Jennifer Merritt

Jennifer Merritt

Stories by Jennifer Merritt

Food, Wine and More in Portugal

Portugal attracts visitors interested in history, architecture and food and wine, but everyone has to eat and drink, right? It may be worth gauging a client's interest in taking a wine tour or setting up an authentic dinner and wine pairing at a vineyard during a stay in Portugal, no matter if the itinerary is focused on culture, history or simply lying on the beach.

Portugal's Wine Regions

Best known for port, Portugal grows an abundance of grape varieties-about 500-that have made it a favorite destination for wine aficionados. Wine production is spread throughout several regions: the Douro and Bairrada to the north and the Alentejo, Ribatejo and Estremadura in the south.

A Sampling of Adventure Tours

As with the creation of any itinerary, scheduling an adventure tour requires careful attention to detail- though this time, there are some questions to ask that might not be in your usual repertoire: How fit is the client? Is there a medical history to consider? When planned right, the results can be lucrative for you and highly satisfying for your client.

Choose Your Own Adventure

There are few things more exciting than travel. And while all trips-even journeys just one state over-are an adventure, adding some athletic or nature-related activity to your next vacation can make all the difference in how memorable it is. As in, "Remember that time when we went heli-skiing in Alaska?" or "We should go back to that dive resort in Belize where we stayed in a treehouse."

Regal Russia

Russia is easily one of the world's most formidable countries. For starters, it's the largest country, spanning 12 time zones. It produces some of the world's most sought-after natural resources, like oil, gas, coal and gold. Though some may find Russia's communist history intimidating, today's nation has a bright future evolving from its rich, varied past. And it's graced with beautiful landscapes.

Book a Vacation to Moscow and St. Petersburg

Russia is a vast land, so clients interested in visiting will certainly need help narrowing down their options. Luckily, cruise lines and tour operators have a diverse and interesting array of itineraries spread throughout the large country. Some vacation packages incorporate a cruise. If your client is traveling independently and looking for an unusual hotel to stay at, there are plenty of choices available. Here are a few tour and hotel selections to get you started.

Cycling Vacation

Don't you just love biking? It's about the closest you can get to flying like a bird, with the wind in your hair, sun on your shoulders and bugs in your teeth. If you like to spend your free time on two wheels, consider spending your next vacation the same way.

Book a Bicycle or Motorcycle tour

Many bike tours are commissionable, and in most cases, the tour company will arrange the trip—all you have to do is book the flights. It sounds easy enough, but finding the right tour to suit a particular traveler is where the hard work comes in. Clients in the so-called cyclotourism market are typically 45 to 60 years old and well traveled. Talk with clients beforehand to find out their interests and whether they've done a bike tour in the past. If you're unsure whether a tour is the right fit for them, ask the operator, who should have an intimate knowledge of the tour and what type of person would enjoy it most.

Book a Tour Through the Alaskan Wilderness

When booking a trip to Alaska, it's important to get clients experiencing all the 49th state has to offer. Given the overall remoteness of the state, many lodges operate like tour companies, combining accommodations with adventure activities.

The Advantages of Budapest in Winter

Winter in Budapest, though chilly, offers great bargains. The Hungarian National Tourist Office (www.hungary.com) is running its second Budapest Winter Invasion promotion (www.budapestwinterinvasion.com) through March. Book clients for three nights at any of the 60 or so five-, four- or three-star hotels, and they will get a fourth night free. A full list is available on the promotional web site.