October 2014 • World Travel
The Value of a Travel Advisor

The Value of a Travel Advisor

There are many reasons why you should use a travel advisor when booking your travel – convenience, saves time and money, offers options, etc. Today I’m going to spotlight the magic a World Travel Business Elite travel advisor can do when troubles arise.

In the planning stages our travel advisor will offer you choices using our reservation system, choices of airports, airlines, times, days, and routing. They consult with you to give you the best value for your money and for your desired itinerary. When the itinerary has been booked and ticketed, our travel advisor will receive notifications from the airlines if your flight is changed, delayed or cancelled, and behind the scenes, they can obtain a new flight options for you, before you even know about the changes.

I’m reminded of the time my son was trying to fly home for Christmas from Sweden. It was a few years ago, when London Heathrow airport was closed due to a huge snowstorm. At one point they were allowing long-haul flights (ex. London to LAX), but my son’s problem was that he could not get from Copenhagen to London as the short flights were cancelled. We got my son on another flight the next day, but it was cancelled again. This was very grueling for him as he traveled from Malmo to Copenhagen and back home several times in failed attempts to get on his flights. Our resourceful travel advisor contacted our British Air representative (when you have privileged relationships with airlines, many impossibilities become possible.) Our contact was able to get my son on a wait-list and eventually a ticket for a different flight from Copenhagen to Phoenix and then ongoing to Santa Ana. This was so great because flights were full, and this itinerary allowed him to bypass the weather of London.

Now I had a new problem. It was a very tight connection between arrival at Phoenix and the flight to Santa Ana, so my son would be unable to call me to advise that he made his flights so I could meet him at the airport. What I didn’t know at the time was that my travel advisor could look up my son’s flight in our reservations system to verify that he indeed got on both of his flights. She called me late that night to advise me of that fact and that I could pick him up at airport at the scheduled time. She went above and beyond in solving our problems and became what I like to call a “Travel Angel”. Because of her creativity and her connections, my son made it home in time for Christmas and his luggage followed the next day.

I learned later that for some airlines, a travel advisor can also access the wait-lists so they can advise their clients if they have a good chance of getting on a flight, or not, and make alternative arrangements if necessary, keeping them posted of the changes, so a stranded client in an airport can relax at the lounge or restaurant, rather than stressing out standing in line.

In addition, for some airlines, a travel advisor can look at a map of all the airline’s flights showing planes in the air by flight number, so if their client is on a particular flight, they can see if it’s likely they will miss their next connection. Thus a travel advisor can be proactive about getting their client wait-listed or booked on a workable alternative flight, all of this before the client’s plane lands. Then it is a simple matter to contact the client by cell phone, to advise of the change and the correct gate to go to.

This is the essence of what our “Travel Angels” can do for their clients in times of trouble.

travel advisor

I remember on Sept 11, when all flights were cancelled in the U.S., our travel advisors worked really hard for days to bring their clients home. Our phones were ringing and we were fully staffed to answer and help, all at no extra cost to the clients, and again, more recently, when Chicago airports were closed due to the incident at the control tower.

Anything can happen and it’s nice to know that a World Travel Business Elite travel advisor can have your back when you are traveling. To me, this is the most important aspect of working with a travel advisor.

Click here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company and/or get started on planning your next business trip with one of our travel advisors.

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Business Traveler in Abu Dhabi

Business Traveler in Abu Dhabi

Business traveler and WTBE guest blogger Diane Rudis reports on her recent visit to the luxurious Rosewood Hotel located in Abu Dhabi.

The Rosewood Hotel is a great destination for the elite business traveler coming to Abu Dhabi. On Al Maryah Island, it is located in the future central financial district of Abu Dhabi though many of the buildings are under construction. The plan for growth in the area had been slowed due to the sub-prime mortgage crisis in 2007/2008. The Galleria Mall is a quick walk away. The mall has all of the luxury retailers / designers that you can think of for fashion, jewelry as well as high end time pieces.

The hotel boasts great views of Abu Dhabi and offers impeccable service for the business traveler. The rooms are very nice, with a cosmopolitan, modern type elegance. You have the option to have a kitchenette, which we opted for since we are here for 5 weeks. The kitchen is filled with appliances, dishes, knives, silverware, and most of the things needed for making simple meals.

We also ordered room service really enjoyed the food and service that we received. They came back within an hour to clear our room of the dishes.

The staff here is very good. We were especially impressed by the restaurant staff, ironically both of them were named Hassan at the Cava and Sambusek (Lebanese). They were very helpful and knowledgeable about food, wine offered at the restaurant as well as internationally. The Cava wine list was very diverse and slightly expensive. We are finding wine to be a bit higher price all over the UAE though.

The front desk associates are very professional and helpful when it comes to typical questions and requests. Most of them are pretty good with English, but once in awhile, you may connect with someone who may not understand you.

business traveler

Residences – furnished / unfurnished rentals available

Not only does the Rosewood offer hotel rooms, but they also advertise rentals for furnished and unfurnished apartments for rent. We had inquired numerous times with the front desk about the residences on the property as we are looking to rent a place for few years. They front desk would say that the residence manager of that was not in today, but they did take time to show us a few of the furnished rooms that were available for rent. The staff did not know the prices, and referred us to the manager who was not in. The next day we asked to speak with him and he was on vacation. We then asked for someone else on staff who might be able to help us with the rates and we finally spoke to the manager of the person on vacation. He told us the 1 bedroom 900 sq. ft. was available to rent for 275,000 AED annually, but did not know any of the details on availability, nor did it seem that he was willing to negotiate. It would be cheaper to pay the hotel rate annually. The hotel also offered unfurnished as well as furnished. When we inquired to the unfurnished, one staff member said there were some available and another said nothing was available. In the end, we just felt that no one knew what was going on with the residences and it did not seem that they were anxious to get them filled up.

business traveler


  • The pool is very nice and relaxing; a great place to hang out after a long day. There is a large bar outside and a food menu. We ordered off the snack menu which was quite good.
  • The fitness center is also very nice. Upon request you can get one of the professionals to assist you with your work out plan during your stay.
  • The salon was advertised to be open, but it’s actually under construction.
  • The internet access is an extra fee unless you have negotiated a free rate and it is very slow, which is frustrating for the typical business traveler.

If you’re a business traveler going to Abu Dhabi, The Rosewood Hotel offers great amenities in a comfortable environment.

Click here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company and/or get started on planning your next executive retreat.

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Hot tips traveling in London

Hot tips traveling in London

World Travel Business Elite guest blogger Diane Rudis recently visited London. Her blog offers up some hot tips when traveling in London.

September was perfect weather to go to London.  The whole week was unseasonably warm, 60 – 65 degrees each day. Should you arrive at Heathrow and need transportation to London, be aware that many cabs will not accept credit cards. Those that would accept credit cards, charged a 10% credit card fee. Taking the train into the city is the best most economical option.

We stayed at the Double Tree near Victoria Station, close to a metro and train stop. If you are a business traveler and have time to see some sites while on business, this location or one in London near both the tube and train will be an ideal way for you to squeeze business in with pleasure.

The Double Tree was a nice, cozy hotel, one I consider off the beaten path which was great to have less traffic and enjoy the stay. The breakfasts were good – hot and cold options and you could custom order your omelet ingredients.  The staff was very helpful in tending to our needs. The lounge was a great place to unwind and have a drink after a long day.

It was an ideal location so that we could ride the tube across town and also get on a train to go to Hampton Court and Windsor Castle. It’s also within walking distance to Buckingham Palace. Tours for the Palace are offered only certain dates (my guess that dates are when the queen is away on holiday), so we were fortunate our plans coincided with the time that it was open.

Since we were only going to be there for a week, we wanted to utilize the time as best we could. We planned our travels sort of by region of London and chose the places we wanted to go making sure that we arrived at various tours at the right windows of time. Among the places we went to that we saw on the London Pass (90 British Pounds per person) using the Oyster card to ride the tube, below is a list of the places we enjoyed the most:

  • Buckingham Palace – you will see the rooms of the Queen used as her personal drawing room, the throne room where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official wedding photos were taken. You will also see the Queens art gallery and the room the official baptism photo was taken for Prince William. After the tour, you can walk the gardens and make your way to the royal mews or stables to see the horses and carriages still used by the Queen and past monarchs.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum – amazing and overwhelming place. There are so many treasures to view there, you really need to research the place in advance to know which ones are a must see. Great place, don’t miss out on it.
  • The British Museum – As you walk in, there is a beautiful courtyard. You should stop to see the Elgin marbles while they are still there, plus the Rosetta Stone is on display.
  • The Art Museum – we viewed the impressionists.
  • Royal Albert Hall – the tour is guided by a long time worker of the Hall. It is a great tour include the history and view of the Queen’s box as well as her private waiting area.
  • Westminster Abby and Big Ben are a must see for obvious reasons. Take a tour of Parliament both the House of Lords and House of Commons were open.  Great guided tour.
  • Between Trafalgar Square and Big Ben is Whitehall Ballroom / Throne room, the remaining part of the Palace built by Henry VIII saved Christopher Wren during the London fire of 1666. Whitehall is also the place where Charles I was executed by Cromwell.
  • Shopping – you can’t go to London and not stop at Harrods or Selfridge’s, both are a must see!
  • Tower of London – The Beefeater tour is a must! These fellows are quite entertaining and are very knowledgeable and thorough with their history. The tour is the only way to see St. Peter Advincula chapel where Thomas Moore, Anne Boleyn / Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey are buried. The crown jewels are in the tower as well.
  • The Globe Theater – Where William Shakespeare’s writing comes to life. Make sure to carve out time in the morning to go on tour.  The afternoons are booked with performances.
  • Covent Gardens – lovely shopping and eating.
  • Kensington Palace – Tour the William and Mary, George II, Queen Victoria and some fashions from the Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana.  All are quite lovely but will not take a large amount of time to see.
  • St Paul’s Cathedral – venue in which Prince Charles married Princess Diana. A lovely church. There is a tour but it’s not part of the London pass.
  • Picadilly Square – the theater district, shopping and lots of restaurants. If you have time, see a show.

traveling in london

There were 2 days that we decided to travel by train outside of the city to and made a day of it. Train tickets are separate from the tube. But you can use the $ from the Oyster card to purchase the tickets if you wanted to.

Hampton Court – Henry VIII’s kitchen and apartments are a must see. There is a replica of his crown in the chapel.  The great hall contains beautiful stained glass. You will hear some great stories about Henry and his 6 wives. Outside you will see an amazing astronomical clock.

Windsor Castle – Another amazing place. It was built originally as a fortress and is now converted to a functioning castle used quite frequently by Queen Elizabeth II. On our tour, they curator was preparing a few of the rooms for an investiture that Prince William would be attending. St. George’s chapel is also on the grounds – Henry VIII, Edward VII, and Georg VI are also buried there.

Dining – There are a multitude of places to try. We decided to go for the authentic British food at some of the local Pubs like – Albert’s, St. George’s and Porter’s. The fish and chips, steak and cheddar pie and toad in the hole are very good.

We also had dinner at one of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants, Petrus. Rated a 1 Michelin star, we were under-whelmed by the cuisine. The food was good, nothing stood out as a WOW course. The wine accompaniment was a huge disappointment. The wines lacked nose and were tastelessly bland.  Would I go back? I would try another restaurant instead. The full restaurant review is on trip advisor under Steve R.

So whether you’re traveling to London for business or just making it a fun trip we recommend you check out some of these hot tips Diane offers for traveling in London.

Click here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company and/or get started on planning your next executive retreat.

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World Travel Makes Strides Against Breast Cancer.

World Travel Makes Strides Against Breast Cancer.

World Travel Family joins in on making strides against breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” is a fabulous campaign to raise awareness, fundraising and advocacy for the efforts to eradicate the deadly disease called breast cancer.

The event that captured the hearts and spirits of the World Travel family was the 5K walk, planned on October 5, 2014 in Orange County, California.  Supporting one of World Travel’s own, they rallied together with their incredible outpouring of support and cohesiveness. This was an extraordinary experience for all involved.

Together with thousands of participants, the World Travel family was well represented including Tom (President) & Sharon Jackson (owners); Wendy Swenson (Vice President of Finance); Carol Nosches (Corporate Travel Services Manager) Renee D’Avirro (Manager, Santa Ana Office); Elaine Clapp, Linda Rainwater, Nancy Villanueva, Paola Villanueva, Rachela D’Avirro, Chantelle Ball – All from the Santa Ana office.  Plus numerous other World Travel family members and supporters who were there in spirit!

World Travel Cancer Walk

This picture captures the entire “team” that the World Travel Family joined in: “Christmas Carol & the Reindeer Gang”. The team had a Christmas theme, because it’s a fun thread to add to the overall importance of breast cancer and seriousness of finding a cure. The entire team dressed in Christmas colors and garb. They wore “Reindeer Antlers”, sleigh bells and the American Cancer Society’s pink “breast cancer” bracelets. Certainly a sight for sore eyes, the bobbing antlers, jingling bells and effervescent smiles plowed a path of positivity as the enthusiasm and overall support was immeasurable.

This is just one example of the community outreach efforts that reflects the core values of an organization that places humanity at the top of the list. If you’d like to learn more about “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” or to make a donation to their team, CLICK HERE.

Collectively the World Travel Family strives to make a difference. Of course succeeding in business is important. Making a difference in ONE life can change the world and that matters immensely. So document your calendars now and join us for their next event: October 4, 2015 in Orange County.  Let’s get rid of breast cancer once and for all!


Click here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company and/or get started on planning your next executive retreat.

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Executive Retreat at a Luxury Vacation Home

Executive Retreat at a Luxury Vacation Home

Make your next executive retreat or meeting a more intimate yet productive experience by utilizing luxury vacations homes located in inspiring destinations.

Today hotels are the most common goto when it comes to business travel. However, some corporate trips like an executive retreat or meeting could be a bit more intimate and fun by hosting it at a luxury vacation home. They allow for a more communal approach to team building with having the luxuries of home at your disposal. Some of the amenities include chef quality kitchens, large open living room spaces, pools, saunas, tennis courts, dining tables, beach access and even golf if the home is on a course.

Every company has different ideas when it comes to their executive retreat. Whether you’re combining business with pleasure or just rewarding the leaders of the company, these environments allow a more focused personalized experience that promotes interaction between the participating individuals. They also allow an environment that is comfortable and yet are engaging when it comes to getting business done. For example, your dining room table whether indoors or outdoors can serve as a place to eat, but also a place to gather to discuss the business at hand. Living rooms serve as a place of relaxation, place to chat or a casual relaxed meeting spot.

Executive Retreat Kitchen

If one of your worries is that you won’t have your own private space at the executive retreat. Don’t worry… most homes boast private rooms with large beds and attached bathrooms. Some rooms even have their own sitting areas or private porches/balconies. Some homes are as luxurious as the finest hotels in the world.

Now if you really want to reward the executives you can have butlers, maids, chefs and spa services come to the house to spoil your guests. You can also have the guests be a part of the bonding experience and join together to cook some of the meals. The private home has the amenities that allows for variation in participation and flexibility when it comes to the daily planned events.

When it comes to location… your options are endless. Vacation homes are everywhere throughout the world. So with that said, your next executive retreat could be on an island paradise at a luxury home right on the beachfront or on an award wining golf course. Other options include mountain escapes, majestic lake properties, desert oasis or even an international destination like the Italian wine country. US News and World Report gives a great list of locations in their Travel section. The online article “Best US Luxury Destinations” gives a variety of ideas which include: Maui, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Miami, Martha’s Vineyard, Jackson Hole and many more great destinations for executive retreats. Your options are endless to your imagination.

These homes can vary in size, cost and the amenities they offer. All of which depend on what your needs are for the executive retreat. Homes from a few bedrooms to large estates that can hold up to 20+ guests are available pretty much at every vacation destination out there. Depending on your agenda, budget and amount of executives attending you are sure to find something that fits your criteria.

World Travel Business Elite can help plan your executive retreat by finding the best luxury vacation home to fit your needs. We can handle all the details including; booking the air travel, securing the ground transportation, finding the home, arranging a private chef and even setting up extracurricular activities that are either team building experiences or just fun rewards for your executives. Make your next executive retreat one to remember and choose World Travel Business Elite.

Click here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company and/or get started on planning your next executive retreat.

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