The start of my conversation with Doug Colon summed up the theme of the interview in its entirety. When asked about how things are going for him, he answered, “Trying to get this backyard done. My contractor didn’t show up, so I started on my own.” This being our first long-form conversation, I was going off what I’d researched online. He was there when break dancing took off in the early 70s, grooving with prolific DJs known for legendary innovation in hip hop—check. He’s currently the owner of Dancin Doug Travel—check. But now, right at the start, I knew that I was talking to a man who knew how to get up and get it done.
Mentioning the multiple positions Doug has held in different fields, “I kind of stumble and fall places. I’m a stumbler.” This was clearly evident in his path through life so far. Travel started as a break from his profession at the time, Special Agent in Charge Read the rest of this entry »
Being a commonly visited country, Spain often brings up an image of grand churches that inspire faith in the eye of the beholder—perhaps pictures of flamenco dancers, as they seduce an audience into a story of love and passion. These are accurate portrayals of a country that charms the traveler. But, Spain is a diverse destination, one that brings the culture of surrounding nations together in harmony. In the northwest sits Galicia, an ideal look at this cultural harmony. Read the rest of this entry »
Untouched wilds have always been a draw in Canada’s north. With glass-like lakes surrounded by thick forests of coniferous trees and the snow-covered landscapes of mountains and the arctic tundras, northern Canada is an adventure of scenery. The addition of watching polar bears in their natural habitat, or hanging out with beluga whales, and northern lights that illuminate the skies make for a one-of-kind trip. This is particularly true on VIA Rail Canada’s adventure route, which provides a panoramic dome for maximum viewing pleasure. Read the rest of this entry »
Island vacations are a true escape, one that feels the furthest from our everyday lives. Nothing but you, the beach, and long stretches of ocean to create distance from the daily grind and worries of life. About 870mi west of Lisbon, Portugal is the opportunity to visit just that place—the Azores Islands. A place that not only provides a remote getaway, but prides itself on sustainable tourism.
Officially named the Autonomous Region of the Azores, the Azores is an archipelago of 9 islands. Being volcanic in nature, the fertile earth of the islands sprang up a paradise. Lush green fields, forests, and mountains cover the terrain. Particularly São Miguel, the largest island in Read the rest of this entry »
Trains have been an iconic part of modern history since 1804. They have carried important goods to well-known cities and remote areas. Trains gave a vitality to the journey of travel, shortening trips— letting the traveler enjoy the scenery of vast forests of green and mountains that dominate the landscape. Today, the experience of these journeys are no less relevant. Which is where VIA Rail Canada steps in to keep everything on track.
VIA Rail (or VIA Rail Canada) started up operations on January 12, 1977, in Montreal. Soon after, they introduced a new way of uniting Canadians with many firsts, one being the transcontinental train. They were established as a Crown Corporation, merging the passenger networks of the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways. Later, in 1981 Read the rest of this entry »
As Spain and Portugal rise in popularity for travel, Petrabax has been showing the Iberian Peninsula to travelers for almost 40 years. With an array of ways to take care of the traveler, they have created tours from a unique point of view—one that originates from the owner and operators hailing from the northwestern region of Galicia. From life-changing paths to a future one-stop shop for agents, Petrabax has one foot firmly set in showing the past and another stepping into the future of travel.
Petrabax is family owned and operated. The founder, Jose Zuñiga, was from the region of Galicia in northwest of Spain; while its current director and nephew of Jose, Marcos Roel, is also Galician. This lends perfectly Read the rest of this entry »
As the European country with the oldest consistent borders, Portugal is a multivariate experience. The cultural influences brought on by this 900 years of existence have added to the flavor of Portugal. And, though a smaller nation, it is busting at the seams with a lively culture and sublime scenery for the traveler to explore.
They say the stomach is the window to happiness, and Portugal is well on its way to being the perfect portal. The cafes and restaurants that line the streets are well known around the world for their culinary treats. These are often simple and delicious dishes: fresh baked bread with olive oil or cheese, or both smooth red wines and crisp, green wines (vinho verde). But, far more often, Portuguese dishes feature Read the rest of this entry »
Offering up the best of the best in travel isn’t easy; this takes tenacity, an open mind to the traveler’s wants and needs, and a healthy perspective on what a destination has to offer. And Intrepid Travel is a supplier that prides itself on these attributes. They have been a tour provider for 30 years with sustainable travel focused on local perspectives, an expansive list of countries, and even a not-for-profit foundation that has raised millions of dollars.
Intrepid Travel offers up more than 1,150 trips, in 23 countries, on every continent. These include family-friendly vacations, wildlife and polar tours, a journey through local foods, adventure cruising, and adventures like cycling and touring. The destinations of these tours span the world, from seeing Read the rest of this entry »
There are places in the world that call back to ancient times; their statues and relics made by hands long gone. The hands of these cultures are alive in the familiar artistry and style of the times. The most recognizable of these are the pyramids of Giza in Egypt, built as an eternal home to the pharaohs almost 4,500 years ago. But Egypt’s ancient allure has much more to offer than the heavenly heights of the Giza pyramids. One of the more legendary examples of this is the recently reopened and revamped Avenue of the Sphinxes, an archaeological wonderland in the once great city of Thebes, now known as Luxor. Read the rest of this entry »
AAT Kings has been a pioneer in the adventuring of Australia and New Zealand for over 100 years. They were one of the driving forces that opened the Australian outback to the eyes and excitement of travelers within the country, as well as international. Now, as Australia looks to open its borders to the world once again, AAT has set its sights on a new campaign to intrigue the traveler. The ‘Wild Awaits’ campaign seeks to jump right into the reinvigorated travel industry as COVID-19 wanes. Read the rest of this entry »
Ricko Tindage is Elite Voyages’ Director of Sales and Marketing iso Chinatour.com’s DSM. His task besides sales and marketing to the travel agent community…is also creating new tour products.
Originally from Bali, Indonesia, Ricko has called Los Angeles home since 1981.
Budapest, with its wonderfully varied architecture, is getting a revamped look of an important part of its history and culture. Buda Castle has been a staple of the landscape of Budapest for 750 years. But, starting in 2019 and continuing into well into this year, Buda Castle and the surrounding district of Budapest is getting a well-deserved upgrade. Dubbed The National Hauszmann Program, this restoration and improvement project has had a substantial impact on what the traveler will witness in an already vibrant destination. Read the rest of this entry »
Known as the gateway to Africa, the country of Morocco is situated in the north of the continent and shares close ties to Europe… culturally and location-wise. With just 8 miles of sea to cross before reaching Spain, the mixture of sometimes vastly different places has created an exotic and exciting location. The busy streets of major cities like Marrakech and Tangier are perfect for people watching from cafes. The mix of cultures that has come together has a way of diversity seldom known around the around. Read the rest of this entry »
Prague may be the most prominent destination in Czechia, also known as the Czech Republic, but the country offers much more in the way of landscapes to capture the traveler’s imagination. This is where the South Moravian Region enters the conversation. A land of rolling plains, old-world villages and towns, and white wines to satiate the vinophiles. South Moravia in the eastern part of Czechia will lure the travel in with trails to follow these wonderful views and tastes. Read the rest of this entry »
The national parks of the western United States are wondrous sights that have been part of America’s charm since before President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service in 1916. Many of these parks, particularly those in the southwest, seem like a surreal and alien landscape to be held in awe. Eroded by time, they stand as monolithic reminders of the Earth’s vast history. The ways in which the traveler can enjoy these parks Read the rest of this entry »
The fifth largest city in Hungary sits at the slope of the Mecsek Mountains. A city settled before the spread of the Roman empire, its cultural history runs almost 2000 years. Though, the city is not alone in this distinguished position. The region around it, spanning 240 sq mi, is appropriately named the Pécs Region. Here, the traveler will find what Hungary is known for and more. Read the rest of this entry »
Sheila Folk is an experienced travel business owner with an impressive history of working in the leisure, travel, and tourism industry. She grew her travel agency to $8M in two years by creating and implementing a broad range of solutions she needed (but that were not available in the marketplace) to make her business a success. Sheila’s new company, Travel Industry Solutions, has now brought her contracts, tools, guides, and scripts to the entire industry.
Throughout her career, Sheila has demonstrated strong professional skills and expertise in management, strategic planning, and business development; new program and product development, branding, budgeting, and positioning; and negotiation, sales, and corporate communications. She has extensive, hands-on experience in all phases of B2B management, from marketing to establishing protocols for start-up firms. Her big-picture vision to establish and achieve corporate goals has led to triple digit growth, year after year. Before starting her own companies, she held such positions as director of business operations at a global branding company and assistant vice president of marketing at an international professional association.
Michael was born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago. He attended Northern Illinois University where he received a BS in Biological Sciences. It didn’t take him long to realize the routine of scientific testing work didn’t match with his personality.
Following a 29-year career working for the airlines in increasing sales roles, Michael joined Sky Bird Travel & Tours in 2015 as Sky Bird’s first Business Development Manager. As the sales team grew, Michael took on the role of Director as well as overseeing the Customer Service division. He is often the face of Sky Bird at industry events and the voice of Sky Bird on webinars featuring our WINGS booking engine.
In the center of the Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is Central Bohemia—a region that surrounds the city limits of Prague, and covers almost 14% of the total area in Czechia. Thick forests, towns that are photo worthy and castles all around, Central Bohemia is a charming land for a relaxed trip into Europe’s historical settings. Read the rest of this entry »
Stress seems to be an inevitable part of life. Our jobs, which can often be a source of fulfillment, demand our attention and keep us on our toes. Add in taking care of family issues that may arise and the plumbing getting backed up and the air conditioner going out… stress seems to always be knocking at the door of attention. Medical issues pop-up without warning, and may be daunting at times. Fortunately, Poland has plenty of ways for travelers to relax and truly enjoy life once again with spas and health resorts – as well as help people with issues that may be affecting their daily lives. Read the rest of this entry »
Western Hungary has its share of travel-worthy sites, like monuments, castles, countrysides and, of course, Lake Balaton. But, also in the western parts of the country is a hilly region with volcanic formations and small villages. A place where the rolling of the hills and paths leading to a monastery are a journey into yet another wine region in Hungary. Just north of Lake Balaton, the Balaton Uplands await the traveler. Read the rest of this entry »