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Travel tips from Condé Nast Traveler magazine's Wendy Perrin.
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September 03, 2008

Exquisite Safaris: Yea or Nay?

by Wendy Perrin

Yikes. I've fallen behind in answering your travel questions again! Instead of holding onto them till I get a chance to research them thoroughly (sometime in 2010), I'm gonna go ahead and post the latest batch here, in hopes that the savvy readers of this blog -- and there are a lot of you! -- will weigh in with your input and perhaps even answer them for me. Here's one from mk43photo:

"I recently found Exquisite Safaris, which will plan a custom trip with prices in the luxury category. How can I investigate/check on this travel planner? Do you have any information on this travel planner?"

I'm afraid I don't. Exquisite Safaris is not on my annual list of top travel specialists -- a list that includes seven safari planners --  but that doesn't mean it's not the right travel company for your needs.

Have any of you personally traveled with Exquisite Safaris?  If so, when was your trip, what did you like, and what did you dislike?

July 14, 2008

Question About Planning a Safari in Southern Africa

Specialistslogo_perrin by Wendy Perrin

This one comes from reader Mollykins: "We are interested in a first-class trip to South Africa, with a stay in one of the luxury camps. An extension to Namibia is being considered. Can you recommend a travel agent, or more than one, who might have the expertise we are looking for? I have tried to access your travel agent list on the Web site without success."

Yeah, the 2007 Top Travel Specialists List online is hard to find . . . and even harder to navigate. Definitely use the updated 2008 List that is about to come out in print in our August issue. Also peruse the feedback about the different travel specialists that is being shared by readers on my new Travel Specialist User Reviews page.

I'm going to recommend you contact two very different travel planners for southern Africa (at two very different price points) and see which one you hit it off with best in an initial conversation over the phone. After the jump, I've reprinted the descriptions of these two travel agents from my upcoming August article:

Continue reading "Question About Planning a Safari in Southern Africa" »

June 25, 2007

WHERE'S WENDY? Round 5

by Wendy Perrin

An ancient Roman city by the sea, a crumbling monument and a view from the top are the only clues to Wendy Perrin's whereabouts.
Today I explored this ancient Roman city by the sea.

Wendy_sitting_by_the_road

There I am, resting along the main Roman road.

Continue reading "WHERE'S WENDY? Round 5" »

October 04, 2006

A Business Traveler's Tip

By Wendy Perrin

On my morning train commute into Manhattan yesterday, the stranger sitting next to me managed--despite an obsessive preoccupation with his Blackberry in one hand, cell phone in the other, and Wall Street Journal in between--to notice that I was perusing an itinerary for Russia.  He asked if I was going there and said he'd been many times.  We got to talking about our favorite countries. Turned out he's a Wall Street corporate financier and seasoned international business traveler.

Twenty minutes later we were comparing the food precautions we take in different parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to avoid getting sick on the job. We discussed the basics--avoiding salads, eating well-cooked meats, peeling fruit ourselves, sticking to carbonated water when the flat bottled water looks suspect--and the foods we pack for when we need to skip meals that seem unsafe.  I always take dried fruits and nuts, energy bars, and/or bread and peanut butter. He, on the other hand, swears by baby food!

Continue reading "A Business Traveler's Tip" »

August 23, 2006

Renting a Luxury Villa

By Wendy Perrin

This question came in from Conde Nast Traveler subscriber Kathy Sakko:

"Thank you for your great Villa Rental Guide (June '06).  Our next travel destination was not included in your Rolodex, but I wonder if you might have some referrals or tips anyway.  We are going to Cape Town, South Africa, in January.  Is there a company that could find us the perfect luxury villa?"

When my team and I were evaluating villa rental agents in order to produce a list of the best, we found precious few who knew South Africa well.  Indeed, the villa-rental market in that country seems quite limited.  We did, however, uncover several wonderful agents who represent properties worldwide, including some in or near Cape Town.  In order from least expensive to most expensive, they are:

Maxine Harrison of Elysian Holidays
Ian Holmes of Private World Villas
Marina Gratsos of Carpe Diem Luxury Travel