Travel Thoughts

Brian Jewell

The Past Ten Years of Travel

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on December 02, 2016


What a difference a decade makes. I recently celebrated my 35th birthday, and the nostalgia of the occasion got me to thinking about what my life was like a decade ago. The differences are striking. I did a ton of traveling in 2006, including numerous research trips to destinations around the United States. The highlights,…



Last month, I sat in on a presentation by a receptive tour operator who was giving travel industry representatives some advice about how they can succeed in working with tour operators. I was surprised to hear how often she emphasized the importance of returning client phone calls and emails, a best practice that some tourism…



We asked the staff at The Group Travel Leader: “What is a pleasant surprise you have encountered abroad?” Learn about some of their favorite moments below! “The most pleasant surprise I ever had in a foreign country was seeing my son in the airport in Queenstown, New Zealand. Sam was studying in Wollongong, New South Wales,…



The idea of cramming into a 500,000-pound plane with a hundred other people and flying across the country terrifies a significant percentage of people. Group travel leaders often encounter members who want to participate in the organization’s tours but feel real anxiety about flying or just travel in general. To help these anxiety-ridden members who…


Brian Jewell

Boomers: Recycled Teenagers

Posted by Brian Jewell in Travel Thoughts on October 19, 2016


“We’re not senior citizens — we’re recycled teenagers.” An experienced group travel planner shared this gem with me at an event where I spoke this spring, and I found it so interesting that I decided I had to share it with you. Much ink has been spilled profiling the psychological, behavioral and economic makeup of…


Eliza Myers

Quirky Group Tours

Posted by Eliza Myers in Travel Thoughts on October 19, 2016


Looking for something out of the ordinary to catch your group’s attention? How about adding crop circles, Bollywood or a tornado chase to the itinerary? Though these quirky group tours don’t seek to appeal to the masses, they illustrate perfectly how group travel is only limited by the imagination. 1.) Crop Circle Tours Instead of taking…



We asked the staff at The Group Travel Leader: “What was your all-time favorite beach vacation?” Find out their best ideas below! “I’d have to say a trip we did to Kaanapali Beach on Maui when our boys were maybe 14 and 11 was my favorite beach vacation. While the actual beach there is not the…


Eliza Myers

Staff Sound-Off: Packing Tips

Posted by Eliza Myers in Travel Thoughts on September 08, 2016


We asked the staff at The Group Travel Leader: “What is your best space-saving tip when packing a suitcase?” Find out their best ideas below! “I’m not sure if this is a space-saving tip, but I generally have shirts, slacks and maybe a sport coat that have been dry cleaned. I have to fit them…


Mac Lacy

Herding Cats

Posted by Mac Lacy in Travel Thoughts on August 16, 2016


What makes a good tour director?  Who are these people who enjoy the challenge of “herding cats” for a week in a foreign country?  While some of us can barely manage the human dynamics of traveling with our spouse, how can others be up for the challenge of handling two dozen strangers who meet each…



When you find yourself sweating just sitting outside, the idea of sneaking off to a cooler climate can seem very appealing. Though plenty of vacationers plan ahead for warm winter retreats, not everyone considers the benefits of avoiding the extreme July and August heat wave. If jacket weather sounds appealing while you overheat even in…