Back to blogging!

thumbnail_sh-6546-edit-2Hi Everyone,

Wow, it’s been a while since I last blogged on here. A lot has happened in the last 3 and a half years since my last post.  First, I got married to the love of my life, Phillip (our 2 year anniversary is coming up so I will definitely be adding a post on here to update my readers). Besides that, a lot has happened career wise (please see my previous post for a quick summary).

I’ve been toying with the idea of resuming my blog for a long time now but because of my insane work schedule the last 2 years as an agency owner and a Business Development Manager, I just didn’t have the time.

This year however, my schedule has gotten much better so I am planning on blogging (and vlogging) more. The plan is to add a few blog posts each week about my travels, my clients’ trip, hotel reviews, and more. I will also be adding more vlogs on my Youtube channel so please stay tuned 🙂

xoxo

Sam

My 5 Year Anniversary As A Travel Agent

mac

On February 1st, I celebrated my 5 year anniversary as a Travel Agent. I’ve done and learned so much in my short time in the travel industry. I’ve traveled the world, booked trips for hundreds of clients, spoke at events, opened my own host agency, taught and mentored other travel agents one on one and through my online course and even became a Business Development Manager for an amazing brand (Temptation Cancun Resort and Desire Resorts based in Mexico).

speech

So how did this all started? Well, 10 years ago I opened a brick and mortar boutique on Long Island called “Samantha’s Consignment Boutique”. I had 2 employees and a pretty successful business selling antiques and high end designer items. Even though my business was doing well..I hated it. Retail is tough..very tough and what made it even more difficult for me was the fact that I didn’t love what I was doing. I had no passion for it. Everyday I would drag myself to work and deal with all the craziness of owning a boutique (employees and customers stealing, rude customers and boredom among other things).

Samsconsignment

In that same year I decided that I needed a vacation but had no one to go with so I googled “women traveling together” and found meetup. I found a group that was leaving for Barcelona in 3 months so I contacted the organizer and begged her to let me on the sold out trip. Barcelona wasn’t even a place that I wanted to go. I just knew that I had to go somewhere. The organizer allowed me to attend and even though the trip had a lot of issues, I still had an amazing time. When I returned back home, I said “I could do these trips also”. So for the next 5 years prior to me becoming a travel agent, I started taking women all over the world through my group trips.

Turks

At the end of 2014 I started a wonderful new relationship with my now husband, Phill. I was so happy with my personal life but still hated my work life. I decided enough was enough and on December 31, 2014 I close down my boutique. I loved traveling and loved doing group trips so I decided that was what I wanted to do full time. For the next month I researched host agencies and on Feb 1st, 2015 I signed up with an online agency. I stayed with them for a few months but decided that I wanted to be on my own instead which is why I created Jus Adventures Travel Services. 2 years after creating Jus Adventures, I turned it into a host agency so that I could help others follow their dreams also by becoming travel agents.

justraining

 

Since then, Jus Adventures has grown to over 80 plus agents and I am still a working travel agent. I no longer organize my own women group trips but I still continue to travel all over the world. I honestly love my job and I am deeply passionate about what I do. I have accomplished so much in such a short time and I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years hold for me and my career as a travel agent.

positano

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my clients who have used my services. Your support means the world to me. Earning your repeat business and you referring me to others are what has helped my business become so successful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To those of you who haven’t worked with me yet: you can contact me at any time and I’ll help you plan your own trip of a lifetime. My specialties are Groups and Destination Weddings however I can book cruises, hotels, airfare, rental cars, escorted tours, packages, day trips, and much more.

Thank you all for visiting and I will see you in the next post :

The 49th Annual Seafood Festival

 

fullsizerender-172 weeks ago, I took a group to the Maryland Seafood Festival for the second year in a row. Just like last year, we had a really great time. Unlike last year, I decided that instead of going to the festival both days (Saturday and Sunday), we would take a tour of Washington DC on Saturday and only go to the festival on Sunday. Here are a few pictures from that weekend.

14292457_984231865020025_3945171938972599374_n14291681_984231911686687_7037905138621574989_n14344895_984231898353355_3930518533593290428_n-114359196_984231871686691_5524067534274385647_n14370001_984231915020020_1638352780804589120_ngetting-around-washington-dc

 

Such a great time! I can’t wait to go again next year 🙂

Hotel Elysee

FullSizeRender (8)Last weekend my boyfriend Phill and I had the pleasure of staying at the fabulous Hotel Elysee in NYC (www.elyseehotel.com) for his birthday. As much as I would like to take the credit for finding our new favorite NYC hotel, Phill was the one who found it and reserved our stay. Even before we arrived, we knew that the service was going to be top notch but the hotel staff far exceeded our expectations.

FullSizeRender (5)

When we arrived, we were greeted by Wilton at the front desk (who Phill had spoken to previously about our upcoming stay and getting MOMA tickets). Wilton advised us that the hotel gave us a complimentary upgrade and that he guaranteed that we would love our room. When we got to the room and I opened the door, I immediately screamed “omg omg” LOL. The hotel had upgraded us to the presidential suite! Now sidebar as you may know, I travel a lot and stay at some of the best hotels in the world but this suite blew my mind. It was gorgeous! We felt like we were back in Paris again (I will be writing about that in my next post I promise..I have a lot of catching up to do lol). The huge suite had an old world charm and elegance to it. It had a fireplace, a piano, a huge bed and a cute little Parisian balcony that over looked NYC. Oh and because the upgrade wasn’t enough, the hotel sent us a bottle of red wine and a box of chocolate…and with that, they officially had us lol.

FullSizeRender (7)

FullSizeRender (9)

After we checked in and lounged around our room for an hour or so, we headed downstairs to the club room where the hotel was hosting a free cocktail hour for it’s guests. We had some more wine and snacks before heading out to enjoy our night in the city. The next day after we woke up I literally did not want to get up out of bed. We laid in bed contemplating spending a few more days at the Elysee but we couldn’t because we both had so much to do that day. We headed back down to the club room to have a quick breakfast (which is complimentary) and then checked out.

FullSizeRender (6)

All in all we had the most fabulous time and I would highly recommend staying here. Phill and I will definitely be back soon.

Pros

  • Free continental breakfast
  • Free Wifi
  • Complimentary cocktail hour daily in the club room
  • Large club room
  • Prime Midtown East location
  • Lavish furnishings with an old world feel
  • Top notch service

Cons

  • None in my opinion

Overall Rating: 5

Would I stay here again: Absolutely!

3 Reasons Not To Use A Travel Agent

I saw this video on Youtube a few days ago and found it to be both hilarious and 100% accurate. Please check it out:

Le Phare Bleu Hotel and Marina Review

 

le-phare-bleu-marina

I fell in love with Le Phare Bleu (www.lepharebleu.com) from the moment that I walked on property to do a site inspection back in November. I loved it so much in fact that I immediately booked 3 villas on site for the upcoming Grenada Music Festival (that we went to last month). What I like most about this resort is that it’s like a secret hideaway. The grounds are absolutely beautiful, the service is great and the rooms (and villas) are well furnished and comfortable. This is a perfect place for a romantic getaway or for anyone who just want to leave the hustle and bustle behind and just completely relax. Here are my pros and cons for staying here.

 lpb-hammock-garden-villa-grenada-1024x768

1946392_44_z

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Petit_Calivigny_(Le_Phare_Bleu)_2

Pros

  • Beachfront property
  • Great service
  • Amazing food
  • Daily breakfast included
  • Small and intimate
  • Great for anyone who is staying there and have a boat
  • The villas were perfect

015-lpb-boutique-hotel-beach-grenada[1]-500

Cons

  • Somewhat isolated (can be a pro for some)
  • Spotty wifi
  • Tiny beach

lpb-hotel-marina-pool-grenada-1-1024x682

Overall Rating: 4.5

Would I stay here again: Absolutely!

Have questions regarding this resort? Contact me here.

Grenada Music Festival 2016

12990877_888856127890933_6905582630226450581_n

Last month I brought a group down to the beautiful island of Grenada for the Grenada Music Festival. We spent 5 days exploring the island, dining on amazing foods, snorkeling, hanging out with locals and listening to great musicians from all over the world. To say that we had a great time is an understatement. Here are just a few of my pics from this trip.

Hotel Review: Riu Palace Las Americas

 

CARIBBEANMEXICOMEXICOCON_MEXMEXICO-CARIBBEANCOASTCANCUNRES_001227RIUPALACELASAMERICAS

The Riu Palace Las Americas is one of my favorite hotels. It’s absolutely beautiful and have some of the best food I’ve ever eaten! This all inclusive property is located on a beautiful beach and is just minutes from downtown Cancun.  Since the first time I stayed there I’ve been so impressed by the gigantic lobby that is full of glimmering chandeliers and the resorts regal decor which includes tall fountains, beautiful swimming pools and gorgeous flowers throughout.  The resort has 372 spacious suites that have amenities such as a turn down service, minibars filled with alcohol, a lounge area with a sofa, and flat-screen TVs. I love the fact that most of the suites have balconies with incredible ocean views and that there is so much to do on-site activities. Some of the activities that you can do there is play volleyball, go snorkeling or watch nightly live shows.

cancun_riu_lobby_500

cancun-hotels-room

piscina-pool-2_tcm55-50205

Pros

  • All-inclusive beachfront resort
  • Spacious suites with balconies and ocean views
  • Over 5 restaurants to choose between on-site
  • Variety of activities including snorkeling and volleyball
  • Located minutes from downtown Cancun
  • Walking distance to shops and nightclubs
  • Exchange privileges with 3 other Riu resorts in Cancun

Cons

  • Some people may find the decor a bit dated

Overall Rating: 4.5

Would I stay here again: Absolutely!

Have questions regarding this hotel? Contact me here.

Update: I’m the New NYC CCRA Chapter Director, NY Travel Festival and more!

Hi everyone,

so much has been happening in the last few weeks that I wanted to share with you all. First thing is that I will be speaking at the NY Travel Festival this weekend! I can’t believe that I forgot to post that here. It’s been a very busy few weeks for me and I’ve been traveling a lot (I’ve gone on 2 trips since my last post.. Raleigh for a yoga teacher training and I just came back Sunday from Grenada) but I finally found some free time today to catch up on my blog.

The New York Travel Festival is a series of events for those whose lives are touched by travel: members of the travel industry, travel media, lifelong travelers, long-term travelers, college students, and people in career transition. I will be speaking on 3 panels this weekend:

Friday:

The Staffer, VIP, and Bid Breakfast from 8am-945am

Women Entrepreneur from 3-4pm

Saturday:

Attracting Diverse Travelers at 5pm-550pm

This is a great event for all travel lovers and for anyone in the travel industry. If you are in NY this weekend, you don’t want to miss it. You can find more infomation and purchase tickets at www.nytravfest.com 

My second exciting news is that I just became the NYC Chapter Director for CCRA (www.ccra.com). YAY!!! I am so excited about this. CCRA (formerly OSSN) is the premier travel industry trade association representing and supporting travel agents all over the USA. CCRA is a diverse family of brands, or a network, designed to facilitate commerce between travel professionals and industry suppliers.

My job as local director is to make sure every agent located under my chapter is getting the most out of their membership with CCRA. My goal is to help them grow their businesses and continue to succeed in the travel industry by providing them with education and support.

And finally, I will be going to Jamaica on Sunday to train for Sandal’s Resort Weddingmoon Specialist Program. I’ll be staying at the Sandals in Montego Bay and Negril for 4 days to learn the ins and outs of their program. Even though I was born in Jamaica and I have sent countless clients there, this will be my first time actually staying in a hotel there (my family owns a home there so we never stay in hotels) so as you can imagine, I am elated at this opportunity.

So that’s it for now. I’m a little behind on hotel reviews and blog posts but I will be posting a few more in the next couple of days so please stay tuned 🙂

xoxo

Sam

 

 

Cancun Weekend Getaway

12472729_1170939486252335_809693664154075057_n

This past weekend my friends and I went to Cancun for a quick weekend getaway. I was really excited about this trip for a long time because even though I travel quite often, 9 out of 10 times it’s for work (yes I know I have the best job ever lol). This trip on the other hand was solely to get some R&R with my friends. We spent the majority of the time lounging on the beach and the pool, dipping in the Jacuzzi at night and eating some of the best food in Cancun. We even went sailing and visited Isla Mujeres where  I bought the cutest handmade crochet dress (to be debuted on date night with the boyfriend). All in all I had a great time. I love Cancun because it’s a quick flight away and you can get the party vibe if you want to or go there and enjoy some serious downtime. Here are a few pics from my trip:

Until next time,

xoxo

Sam