There is something so satisfying and exciting about creating the perfect holiday for clients to destinations one knows well.
To picture them enjoying hotels I know myself, restaurants I had tried and loved, wine tastings in authentic vineyards, places and beauty spots which are not on the usual tourist route is lovely. First however, it’s most important to get a feel for what constitutes a wonderful holiday experience for this particular client and those ideas differ greatly at times. Then the hard work begins to put it into a time frame, considering their budget and giving gentle guidance, for some to do a bit more, for others to not want to do it all and rush through the experiences without time to relax and take it all in.
I have organised dozens of trips in South Africa, every one of them with a personal twist and often arranging special welcome treats in the establishments I know well. Once the client comes back, they often added to my list with a recommendation of their own.
My last booking to Peru was a one of a lifetime trip to Peru and the Galapagos Islands and an Amazon jungle trek as a secret 60th Birthday present for my client's wife. Communication was difficult and there was so much to discuss. I knew they would enjoy the route I took myself in Peru but the Galapagos was a different matter: so many options of different boats in terms of size and where they go, what types of cabin and which activities, sizes for wet suits - a delicate question - and will they get there well in time? Even while they travelled flights got changed or delayed - it was work in progress to the end.
Compare that with another booking where a client wanted to walk across parts of China and Russia starting and ending in the most obscure spots. Visa requirements were complicated, I was relieved to see him back one day.
So, there is never a dull moment: every new enquiry has its twists and turns. The world is as diverse as the people wanting to see parts of it and it is our job to match them.
I had a Staycation this year...sometimes England can be just as much fun!