Travel Inspiration By A Pro Trip Designer

Caribbean Family Vacation Planning

Beach, Family, Friend Of A Friend Consulting

Feb
11
2013

 

Oh how those beaches do siren call

Oh how those beaches do siren call. This one is on Mustique

Right now I am in the middle of planning various Caribbean family vacations for some clients. Three years after the debut of my book, Caribbean Hideaways, I find that I’m still just as drawn to those beautiful islands, but now not just for a solo adventure or romantic jaunt, but also for a no-fuss, visually and culturally engaging family trip that won’t break the bank. I’m convinced they exist, it’s simply a matter of matching the client to the right place.

Many of my clients them have young kids, like me, and are eager for a getaway that promises sun, sand and simple pleasures. Shockingly, it’s harder to find than you think. This is where the taste-meter play such an integral role in working with a Travel Advisor. With a gluttony of so-called options and worse, misleading photos and unreliable reports online, planning a vacation feels like a brutal gamble, ultimately fueling the need for one even further. What I try to do for my clients is first, recommend places I know firsthand, which helps that I’ve visited 22 islands in the Caribbean for my book and make annual pilgrimages to my favorites.

A new resort that's caught my eye: Balcones del Atlantico. What can I say? I'm a sucker for model boats

I’m a sucker for model boats

Then, second, help them discover places and learn to look at them critically based on what’s online. Having researched places online for almost ten years now, there are Buy Viagra various warning flags that I can spot from a website alone – particularly Caribbean or beachfront properties. For instance: if you don’t see a shot of the building or any part of the property showcasing that it’s actually on the beach – it likely isn’t. Websites will lure you will arching palm trees and aquamarine waters, but if you want to ensure they’re right out your door or just steps away, be sure to investigate directly.  This tip and others are what, I hope, will lead my client base to grow. I’ve done this for years folks and I hope to get to every place I recommend so that I can feel 100% confident in it being a fit for my clients – especially for those highly-anticipated, annual spring-break trips.

With all that in mind, below is a newly relaunched resort in the Dominican Republic, Balcones del Atlantico, that I’m currently considering recommending to clients and friends. I have yet to go myself, and so I’m looking into a quick jaunt next month to verify its fit. Anyone been?  It seems ideal by my research, but nothing matches actually visiting for real verification and vetting.

The view from the water

The view from the water

The aerial view of the pool

The aerial view of the pool

Interiors look quite chic, though I wonder about the natural light since this photo is taken with all the lights on

Interiors look quite chic, though I wonder about the natural light since this photo is taken with all the lights on — another thing worthy of noting when you look at interior photos.

Posted in: Beach, Family, Friend Of A Friend Consulting

Published by Meg, Monday, February 11, 2013 No Comments

Italy Dreaming

Italy

Aug
16
2012

There comes in time, usually monthly, where my mind drifts to the magnificent scenery of Italy. I’ve been fortunate enough to have called the country home on two occasions, though neither stint dampened my ardor to return – rather the opposite, albeit with some added qualitative measures.

Rather than earn a living in Italy – an endeavor I wholeheartedly not recommend, unless your clients are foreigners, like you – I now prefer to find a way to enjoy la bella vita the way it is meant to be enjoyed – sans responsibility. And I am eager to help you do just that, should Italy be calling you helen willetts pokies lately too: please visit my travel consulting business at Friend of a Friend Consulting.

 

Below are some photos from my first book, Italian Hideaways, that were sent to me recently for an upcoming promotion with my recent addiction: Home Design site, One Kings Lane. And yes, they are the cause of this recent spate of wistfulness.

The path at Castello di Vicarello at dusk

The path at Castello di Vicarello at dusk

Villa Cimbrone's gardens

Villa Cimbrone’s gardens

The silver bed at Villa Mangiacane

The silver bed at Villa Mangiacane

A guest room at Il Falconiere - an Italian Hideaway in Tuscany

A guest room at Il Falconiere – an Italian Hideaway in Tuscany

Posted in: Italy

Published by Meg, Thursday, August 16, 2012 No Comments

FRIEND OF A FRIEND CONSULTING

Friend Of A Friend Consulting, Travel Tips

Sep
30
2010

September 30, 2010

Dear All,

I’d like to announce my new venture, FRIEND OF A FRIEND CONSULTING (bear with me, the website is a work in progress), a Hotel and Trip consulting business. I specialize in advising small, boutique properties looking to improve their image and attract specific clientele in the luxury market along with designing specific itineraries for individuals on celebratory trips (Anniversaries, Birthdays and Honeymoons) to areas of my specific expertise: Italy, the Caribbean, Southern Africa and England (gleaned through my Hideaways books series)

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So far I have worked with the DYLAN HOTEL in Amsterdam: helping them rewrite their website and advise on various programs and upgrades that will help attract their desired type of guests.

The Dylan's intimate, inner courtyard

The Dylan's intimate, inner courtyard

I am also currently planning Generic Cialis two 35th wedding anniversary trips for two separate couples in Italy. The first trip takes the client from Milan, through the Lakes to the Veneto and ultimately ending up in Venice with a customized itinerary full of touring suggestions, dinner reservations, specific room selections and selected reading materials (specially sourced articles) to enhance their trip. The second trip follows a couple from Puglia to the Amalfi coast with stops in Pompeii, Naples and Capri.

Venezia

Venezia

Please contact me at Meg@friendofafriendconsulting.com if you are a small hotel in need of a shake-up and some well-honed advice (I’ve spent the last three years in over 300 hotels) or for help in planning your next special trip!

giraffee1

The 12 Apostles Hotel in Cape Town

The 12 Apostles Hotel in Cape Town

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Posted in: Friend Of A Friend Consulting, Travel Tips

Published by Meg, Thursday, September 30, 2010 No Comments

about meg

About Meg

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Meg is the founder of luxury travel consulting company, Friend of a Friend Consulting. Her three books, Italian Hideaways, Caribbean Hideaways and England's Hideaways are published by Rizzoli. Passionate about travel, hotels and wine, she continues to write freelance travel pieces and is currently pursuing a Masters in Wine through the WSET.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not reflect separate business relationships with the subject. Whenever posts are supported financially, they are designated as such.