While I love to travel, I have found planning it on my own can be quite time consuming. I wanted to share a few of my favorite travel agencies, advisors and internet sites that have been useful in making the planning process more expeditious, seamless and enjoyable.
For Luxury Travel
Smart Flyer is a global luxury travel firm that focuses on both corporate and leisure travel. Their clients range from A-List celebrities to business executives and families. I was introduced to Susan Duffy, their head point of contact in charge of client development, through a dear friend while skiing in Colorado this spring. Once I met her I was sold on SmartFlyer. They were recently named one of the World's Top Travel Agent's by Travel + Leisure. I find there is great value in being able to put my trust in someone who is adept at getting what I want while at the same time offering reasonable, if not bargain prices. Smart Flyer has a stock pile of great relationships with some of the top hotels so they get their clients the same, if not better, discounted rates. They are an amazing company- the one we all want o have in our rolodex. Contact, Susan Duffy who can guide you through the process. Susan@smartflyer.com
For US Travel
I met Elan & Norman, two of the founders of Excursionist, 4 years ago on a puddle jumper flight to Siem Reap to see the various Khmer Empire temples including Angkor Wat. They were in the process of launching their company while doing field work in South East Asia. Excursionist works with travel agencies, advising them on trips filled with great hotels, tour guides, cooking classes and access to some of the top restaurants world wide. Last June they helped organize my trip to Spain which was fantastic. Right now they are focusing on US travel, bringing their attuned eye to American soil.
For Active Travel
I took one of Erica’s Escape To Shape retreats a few years ago, which was paired with one of my favorite work-outs, SLT. It was a weekend at The Surf Lodge in Montauk. Erica not only offers great work-outs in stunning, often exotic, locations, but she also brings in her own chef so the food is always delicious and nutritious.
Tablet has some of the best listings for boutique hotels which is always my preference over staying at larger hotels. I like to cross reference the hotels on Tablet with TripAdvisor to make sure that the often staged hotel photos are on par with snapshots taken by recent travelers.