World Travel Business Elite
Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla Trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Guest Blogger Cheryl Breen shares her adventure!

Day Eight – Sept. 26

And this is why it is called Bwindi Impenetrable Forest! Well, we did it!! The gorilla trekking was everything that I had prayed for! We started our trek at 8:30 this morning, meeting just up the street from our lodge. We were joined by the family of 5, who were staying at our lodge, who are from San Francisco and Sacramento. We were given a brief orientation and told that there were 3 or 4 “trackers” who had been on the mountain before us tracking the gorillas and found them. So, they told our guide, Mele, who led us through the jungle, along with 2 armed guards in case there was trouble.  We were tracking 1 of the 3 gorilla families that are habituated here at Bwindi. The family was composed of 13 members, including 1 silverback, 9 females, and 3 babies.  There had been 4, but one had died they think from falling from a tree.

We had 2 porters, Isiah and Frida.  Frida (a woman) was officially assigned to Paul, but since she followed me she spent a lot of time pushing my keister up the hill while Isiah held my hand and pulled.  Paul and I were the oldest in our group of 7, and the most out of shape. So, we needed to rest quite frequently. The others were appreciative actually because the day before they were with a group that was going really fast and they were exhausted. We climbed to an elevation of roughly 6,000 feet, walking precariously up the thick mountain forest at about a 65 degree angle, for about 2 1/4 hours, stopping for 5 minute water breaks when needed. It was grueling! Paul and I were really huffing and puffing and I could feel myself getting really overheated. The guides took one look at us and said we needed another water break. Paul kept asking how much further and our guide really never answered the question. He would tell us that the trackers were with the gorillas and they were up ahead at the top of the mountain and we had to just moving forward. We were almost ready to give up, but the family support was wonderful. They kept reminding us of the reward up ahead, to see the mighty silverback and his family, and that it would all be worth it.

We were almost upon them and were given last minute etiquette notes and then we quietly headed towards them. We passed by their nests where they slept for the night, and each had a mound of fresh poop next to it. I guess that is how they start their morning before they venture out into their day, just like us! We had to walk carefully to avoid stepping in it, as we were climbing up higher and higher and then….it happened!  We encountered the silverback! He was sitting on the ground nestled among the foliage, his back to us. The guides encouraged us to come around to the front of him, for that special Kodak moment and they made some clucking notes to keep the gorilla calm as to let him know we were not a threat. We are supposed to not get closer than 7 meters (about 22 feet), but we were able to get within 10 feet of him! Gorillas tend to put their backs towards humans, a combination of being shy, protective, and nonchalant. We breathed in his majesty, as he stood on all fours, his silver back glimmering in the sun and his head bowed. Then he looked in my direction and our eyes met. It was magic, as he acknowledged our being in his world. Just by his mannerism, the guides knew that the silverback had enough of us and wanted to move. He decided to go and chose the path immediately in front of me! The guide told me to remain still. He stepped in front of me and brushed Paul’s leg with his magnificent body as he passed us! The guides said he was leading us to the rest of his family, so we followed closely as he meandered through the jungle. He broke branches and vines as he stepped, and our guides used machetes to widen the path for us to follow. We felt that the gorillas were probably laughing that we had to use iron tools to break the vines when they snapped them with one hand!

The rest were nearby, perched in the trees. They were eating leaves and swinging from tree limbs, periodically speaking to each other. The guides were imitating their grunts and interpreting them to say, “this is delicious!”  “Are you satisfied, yes, I am.” One of the mothers held her baby on her side, away from us, protecting it in case we would cause harm, but baby would show her face and peek out to see us.  When mom decided to move from one branch to another, we heard the branch snapping from her weight, and we all held our breath and simultaneously said, “oh no!  Be careful!”, as we all were afraid for their lives and the long pending drop from this very high perch to the earth below! Luckily at the sound of the snap, she stood perfectly still and then turned her direction to reach another branch that was more safe. She was talking to another gorilla below her, almost to say that she was safe and all was well.  Whew!  A sigh of relief for all of us!

We were able to squat or sit, albeit precariously on the edge of the mountainside within about 20 – 30 feet from most of the gorillas. We had to be very mindful of where we planted our butts as there were fire ants and other insects galore walking alongside us. I was so proud of Paul. With his acrophobia, he held up surprisingly well. There was one scary moment where we had planted our feet and sat, but the earth started to give way. We thought we were sliding down the slope, but luckily the guide was there to help us reposition before we slid too far.  After our scheduled hour of viewing these beautiful gentle giants we had to take our leave. That was the saddest moment of my journey. I hated to say goodbye as we had only just said hello! But the park has strict rules, to protect the gorilla’s privacy and way of life. We were the only ones who would visit this family today, and tomorrow other sets of eyes would capture their Kodak moments of encounter.

Our exit out of the forest was more swift, going down was certainly easier than hiking up. However, we still had to be very careful, our walking sticks firmly planted into the earth as we made our way back down to our starting point, which took about an hour. Once there, we were given our graduation certificates and asked to share our experience through social media and display our certificates proudly at our offices and homes as ambassadors for this great World Heritage Site.

Once home, we had a fabulous massage to work out the pains of our trek. We met new trekkers who had just arrived at the lodge and shared stories during dinner of our gorilla encounters, perking their excitement for their day ahead. A restful sleep, with all the memories of the day swirling in our minds… what an incredible and life-changing experience!!!


World Travel Travel Advisors are your Travel Specialists. Contact us today to get started on your travel planning and you can experience Gorilla Trekking.

 

Hilton South Wharf  – A WTBE Hotel Review

Hilton South Wharf – A WTBE Hotel Review

Guest blogger Diane Rudis is back and recently visited the Hilton South Wharf in South Wharf, Australia. Check out her review of the hotel.

The Hilton South Wharf is situated downtown along the Yarra River adjacent to the Melbourne convention center, making it convenient to attend the conferences while continuing to conduct business activities while you are abroad. The Hilton South Wharf rooms are quite spacious and comfortable beds and large walk in showers and separate tubs. The toilets are also separate from the rest of the bathrooms.  In our suite, we had a great view of the river and the downtown area. The suites are quite large, very modern / rustic feel which made us feel very comfortable.  Windows are floor to ceiling providing an unobstructed view. The rooms are equipped with a small, private conference table for conducting business. The living area can hold up to 6 or 7 people should you want to entertain before going out for dinner.

There are restaurants in the Hilton South Wharf hotel or you can venture out along the wharf to find a number of restaurants and eateries of many different cuisines. The wharf gets very busy in the evenings starting with happy hour and dinner; it’s definitely the place to be when the workday is over.

The amenities of the Hilton South Wharf hotel have an extensive list of offerings. From 24 hour fitness, shoe shining to conference room space, they also offer babysitting as well as tour information and the convenience of renting a car having it delivered to the hotel.

They do not offer adapters in every room for your electrics, so you will need to remember to bring your own. If you get in a pinch, the hotel will assist you.

Should you be a member of the Hilton Honors program or opt for the executive level club, the amenities are excellent. The club offers a large variety of foods for breakfast and evening cocktails as well as light snack for mid to late afternoon tea. Breakfast is a rather large continental type breakfast: you can squeeze your own juice. There is a nice selection of muffins including an egg type muffin. There is a nice selection of cereals, homemade breads with jams, butter and vegemite, and meats and cheeses in case you want to make a hot breakfast sandwich all of the fixings are there.

Drinks include sodas, still and sparkling waters as well as hot beverages like tea coffee and hot chocolate. There are usually cookies or pretzels to accompany them.

Evening cocktails and snack is also quite extensive. There are a few hot appetizers, a selection of meats and cheeses, sandwiches and a multitude of types of finger foods.  You can choose from champagne or sparkling wine, at least 3 types of red and 3 types of white wines, beer and more.

The Hilton South Wharf is truly a home away from home. With a great location, offering great services for a vacation/business stay with exceptional amenities, I highly recommend staying here.

Planning Travel for Business

Planning Travel for Business

This year, we urge you to be smart when planning travel for your company. Properly planning travel can help make sure that your money and time are efficiently used.

We all know that throughout the year you will have trips that are set-in-stone such as trade shows or annual meetings. You will also have trips that arise on-the-fly like procuring new clients out of your local area. Whatever your travel needs might be, it is smart to have a plan in place for all your travel scenarios. For instance, always waiting until the last-minute can get you stuck with higher costs when it comes to booking your air, hotel and car.

Planning travel is a daunting task for any business professional today. We feel your time is better served by being focused on your own work. It is even more daunting for companies that have multiple people traveling throughout the year as it is very common for companies to quickly throw a trip together and lose sight of being effective and cost efficient. Being in a rush when planning travel means that you cannot take advantage of important aspects such as use of frequent flyer miles, early booking rates, block room purchasing for cost savings.

The good news is that World Travel Business Elite can be your solution to managing and planning travel efficiently. We would start by evaluating your current process and then help create a custom plan for your company that will boast success. The plan we will create for you will allow you to get the most out of your travel budget. By allowing us to take the stress off your plate when it comes your corporate travel it will let you focus on your own business. Our travel advisors will be your advocates for all your travel needs to make sure all the minute details get handled and we will provide you with high-touch personal service so you have the confidence that all your needs are properly managed throughout the year. Make sure to check out our Services page on our website to learn more detail about what we can offer you and your company when it comes to planning travel.

Remember that whether you use our travel services or attempt to manage your travel on your own, we highly suggest you to have a plan in place. Don’t rely on handling it all yourself and relying on booking online. Online travel services do not possess the personal service attention that corporations need when planning and managing travel, nor do they have the capabilities of seeing the larger picture of what your company requires when it comes to planning travel.


 

Click here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company and learn more on how we can help with planning travel for your company.

Follow World Travel Business Elite on Facebook and Linkedin to get your daily dose of good travel advice, travel terms and be informed about business travel.

Travel Terms for the Business Traveler – Part 1

Travel Terms for the Business Traveler – Part 1

Today, there are so many travel terms and acronyms that most people have no idea what they mean. Below we have listed a few of them and in future blogs will continue to define more for your learning pleasure.

Here are a few to get you started:

CTC
CTC stands for “Certified Travel Counselor” and it’s considered to being an honored designation of a high-level certified travel professional. This certification can be compared to a “masters degree” within the travel industry. Usually you will find the designation after the travel professional’s name (ex. Carol Nosches CTC).

Airport Codes
Every airport has a 3 letter code that identifies them. For instance, John Wayne Airport in Orange County California is SNA or Los Angeles is LAX. If you want to find out a specific airport code we suggest visiting www.airportcodes.org.

Airline Codes
Airlines are also designated a 2 digit code by the IATA (International Air Transport Association). For instance, American Airlines IATA code which is “AA”. If you are interested in knowing what a specific airlines code is you can search it on the IATA website.

Reissue or Exchange
A “reissue” is when a new airline ticket replaces a previous ticket. Business travelers many times have to change their travel plans and this is an example of when a “reissue” comes into play. Simply put it is when the traveler asks to have their existing tickets credited and applied to new tickets. Usually there is a cost associated with this service and on average it can cost anywhere from $100 and up.

City Pair
Whether traveling by airplane or train the travel term “city pairs” is the combination of the departure and destination cities. Let’s say your traveling from Los Angeles to New York and then back home to Los Angeles, then your city pair would be Los Angeles and New York.

T&E
We all know that when traveling for business the expenses start to rack up. The term “T&E” stands for travel and entertainment expenses. It is smart to save all your receipts while traveling so that you’re able to write them off during tax time or submit them for reimbursement with your company.

Circle Trip
In travel terms, this refers to any trip that has more than a single destination but returns to the initial departure city.

Segment
A “segment” is basically a part of a journey (also known as a “leg”). What constitutes a “segment” is one take-off and landing during air travel.

Are there any travel terms you have always wanted a better understanding of what they mean and how they affect your business travel?

World Travel Business Elite is here to help answer your questions, inform you of travel tems and provide you with top-quality business travel solutions. Our travel advisors have the CTC designation, which makes them well equipped to give you the personal service and attention your company deserves when it comes to business travel.


 

Click here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company and learn more on how we can help with your business travel.

Follow World Travel Business Elite on Facebook and Linkedin to get your daily dose of good travel advice, travel terms and be informed about business travel.

Business Travel to the United Arab Emirates

Business Travel to the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is such a focal point for business travel; it would appear not to be missed for those companies interested in growth on an international basis.

The country has seen amazing financial and physical growth over the last 20 years. While Abu Dhabi is the federal capital of the seven Emirate country, Dubai is the physical capitol with the most population and physical growth. The UAE boasts the tallest building in the world, the largest container port in the Middle East, the largest airline, Emirates in the world and a number of burgeoning cultural entities. At the same time, one of the ten largest Mosques in the world is in Abu Dhabi. By the way, the two city states are just some miles apart. The perfect time to visit, if one has the choice, is the winter/spring season which begin in November and last through April/May.

Every major hotel company in the world has a presence in the UAE. These properties are beautifully done architecturally and operationally. Several firms, such as Hilton, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, One and Only, Hyatt, etc. have more than one location. While most things, like hotels and food are pricey, taxis are plentiful and very reasonable. As a result, one needs not be bothered with a rental car.

The infrastructure is massive, well developed, and new. Building is at such a pace that new buildings have to wait long periods of time once built to be hooked up to the electric grid. Water, here in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula, is limitless as the UAE has the largest desalinization production in the world. Businesses seem to flourish here under the government leadership which requires no taxation for individuals and corporation alike. This is the ideal platform for activity and growth oriented entrepreneurs. While traveling to and from by air, remember that the UAE has a 12 hour time change from the west coast and a 9 hour time change from the east coast. The air routing is truly over the top as the aircraft flies directly over the North Pole going to and from.

Shopping is a big part of this economy, there are literally hundreds of modern malls scattered through the Country. The two largest are in Dubai. The larger of the two is the Dubai Mall with over 1000 shops located in the city center. The other large one, the mall of the Emirates with over 500 shops, features an indoor ski facility. The ski facility is extremely popular in the summer as temperatures get as hot as 120 degrees. There are active original style malls which are called souks. These souks provide shopping in their traditional Muslim covered areas with the merchants beckoning you into their store from the outside. The most prominent Souk is in the Jumeriah Beach area in Dubai.

Business travel to the UAE is increasing as more companies are reaching out to this region to set up shop or to expand their reach to new clientele. If your business travel takes you to this part of the world be sure to add some extra time so you can explore all that it has to offer.

Tom and Sharon Jackson, owners of World Travel and World Travel Business Elite, recently visited the UAE.

Click here to check out some of the photos from their trip.


Click here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company and learn more on how we can help with your business travel.

Follow World Travel Business Elite on Facebook and Linkedin to get your daily dose of good travel advice and be informed about business travel.

Travel Advice Makes Our Trip

Travel Advice Makes Our Trip

Wendy Swenson talks about a trip she took with her son to France and how the importance of excellent travel advice made the trip memorable.

A few years ago I planned a trip to France with my son, a history teacher with an interest in World War II. Of course we would go to Paris. But being the type of person who does not do advance research, I needed an inspiration. Then I hit upon it. I had always wanted to visit Mont-Saint-Michel in northern France to watch the tide change. It is an Abbey on a lonely hill surrounded by water at high tide and land at low tide. I had read that the tide came in so fast that horses drowned and people could not outrun it.

When I told our owner, Tom Jackson, (who has been everywhere and gives great travel advice) that I was planning this trip, he came in the next day with a tide chart for Mont-Saint-Michel, so I could pick the best date to view the biggest change of tide. So we built my trip around that date. The next thing he told me was that I had some “must-sees” for my trip which we integrated into my plan.

After flying to Paris we enjoyed 4 days seeing the wonderful places in Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel tower, The Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, Opera House, Bateaux Mouches Dinner cruise, 3 day Metro pass, Museum passes so we did not have to stand in long lines, City Tour etc. We left Paris with wonderful memories including a climb to the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral where the spiral stone steps were worn in the middle from the hundreds and thousands of people climbing these stairs for so many years.

We had taken a train to Caen where we picked up our car for a self-drive tour which gave us a general outline and Michelin maps of the places we would visit for the following week. The car was a stick shift Jaguar sedan that I had to accept as our car as they had nothing else! I also had to adapt to Round-abouts instead of intersections with traffic signals.

Tom also gave us travel advice that we must see the Bayeaux Tapestry which is an embroidered history on linen cloth which portrays the history of the conquest of England by William the Conquerer in 1064. They do not allow you to just see the tapestry until you have viewed a movie presentation, and other presentations, so that you had a full appreciation of this tapestry which was 70 meters long and spanned many walls of the building.

Then we visited the Normandy coast to see the historic Normandy beaches, the Memorial to the soldiers, battle damage, and wonderful little restaurants where one said “We welcome American liberators” on the window.   I remember my son eating mussels at an outdoor café by the ocean and where I thought I ordered “crepe” but got “tripe”, and a wonderful roasted duck dinner that we enjoyed later that night. We waited a long time for our dinner bill, because we learned later that in France they believe it’s rude to offer the bill until the diner asks for it.

The next day we drove up to Mont-Saint-Michel and at 4 am the next morning we got up to watch the tide come in. I remember the pink sky as the sun was rising and the soft roar of the water filling in the depressed areas of the mud. The water was relentless, moving forward about an inch per second, so when you stood by the water’s edge, you had to continue to move backwards every second to avoid the water, so if you got stuck in the mud, you could drown. We stood on the parking lot concrete which eventually was covered by about 6 feet of water. They had signs each day which told you the time of day when you had to remove your car or it would be covered.

With our maps we were given suggestions of places to stop and see along the way. St. Malo was a fantastic medieval town surrounded by a thick wall upon which we could walk to view the area and look down upon the town inside! It had an aquarium inside the thick wall, as well as pay restrooms which flushed the walls along with the toilets to prevent people like me from holding the door open for my son to use. Imagine his surprise when the walls started to flow with water!

For the next few days, we proceeded to explore the Loire Valley visiting lots of Chateaus, Chartres Cathedral (wonderful stained glass windows), and also the place where Leonardo Da Vinci died and was buried (Chateau d’Ambroise) What a treat that was! We had lots of adventures and had a great time exploring and learning.

That’s the fun of traveling, such sights to see and wonderful memories and photos to take home. Please take a look at some of my photos in the gallery. I’m so appreciative of the wonderful planning and travel advice that I received to make this trip really memorable.

View the photo gallery by clicking here.

Now don’t forget that if you’re going on a business trip or a leisure trip your team at World Travel Business Elite are always available to give you great travel advice. Our team will work with you to plan a trip that will be remembered.

 


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

Follow World Travel Business Elite on Facebook and Linkedin and get your daily dose of good travel advice.

 

Wendy Swenson, CTC is the VP of World Travel and is filled with great travel advice.

Smart Phone – The Business Travel Companion

Smart Phone – The Business Travel Companion

Traveling smart has a whole new meaning in today’s smart phone invested world.

The smart phone absolutely can help one travel smarter and more effectively. It simply puts the world wide web at your fingertips and thus enables you to stay connected. Many people feel the smart phone can hinder your actual work life by being a distraction. However, more and more companies are embracing the technology by making the smart phone a part of the employee’s business tool kit. The smart phone of today can truly enable the business traveler to be more efficient and connected while away from the office.

It is pretty well known that smart phone app stores are filled with apps that can entertain, document, educate, communicate and help you be organized in your daily life. The great news for business travelers is that there are a lot of apps that can assist you in being a smart traveler. Some of these apps can track your flight, inform you of Visa requirements for all your travel destinations, keep you informed on local weather, provide intelligent street maps of your location, convert currency and even translate the local language. Of course, you will also find government apps that let you know about important travel information and requirements. We highly recommend you check out the Resources page on the World Travel Business Elite website for links to great websites and apps that will enhance your travel ventures.

The smart phone has so much more to offer besides all the third party apps available inside the phone’s app store. The various smart phone technologies on the market today actually come with a lot of power built into via their hardware and software. You will find common features such as WiFi, Bluetooth and high-quality cameras. All of these features enable the business traveler to stay connected to their office or home with ease. One of the biggest contributors is the camera on the smart phone. It allows you to visually communicate during your travels via photography, blogging, email and even video conferencing. The camera definitely plays a key role on allowing one to communicate face-to-face via software such as Skype® or Facetime® technology when away at distant locations. Whether you’re having a Skype meeting with fellow employees who are back at the home office or having Facetime with your family while away on business travels. The smart phone helps you to stay connected, informed and most importantly travel safely.

Although the smart phone can be a great travel companion and put a lot of resources at your fingertips it lacks when it comes to the human quotient. Purely, it is a computer and it’s unable of giving you the quality personalized service a human being can provide. The good news is that World Travel Business Elite travel advisors bring that quality with best-in-class personalized business travel services. All of our advisors work hard to ensure all your business travels are properly planned, highly executed and as cost efficient as possible. We bridge the gap between personal service and utilizing the smart phone as a tool when it comes to traveling.

 

 


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.

Follow World Travel Business Elite on Facebook and Linkedin.

The Best Business Trip Ever

The Best Business Trip Ever

Wendy Swenson CTC tells us about her best business trip ever in Honolulu, Hawaii.

I was chosen to represent our company, World Travel Bureau, at the Classic Vacations annual recognition of the top sales agencies of the Classic products. Classic Vacations creates customized packaged tours to Hawaii, and other locations in the world which include cars, hotels and airfare, and provides great value to our leisure clients. We have a long-time relationship with Classic which is a benefit to our clients in that if there are any difficulties or obstacles to overcome we have a direct connection to resolution.

Classic created this business trip for us and we could bring a friend or relative. I chose my friend, Stephanie, to accompany me. The 3 day business trip consisted of scrumptious cocktail parties or dinners in the evenings, and activities to choose from for the days, or we could just have the days free for our own exploration.

Steph and I have each been to Honolulu many times over the years, so we had done all the usual sightseeing activities. For this trip we wanted to do those things we had never been able to do previously and luckily for us, they were listed on the activity options we were offered.

We arrived at the Halekulani hotel and entered our ocean view room, right on Waikiki Beach. From here we could enjoy our favorite beach, Waikiki, and wonderful views of Diamond Head.

business trip waikiki business trip room viewbusiness trip diamond head

Our first activity was to go Swim with the Dolphins at the Kahala Resort, which was scary at first, but really cool. I was afraid the dolphin would hit me with his tail, but he was very careful and even though we were standing there petting him, he would glide away without touching us. Stephanie loves dolphins so this was probably the highlight of the trip for her.

business trip dolphins

The next day we took a Group Surf Lesson which was 2 hours long and included a photographer who took photos of us so we could collect the CD the next day. I’ve tried to surf many times on my own, and I knew I needed some help, as the body gets stiffer with age –a surf lesson was what I needed. They showed us techniques which would get us standing up on the board and riding the wave. They did have to push us into the wave, but the important thing was the riding of the wave, not catching it! This was my highlight of the trip and I cannot wait to take another lesson next time I’m in Honolulu.

business trip Steph Surf business trip wendy surf

The third day, we went on a horseback riding Adventure which was in Makaha Valley. Our group was bussed to this location and we were divided in two. One part of our group would go on the horseback ride for an hour, while the other half would go on a nature walk to see ancient artifacts and places of worship. Then we had a very nice lunch before we switched to the other activity. It was a very nice day.

business trip horseback

On the final night we went to the awards banquet, and heard the speeches and were brought up on stage to receive our awards and recognition. We had to go home to rest up from our really, fun-packed business trip, with great memories and photos.

business trip food business trip food

If you want to plan an Awards or Recognition business trip for your employees, this is a very nice way to go.

 

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.

Follow World Travel Business Elite on Facebook and Linkedin.

Team Building Can Benefit Your Company Culture

Team Building Can Benefit Your Company Culture

In today’s corporate world team building has become an important part of company culture. It has been proven that team building is a key ingredient on building trust, respect and communication within a group. Its many benefits can help your team work more efficiently, boast better attitudes and motivate them to love their work environment. It is a win-win for both the company and the employees. Simply put they get to let off some steam and have some fun, while the company benefits from all that encompasses the team building activities.

There are so many options when planning team building. Whether your team building is at a local venue or at a distant awe-inspiring locale, both can produce great rewards. Most companies choose to make the day dedicated only to team building and completely step away from the daily work tasks. It is also very common for a company to add-on team building activities to their corporate incentive and meeting trips that are in desirable locations such as Hawaii, Las Vegas, Cancun or Utah. These vacation type destinations boast other benefits besides just the planned team building activities. For instance the attendees on their off time can explore the local culture or take part in fun activities like surfing, sunbathing, skiing, fishing, gambling, etc… the options are endless.

The first step is deciding where the team building activities will take place and for how long. Then it is time to decide what type of activities will take place during the event. There are so many options out there for your company to utilize that range from fun to sportive to challenging to rewarding. For instance you can go zip lining or partake in an adventure course. There are also much simpler concepts such as donating time for at a local charity at your event destination or going on a scavenger hunt. There are many simple exercises that can happen at your hotel or event venue that focus on communication or problem solving and only take 15-30 minutes each. The key to success when having your team building offsite is planning and being creative in the activities that you choose to lift your team to new heights.

World Travel Business Elite can help you plan your offsite team building experience and offer up some amazing destinations that will not only inspire your employees but allow them some rewards for their hard work.

 


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

Follow World Travel Business Elite on Facebook and Linkedin.

 

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.

Follow World Travel Business Elite on Facebook and Linkedin.

 

123456
});