Virtuoso Booking Tool for International Clients

When you check in, you’re a VIP with the hotel simply because you’ve booked with Ourisman Travel. Our Virtuoso Booking Tool gives you instant Virtuoso access with a click of a button, on your time, where you can receive VIP amenities and upgrades on your own. This is what we call – you book, we VIP:

  • Mornings that start with complimentary breakfast for two.
  • A complimentary room upgrade, based on availability at check-in.
  • A 100+ USD resort credit towards incidentals such as food and beverage or the spa.
  • Early check-in / late check-out, based on availability.

However, if you live abroad, you might be wondering if you can still select us as your advisor on the Virtuoso Booking Tool. When logged in to Virtuoso, many international clients struggle to select us as “My Advisor”. However, by following the quick steps below, you will be able to successfully select us as your advisor on the Virtuoso.

  1. Log in to the Virtuoso Booking Tool with your credentials or register a new account.
  2. Upon logging in, click this private Virtuoso link.
  3. Navigate to or click find rates and availability here.
  4. Search for the hotel you want to book, insert dates, and click book on the room type of your choice.
  5. Next, an image should prompt with a note to accept David Ourisman as your travel advisor. Click continue booking
  6. It will then proceed to a Complete Payment Information page to confirm your booking.
  7. At this point, you have formally selected us as your travel advisor for the Virtuoso Booking Tool. On your profile page, don’t worry if My Advisor is empty. Just make sure you are logged in to Virtuoso and we will automatically default as your travel advisor for any Virtuoso booking you make! 

Enjoy hotel shopping, and we hope to see your Virtuoso.com reservation in our inbox soon!

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Travel Inspiration: Caribbean Villas

As the world continues to reopen and countries loosen their travel restrictions after years of limitations due to COVID, we are seeing travel trends changing, and one trend we are very excited about is the increased interest in Caribbean villas. More and more clients are reaching out to inquire about booking stays at villas throughout the Caribbean and we are so excited by these requests that we wanted to share some of our favorite Caribbean villas.

First on the list is Triton Villa in Turks & Caicos. This expansive villa offers guests a truly over-the-top luxury experience. From the contemporary design that invites the turquoise waters indoors to the stunning infinity pool to the attentive service of the staff, this villa truly stands out. Perfect for large group getaways such as couples trips or family reunions, Triton Villa is a stunning option if you are looking to book a Caribbean villa.

Turks & Caicos has an abundance of villas and Sail Rock Resort has a wide range of options for those who might not want something as opulent as Triton. Secluded in South Caicos 40 miles southeast of Providenciales, there is a beachfront villa for everyone spanning from 1,840 square feet to 5,992 square feet and ranging from one to four bedrooms. At this remote resort, your confirmed rate includes complimentary round-trip airfare to and from Providenciales to South Caicos. Believe us when we say the extra flight is well worth the one and a half miles of private beachfront complimenting each villa’s warm, clean aesthetic, large terrace, and private pool.

While the Bahamas might feel very overdone to the well-versed traveler, we encourage those who turn away from the island nation to reconsider and take a look at Harbour Island, specifically the Three Bees Villa. This stunning Caribbean villa is more of a luxury compound than a traditional villa. The main house, Villa Bee, features 8 bedrooms and the beach cottage has two more, with the ability to accommodate up to 20 guests. In addition to incredible service and the luxury of total privacy, this villa comes with its own 37-foot cruiser for guests to use for days spent on the gorgeous ocean waters.

If the European Caribbean feel is more your vibe, look no further than the twin villas Villa Rockstar & Villa Nina at Eden Rock St Barths, an Oetker Collection hotel. These villas can be rented individually or together to accommodate larger groups, with Villa Rockstar accommodating 12 guests and Villa Nina accommodating up to 6. Both properties come with their own pools, private beach, dedicated butler, private chef, and staff whose aim is to satisfy any request, big or small. By booking these villas with Ourisman Travel, your reservation includes access to our exclusive Pearl Partner amenities.

With new nonstop flights from Miami, off the beaten path in the Caribbean is the island of Anguilla. This island is a favorite of ours, especially for those who have visited other islands several times, think repeat Turks & Caicos vacations, and want to explore something new and different while still enjoying the Caribbean feel. Here, the Sea, Sky & Sand Villas are our favorite for larger groups! All three villas have 5 bedrooms and can be rented together to create a villa compound or can be rented individually for smaller getaways. We love this property for multigenerational family getaways or celebratory trips among friends.

To learn more about how to book a Caribbean villa and how Ourisman Travel can help you find the perfect fit for your needs, reach out to the team via email at team@ourismantravel.com or complete our Travel Request Form.

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Industry Insight: Hotel Rate Increases

As the world reopens post-COVID, travelers are noticing that nightly rates are higher than they have ever been – with hotels now charging a premium for entry-level rooms, with rooms with views and suites priced higher and higher. Hotel rate increases have become a common topic with clients of Ourisman Travel as well as an internal discussion the team is having regularly. There are a few factors that are contributing to this increase and we want to pull back the industry veil to give our clients a better understanding of why this is happening and if these increased rates are here to stay.

The first important influence on the current all-time high for luxury hotel rates is very straightforward: supply & demand. It seems almost too on the nose, but at the end of the day, supply & demand have a huge role in impacting the current high rates. After the past few years, travelers are ready to get back out into the world, and interest in travel is at an all-time high. With a finite number of luxury hotel rooms in any given destination, hotels are able to price their rooms at a premium because they know the room will be booked. We are seeing festive travel and other high travel times like spring break, the Thanksgiving holiday, and long weekends at especially high rates which do reflect trends of the past – even if the rates of 2022 and 2023 blow those of past years’ out of the water. The important thing to remember about this part of the equation is that eventually, the demand will level out as more and more people get back out into the world and scratch their travel itch. As the demand settles, the rates will begin to settle as well.

We must also remember that hotels and tour providers are doing whatever they can to recuperate from the losses of 2020 and even 2021. This is a motivation that many people outside of the industry might not consider, but it does play a role in the current hotel rate increases. As we move on from the pandemic and the travel industry recovers, we can anticipate that this driving force behind higher rates will fade away. However, this will likely not happen until 2024 when the travel industry is slated to have finally recovered from the devastating losses of the pandemic.

Inflation plays another important role here and unfortunately, while the demand for travel may level out over time, this driver for increased rates is here to stay. So while we can expect that the demand will go down over time as people have satiated the desire to travel, the increase due to inflation is here to stay. Inflation is a consistent driver for cost increases across the board, and hotel rates in 2015 were lower than the rates in 2018. What’s important to remember here is that while the rate increases feel extreme, likely due to them increasing all at once rather than slowly over time, hotel rate increases did happen from year to year.

So how do we navigate this current climate of out-of-this-world hotel rates? There are several ways to manage this and get the most for your money. The first is to plan far in advance and lock in a rate with a flexible cancelation policy. Once you have a reservation, you can keep an eye out for the rate dropping below what you booked at or any promotions that bring the average nightly rate down – a Third Night Free Promotion for example. Ourisman Travel is always happy to manage rate match requests that are straightforward, though we do reserve the right to charge a fee should they become excessive. A good rule of thumb here is to refrain from nickel-and-diming the rates and saving a request for when you save 50 USD or more per night when a rate drops.

Another way to mitigate the higher cost of luxury travel these days is to consider midweek stays rather than stays that fall over a weekend. While that doesn’t always work for everyone if you are able to book a Monday to a Friday you will likely find the rates to be lower than they are over the weekend. A third avenue to consider when planning travel amidst high rates is to collaborate with your travel advisor to find a boutique 4-star property in the destination of your choice to help you extend your budget. Team Ourisman is happy to help with these types of requests through our Hotel Plus Consultative service!

If you have more questions about the recent hotel rate increases and the current travel climate or want to inquire about a new trip, please reach out to the team via email at team@ourismantravel.com or fill out our Travel Request Form.  

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Pro Tip: Hotel Reservation Takeovers

While we always advise our clients to reach out to us to handle their hotel reservations, there are times when it makes more sense to book on your own. Perhaps you are browsing hotels as you unwind from your day and you find a great rate you want to secure, or the hotel you want to book doesn’t allow for reservations to be placed through the Virtuoso Booking Tool and our offices are closed. But just because you booked direct doesn’t mean you lose access to our support and amenities. Through a process called a Hotel Reservation Takeover, our team can – you guessed it – takeover the hotel reservation and apply our amenities and support your booking from that point on!

What is a takeover?
Essentially, a takeover is when a reservation is made directly with a hotel and a travel advisor reaches out to attach themselves to that booking. It is generally a straightforward process that includes our team reaching out to the hotel on behalf of the client. However, we do need client approval and a forwarded confirmation before we can attach ourselves to a booking. Our team shares the following language with our clients when they want us to takeover a reservation they made on their own:

“I approve Ourisman Travel to takeover over my reservation below so that I may receive their amenities.”

What is the benefit of having Ourisman Travel attached to my hotel reservations?
Our involvement with your hotel bookings adds an extra layer of support to your reservation, along with the great access to exclusive amenities we are happy to share with our clients!

  • Complimentary breakfast daily for two
  • 100 USD in resort credit to apply towards incidentals
  • Complimentary room upgrade, based on availability
  • Early check-in / late check-out, based on availability

Hotels view reservations in tiers, with bookings made through Expedia or other online wholesalers at the very bottom, bookings made direct with the hotel lie in the middle, and bookings made with travel advisors at the top. By working with us, your booking is automatically at the top of a hotel’s internal reservation list as a VIP. Our team has personal relationships with hotel managers, sales and marketing reps, and other high-level personnel that helps us add a personal touch to your stays and elevate your reservation by using those connections to advocate for upgrades and more.

When can a takeover be applied?
Generally, takeovers can be applied to direct bookings through the hotel booked at the Best Available Rate with the most flexible cancelation policy. Some promotional rates, such as free night promos, may also apply. The takeover process can be applied to hotels and, in some cases, cruises.

When can a takeover not be applied?
A takeover cannot be applied to stays booked on points or rates booked through third-party booking sites such as Expedia, Orbitz, or Priceline. Takeovers are always at the discretion of the hotel, so there are some situations where they can be denied, but those are rare.

When to contact Ourisman Travel about a takeover?
Always contact Team O as soon as you make a reservation! We will be able to loop in our partners right away and will support your booking as soon as we have taken it over, taking it off of your plate and leaving the rest to the professionals!

For more questions about how the takeover process works or to get started planning a new trip, reach out to the team via email at team@ourismantravel.com or fill out a Travel Request Form!

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Pro Tip: Planning Ahead for Travel in 2023

Sometimes, planning ahead is hard. We’ve all been there; life gets away from you and suddenly spring break is a month away and you realize just how desperately you need to get away from it all. You start excitedly brainstorming places to go as questions start racing through your mind. Do you want to explore somewhere new? Maybe you should return to a place you already love? Do you want a beach or a city? Do you want to stay domestic or go international? What are flight options? Suddenly, taking a trip next month feels very overwhelming! And just when you finally land on a destination and have a few properties you are considering you start to look up rates and find, to your dismay, that they are either fully booked or the rates are way over budget. All that anticipation comes crashing down in a wave of disappointment. You kick yourself for not thinking of how badly you would need a vacation months ago. Why didn’t you plan ahead?

You’re not alone! This experience is common! We all lead busy lives and more often than not, we find the days and weeks creeping by while the months somehow fly by. So, how can you avoid this disappointment in the future and make sure you prioritize your leisure time in the future?

The short answer: plan ahead with intention. Easier said than done though. Here is where Ourisman Travel comes in. Our team is well versed in helping clients plan on both ends of the spectrum – those who book as far in advance as possible and those who wait until the last minute. Speaking from experience, clients who plan their travel in advance decidedly have the upper hand. Hotels publish rates about 11 months in advance – though sometimes advisors can get rates before they are published publicly – and more often than not, the rates they originally publish are their best. Supply and demand drive rates up and as inventory is booked, the remaining rooms often cost more. When you book a hotel stay for Spring Break 2023 in the summer of 2022, you position yourself to secure a reservation under a flexible policy allowing for cancelation should you be unable to travel after all at the best rate.

An added benefit of booking with plenty of time is you have a lot of options to choose from. Waiting until even a month before you travel can result in you being forced to book a hotel just because it has availability, or a room just because it is the only one left, which can result in feelings of disappointment that can negatively color the whole vacation experience. Having options to choose from ensures you get to book what you want and what will work for your travel needs!

While booking in advance does alleviate the stress of having to pick from a limited list of choices, it does come with its own unique challenge – picking from an expansive list of options! If you find you are drowning in hotel and room choices, our Hotel Plus Consultative Service can help. Through our Hotel Plus Consultative Service, our team works together to source options for you that fit your needs, budget, preferences, and more. When you put our team to work, you can trust that we will deliver the best options tailored to you, freeing up your time to dream about your vacation!

With dreaming in mind, Team Ourisman is excited to share some properties opening in 2022 and 2023 that we advise you to book in advance! Of course, our clients can enjoy added benefits at all of these great new properties through our relationships and exclusive amenity programs. Benefits range from free daily breakfast, resort credits, potential upgrades, and more.

Montage Big Sky: Newly opened in early 2022, this sprawling luxury resort in Big Sky, Montana, boasts ultra-luxe accommodations and amenities for travelers looking to escape to a remote destination without having to plan for international travel.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay: Expected to open in the Fall of 2022, this property on Kauai offers guests a world-class wellness experience on one of Hawaii’s lesser developed islands. With an array of suites, rooms, and great connecting room options, this property is poised to be popular with families, couples, and groups alike!

Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection: Just opened in early 2022, Etéreo is the newest addition to the Auberge portfolio. Built among the mangroves of Riviera Maya along a pristine white sand beach, this property aims to blend the culture of the Riviera into every aspect of the guests’ stay. From the décor to the experiences offered by the concierge, this stunning property breathes new life to the area.

Four Seasons Tamarindo: Slated to open mid-2022 and highly anticipated, the latest addition to the Four Seasons collection in Mexico will undoubtedly be met with high demand. Joining the already beloved Los Cabos and Punta Mita properties, this stunning new property boasts an innovative architectural design and will deliver the always outstanding Four Seasons service loyalists have come to know, love, and depend on when they travel.

Susurros del Corazon, Auberge Collection: Not to be outdone by itself, Auberge is launching another property in Mexico in 2022. Susurros del Corazon will open by late 2022 and aims to bring a romantic revival to Punta Mita. Ideal for couples, we advise considering this property for 2023 romantic getaways.

Casa Chable, Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve: If a villa rental is something you have in your sights for 2023, you cannot go wrong with Casa Chable. Newly added to the villa collection offered by our luxury partner Journey Mexico, this 10 bedroom villa comfortably sleeps 20. Featuring a five-bedroom main house and three bungalows, this unique villa is perfect for multi-gen families or groups of friends celebrating something special!

If you would like to learn more about our Hotel Plus Consultative Service or start planning your 2023 travel in 2022, please reach out to the team via email at team@ourismantravel.com or by completing our Travel Request Form.

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Hotel Spotlight: COMO Parrot Cay

On a private island along the Turks and Caicos archipelago sits the ultra-exclusive COMO Parrot Cay. Offering guests barefoot luxury and unmatched privacy, COMO Parrot Cay is perhaps the best on Turks and Caicos, which is no small feat. For guests looking for a getaway in the truest sense of the word, this island resort is just the ticket.

Guests arrive via private boat transfer, jetting across the turquoise waters from Providenciales International Airport towards this private island paradise. The island itself retains much of its natural beauty, with pristine white beaches flocked with seagrasses and wetlands with ancient mangroves playing host to a variety of tropical birds. The thoughtful design of the resort draws the natural beauty of the island into the rooms themselves, making the vibrant greens, blinding whites, and stunning turquoise blues the true star here. The rooms, suites, and beach houses are designed with clean whites throughout with rich teak wood furnishings, including dreamy four-poster beds draped with delicate white voile. Comfortable deck chairs allow guests to take in the stunning views found in each of the room categories.

The One Bedroom Beach Houses are some of our favorite accommodations in Turks and Caicos, providing guests with direct beach access and a private heated plunge pool. The beach houses have well-appointed bathrooms and walk-in closets with plenty of space for storage, allowing guests to make themselves at home. The living areas are spacious as well, with luxurious furnishings and elegant decorative touches throughout. We love these beach houses for couples looking to get away and reconnect with privacy in mind.

The larger beach houses and villas here feature more unique designs and are privately owned and managed by the resort. Most of the villas include the COMO butler service the brand has long become famous for, providing attentive yet unobtrusive service. Point House, one of the several three-bedroom villas on the property features floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the villa with natural light and breathtaking views of nature. This villa also boasts a private beach cabana, giving guests who stay here access to the gorgeous ocean waters with ultimate comfort. The main living area opens out onto a tranquil sun deck and black stone infinity pool, perfect for days spent relaxing in supreme style. The en suite office can be converted to a fourth bedroom upon request, making this villa perfect for families and groups of friends.

The crown jewel of COMO Parrot Cay is the Lotus Flower villa. Comprised of two four-bedroom villas designed by Singaporean architect Cheong Yew Kuan, these twin villas are the ultimate in Asian-inspired luxury. Both villas are two stories with two bedrooms on the ground floor and two bedrooms on the upper level with all bedrooms having their own en suite bathroom. The primary bedrooms include their own outdoor showers with unbeatable views of the ocean and private gardens. Both villas have their own infinity pools and a third pool that is shared. The shared pool is situated off of a central pavilion that is fully equipped with a kitchen and relaxed dining area with room for 20. This stunning luxury compound also includes a private yoga studio, resting on stilts and providing a truly zen space for guests who are looking to center themselves while here. This villa is ideal for larger families or groups who want plenty of space that allows for equal amounts of alone time and togetherness.

With only 72 accommodations, this boutique luxury resort offers guests a truly unique experience in Turks and Caicos. As proud partners of Virtuoso, Ourisman Travel is able to offer our clients exclusive perks like daily breakfast, resort credits, the potential for upgrades, and more. To learn more about COMO Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos, or how we can elevate your travel reach out to the team via email at team@ourismantravel.com or complete our Travel Request Form.

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Destination Spotlight: Saint-Barths

Formally known as Saint Barthelemy, St Barths has long been an exclusive Caribbean hideaway for well-versed travelers seeking white sand beaches, designer shops, and luxury resorts. Some of the best resorts in the world can be found on this quaint French-speaking island just southeast of Anguilla. St Barths is the ultimate luxury hideaway for those discerning travelers who value exclusivity above all else.

Team Ourisman’s own Angela Valenti traveled to St Barths in the spring of 2021 and we have a few highlights we are thrilled to share with our clients! First and foremost, St Barths is an ideal destination for those who want to stay at one, or at most two, hotels during their stay. St Barths encourages visitors to rest and relax upon arrival, making hotel hopping more cumbersome and frustrating than fun. It’s best to set up at one property and give in to the luxury at check-in.

Our favorites on the island have to be the Eden Rock and Cheval Blanc. Both properties offer guests a superb experience, but their vibes are decidedly different. Eden Rock exudes a certain sex appeal that only exists on a French-speaking island while Cheval Blanc offers guests a more sophisticated, romantic environment. Both have marvelous beaches and the best service to be found on the island, without a doubt.

There are other options on the island that we would be remiss not to include. Hotel Le Toiny is located on the windier side of the island and is set back hillside overlooking the ocean. It’s very private property, great for couples. All villa suites are standalone accommodations and have their own private pools. Hotel Le Toiny’s beach club is about a 5-10 minute ride from the property, complimentary of the hotel of course, and features a restaurant, lounge chairs, and an occasional DJ!

The newly rebuilt Le Sereno oozes a true laidback luxury vibe and offers a variety of accommodations with dark wood floors and crisp, white linens. This property is perfect for couples who want complete seclusion and privacy. The Rosewood Le Guanahani, which recently reopened in the fall of 2021, is a sprawling resort located on its own private peninsula. Its location has it poised to be the go-to destination for families once word gets out.

Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa, modern in style, offers beachfront duplex accommodations on Grand Cul-de-Sac beach. The lagoon-like water offers guests calm/shallow water perfect for paddleboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, and snorkeling with sea turtles! This hotel also features two luxurious 6-bedroom villas with their own private pools.

Should guests become bored of languid relaxation beach hopping is always an option, as is a trip into town for some shopping at exclusive boutiques and dining at world-class restaurants. One of our favorite, quintessential St Barths experiences is to rent a brightly colored Moke for a day to tool around the island. Beach clubs provide a lively lunch scene and a decidedly European flair that can only be found in St Barths. Nightlife here is electric and perfect for those who want to get off property at night. For those who love island hopping, St Barths can easily be paired with the nearby islands of St Maarten or Anguilla!

When it comes to the logistics of getting to St Barths, leave that in the hands of a professional! The logistics of getting to this island are tricky and we have the insider information you need to make your travel experience as seamless as possible!

For more information on hotels and resorts in St Barths and how Ourisman Travel can provide exclusive amenities like daily breakfast, resort credits, upgrades & more at the properties listed above, reach out to the team via email at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form!

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Meet the Adventurer – Courtney Sanak

Like any true Adventurer, Courtney loves getting out of her comfort zone and exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations. She travels to fully immerse herself in a destination, the people, and be present in the moment. “The best vacations open your mind to new cultures and ways of life.”

While on a cruise along the Peruvian Amazon, Courtney was able to visit a local community to learn about their daily life. “We fished in the Amazon River and the crew cooked our catch. Traveling has also expanded my palate – I found that piranha is quite delicious!”

Courtney fishing on the Amazon River with a local guide.

No matter where she is headed, Courtney researches the destination to try and find the local hidden gems – whether that be the best neighborhood restaurant or hiking trail. For Courtney, the anticipation of a trip is almost as exciting as being on the trip itself. As a planner at heart you can always expect her to have a packing list and suitcase ready to go days in advance. 

Backpacking in Patagonia, taking in nature’s majesty in one of the world’s last wildernesses.

Her must-have item while traveling? Her camera. “I love taking pictures. My house is full of my favorite travel memories.”

Her favorite travel memories include a safari in South Africa and hiking with her husband in Patagonia. Courtney’s next trip is to Costa Rica where she has planned a mix of adventure and wildlife viewing as well as some downtime on the coast.

Courtney on an African safari game drive posing with a lioness.

Some destinations on her bucket list include New Zealand and East Africa. “I would love to cruise Milford Sound one day with my son, Ellis, and share my love for travel.”

Final advice from this Adventurer? “Be flexible and leave time at leisure in a destination. Sometimes the joy of travel is to take the stress out of dates and times and adopt a laid-back schedule.”

To learn more about the team and how we work, reach out to us at team@ourismantravel.com or submit a Travel Request Form. Want to discover your travel personality? Take our Travel Personality Quiz and find out your travel style and where you should head off to next!

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Meet the Connector – Allie Weachter

When it comes to travel, Allie likes to escape her daily routine and appreciate all that the world has to offer. “From trying new cuisines to watching a tropical sunset, traveling is a great opportunity to immerse myself in new experiences.”

As a Connector, Allie enjoys creating lasting memories with loved ones and learning about different cultures. While traveling, she not only connects with those around her, but with nature and “enjoys the opportunity of putting technology away and being present in the simple moments.”

Allie immersing herself in culture by roaming the streets of Marseille, France.

While traveling, Allie also enjoys touring history or art museums, biking, visiting wineries, hiking, walking on the beach, playing card games, exploring small towns, shopping, and eating.

Like any connector, Allie’s favorite part of a vacation is the quality time and memorable experiences spent with friends and family. She finds her most memorable trips are the ones that allow her to take a break from everyday life. Her favorite travel memory is skiing and snowboarding with her family in Colorado, and ending each day with aprés-ski. For Allie, “essential aprés-ski drinks include hot chocolate or hot apple cider with a toast or two of champagne.”

Allie enjoying snowboarding in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Regardless of where she travels, Allie makes a packing list of everything she needs to ensure she doesn’t forget anything and tries to be as organized as possible. Some must-have items in her suitcase and carry-on include packing cubes, face mist, hand sanitizer, headphones, and snacks.

Allie skiing at Jupiter Bowl, just north of Park City, Utah

Allie’s next trip is planned for Tulum, Mexico. “It is my first time visiting Mexico, so I am looking forward to experiencing the culture and authentic food. I also have plans to swim in the Cenotes and tour the Mayan ruins.”

Another destination on her bucket list is Bali. “I would love to see Bali’s natural wonders, such as the waterfalls and Jatiluwih, and stay in a unique, hand-crafted villa or treehouse.”

Final advice from this Connector? “Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!”

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Benefits of Travel: 6 Powerful Memories

My grandparents were avid world travelers, flying all over the globe in the 1950s and 1960s. The travel bug skipped the next generation (my parents) but definitely made its impact on me. Travel has been one of the passions of my life. But why? What are the benefits of travel?

Here are some of my favorite (and powerful) memories.

Amazing sights  I was 18 at the time, on my first trip to Europe, and a group of us decided on the spur of the moment to visit Zermatt, Switzerland. Arriving late at night with (no plans to get a hotel room), we slept in a field. I was awakened the next morning by the first light of dawn. I opened my eyes to the Matterhorn, perfectly illuminated by the rising sun, set in a cloudless blue sky.

Unique flavors  I truly enjoy experiencing local cuisine in its native setting. I love discovering hole-in-the-wall restaurants known only by locals — like a small family restaurant in Grenoble, France where I had veal cordon bleu for the first time, a take-out joint in Java where I enjoyed some thoroughly authentic chicken dishes, and my first taste of spaghetti carbonara while dining al fresco in Rome.

Distinctive sounds  I recall the morning when a group of us were standing in the courtyard of the Wellington Barracks in London (where the Palace Guard is stationed). Unlike the hundreds of tourists crowded on the outside of the fence, we were on the inside standing right in front of the members of the guard as they played their morning band concern for us. A dramatic dramatic auditory experience, but just as thrilling is the experience of listening to the quiet echoes of your footsteps in a Gothic cathedral … or the whoosh of a gentle breeze blowing across the still waters of a gorgeous mountain lake.

Fragrant aromas — I am thinking of a temple in Vietnam (but there are so many others) where I stood among local people who had come to burn incense, in the fervent belief that the fragrance carried their prayers heavenward. The smells were intense … as was the intensity of the worshippers.

Blossoming romances — Travel is the perfect way to deepen relationships between lovers. What is more romantic than sharing a meal from a window with a clear view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris? Or going back to a favorite place you’ve previously shared together… to pop the question?

Family togetherness — But perhaps the most important thing we get from travel are the things families experience together. Those shared experiences, profound discoveries, and fun times stay with us for a lifetime. Unlike most anything else we can buy, spending our money on travel experiences makes us richer for life.

If you’re searching for reasons to travel, now’s the time to partner with us! We are happy to talk about the benefits of travel with you, help you discover your personal why, and create a trip that achieves everything you want. Which of these benefits of travel resonates most with you? Send it to team@ourismantravel.com or fill out a travel request form.

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