It was the 1980s. Registered nurses Alsie Fitzgerald and Karen Cox were attending a development conference for regional directors in Dallas. After hitting it off with several other attendees, they began seeking an opportunity to get together outside of their annual work conference.
A girls' getaway sounded like a good idea.
“Our very first trip was a girls' weekend getaway in Las Vegas in 1989,” recalls Alsie Fitzgerald. “From there, we started taking weekend trips, which was great since we were all still working and raising young children. We made a point to travel together every year and eventually took our first international trip together.”
The group planned their first girls' trip cruise in 1997.
"The rooms were tiny and we bunked three per cabin," Karen Cox recalls. "Still, we had a great time and wouldn’t trade the memories we made for the world. The quarters were tight but we got along like sisters and had a grand time."
Girls’ Weekend Getaways Grew Into International Girls Trips
Thirty years of quick weekend getaways eventually gave way to more intimate and international vacations.
“We’re down to three or four travelers now as we’ve all gotten older,” says Alsie. “Our youngest turns 71 this year and our oldest is 81, so traveling yearly becomes a little less consistent. But we trust our travel advisor, Lisa, who always manages to put together absolutely incredible itineraries for us.”
The girls' group has been planning its getaways with Lisa Salloum from Travel and Transport since 2016 and noticed a difference between her and other travel advisors right away.
“We had worked with travel agents before, but Lisa was different,” says Alsie. “My daughter had worked with Travel and Transport and had used Lisa’s help for something else. I decided to call her and see how she could help us plan a river cruise. We found firsthand that using an advisor who actually knows where to go, how to get the best deals and how to deliver the best experience saves you money in the long run and results in a better experience.”
Alsie and Karen say a travel advisor’s services can be really helpful when you’re traveling somewhere for the first time.
“Unless you know a country well and have been there before, how do you know where to go?” Karen asks. “How do you know how to get around, where to stay and where you shouldn’t go? Lisa has always made sure we travel safe and hassle-free. She books the best experiences and is just a call away when something does come up. Any time, day or night, we know we can get a hold of her and get the help we need.”
That kind of reassurance is invaluable, especially when traveling overseas. The other benefit the girls have appreciated over the years is the special experiences and convenience Travel and Transport has been able to provide them.
Skip the Lines and Enjoy One of a Kind Experiences
Alsie and Karen’s crew found inside connections to be invaluable when planning a girls' trip.
“Many times, Lisa has been able to get us into tours ahead of long lines,” says Alsie. “When we traveled to Abu Dhabi to celebrate one of our group’s 70th birthdays, we walked around huge lines at popular sightseeing stops because of Lisa. People would look at us just wondering who we were; like we were famous or something!”
From a Rhine River cruise and African safari to the Maldives, Abu Dhabi and beyond, Alsie, Karen and their group of galavanting gals have appreciated Lisa’s attention to detail and thoroughness in planning their girls' getaways.
“She does a fantastic job of gathering the possibilities and giving us options to choose from,” says Alsie. “That’s what I appreciate the most. She is so thorough. She comes up with things we’d never think of and lays out the whole trip for us in one convenient itinerary. All the tour guides we have ever encountered have been experts in pointing out details we would have otherwise missed. They’ve been so friendly and knowledgeable. I wouldn’t travel any other way or trust anyone else with our travel plans.”
Dining on the Dunes
Last year, when Alsie and Karen took a girls' getaway to Abu Dhabi, Lisa planned a private tour for their small group, which was led by a phenomenal travel guide, who guided them around the city and across the desert on a special camel-led caravan.
“The tour culminated with a private dinner in a tent nestled among the sand dunes,” recalls Alsie. “We looked across the desert and saw a large group of tourists crammed together in one spot. We were all having the same experience, but ours was better because our guide knew how to secure a private spot and deliver a more relaxing, intimate experience for us.
“Without Lisa, that would have been us up on the dune, crowded together like cattle. Instead, because of her connections and expertise, we enjoyed a one-of-a-kind experience that we will treasure forever.”
Does Alsie and Karen’s story have you ready to plan a girls' trip? Reach out to us today to turn your dreams into reality.