Posts Tagged ‘Luxury Travel’

Discovering the World of Global Entry

By Amanda Klimak CTIE   Monday, September 10th, 2012

In the world of luxury travel, there are many things I have learned.  First, my job as a travel advisor is to give advice based on my first-hand experiences so I know what works and what doesn’t.  Next, that well-traveled individuals HATE, and I mean HATE, to stand in line.  Most hotels and cruise lines make a conscious effort to help travelers avoid lines, however, US Customs and Immigration was different.  Traditionally travelers could spend a small eternity (anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes or more) waiting on line to be welcomed home after long international flights.  This was a sad fact because as advisors, we would spend hours planning the perfect trip, carefully selecting the itinerary, choosing the hotels and arranging flights on the airline with the best on-board experience.  Only to have our precious travelers left holding their bags in an endless line when re-entering the US.  Traditionally, this was out of our control to advisors, however, now, with the new Global Entry program, we can make those lines disappear and the trip home seamless.  So, as all good travel advisors do, I took the two hour ride to JFK Airport to complete my Global Entry application, so I can test the system and make a recommendation.

The Global Entry membership allows travelers to walk past the long lines at immigrations and customs, breeze up to a kiosk, insert their passport and have their fingerprints scanned.  They then bypass the immigration agent, for they have already been pre-qualified as a Global Entry traveler.  For those of you who travel internationally and are unfamiliar with Global Entry, you need to pay attention because this information will change your traveling life forever.

The Global Entry membership program allows travelers to go through an application and screening process in order to bypass immigration and customs lines when you re-enter the US from abroad.  The application is quite simple and only takes a few minutes online and the interview, which is scheduled in advance with the Global Entry Officer, is only about 15 minutes long. Once the interview is complete, you are photographed and fingerprinted, which allows you to use the kiosk in the airport when re-entering the US.  The membership fee is $100 and lasts for 5 years AND, as if that wasn’t good enough, you are automatically qualified for TSA PreCheck clearance, which allows you to keep your shoes on and laptop in your bag at certain domestic airports when you travel domestically.  Also, anyone paying with an American Express Platinum card will receive reimbursement for the charges.

There are a few qualifications for Global Entry, however, as long as you haven’t broken any laws, smuggled snails in to the country or lied on your application, you should be all set.  For more information on Global Entry, you can CLICK HERE for a Global Entry brochure or go online to

Later this year Largay Travel will host a Global Entry Day in our headquarters in Waterbury, Connecticut, where Global Entry Officers will be on site to perform interviews.  If you are interested in participating, please email me at and I will let you know the details when they are available. 

So, this October when I return from hosting a Voyager Club group on the Silver Spirit, I will test the system once and for all.  And maybe I won’t skip past all the weary travelers waiting in the endless line at the airport like I imagined during my long drive to JFK.  Maybe, instead, I will just smile and walk on by knowing that all of MY travelerswill do the same.  Safe journies my friends!

Teaching Largay Travel Advisors that the World is VAST

By Amanda Klimak CTIE   Sunday, August 12th, 2012

One of my favorite areas of travel is adventure and experiential travel and every year when I attend Virtuoso Travel Week at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the VAST Globetrotting event is always a highlight. VAST, which stands for Virtuoso Active and Specialty Travel, is comprised of thirty eight companies in the Virtuoso network from all over the world and with all different specialties.

African Travel Training at VAST

Largay Travel Advisors learning about Alpine Travel

VAST Training on Nomads of the Sea

VAST Training with Cox & Kings

VAST Training with Cox & Kings

VAST Training with Micato Safaris

These companies offer clients experiences that range from skiing to heli-hiking to yoga trips and more. Although these companies are a small segment of the entire Virtuoso Portfolio, the advisors who sell them are passionate in a big way. These companies are the best-of-the-best when it comes to adventure travel and the advisors realize that knowing every detail about them is imperative to their clients satisfaction.

What makes VAST training truly special is the time and effort that each company puts into their booth so the advisors can get a true feel for what their company is all about. I mean really, how can you not fall in love with Africa when you are sitting in front of a campfire with a beautiful view of the Masi Mara with a story teller from African Travel giving you the ins and outs of safari travel. Pictured to the right is Gail Rosenberg, Ken Sause and Honey Mistry, three of Largay Travel’s best African specialists.

Maybe skiing is your thing, well Alpine Travel decided to bring the snow to Vegas to get us in the mood. They not only talked about their North America and Europe programs but gave us all a great reminder that ski vacations are not just for winter and that the South American ski season is in full swing.

Another option may be fly-fishing, nature photography and whale watching in Patagonia off a state-of-the-art expedition cruise called Nomads of the sea. This vessel not only offers guests a transport to the fly-fishing river via a helicopter that sits on the back of the ship but also offers exquisite food and wine while sailing.

Cox & Kings took a different approach and brought in a spiritual leader to walk us through meditation for a few minutes before talking travel. It set the mood for us to learn about the Khumb Mela festival that will take place next year in India. Cox & Kings trips to one of the largest human congregations on the Earth, offer travelers an experience that they will never have again in their lifetime, as it does not take place every year.

The best idea of the day had to be the Micato Safaris tent which included a seven minute back massage before moving on to our next experience. Since the Largay Travel advisors work with Micato so much to plan trips, no one felt that they had missed any training.

Our day ended and we all left revitalized, educated and ready to make our clients dreams a reality. The VAST event is only the beginning of Virtuoso Week in Vegas and is the perfect way to kick off what is sure to be an amazing adventure!