Find Your Happy Path
About Your Concierge
I've been traveling since the age of 8, when my family moved to Algeria for my father's work. Since then, I've been hopping on and off of airplanes with glee, excited to discover the next new place. In all, I have lived in 7 different countries (over a 20 year time span), and have visited more than 40 others. In addition to travel, I am also passionate about: History (have an MA in Middle Eastern History), languages (French, Arabic, Spanish and German in order of fluency), and love hiking, camping, yoga, broadway plays, reading, cooking and gardening. I have worked as a public high school teacher in Texas, a lecturer at the American University in Dubai, and as a educator for Habitat for Humanity in Jordan. I've also been planning group travel since my university days, when I worked for a company that provided spring break ski packages to my fellow students. Since that time, I have taken large groups on tours of Jordan, Iceland, and The United Arab Emirates and have planned complex muti-day/multi-country family trips to Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The recipe for a great trip includes many hours of research and planning, very detailed arrangements, and a great deal of imagination. I like to spend time chatting with my clients to find out what they are passionate about, and what their travel style is. It makes me happy if I can create a unique trip designed around my clients, and not one that expects the travelers to fit into a cookie cutter pre-planned vacation. The goal is for everyone to return home with a big smile on their face and many great new stories to tell.
What is A Travel Concierge?
It takes many hours of research to plan a vacation that checks off everything on your list: easy flights, a "just right" hotel, fabulous restaurants, fun activities, and efficient ground transportation. Making all these variables work within your budget and during your timeframe further adds to the complications.
A travel concierge will do all the hard work for you! With Pathfinders, you will have your own personal travel advisor who will sit with you to find out your travel goals for each individual trip, and then provide you with an itinerary that flows well and includes carefully researched suggestions for all that you want to do while you are away. We have been traveling for fun (and work!) for decades and believe we have the skills and experience to make your travels exactly what you want.
Pathfinders is affiliated with Montrose Travel, a member of the Virtuoso Network of agencies. When you book with a Virtuoso advisor, you gain access to a world of personalized travel experiences. Plus, you'll get special perks and upgrades only offered to Virtuoso travelers. Traveling on a budget? We are happy to use your airline points or help you find the perfect vacation rental. We LOVE to camp, "glamp", and hike and would be happy to plan outdoor adventures, too.
Send us an email, or give us a call, to learn more and to schedule your FREE consultation!
WHERE TO GO IN 2019
This year we are really excited about:
Small group "outdoorsy" tours to Iceland and Jordan
Walking/Foodie small group tours in Italy
Island hopping in Greece
Going on safari in South Africa
Discovering Oman - the next "HOT" destination
Some of Our Best Travel Tips
When in Rome...
Don't try to do everything - pick your top 3 favorites on your list and really enjoy them.
Always have plenty of cash when traveling overseas. Many countries don't take credit cards everywhere.
Try to venture out of the usual tourist traps. Engage with the locals and find out what they like best about their home.
Stash your cash into 2 (or more) separate compartments. Make copies of your credit cards and passports. Keep all your important stuff in a day pack. You never know...
Splurge for the nonstop flights when possible.
Pack a large cotton scarf: it can serve as a wrap, beach towel, head cover or pillow in a jam.
Sunscreen, good walking shoes, basic medication, ear plugs and eye mask!
Pack half of what you think you will need.
Try the free walking tours in major cities with companies like Sandeman's.
Expect some things to go wrong, and learn how to have a sense of humor about it.
Don't be the travel companion who complains about everything!
Use a travel APP like Tripit to keep all your travel details in one place.
Don't just rely on TripAdvisor or Expedia to plan your vacation. (although that is a good place to start). Read travel publications and blogs, and listen to podcasts. Buy guidebooks.
Use public transportation in most places. Its fast and affordable.
Award Travel Hacking
I've always been a little obsessed with optimizing my airline and hotel miles, so I've recently spent considerable time on a few airline mileage experts' blogs (One Mile at a Time is a good one) and listening to podcasts (Condenast is full of information) Here's a brief takeaway:
First, determine where you want to go in the future.
Use Google flights to see what the flights to your destination cost.
If you can get more than 2 cents per point in value, then use miles. Otherwise, pay cash.
Search 9-10 months in advance. Then again 10 days in advance.
Use a flexible, transferrable credit card to pay for everything you purchase, every day. Look for big sign up bonuses. Watch for promotions.
Chase Sapphire Preferred, Premier Rewards Gold AMX, Ink Business Preferred by Chase and Starwood Preferred Guest AMX are some of the best transferrable cards.
Sign up for loyalty programs for all airlines you might possibly use.
Stick to one hotel group and be loyal!
Earn and burn your points, don't hold them. Programs get more restrictive over time, not less. Your points may lose value.
Computers may not always be right, and may not offer you many award options. Call and chat with customer service reps. Be very polite - they may find a way to get you what you want! If they say no, call back and try with another representative.
Focus on using your miles for international and premium travel - you'll get more value for your points. Domestic economy is very restricted.
Be creative! Purchase gift cards to use later if you're struggling to meet the deadline to earn a new credit card's sign up bonus mileage.
Save time and let a travel concierge do all the work for you! Call Pathfinders for a free consultation.
Small Group Package Tours
We are teaming up with Event Principle of Dubai to host an 8 day, small-group luxury trip to fantastic DUBAI: the most interesting city in the world! Enjoy:
*5 star hotel accommodations on the best beach in Dubai, near all the shopping, golf and fabulous restaurants you have heard so much about
*Breakfast daily plus some dinners
*Excursions to visit the Gold and Spice Souk, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Grand Mosque and more
*Afternoon tea at the Burj al Arab
*Evening desert 4X4 jeep safari and Arabian dinner under the stars
*Shopping excursion with Americans who have been living in Dubai for more than 20 years (and know the vendors and prices you should pay)
*Sunset yacht cruise around the famous Palm Island
*Spa, golf, transportation and restaurant reservations made through your personal concierge.
JORDAN FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS
March 29- April 7 2019
Springtime in Jordan is the time for outdoor adventure. For a few months every year, the country turns green and the temperatures are perfect for hiking and camping. This small group tour will be escorted and led by Jordanian and American guides. It is tailored toward the outdoor lover, but will also include visits to some of Jordan's most important cultural and historical sites. It includes:
Breakfast every day, as well as 7 other main meals.
All tours and activities unless specified as an option
luxury motor coach with wifi
Jordanian visa with meet and greet before passport control.
AIRFARE INCLUDED FROM HOUSTON on Turkish Airlines via Istanbul Turkish Airlines.
And will travel to some of the coolest places you'll ever visit:
Caritas Humanitarian Project Caritas Jordan
Dana Biosphere محمية ضانا Dana Reserve - Jordan
Activities will include:
Touring Roman ruins, Petra, and Biblical sites
Touring downtown Amman
Hiking in breathtaking places
Sunset camel safari
4x4 through the desert
Learning to cook Jordanian food Petra Kitchen
Eating delicious food!
Floating on the Dead Sea
Spa appointment options
Jordan River Baptism site
Wadi Mujib trek option (a little challenging, but I will do it!)
Meet and greet before passport control upon arrival
Airport transfers both ways if traveling with group.
Biggest bonus: you will spend time with some of the kindest, most hospitable people in the world. I love Jordanians!
Price: $3950 double occupancy/economy class AIR + LAND PACKAGE, based on 20 traveling. Includes service fees, taxes, porter at airport, wifi in bus, unlimited bottled water and more. Book with a deposit of $800 before June 15 and take $200 off total price! Free Cancellation before December 28, 2018.
Call 512-505-8220 for more information.