A day in the life of a travel professional

Beep beep beep beep… My cell phone buzzes and I roll over to turn it off not realizing it is only 5 short hours since I returned home from my 15.5 hour flight home from China last night. By the time I collected bags from the group, realized 2 of our bags were delayed in New York City Customs and had to have them delivered to our clients the following day, called the pre-arranged coach to pick us up at the airport, and bring us home… my family was already asleep by the time I walked into the door at 3:00am.2015-03-09 18.04.39

I guess I shouldn’t be too upset, my new time zone (a slight difference from my internal clock of 4pm Shanghai time that my body had become accustom to) was a typical sleeping hour.

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As I roll over and out of the bed to grab my first cup of coffee to begin to wake up, I check my e-mail slightly bleary eyed. OMG, seriously… 3,476 new e-mails? How could this be possible? Someone was watching my e-mail while I was gone for any client requests, issues, or other communication… (Normal trips I am able to get into my e-mail a bit more, but China still has so many restrictions on e-mail, social media, and other websites it was difficult to see everything-still, I cannot believe there was this many).  My daughter cries out and my husband wakes up, its time to make the doughnuts… wait that is a different life.

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I am going delirious on only one cup o’ joe. As hubby brews me another (gotta love those single cup brewers) I play with my daughter and begin to get ready, I will get back to the bazillion e-mails in a bit.

After my morning routine I make my way into the office (late, I always show up a little later the day after a group trip returns). There, piles on my desk, files, marketing campaigns, and a computer full of e-mails… await my return like greedy time warps, but first it’s time for the group trip wrap up chat. Every time one of us comes home from a trip we have a whole tear down of the trip to talk about the good, bad, and the ugly to see how we could do it better, the things we learned, and the adventures we accomplished. At the top of the list for me was: EVERYONE MUST visit China! And I am not one of those people who believes that everyone fits into this small little box that is neat and tidy and everyone should go visit the same place for the same reason. But seriously, China blew my expectations out of the water. Seeing the pits of the terracotta warriors literally made me tear up- yes I cried at statues. Judge me if you want to! I touched, walked, and even climbed the Great Wall of China 🙂

I saw the Panda, Chinas natural wonder, ate Peking duck- and liked it… wait, LOVED it!  And took a Yantzee River Cruise through the beautiful three gorges- seriously awe inspiring. One of my favorite places I went to along that cruise was a unique hike called bamboo forest- it was a 5 hour nature hike that was breathtaking. Airports in China were an “Experience” to get through to say the least. One of our clients had an issue with customs, her last name is Clay and because there is not an L in Chinese names the tour operator (not the agents- not Roseborough) wrote Cay for her last name. Well Chinese, customs did not like that her passport did not match her last name. Of course- this is a huge reason why we always double check names and the legal form of ID. So that was a huge ordeal. Did she make it? Of course she did… It took our tour guide speaking to the customs officials, me speaking with the

But all in all the trip was a life changing trip for everyone. Everyone left the trip planning their next adventure- we are thinking a trip to Italy, a trip to Iceland, or a River Cruise through Vietnam and Cambodia.

After giving the run down and conversing a bit about the whole trip and what I missed in the office while I was away I sit down at my desk and settle into my daily activities.

Ring Ring Ring “Thanks for Calling Roseborough Travel what adventure can I help you plan today?” Cruises to the Bahamas, Mediterranean Cruises, Tours to Iceland, River Cruise for Tulip Time, ChristmasMarkets River Cruise, a Tourist Visa to India, and a group to an all-inclusive resort.

The day flies by and the phone rings on, it is a glorious sound; you know why it is a glorious sound? It means we have happy people who like to plan adventures with us. People who are a part of our family of explorers. Explorers who want everything from a hotel for one night for a business trip to a car rental to a world cruise. Nothing is too big or too small of a job for us to take on. The buzz of the office is contagious. I hear Cathy adding on a player from the local Soccer team to the flight manifest that was submitted weeks ago as a “final copy” because a player was injured a week before the big game. Cathy is working her magic as she always does. The travel gods are happy with us today- on days that they are shining down on us we know they are women J  ok, maybe they are really handsome men… who are we to judge? I think Cathy’s travel god is a Gaelic one named Liam, and Tiffany’s is one of sand and sea.

And Tiffany is working with one of her corporate clients right now who is traveling home from Brazil. She gets e-mails in the middle of the night with flight changes when his business changes plans and she has to re-arrange his whole schedule, flights, airlines, car rentals, and everything before he lands in his next city. She knows the hotels, car types and companies, and preferred traveler numbers he likes and you would think he was her best friend or a family member, but in all honestly, they have never even met face to face. He is just one of the Roseborough Explorer Family and she has been his Corporate travel agent for years. She WOWed him with her back bending customer service when she fixed an unfixable mistake he made by booking his own ticket through Orbitz and he has never gone back to dealing with his own bookings since.

 

 

 

Dublin Delight

Dublin Delight

by Bretta Pool

A long weekend in Dublin was my perfect getaway when I lived back home in the UK.

With great fares with Ryannair and Aer Lingus it was so easy to pop across the Irish Sea

to this fun, lively and musical city.

Staying in the vibrant Temple Bar area you fully experience the hip, traditional pubs and

music scene, before long you find yourself singing and dancing along with your new found friends.

 

Listening to the locals storytelling and you’ll be engrossed while sipping your pint of Guiness!

 

There are also some amazing day trips you can take from Dublin, but one I would definitely

recommend is to visit the awe-inspiring World Heritage site of up to 40ft stone columns of

the Giant Causeway set on the magnificent seascape of Northern Ireland, and on route dare to cross the Carric-a-Rede rope bridge and look down 30ft into the chasm below.

If you listen to the legendary story that the Causeway was formed by an Irish Giant named Finn McCool who ripped the earth from the ground after being outwitted by Benandonner, a rival giant, you truly believe it!

50 Shades of GREEN

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50 Shades of Green

by Cathy Blanchette

 

So many Irish left Ireland due to the famines, lack of work, and over 300 years of tiriany.  The British took away their livelihood, their lands, their religion and their language.  BUT the relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic are improving.  

 

 I’m Irish on my mothers side – I’ve visited Ireland twice and will go again and again. I’ve been to Dublin and what a city – from the pubs to St Patrick’s Cathedral.  Dublin is so rich in history – you could spend a month there.  I headed towards the west coast of Ireland.  I was amazed at the colors.  It’s fifty shades of GREEN !!!  You’ve got to see it to believe it.  You are really expecting to see John Wayne dragging Maureen O’Hara across the fields (The Quiet Man is one of my most favorite movies ever).  The Cliffs of Moher were stunning in their raw beauty – Just breathtaking.  We saw castles and churches galore.  We toured the beautiful formal flower gardens of Kylemore Abbey and visited the rustic sheep farm called Rathburn Farms – they showed us how the dogs herd the sheep, the farmer even sheared one while we were there.  My mother also got to feed one of the lambs.  

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The farm has a thatched roof and served us the tastiest scones I ever had.  I also totally found a “boy friend” for my golden retriever Bitsy – the neighbors have a “cream” golden retriever named Thor (yes there are diffences between the retrievers) who likes to come over to the farm and meet with the tourists – he strolls right into the cottage and wants a snack (just like mine does).  When I found out my friend Kathy (who went to Ireland after me) was going to be touring the farm – I told her to look for Thor!!!
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I went to Blarney Castle for the second time and did go to the top, however I did not kiss the Blarney Stone (I’ve been told I already have the gift of gab).  I toured Waterford and saw how the crystal is worked.  I also got to do a cruise on the River Shannon (again those fifty shades of green) and had a lovely lunch and TEA.  We  stayed in the towns of Killarney and also Kilkenny and I cannot remember which one of them won Irelands “Tidiest Town Award” both were such cute towns.  I found the people of Ireland friendly always ready for a chat – it is truly the land of a 1000 Welcomes.  I just fell in love with this wonderful country – I felt like I was home – so why not go home?  
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May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Accessible Ireland

Accessible Ireland

By Kathy Pauszek

 

Every year my bestie, Barb, and I take a girls trip together. The trip usually consists of a Caribbean cruise, casino, Roseborough bus trips, or some sort of road trip we can fit into our vacation dates. For years while our families were young, (boy were they young!) we would hop in a minivan and travel everywhere together. (This is one of my favorite pictures of my youngest, Jess and Barb’s son Ryan – they did everything together)

 

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Since then, our kids have grown up, gone off to college, since graduated and moved onto their own lives. Our “adult families” still travel together as a group, but it’s usually a trip every other year or so. That simply wasn’t often enough for Barb & I, so we started to plan a girls trip to catch up on our lives lived 1200 miles apart.

 

 

 

 

This past October was one of those trips. Ireland’s was not on either of our “Live it List” but I am telling you It should be. We joined Trafalgar tours for a 7 day tour of the Southern Region of Ireland. I really didn’t know what to expect from the trip. What I found was pure delight.

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This trip to Ireland was Barbs first hop across “the pond” and came with a little apprehension. It was only my second European adventure so that “little apprehension” may have been a slight understatement… We may or may not have called Cathy ,Tiffany and Bretta at Roseborough a minimum of 20 times. (I think some of us have control issues….. She will say I do… I will say she does….. Lol that is why we get along!)

It might be good if I digress a bit. While I travel as MUCH as possible my traveling requires some extra planning. I have had major walking difficulties since my 20’s and when traveling am in need of special arrangement for wheelchair accessibility. In Europe this can be a big issue.

 

For those who know me, know I have NEVER let it stop me!!! Never ever ever ever. I may have to go “differently but I will go. I may not see it the same way but I will see it! So yes, extensive planning always goes into every trip that I go on.

 

Expert Care & Concern: That is what is so wonderful, having the expertise of a travel agent that can arrange all those intricate details. It certainly helps relieve all the stress. The team at Roseborough found out in advance wheelchair access, arranged wheelchair service on my flights, and coordinated special needs services with the tour company for me.

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Back to Ireland … We decided to go 2 days early fly into Dublin so we could relax and not be overwhelmed. In our planning, we asked what there was to do in or around Dublin. Barb and I saw this day trip from Dublin via railroad to Northern Ireland that looked awesome! Belfast, Giant Causeways a UNESCO listed site, and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge . Bretta was able to give me peace of mind that I could do this whole trip. She assured me Barb could do all the active parts and I would have a safe place to see scenic views while Barb takes on the more aggressive ones. Bretta’s knowledge of the area was exceptional.

 

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OH the VIEWS….

were the most stunning thing you could ever see. From the carrick-a-rede you can see famous Mull of Kintyre island which was very special to me since I am a McIntyre from birth. Very cool if your interested in lineage or the BEATLES … Paul McCartney wrote a song called Mull of Kintyre about the area he so loved.

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And that was all in the first 2 pre-nights…It’s hard to believe the trip before the trip was so awesome- what would the vacation itself be??

 

Trafalgar definitely did not disappoint! Killarney National Park was certainly a highlight. We spent two days there- two days are not enough – a week probably wouldn’t be from the winding road to the breathtaking cliffs, Killarney is stunning from turn to turn.

 

Barb was able to take a walk through the park and she raved about the experience! Unfortunately, due to rain we missed out on the famous jaunty car ride. L

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While in Galway we stayed right on Galway Bay for two days. Each night the pub life was so much fun. You know, people don’t watch TV!! You visit, talk, and really enjoy each others company at the local pub! This was very much the nightly ritual. It’s funny, one day while “living like a local” and hanging out in a Pub we noticed there was a single TV on…we all had to laugh. The television was not playing sports. It wasn’t showing the News. It wasn’t even showing a talk show. Rather, it was playing Thomas the Tank …. Yes, CARTOONS were on… Really! No one was watching it. People were actually talking to each other! Everyone of us AMERICANS really noticed that. We realized and noticed how much everyone really enjoyed talking, conversing, and relating to each other over being glued to the TV.

 

When taking a Trafalgar tour there are a few things that come “standard” as a part of their program criteria. One of these standards you can come to expect is an opportunity to enjoy a cultural immersion of sorts. While on your trip they try to give you a more authentic experience than the normal “touristy” version.

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Rathbaum farms is one such experience.

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I didn’t really know what to expect from it. It’s a Farm… I’m not a farm kinda girl…. Need I say more… What I found there was pure charm. The farm was a delightful thatch cottage and a working sheep herding farm. They showed us a simple demonstration on how a single dog will bring in all the sheep.

 

We were taught about different types of sheep and wool. Then were served a lovely tea and scones with clotted cream- which were to die for! Honestly, I didn’t even know what clotted cream was and didn’t even want to TRY something with the name “clotted” in it. Basically it’s the best whipped butted you will ever have!!!!! Along with that we enjoyed some song and Irish humor. I will tell you the Irish people are very friendly. So very accommodating, you really feel you are a special guest.

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It’s funny, the only thing on my “list” was the Cliffs of Moher. I certainly don’t want to diminish their stunning beauty and their majesty. But somehow I came home from my jaunt to Ireland thinking “Why oh why aren’t these other thing just as well known?”.

 

Since this trip was with Barb and we both felt like we only TOUCHED on Ireland’s splendor. Ireland didn’t get crossed off my live it list. Basically, Ireland just got added on to “the list” to do it all over again (& MORE).

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National Parks

National Parks

By Amanda Vallone

There are so many places in this great world to see it is a wonder we get the opportunity to explore our own back yard. But if given the opportunity, I believe everyone really should! One of my absolute favorite experiences when traveling through the US is to visit a National Park. Now, when you see me and meet me you may not actually think so first off. Sure, I am a little “granola” with my organic approach to food and love for farm to table… but believe me I am no hippie, I am a high heel strutting, make up wearing (daily), skirts and dresses kind of chick. So how does this relate to National Parks? Well it relates because National Parks really can be for almost anyone. The allure and awe of them may surprise you!

I will tell you, my favorite national park is Yellowstone National Park. I visited this park in May 2007 after a trip to Alaska with my family. My parents chose the trip, as it was their anniversary and they wanted to go to the god forsaken snow,  Alaska– (so I thought, prior to going… you will find out, years later I named my own child Aurora because of the Northern Lights in Alaska from another visit, hence I fell in love with that “god forsaken snow”… and I will admit I was wrong in every way. Alaska is AWESOME! Yadda yadda).

My parents used Cathy at Roseborough Travel to help them plan the most budget friendly tour that included the most bang for their buck. Looking back, we probably would have done a few things differently… like listening to Cathy on the tour company, but all in all we had a spectacular time. In the end the destination is really what sells itself. We stayed outside of Yellowstone’s gates for 2 days. There are not many good hotel options at Yellowstone. This is where a very good tour company & a good travel agent point you in the right direction (hence my comment about listening to Cathy).

Anyway, Yellowstone on average runs about 35 degrees Fahrenheit on a daily basis. You read that right, 35 degrees- bring your winter gear! It was flipping COLD!  But this weather made for a really spectacular experience. Day one was snowing. We saw the landscape and miles and miles of scenery with fresh white snow covering the land. We cuddled up to a fireplace at night with a cup of hot cocoa, and we enjoyed some really great family time. It honestly was heartwarming family time!

 

Day two was sunny out and there was not a single stitch of snow. We saw old faithful in all her glory!

Yellowstone Old Faithful Geyser

(Photo Source)

We also saw tons of the geyser basins in which you smell before you see. You will not mistake the smell of a geyser basin- it is distinctly “rotten” it smells as if there were dozens of eggs boiled and left to rot in a pool. I literally had to take my scarf and cover my nose, but it did me little good.Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

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The smell may be putrid, but the colors are spectacular- truthfully breathtaking to see the blues, oranges, and browns all meld together. The geyser Basins are just one of the Scenery things that make Yellowstone so amazing.

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But if you want Scenery, you should go to Yosemite… I LOVE LOVE LOVE Yellowstone over any other National Park thus far because of the WILDLIFE. And here I come back to my description of “I am a high heel wearing kinda chick” seriously, who cares? I bring this up because National Parks are for US ALL! High Heels, Granola, Flip Flops, Hiking Boots, do your thing- visit the park! My heart is fluttering and my eyes are watering just writing this. I literally saw hundreds, yes hundreds of bison while we were visiting Yellowstone. We pulled the bus over and watched them ram each other in the heads fighting. They were spread as far as the eye could see. We were on their land and they knew it. They were not afraid of us because we were not there to hurt them. They could cross the road and not be hurt, beeped at, or touched. They were amazing, spectacular, wild, and beastly, yet beautiful. They were perfect.

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We saw a cinnamon black bear who was only a few months old and who came down close to the road. We saw elk, deer, and many types of birds. The wildlife was simply amazing!

 

One park. One trip. One moment- Yellowstone! If I had to recreate it I might not be able to… but I sure hope to try! I highly recommend everyone take their chance to visit Yellowstone National Park!

This evening we had two great tour operators Collette Vacations & Mayflower Tours do a Let’s Talk Travel event with us. We spoke about National Parks of the US. There are tons of great offers and options available with both companies and anyone at Roseborough Travel will be happy to help plan the National Parks trip of your dreams with one of these companies.

2016 marks the Centennial Anniversary if the National Parks System and all of the tour companies are doing a wonderful job in trying to give back to our parks. Both Collette & Mayflower donate a portion of their proceeds back to the National Parks to help maintain the system for years to come so people like you and I can have this same experience I did with my family years to come with our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

 

Did you know: The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.

Due to the fact that my mother was always “behind the camera” I am including a family photo of us in Jackson Hole along the same trip- also AMAZING! Simply because I wanted a photo with my mommy in it since she is in fact the reason I have the travel bug in me today. Thank you momma bear! From Left to Right (My Hubbster- George Vallone, My Sister- Jessica Pauszek, Me -Amanda Vallone, My Father- John Pauszek, and My Mother- Kathy Pauszek) Not Pictured here are Ryan and Barb Adamczak.

 

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