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Mainland March aka Domestic Travel Month

Hey y’all!  We wrapped up our Mainland March yesterday and it dawned on me that I haven’t posted a thing about it on this website.  Since I send the Weekly Explorer newsletter to so many people, I sometimes forget to follow up here.  If you want to receive the Weekly Explorer, register here.  You can also keep up with our virtual events Facebook group below.

VIRTUAL TRAVEL EVENT, TASTE OF THE SOUTH

We wrapped up our Sips & Trips, A Taste of the South, virtual travel event on the very last day of March.  Since people are starting to travel, but usually sticking close to home (and most of my clients are located in NC & GA), we decided to focus on The South for this month’s virtual travel event.   We took a closer look at Salacia Salts and the product’s in this month’s virtual event kit. Carlton from Farm2Cocktail showed us how to make cocktails/mocktails with his Blueberry Lemongrass Shrub. He discussed the history of shrubs (I had never heard of them prior to this event) and how he got started with his Farm2Cocktail concept. We also shared e a segment about bellinis from the Thoroughbred Club at Charleston Place, A Belmond Hotel. Matthew Macis from American Queen Steamboat Company joined us to discuss their cruises along the Mississippi River. He is now my sales rep, but he started as an entertainer on the boats so he talked about entertainment on board and played a tune for us! We finished up with some insider information about Perry Lane Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Savannah, Savannah’s only Virtuoso property, from one of the architects that designed this stunning hotel.

ACTUAL TRAVEL IN THE SOUTH

The boys returned to full-time school on March 22nd (hooray!), so we took the opportunity to head to the South Carolina coast for a long weekend prior to celebrate the occasion.   I would call it a success despite the cool temps.  I actually think cool temps in Charleston are a good thing so you can hit the pavement and absorb everything.  We enjoyed eating seafood, a visit to a roof top bar, eating pralines, watching dolphins, and more.  We stayed at Charleston Place, A Belmond Hotel which is in a fantastic location. The boys loved the heated rooftop pool.

I was able to meet with my colleagues from this hotel and recorded a Facebook Live about their Bellini Club, but the audio was horrible because I insisted we sit outside because of COVID.  I think it would have been better for me to sit inside and talk through my mask!  I am not going to include the video since you can’t hear it very well, but I will outline the Bellini Club benefits below.

bellinis

Complimentary upgrade upon arrival at time of check-in, based on availability

  • Buffet or full breakfast for 2, daily
  • Fully flexible hotel or resort credit up to $200 per stay
  • $500 Gift Voucher for future travel when purchasing an experience of $5,000

As you can see from this list, Belmond is more than a hotel.  They are about the entire travel experience.  This includes train journeys, barge sailings (basically a floating villa, yes please!), and more.  

While at Belmond, I recorded another segment (with better audio quality!) about Bellini’s that we was part of our Sips & Trips Taste of the South event.

After Charleston, we headed to Kiawah Island where we opted to stay at one of the villas arranged through the resort.  While I prefer staying at resorts to feel like we are really on vacation, I thought it would be a good idea to experience their villa product since it is one of the few places I can easily reserve vacation rentals for clients.  

It is a challenge for travel advisors since we can not speak to the quality of every vacation rental in the world, and we want to ensure that client’s always have an enhanced experience.  At Kiawah, that is a guarantee when reserving through the resort as everything the resort manages in top-notch.  The best part is that I have a direct line to Kiawah’s Director of Sales.  It is relationships like these that can really make a difference for my clients. 

kiawah

NATIONAL PARKS ADVENTURE

Early in March, we spent some time focusing on National Parks and Dude Ranches.

I recently spent some time with Rachel, the founder of Craftingood.  Craftingood is a subscription box service that focuses on helping parents raise compassionate humans in a busy world.  Their boxes use creativity to craft an abundance of FUN, meaning, connection, and compassion for yourself, your family, your community and the world.  As the Craftingood website states, we are all world changers.  I think it is clear based on this short description why I felt the need to work with Craftingood!

Since Explore More has been focusing on domestic travel this month, Rachel put together this clever National Parks Adventure for us to get a sense of visiting National Parks at home.  This is such a great activity for parents to embrace as we head into Spring Break and searching for ideas to keep the kids entertained!

DUDE RANCH WEBCHAT

For those not ready to travel internationally, Explore More is spending some time focusing on luxury experiential travel opportunities in the mainland USA.   Dude ranches give guests the opportunity to spend most of their days outdoors surrounded by nature, but in a glamorous way.  Yes, it is possible to have an authentic experience that is not rustic!

I chatted with one of the Destination Management Companies (DMCs) that I work with, Overseas Leisure Group.  Ironic that a company with Overseas in the title is talking to us about domestic travel, but trust me when I say they are exactly the right people to talk to about the Western United States.  They have beautiful itineraries to visit National Parks and can even help me arrange an RV itinerary for you.

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