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Travel News Vacation Travel

Add Wellness Travel to your Business Travel

I recently came across this article from our luxury travel consortium, Virtuoso, about new wellness travel trends.  I hadn’t heard of many of them (although plenty of our Andavo Travel advisors specialize in wellness travel), and found them fascinating.  Perhaps for a stressed-out business traveler, one of these wellness trends may be just the ticket for your next vacation.

Wellness Travel ideas for business travelers

Hygge

Pronounced “hoo-gah”, this Danish concept is catching popularity. Roughly meaning “the pursuit of coziness” – it’s an established time to curl up with a good book and hot mulled wine. In wellness travel, this could be stepping away from the chaos. Enroll in forest walks, classes in reading or writing haiku, watercolor classes, and alpine treks.

Conscious Eating

Sometimes the food is the highlight of a vacation. In our society of diets and fads, it’s easy to feel guilty about indulging, even when away. Conscious eating is less about sticking to a regime, and more about being mindful. The focus is instead on where food comes from, how it’s produced, how your body will respond to it, and if it’s the best choice for you.

 

Digital Detox

Staying connected is becoming more and more important these days. With emails, social media, news feeds etc, it can be impossible to get away. Hence, the latest in wellness trends, digital detox. Resorts offering a digital detox often ban technology in public areas, and some don’t offer Wi-Fi at all. Other places require guests to surrender their devices upon arrival, returning them only after the program or stay is complete.  They’ve found that guests sleep better and are more present  overall.

Mindful Meditation

Meditation is practiced around the world, but it has recently reached critical mass stateside, with apps zooming to the top of the Apple App Store best-seller list and pop-up, pop-in studios sprouting across the country to help busy people calm their minds.

Whatever the individual practice, the benefits of meditation are grounded in scientific fact: A recent study reported that mindfulness meditation provided a cure for pain relief, while devotees report reduced stress, clearer thinking, and diminished anxiety.

High-Tech Wellness

These spas blow the traditional spa out of the water.  Focused on identifying and addressing chronic health concerns,they use advanced technology to do it. Some use stem-cell biotechnology to help treat autoimmune diseases. Or full-day medical intakes that incorporate a body composition analysis, blood draw, and metabolic rate test. Vitamin deficiencies, allergies, and food intolerances can be spotted and treated, while more pervasive conditions have a chance to be identified and addressed through a combination of traditional and holistic treatments.

For guests suffering from persistent but vague ailments that have eluded diagnosis or treatment, high-tech wellness facilities are the perfect place to drill down and get to the root of what ails you.

Equine Therapy

Horses have long been recognized as therapeutic for those working through trauma or emotional issues. Many luxury resorts have started incorporating equine therapy programs as a source of creativity and connection. Some programs focus more on communication rather than riding. Popular as team-building exercises, they facilitate better listening and communication, while also reflecting human behavior. Other popular options include painting classes on the live canvas of the horse, to express emotions and center energy.

No matter how you de-stress, there is a wellness option out there for you. If interested if finding your own relaxing vacation away, please contact our Andavo Travel advisers.

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Business Travel Vacation Travel

How to Turn Your Business Trip into Your Next Vacation

Have you recently taken a whirlwind business trip to an amazing destination only to be stuck inside for meetings? The views of sandy beaches or a vibrant city you have through the windows of your meeting room, hotel, or whirring by in a taxi should not be missed! Though it can be frustrating, don’t lose up hope.

Tips to turn your business trip that could turn it into your future vacation

Accommodations  

You get to see firsthand an accommodation option. If you have enjoyed your stay at the hotel then you may already have a lead on where to stay again. If not, ask around if people are enjoying where they are staying. You may find another option you did not know existed.

Networking

Networking is all about getting to know people but sometimes it is hard to come up with topics to get started. What is a more perfect way to start a conversation at a meeting than to ask if they have been to the city before or something fun they got to do there? It will give you some ideas and a great introduction topic.

Location

Location, location, location. We have all heard the phrase and it really is important! Does the location you are staying in hold some appeal for what you want to do at the destination? Or would you rather stay somewhere more central to activities you think would be enjoyable? Taking note can help decide where exactly you want to end up on your return.

You may be working but it does not mean you can’t be planning some relaxation for the future! Connect with a travel adviser at Andavo Travel, Christopherson’s leisure travel division, to plan a trip for all the things you missed seeing and more.

 

 

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Business Travel Travel Industry

Most American Employees Don’t Do This Anymore

As we approach summer, it’s hard not to daydream of the adventures the next few months hold. But interestingly, the idea of the American vacation may be on the way out the door. Last year, Americans left a total of 429 million vacation days unused.

Four-in-ten American workers (41% on average) consistently fail to use all of their time off. That is a total of $224 billion total that Americans are forfeiting by not taking these days. Strangely enough, both employees and employers understand the importance of taking time off. Almost every worker and manager in this study reported that vacation time is important for maintaining team energy levels and productivity. So, what’s happening here?

For 25 years, from 1976 to 2000, American workers used an average of 20.3 days of vacation every year. Starting in 2000, the numbers began to drop and continued steadily though the Great Recession. With economic troubles, a lack of vacations is not unimaginable. But surprisingly, this this trend continues to decline, even as our economy improves. Today, Americans report using just 16.0 vacation days in 2014, almost a full work week less than compared to pre-2000.

Looking further into the reasons why, Skift found that 62 percent of their survey group stated they would not be taking a summer vacation in 2015. Of this group, about half stated they could not afford it, while the other half said they were too busy to take those days. Of the remaining pool, only 15 percent stated they would be taking a longer vacation over the summer, with a larger majority of 22 percent taking short vacations on the weekends. Perhaps the biggest issue here, is that though we may be not using these days in an effort to save money, we are actually throwing money away. The U.S. Travel Association calculated this “vacation liability” to be an average of $6,400 per U.S. employee, not including the health and wellbeing benefits of taking time off.

This trend is so startling, that the U.S. Travel Association has launched an initiative to bring vacation time back to American culture, claiming our economy is losing $160 billion by us not taking these days. Their Project: Time Off campaign provides additional statistics and tips to discuss the importance of time off with your employer.

What about you? As a busy professional, are you making time for yourself and your family? Let us know in the comments below, or start the discussion on our Facebook page. Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company, known for our innovative travel technology and cost-saving solutions.

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Business Travel

Christopherson’s Newly Acquired All Seasons Travel Undergoes Rebranding

Christopherson Business Travel purchased All Seasons Travel in December of last year. As we continue to integrate our new Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama offices into our organization, we will be rebranding the Alabama operations into three separate divisions:

1. Christopherson Business Travel

CBT_SmallThe Alabama business travel team members will all operate under our Christopherson Business Travel brand, with Jeanine Eissler as the manager of the Southeast region. We have already won $20 Million in new business travel contracts in the Southeast, all of which is in the process of being implemented into our Alabama offices.

2. Andavo Travel

Andavo Logo_335x60The leisure travel agents and independent contractors will operate under our Andavo Travel brand (which specializes in luxury travel and hosted agent travel), with Meredith Price as the operations manager of the Southeast region. Our Alabama offices will also be part of Andavo’s world-class luxury travel consortium, Virtuoso.

3. All Seasons Sports Travel

AllSeasonsSportsTravel_Logo-v2All Seasons Sports Travel is a newly created division and will primarily focus on the fan-based collegiate sports travel that All Seasons has done so well for so many years. Ellen Ray has been named manager of this division. Click here to see the new website, AllSeasonsSportsTravel.com.

 

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Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

The Ten Commandments of Travel (+1)

As business travelers we all need a break, however we travel so much for work that the thought of another trip (even if it IS a vacation) makes many of us us want to sit down and just say NO! My advice? Take an organized tour or cruise. From the minute you step on the plane to the minute your journey ends, everything is taken care of for you. But first and foremost you must obey the Ten Commandments of Travel. They might not have come from God, but if you follow them, you very well could be treated like one. Enjoy!

The Ten Commandments of Travel (+1)

  1. Thou shalt not expect to find things precisely as they are at home, for thou hast left home to find things different.
  2. Thou shalt not take anything too seriously, for a carefree mind is the basis for a great vacation.
  3. Thou shalt not let other tour members get on thy nerves, for thou art paying good money to enjoy thyself.
  4. Thou shalt not worry. The person who worrieth hath little joy and few things are fatal.
  5. Thou shalt not judge all the people of a country by one person with whom thou had a problem.
  6. Thou shalt in Rome, do somewhat as the Romans do.
  7. Thou shalt be on time, for if thou art late thou shalt make thy own way to the next hotel.
  8. Thou shalt carry thy passport at all times, for a traveler without a passport is one without a country.
  9. Thou shalt learn to say “Thank You” in any language. Verily, it is worth more than gold.
  10. Thou shalt acquaint thyself with the currency of the land in which  you traverse, and thus thou shalt not be cheated.
  11. Thou art welcome in every land. Treat thy hosts with respect and thou shalt be an honored guest.

So let it be written–it’s not too late to purchase a gift certificate from Andavo Travel, Christopherson Business Travel’s vacation planning division. Certainly, nothing could be better than opening up a present full of vacation excitement on Christmas morning. Call our travel experts today! 801-327-7600 or 1866-327-7600

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Business Travel Travel News

Business Travelers Will Want to Fly United Airlines New 787 Dreamliner

I was recently on a United Airlines flight where we were shown a short film about the airline’s new 787 Dreamliner. The Dreamliner is the first of its kind to be delivered in North America and United hopes to have four more in their fleet by the end of 2012.

For both the business traveler and leisure traveler, not only is the Dreamliner 20 percent more fuel efficient, but it also produces 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized planes. Along with these improvements flyers will also find the following on the new Dreamliner for their traveling comfort:

  • Windows that are 30% bigger than those on wide-body planes with dimming switches
  • Larger storage bins where you will be able to store your carry-on luggage with less hassle
  • New flight pressurized technology
  • Higher humidity levels which will lessen the effects of fatigue, jet lag, and the possibility of headaches experienced by some travelers

 

Business travelers will also find 36 seats in ‘BusinessFirst’ class that convert to lie-flat beds, 72 seats in premium economy class and 111 standard coach-class seats configured in a three by three arrangement.

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Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Fact: Travel Agents Take Majority Over Online Bookings

Recently, I booked a vacation through my travel agency to an all-inclusive resort at Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. It was an amazing getaway and I loved every minute of it.

While on my trip I chatted with a few of my fellow travelers about their vacation planning and overheard a few conversations regarding this topic as well. What I found interesting was that all these conversations revolved around their travel agent, in one way or another. Whether it was that they chose this particular resort because their agent recommended it, or that they discussed their array of flight options–I was amazed! Not because I don’t see the value in travel agents (I work for an agency!), but because so many people think that booking online is the wave of the future. However, almost everyone I spoke with booked their vacation through a travel agent.

I took pride in this fact and find it to be great news for our industry. Now what we need to do is spread the word and let everyone know that booking with a travel agent is the definitely the best option!

In fact, here are three benefits to booking with an agent:

  1. You save money! Travel agents work hard to maintain strong relationships with travel suppliers. They also have access to the latest in computer reservations technology which allows them to help you find the best values and options.
  2. Agents are also your advocates. Your best interests are their priority and they will be there to help you through your entire planning process and help smooth out any hiccups you experience along your travels.
  3. You get personal service. A travel agent will answer your phone calls, take care of problems, guide your planning, offer suggestions, and share their travel/destination experience. That’s something you’ll never get from a computer screen.

To find an agent for your next vacation, click here. Or for your next business trip, click here.

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Travel News Vacation Travel

What are your travel dreams? Tell us to win!

Open your mind to endless travel possibilities when you take the VIRTUOSO LIFE® Travel Dreams Survey. It only takes minutes to complete, but will leave you with a lifetime of inspiration. Plus, once you submit your survey you’ll be entered to win a dream vacation of your own.
Deadline to enter is March 31, 2012. Must be a valid U.S. resident to be eligible to win. Non-U.S. residents are invited to take the survey here.
Christopherson Business Travel is a Virtuoso member agency.

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Travel News

J.D. Powers and Associates Travel Ratings

Every year J.D. Powers and Associates surveys thousands of people, including thousands of travelers, hoping to make life easier for consumers. As an Account Manager for Christopherson Business Travel who works closely with travelers and travel managers, I feel that the results of this survey can be very valuable as decisions are made that can significantly affect how pleasant a travel experience can be.  These results will not only assist corporate road warriors and business travelers, but those who travel for leisure  can certainly benefit from the results of this survey as they research car rental companies, hotels and airlines.  To read about consumer satisfaction among major travel industry vendors click here.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Two Andavo Travel Advisors Make the Travel + Leisure A-List

Travel + Leisure magazine evaluates thousands of travel agents each year to create their highly-selective, annual A-List.  The list organizes agents by region of expertise and profiles each agent with details such as years of experience, specialties, consulting fees and contact information.  T+L’s 2010 list of World’s Top Travel Agents will be featured in the October 2010 magazine. Andavo Travel, a Christopherson company, is thrilled to have two of our very own advisors on the list!
Kay Merrill of Are We There Yet? Family Adventures, an affiliate of Andavo Travel, is located in our Marin office.  She made the list for specializing in family travel.
Darlene Ravin is affiliated with our Andavo office in Denver.  She made the list for specializing in Southeast Asia.   The Denver Business Journal picked up on her success, and included Darlene in an article touting the four Colorado travel agents that made the list.
Congratulations to both of them!  Thanks for helping Andavo Travel look good.

Categories
Travel Management Travel News Vacation Travel

Four Seasons The Biltmore – Santa Barbara Nov 5- 7

Wine Lovers,  Romantic Getaway

or BFF Weekend!

The Biltmore, Santa Barbara

November 5 -7, 2010

Take advantage of this fabulous offer for the Four Seasons Santa Barbara.

Located on the beach, 90 minutes north of LAX and minutes from the center of town.

Andavo guests receive these added values:

  • Upgraded room on arrival, subject to availability.
  • Daily continental breakfast for up to two in-room guests.
  • Lunch for 2, once during stay, excluding alcohol and gratuity.
  • Welcome amenity in room on behalf of Andavo Travel.

AND…

  • A $100.00 per day, per room, credit to spend for Spa, restaurants or sundries shop.

This is nearly $230 in savings per day! Only our exclusive preferred partner relationship with Four Seasons allows us to offer you these special values!

Contact:  Collette Peck  801-327-7609 collette.peck@andavotravel.com

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Travel News

Leisure Agent Named One of Travel Agent Magazine’s Top 25 Agents for 2010

Andavo Travel, a Christopherson company that specializes in luxury vacation travel, is brimming with talented agents.  What makes a top travel agent? Looking to find answers to this query, Travel Agent Magazine invited their readers to tell them why they were at the top of their field. They narrowed it down to the Top 25 Agents for 2010.
Andavo’s own Jeffery DalPoggetto made it onto this exclusive list.  Jeff is in Andavo Travel’s Marin County, California office. We congratulate him for winning this top award!
To reach Jeff or another one of our exceptional leisure travel advisors in the Marin office, please call (415) 945-6200.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Vacation division has new name Andavo Travel

In January 2008, Christopherson Business Travel, located in Salt Lake City, and Andavo Travel, located in Denver, began a merger process forming the nation’s 14th largest travel management company.
We are pleased to announce the merger process has concluded with a consolidated ownership and branding of our companies. Effective this month, we will be operating our entire leisure vacation division under the name Andavo Travel, a Christopherson Company. Our corporate travel division will be operating under the name Christopherson Business Travel. Both divisions are now under the common ownership of Mike and Camille Cameron of Salt Lake City, Utah.
As we emerge a unified leisure travel management company under the Andavo Travel name, we want to assure our long time Christopherson Travel vacation clients that the same travel advisors who you have come to know and trust will continue to service your vacation travel needs. Along with many other special offers and promotions only available through our agency, we are pleased to bring our clients the added value of our preferred partner programs through Andavo’s long time membership with Virtuoso®.
“What is Virtuoso®?”
Virtuoso provides Andavo Travel, a Christopherson Company connections with the best hotels, cruise lines, airlines and tour companies in the world. For our clients, this means access to exclusive travel offers which are not available to the general public. If you rely on experts to reduce the complexity of travel arrangements and ensure smart choices, our travel advisors are able to design exceptional customized travel experiences using the resources and relationships available only through Virtuoso®.

  • Global Connections: With personal contacts at more than 1,000 airlines, cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and premier destinations worldwide, our travel advisors will put these relationships to work for you.
  • Unparalleled Expertise: Our travel advisors are among the most well-traveled people on the planet. They draw on their first-hand experiences when customizing vacations for our valued clients.
  • Customized Travel Experiences: From weekend getaways to trips of a lifetime, counting on the expertise of our travel advisors insures your greatest experience.
  • Confidence: Our clients rest easy knowing their personal preferences are reflected in every aspect of their itinerary, delivering the best value for their time and money.

At Andavo Travel, a Christopherson Company, our promise to our clients is to drive world class service through a foundation built on excellence, trust, integrity, loyalty, family, caring and community. Since our inception in 1956, our fundamental core company values reflect this philosophy and translate it into our daily business practices. For those who have a passion for travel, we invite you to take advantage of our specialized expertise and insider connections.
Thank you for being our valued client and for allowing us to service all your vacation travel needs.
Mike Cameron
President

Categories
Business Travel Vacation Travel

Why Now Is A Great Time To Travel

I know many people are planning on staying close to home during these tough economic times in order to save money or just because it seems like the right thing to do. Actually this is a very good time to travel for a variety of reasons, ranging from lower costs to smaller crowds to fewer competitors calling on clients. And I’m sure that there are other reasons that I haven’t thought of but apply to many people.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these reasons starting with the last one first.  As many companies opt to cut their travel expenses they are removing the sales call from their sales staff’s bag of tricks.  While it is true that much can be accomplished via the phone, webinars and the like, there is an equally important truth, which is when you actually visit the client face to face it gives you the opportunity to actually meet the client, see what the client needs and wants, as well as create a relationship based in part, on the perception that you consider this client important enough to show up, even when times are tough.  I have heard of a number of companies that have cut their travel by as much as 70%.  This means that a significant portion of their sales force isn’t traveling and as such isn’t competing at the personal level.  Airfares are down, hotel stays are down, even car rental rates are down, so this is a very good time to go.  As an example, the Marriott Marquis at Time Square in NYC, was $450.00 and up per night, this time last year, now the rates start at $254.00 a night.  This time last year, the lowest one way fare from Los Angeles to New York City was $161.00, today you can get it for $109.00.  Those are pretty typical savings that are available right now, which means that it is a much better deal to travel for business right now.

In terms of vacation travel, this year is shaping up to be a great year to go on vacation.  With so many people opting to do staycations, many of the places that are normally packed with tourists during the summer months, such as Disneyland and Disneyworld, Europe, Hawaii and cruises, are looking like they will be relatively uncrowded this summer.  So if you’ve always wanted to visit the Louvre in Paris but the thought of the massive crowds kept you away, this may be the best time to go and not have to be in line for hours.

This coupled with the discounts that are being offered the airlines, hotels, tour companies, cruise lines, etc., it makes this summer look like a terrific bargain.  When you compare prices between last year and this year, the difference is amazing.  Just before the end of March, there were roundtrip airfares between New York City and London, starting at $68.00, plus taxes and surcharges.  Now, they start at about $90.00 roundtrip plus taxes and surcharges and yes, there are very limited number of seats available at these prices and they do require a Saturday night stay and travel must commence no later than May 26th, 2009 and they have a number of other restrictions, such as the tickets must be issued within 72 hours of making the reservation and ticketed no later than 5 days prior to departure, whichever comes first.  However when compared to 2008, where the lowest roundtrip fare was $236.00 roundtrip plus taxes and surcharges, this year’s fare looks awfully enticing.   Then when you look at the difference of the relative strength of the US Dollar vs. the Euro and other European currencies, Europe looks much more affordable.

This clearly is the time to go because who knows when prices will be this low again.  So if you’ve been saying to yourself I want to go on a cruise but I want a really good deal or if you want to go to Disney or Europe or really anywhere, now is the time to go.