Personal Travel Manager enjoys a hot and cold experience
A desert 4200 metres in altitude with hundreds of bubbling, steaming geysers yet freezing cold at the same time, was just one of the surprise and delightful experiences that personal travel manager Anna Bayley, representative for Sandy Bay recently experienced on a famil of a lifetime experience to Chile.
Bayley enjoyed an adventure-packed ten-day itinerary courtesy of partner supplier Natural Focus Safaris indulging in Chile’s many unforgettable and inspiring experiences of historical, cultural and geographical significance. It was however the Atacama Desert that truly captured her heart.
“I’ve been to deserts before but never anything like the Atacama Desert. It is truly stunning, so unique and full of surprises. Who would have thought there would be pink flamingos in the middle of the world’s driest desert, along with volcanoes, geysers, gigantic cacti, salt plains and so much more? It’s an extremely unique environment and is a must see for those who love nature and adventure.”
Natural Focus Safaris ensured the group experienced the best that Chile has to offer exploring the Atacama Desert in the north, Patagonia in the South and Santiago and Valparaiso in the central region.
With Chile offering over 5000 years of history, a visit to the picturesque port city of Valparaíso, an hour from Santiago also provided some welcome surprises for Bayley.
“The oldest part of town has been declared by UNESCO as patrimony of humanity due to its eclectic architecture and urban development. Although historic it really is quite a groovy place with lots of very bright street art, a hotch botch of market stalls and activities and I found just people watching provided plenty of entertainment. Valparaiso is built on 43 hills which are reached by narrow windy streets, staircases and a series of funiculars so the views are stunning, particularly from the Pablo Neruda Museum which is located on one of the hills overlooking the bay.”
Chile may not be famed for cuisine but Bayley can highly recommend the seafood.
“I was simply wowed by the wonderful meals we experienced throughout our Chile adventure. The seafood in particular is incredible, wild salmon tastes so fresh and delicious, quite different to the farmed salmon we have in Australia. I can also highly recommend the local drink pisco sour. There are many variations throughout the country, all equally sour and potent!”
Bayley learnt early on that USD currency is not as widely accepted in Chile as she thought.
“I took all my money in USD thinking that was the acceptable currency but it was not the case. My advice now to clients is to have enough USD to pay for their visa on arrival and then exchange their AUD into Chilean Pesos in Santiago. It is this type of personal recommendation that ensures I add real value to my clients experience and what being a personal travel manager is all about.”
Bayley recommends for clients to pack their sense of adventure and they will be rewarded with a uniquely diverse and cultural holiday experience.
“We experienced a journey with a difference. We learnt about history and culture, experienced city and country, travelled to the desert, indulged in the beauty of the Torres del Paine National Park and enjoyed wine tasting at Casablanca. Every experience was simply fabulous and the perfect way to appreciate Chile’s landscape, culture and diversity.”
Being able to share her personal famil experiences is proving valuable for Bayley.
“The Chileans are very friendly people, it is safe to travel around with excellent transport options, it’s affordable and there’s an incredible diverse range of sights. I am so inspired and being able to relay my passion and my recent personal experiences of Chile to my clients is the best-selling tool I have. I’m now confident to juggle an itinerary, minimize flights and make the most of my client’s time on the ground. This builds trust with my clients and they appreciate getting accurate and up to date information. Clients like knowing you ate the local food, caught local transport and survived to tell the tale!”
The group flew LAN Airlines from Sydney direct to Santiago and the airline provided another delight for Bayley.
“My perception of LAN Airlines has definitely changed. I used to think they were quite a tired airline, but this is definitely not the case. They have brand new Dream liners that operate the Sydney to Santiago route, and paired with their great service it makes for a fantastic option. It was an extremely comfortable and quiet flight on a spacious aircraft with great food and service. It’s fantastic to have two great airlines now flying to Santiago de Chile.”
TravelManagers work closely with partner suppliers to ensure personal travel managers experience a variety of educational experiences to worldwide destinations.
“TravelManagers prides itself on providing exceptional and personal customer service which comes from firsthand knowledge and experience. Educationals that allow immersion into a destination such as the one Anna experienced to Chile are so important, which is why we proactively work with suppliers to provide as many famil opportunities as possible,” says TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager Michael Gazal.
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.
TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.