Travel Inspiration By A Pro Trip Designer

Caribbean Hideaways – Book Signing

Hideaways, Personal or Promotion

Dec
07
2010

Thursday, December 2nd

Rizzoli Book Store, New York

I felt very blessed to have so many friends, family and colleagues show up at the signing last Thursday night. We sold over 40 books (for $50 a pop that’s great!) and were told it was one of the bookstore’s most successful events of late!  Thank you to Everyone who came out!

A tabletop filled with Caribbean Hideaways

A tabletop filled with Caribbean Hideaways

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Pictured above is the very talented, JESSICA ANTOLA, who shot the book and accompanied me throughout the Caribbean
Some of my most loyal fans

Some of my most loyal fans

Please refer to the left hand column for future book signings. (There’s one this weekend in NYC!) And if you, yourself are a bookseller, please let me know as I’d be happy to do an event.

Posted in: Hideaways, Personal or Promotion

Published by Meg, Tuesday, December 7, 2010 No Comments

Latest Travel Site Roundup

Hotel Reviews

Oct
27
2010

Desk-side Surfing

Travel News

Now, even though I’ve just formed a new business that offers bespoke trip consulting, and I firmly believe we are approaching an advent of the Travel Agent in Luxury Travel, I do still favor the web for individual preliminary research. With so much rich content available (though beware, much of it is paid for and biased or worse, totally unsubstantiated), one can’t help but be drawn to perusing the scores of alluring pictures and myriad of opinions online. So, in an effort to share with you the sites that I find myself lingering on or checking out for competition sake, here goes my counter-profiteering post. That, and I know there are a few of you who are  always game for a few stolen moments of travel-fantasy diversion during your daily slog at the office.

1. WANDERFLY WanderflyA brand new site (still in Beta) that allows you to choose parameters and categories for your next vacation and then within a few seconds, delivers the user one or more suggested results. Whoever put together this algorithm sure knows his computer skills (prompting me to ask myself, yet again, why I didn’t major in Computer Science).  Not only is this site a very clever and useful idea for constrained travelers (it has you pick dates, budget and type of trip plus departure city) it’s an amusing, roll-the-dice kind of pastime for the infinite travel planner.  I highly recommend it!

2. HIPMUNKimagesFinally, a challenger to Kayak that I really like. First, its totally geared towards the visual learner. Rather than displaying its results in a linear, text-heavy fashion, Hipmunk charts the offerings in a horizontal graph with bright colors to differentiate airlines. Plus its sort options are cheeky, particularly the AGONY filter which, lists flights in order of a combination of price, duration and a number of stops. Again, EUREKA, a program that understands that the best option for air travel should be made according to comfort. Even better, it’s Free! Check it out.

3. IN FLIGHT INSIDER – An incredibly informative travel blog (she features the penis enlargement exercises above two sites as well and may or may not have been the entire inspiration behind this post) written by a former flight attendant. logoShe features everything from travel products (including Luxe items like the White+Warren Cashmere wrap that is, indeed, a traveling necessity for the cashmere-addicted).

She also hits on hot topics like the government’s Global Entry Program,which has you cut the line at customs (a partner with the Dutch Privium) once you’ve been approved and completed the application process. It’s a must for frequent international business travelers who are forever in a rush and often not declaring anything.

Another worthwhile post (and partnership of In Flight) is with MedJetAssist, the top-quality medical-travel insurance program that flies you to the airport of your choice provided you’re 150 miles from home.

banner-logoAnd last, the European Union Travel law that guaranteed passengers up to $750 in expenses when there flight is cancelled and makes yet another argument for flying European airlines when you next hop to pond.

4. TrufflePig’s The SounderI confess, I have a bit of a writer’s crush on these guys. First off, I think their name is genius and the whole play on having a “big nose for sniffing out the dirt” is rather amusing. Go figure, they’re Canadian. They’re actually a travel services group offering trip planning but it’s their blog, the Sounder, that I find to be a great source of intimate, smart advice. logo_trufflepig

I also love the way they’ve set up the site that you pick an area of the map and then can read the posts that way rather than by topic. I find that people are growing more savvy and specific in their travel choices and no longer want simply something ‘romantic’ but are looking to finally visit Greece or check out the salt flats in Bolivia. Check out their latest post on the norther beaches of Brazil. It certainly made my mouth water.

I promise to keep updating this list as I surf away…I hope you’ll share with me some of your favorites as well.

Posted in: Hotel Reviews

Published by Meg, Wednesday, October 27, 2010 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)

FOFLogo

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.