Putting Your Trip in Expert Hands

Whether you’re someone who likes to do your travel research on the Internet or with guidebooks, at some point you need to turn the plans over to an expert. You might ask, why use a professional to plan your trip when you can do it all yourself online? There are many reasons. The most obvious one is convenience—you’ll save a lot of time, effort and hassle if you go with a specialist. When you’re busy with careers and kids, it’s a pleasure and a relief to hand the details over to someone else.

There’s also the question of trust. Research on the Internet can only take you so far—and there’s a lot of incorrect, outdated or conflicting information out there. How do you choose a hotel when half the reviews love it and half the reviews hate it? How do you decide on an itinerary for a place you’ve never been and not risk making a mistake? My Little Swans was founded to help make those choices easier. All the content on the site is carefully curated, based on strict criteria and first-hand experience. We’re the resource you can trust for the best hotels and restaurants, the most worthwhile sights, and personally vetted itineraries.

We make choosing a travel specialist easy, too. Every partner in the MLS network has been hand-selected for their regional expertise, trustworthiness, and understanding of the needs of travelers (especially families). They’ll advise you on the best routes to take and times of year to visit, tell you what’s a must-see and what is overhyped, and help you avoid the crowds. They can make last-minute, on-the-ground adjustments in case of bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances. And they will help you avoid travel snafus that can spoil or derail your trip.

But our partners are about more than just logistics—they also offer invaluable local knowledge and special access. In my travels over the years, whether the trip was long or short, a cosmopolitan city or an exotic wilderness, the thing that always made the biggest difference was the partner we used. There was the yacht captain in Greece who designed a new itinerary for us on the fly; the private guide who turned a pile of Roman stones into a fascinating history lesson; the safari specialist who was able to get my underage sons access to the chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains; the China specialist who arranged calligraphy lessons for the kids in Beijing. These are the types of things that turn ordinary vacations into extraordinary ones.

Our partners can offer unique experiences you’ll never find in a guidebook. They’ll take you to restaurants only locals know about, and show you art collections and artisan workshops that are normally off-limits. Instead of a canned musical performance with a hundred other tourists, you’ll get a private one in a family home, meet the musicians, and maybe try your hand at the instruments. They’ll provide naturalists to tell you about the wildlife, and historians to help you understand the culture. Here are just a few of the special experiences our partners can offer:

As you get ready to plan your travels, browse the MLS site for inspiration—then contact our Travel Advisor, Ana Maria, who will steer you to the right partner. Or you can contact the partners directly. The best way to get started is with a phone call. Just tell them what you’re interested in and what you hope to get from the trip—they’ll listen carefully, answer all your questions and eliminate any anxieties you might have. Their goal is to deliver the trip you’ve dreamed of, custom-designed to your specifications, and they’ll ensure your journey goes smoothly, has enough day-to-day variety, and offers something for everyone (a huge plus when traveling with kids). Given enough lead time, our partners can work magic, so get in touch with them now to plan your next adventure.

If you’re still trying to work out your summer plans, our partners have some great travel opportunities for summer and fall. Check out our Special Offers for ideas, or call Ana Maria for help with your arrangements.

Photo Contest

This is the final month of our contest, so enter now for a chance to win a new Apple iPad2. We’re accepting submissions up until May 31, 2011—monthly winners will have their photos showcased on our site and are automatically entered in the prize drawing. To see March’s winning photos, visit the Photo Contest page on My Little Swans. April’s winners will be posted mid-May.

Warm Regards,
Katrina Garnett

Portrait of Katrina Garnett

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