Do You Like to Travel?

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination Specialist & River Cruise Expert

My guess is that you do like to travel or you would not be reading this blog.  Travel opens the world to those who take advantage of the opportunity to learn about new places or cultures or visit a familiar place.  You know the benefits of travel.  But how do you turn those dreams into reality?  Our solution—let us plan it for you!

The 5 Stages of Travel

Google has determined there are 5 Stages of Travel.  They are 1) Dreaming; 2) Planning; 3) Booking; 4) Experiencing; and 5) Sharing.  We can help with all 5 stages of travel.

Stage 1—the Dream.  Our name says it all—Dream Destinations.  Close your eyes—where do you want to go, what is the must see place or experience—we can get you there.  Every time you see a cool cruise ship or an ad for a river cruise or the iconic sights of in a Europe picture, you can’t help but dream a little.  Our thoughts are very powerful—we all have amazing minds that are in constant motion.  In fact one survey says that 49% of all leisure travelers reported they started researching online after an ad or picture.

Doesn’t this picture make you start dreaming?  Colorful Mykonos, Greece

While that may be a good idea to do it on your own, we have a better idea—contact us on our web site at or by phone 713-397-0188 (Hank) to ask for help.  There are 2 ways we can help you get through the clutter.  First, on our website we have a great tool banner called Send Us Your Travel Request (located towards the bottom left of our home page) and just answer a few questions about what you want to do for your vacation.  The best part of this is, you do not have to be traveling in the next month or 2 months or maybe you only have ideas now.  We will put your ideas in a Future Travel Plans Data Base and when good opportunities that match your dream trip come from travel vendors, we will let you know.  Saves a lot of time and hassle.  The second way we can help is to use our web site to research your travel.  There are 37 PDF PowerPoints about ocean cruises, 8 PDF PowerPoints about river cruises and 51 PDF PowerPoints about traveling to Europe.  That’s right—96 in-depth slideshows to help you learn about great travel.

Stage 2–Planning

Why visit 20 or more travel sites to plan your vacation?



According to Google, 85% of travelers search the worldwide web for travel information when planning a trip and 62% visit 20 or more different sites prior to making a booking.

Trip planning does require a lot of work to get it right, and it is a hassle.  Wouldn’t it be better to let us solve the trip research for you?  Here are 7 Benefits to you if you let us plan your trip:

Your first problem– Will I get the best value for my money?

Everyone wants to spend their money wisely.  But how can you really know the vacation you want will give you the trip you desire?  Our solution–We match the right vendor(s) to provide a trip that will exceed your expectations. 

Your second problem– Will I get the right trip?

You want the best vacation possible.  With so many choices, how do you know it will be the right trip for you?  Our solution–We learn about your dreams and turn them into a reality.  Experience planning travel is critical to getting you the right trip.

Your third problem– Will I make wise choices?

You want a better vacation and may fear of missing out on great experiences by making the wrong choice.  Our solution—We have 21 years of experience in the travel industry, and, coupled with our first-hand knowledge and numerous professional certifications, we can provide you with the best options available

Here is a good example–Thinking about a river cruise?  Why not use an advisor who has been on 13 river cruises and written a comparison of the 8 major lines that market to US consumers?  Not many advisors have the experience to help you make the correct choice for your vacation.

Do you know the difference between AmaWaterways & Scenic–we do and can help you make the choice that is right for you!

Your fourth problem– Will I remember all the details?

The last thing you want is to get part of the trip right and then overlook part of the trip planning.  Our solution– We check all the details so you do not have any missteps or forgotten arrangements. There are a lot details that could go wrong, such as forgetting transfers, selecting connections that are too tight to make, or selecting the wrong train stations in a town.

Do you know how to get the right train in Europe and get off at the right stop? We can help  you get it right!

Your fifth problem– Will I spend too much time researching my trip?

I am sure you would like to save time and eliminate hassles in the trip planning process.  Our solution– Once we know what you want, we do research to get you the highest quality, expertly planned trip.  The key here is a lot of questions—what do you like, what do you not like, where have been your best previous vacations, what is your goal for this vacation—the more we know, the better the plan and result for you.

Your sixth problem– How can I best protect my vacation?

No one expects problems on their vacations.  It does happen occasionally.  We know you want peace of mind.  Our solution–We can help lead you to the right people to answer your questions about insurance options.

Your seventh problem– How do I know I can trust my travel advisor to do the best for me?

Trust is not given; it is earned.  Once you contact us, we are thinking of your best interests.  Our solution–We are members of two professional organizations (Cruise Lines International Association & the Travel Institute) and we have earned the trust of hundreds of clients.  We encourage you to read their comments about our service


Stage 3–Booking

You may notice there is no booking engine on our web site.  There is a really good reason why—we need to make the booking for you.  A booking engine does not know what you want—that’s where we come in—we book exactly what you want combined with our vast experience to insure you get the best possible vacation within your budget and time constraints.  We look for the right room, the right cabin, the right ship, the right tour based on really knowing you.  We also insure you get the correct confirmations.  Besides just booking, we make sure the little details like transfers, experiences and help learn how to protect your trip if something unforeseen happens.  A booking engine may be quick but we are through and respond quickly.  We are here to serve you!

Stage 4—the Experience.  Since we have been on many of the trips you are considering, this is the part that makes us shine.  Like some proof—we have over 4,500 pictures on our Pinterest site ( and 99% are taken by us, not pinned from some stock photo.  We took our pictures at the places you want to go. We know the tips to make the trip go more smoothly—on our website alone we have 7 links to resources ranging from weather to passports to help you quickly get the answers to your questions.  We have 5 PDF PowerPoints on travel tips.  We have packing lists for you.  We provide complete itineraries so you only have to enjoy—all is planned for you.  While seldom is there a problem, if something goes wrong, we are here to fix as best we can.  If we do not know the answer to a question, we will find out the right answer form our widespread contact with the vendors who provide the services for your trip.  Having the right persons on your side makes all the difference in the world!

Stage 5—Sharing your Experiences.  53% of leisure travelers like to share their pictures of their travels and 49% of leisure travelers like reading others reviews, and opinions.  As soon as we can, we will contact you to learn all about your trip, both what you liked and did not like.  We keep good records to help make sure your next trip will be better.  But best of all, if you send us a picture, we will induct you into our Traveler Hall of Fame.

Two of our Traveler Hall of Fame Inductees

The Bottom Line

You can plan your own trip and take your chances or we can help you have a better trip.  Our Goal—Customer Bliss—Unforgettable experiences—We are not selling travel, we are helping you make memories to last a lifetime.

Why not call Hank now at 713-397-0188 or email him at and let’s get started getting you to your personal Dream Destinations!  We will help you: Savor life . . . make memories . . . visit Dream Destinations!  Your journey begins here!



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