Give Them a Reason to Go


Ruthanne Terrero
Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero

We’ve all got our bucket lists and Savannah has been on mine long before the term “bucket list” was even created. The thing is, I never had the opportunity to spend any time there. Overall these years, I’ve never been to a travel conference there and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an airfare deal to this beautiful, sultry Southern city, which appealed to me in every photograph I saw of it and which I fell in love with after reading John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. 

A few months ago, my husband mentioned that a friend of his was playing in the Savannah Jazz Festival and that it might be fun to go. Finally, I had a reason to get us down there. We settled on a great hotel, realized that if we flew in to Jacksonville, FL, and drove up we could get a great airfare deal and off we went.

The city did not disappoint. Savannah is filled with 21 squares dotted with wonderful trees that are hundreds of years old just dripping with Spanish moss. It’s all very romantic. The residences have been beautifully restored, making the ambiance all very elegant but livable. It’s easy to imagine setting up a home here. There’s also a fun riverfront area with restaurants, shops and bars, trolley car buses bringing tourists over every inch of the city and even a few excellent stories of hauntings, which for me, gives it plenty of intrigue. We stayed at the Mansion on Forsyth in a beautiful section of town, which was literally across the street from Forsyth Park, where the jazz festival took place. This gave us free reign to show up for the music whenever we wanted to and to run back and forth to our hotel at our convenience. The Mansion, by the way, is a must visit if you go to Savannah. It has a great lobby bar but there’s also another bar above its fine dining restaurant, 700 Drayton, with live music Thursday through Sunday. And if you’ve ever dreamed of having a Blackberry Mojito as a nightcap, this is the place for you.

We all talk about bucket lists but they’re all just pie in the sky ideas unless we have an actual reason to take the trip. We frequently speak about celebration travel and family reunions, but sometimes we just need an exciting event to finally get ourselves off the couch and off to a destination. If you’ve been savvy enough to find out what’s on your client’s bucket list, don’t just keep their wish list in a folder in your drawer. Check out the special events that go on in the places they want to go and use them to entice them. Music and culinary events are always good reasons but maybe your client loves vintage cars and there’s an antique auto parade going on in the town they’ve ticked off on their list coming up. 

Personally, I intend to go back to Savannah for a historic home and garden tour since I can’t get enough of the place and I am dying to see what’s inside some of these places. Paint the same excitement for your client; let them imagine what it would be like to be in the destination of their dreams, living and breathing like a local.

On a different note, I’d like to thank Beth Foss for being our cover subject for this year’s Pink Issue. This is the third year we’ve featured a member of the travel industry who has battled breast cancer and we applaud Beth for sharing her story with us, inspiring us with how she has faced the challenges of the disease. She has also unselfishly found a way to raise money for the cause; for her full story, go to


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