen.
To provide a strong sense of place and personal connection, we used centrally located boutique hotels throughout, such as the Hotel Pont Royale in Paris’ Left Bank, and the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht in Amsterdam (where we got a great rate, so the moms were thrilled!). As an example of the kinds of activities we planned, in Paris they did a wine tasting and cooking class with a local chef and sommelier, where they got to sample wines from different regions. It was a fun activity for everyone to share, and they all loved it. I also suggested they tour the Le Père Lachaise Cemetery, the final resting place of many famous people they’d heard of including Jim Morrison, Chopin, Moliere and Oscar Wilde. Many others are also buried here, and it’s fun to learn their stories and see the most interesting monuments.
For all travelers, it’s good to allow time to stop and experience life as a local. For example, on a visit to Madrid, we walked into the Plaza Mejor and there was a large stage with opera singers rehearsing for a festival.
It was a gorgeous evening, so we stopped at a sidewalk café and listened. It was a wonderful experience that only could happen because we weren’t rushing from one place to the next and were open to stopping to enjoy the moment.
One of my roles as an advisor is not just making my clients aware of the special things they can do but ensuring that they do it at a pace that allows them to fully savor the experiences wherever they go.