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Tour Newsletter Dated December 5, 2016
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Dear Vacations To Go Customer,
In today's newsletter, I'm pleased to introduce you to two Tour
Directors from Insight Vacations
: Nancy Wanstall, who was born
and raised in British Columbia and now leads tours in western Canada and
parts of the U.S., and Peter Meahan, an Australian who lives in London
and leads trips in Europe.
Below, Nancy and Peter talk about the Insight experience and share some
of their favorite parts of the job.
If, while reading this, you're tempted to explore some of their
destinations with Insight, the company has these great offers for our customers:
Save with early payment discounts
on Europe vacations when you book and pay in full. Prices shown reflect
discounts of up to 10%
Receive a $400 per couple
($200 per person) air credit when you purchase a Europe vacation and
economy flights through Insight, or
receive a $600 per couple
($300 per person) air credit when you upgrade to business-class air.
This offer is combinable with the early payment discounts above.
Save with early payment discounts
on departures in North America, South America, Asia and the South
Pacific when you book and pay in full. Prices shown reflect discounts
of up to 10%
Below are my Q&As with Nancy and Peter.
Nancy Wanstall guides tours in the Canadian provinces of British
Columbia and Alberta, the Yukon territory, Alaska and Montana. When
she's not introducing Insight guests to the spectacular natural beauty
of these destinations, she lives in a "most amazing little cabin" in a
quiet coastal community on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.
Nancy, what type of person is best suited to an escorted vacation?
Ideally, it's an individual who wishes to see and experience an
insiders' view of a destination, culture and people. And it's a person
who wants the details and logistics to be taken care of by someone like
Can you tell us about a unique experience that you give your guests,
something that they might miss if traveling on their own?
I always make an effort to lead my guests outdoors down relatively
unknown trails that offer the views less seen. I like to show them the
delicious local berries and plants, and a refreshing sip of water
melting off a glacier. There are many hidden spots for wildlife viewing,
whether it's where the elk rest after a day of grazing or a favorite
nesting spot in a spruce tree where a pair of mated eagles raise their
young every year.
Insight often chooses unique lodgings. What are your favorites?
I absolutely adore the Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park, an
often overlooked national park in British Columbia.There are wonderful,
easy walking trails along the lakeshore, or you can sit back with a
glass of local wine and enjoy the tranquility. The lush evergreen forest
surrounding your cabin-style room gives off the most incredible natural
aromatherapy -- each breath you take is filled with the scent of fir and
spruce tree needles.
Insight is known for the Signature Experiences featured on its
itineraries. How would you describe these?
These are wonderful opportunities to connect with the local people of a
destination and share with them the culture, the culinary delights and a
What is one or two of your favorite Signature Experiences?
Growing up on British Columbia's west coast, I had an incredible
opportunity to learn about our First Nations people. On my tour, our
guests visit the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre in Whistler, where
they discover the legends, art, music and dance of the coastal people.
What sort of special evening entertainment do you arrange?
A few things I like to do include stargazing along the shores of Lake
Louise, toasting s'mores over a campfire at Emerald Lake and strolling
the inner harbor of the provincial capital of Victoria after dinner to
photograph the historic Fairmont Empress hotel and the illuminated
How do you help solo travelers feel welcome on an Insight tour?
By creating an environment of inclusivity. One of the benefits of group
travel is that it allows you to make new friends. I like to introduce
like-minded guests to each other and arrange seatings at dinner that
allow for vibrant discussion.
I always incorporate seat rotations on our motor coaches. I believe that
people's passion for their own creative endeavors is a brilliant way to
come together -- for example, by sharing their photos.
What's a unique souvenir that people on your tours should keep an eye
I encourage my guests to look for a souvenir made in Canada, in
particular something that represents our First Nations people -- perhaps
a soapstone carving by a local native artist or a dreamcatcher.
What is the biggest challenge in leading a tour group?
Time management! So many things to see and do and not enough time.
Peter Meahan leads panoramic, multicountry tours in Western Europe, as
well as vacations in Spain, Portugal, Morocco and destinations in
Eastern Europe. He never leaves home without his "sunglasses, reading
glasses and a change of underclothes in my hand luggage."
Peter, how long have you worked with Insight Vacations?
What is the average number of travelers on your trips?
Our average group size is 30.
How do you help your guests feel comfortable while traveling abroad?
It is important to personally meet them and explain that their safety,
health and enjoyment of the tour is my No. 1 priority. The guests are
provided with my 24-hour contact details, and I explain that I shall be
looking after them for the duration of the tour.
What is it like to travel on board an Insight motor coach?
Unrivalled safety and comfort. Our modern fleet of coaches have the most
up-to-date safety features combined with extra legroom and smaller group
sizes, so guests really do travel in total comfort.
What's one of your favorite things to introduce travelers to,
something they might overlook otherwise?
, a small Italian sandwich, fresh and packed full of
wonderful fillings. I love introducing guests to this Italian snack and
also showing them one of the oldest places in Venice to buy them.
What's a favorite hotel that's used on Insight tours?
The Bauer Palladio in Venice, a 16th-century convent that is now a
family-owned boutique hotel. With views over the Venetian Lagoon and
toward St. Mark's Square, it is truly remarkable.
What special evenings do you plan for guests?
In Vienna I arrange a gala dinner followed by a Mozart and Strauss
concert recital in an 18th-century palace. In Tuscany a good friend and
chef not only personally welcomes us to his restaurant but also prepares
one of the courses in front of the guests, using seasonal ingredients
while explaining the cooking method.
What's your favorite photo op?
At the Chaillot Palais in Paris, you can get one of the best views and
photos of the Eiffel Tower.
What is the biggest challenge in leading a tour group?
Managing the guests' expectations of a city, sight or experience. The
reality can, at times, be different from the expectation. I am happy to
say that 95% of the time, the guest finds the reality is far better.
What is your favorite part of the job?
The reaction from a guest when they fulfill that lifelong dream:
ascending the Eiffel Tower, seeing St. Peter's Basilica, cruising along
the Grand Canal, walking atop the walls of Dubrovnik -- the list goes on.
Here are this week's Top 10 Insight Tours
. All prices are per
person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.
9 days. Begins and ends in Dublin. Save up to 10%.
$2,003. Departures from April 15 through September 30, 2017.
Highlights of Spain
10 days. Begins in Barcelona and ends in Madrid. Save up to 10%.
Starting at $2,048. Departures from April 21 through October 27, 2017.
9 days. Begins in Milan and ends in Rome. Save up to 10%.
Starting at $2,138. Departures from April 1 through October 28, 2017.
Country Roads of Scotland
10 days. Begins in Edinburgh and ends in Glasgow. Save up to 10%.
Starting at $2,205. Departures from April 28 through October 6, 2017.
Best of Italy
12 days. Begins and ends in Rome. Save up to 10%.
$2,858. Departures from March 31 through October 27, 2017.
Best of Spain & Portugal
16 days. Begins in Madrid and ends in Barcelona. Save up to 10%.
Starting at $2,966. Departures from March 31 through October 26, 2017.
Country Roads of Bavaria, Switzerland & Austria
13 days. Begins in Munich and ends in Zurich. Save up to 10%.
Starting at $3,056. Departures from April 14 through October 6, 2017.
Best of Ireland & Scotland
15 days. Begins in Dublin and ends in Edinburgh. Save up to 10%.
Starting at $3,128. Departures from April 12 through September 27, 2017.
Treasures of Italy
12 days. Begins in Rome and ends in Venice. Save up to 10%.
Starting at $3,195. Departures from May 5 through October 22, 2017.
Natural Wonders of Iceland
10 days. Begins and ends in Reykjavik. Save up to 10%.
at $3,735. Departs July 15, August 19 and September 9, 2017.
Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-680-2858.
For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click
For savings of up to 82% on ocean cruises, click
For river cruises up to 50% off, click
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality,
Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at
and I will respond the same day.
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Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go