I offer a full range of services to meet all of your travel objectives. Not sure where to travel or which hotel to choose? I provide knowledge, connections, resources and expertise in planning your travel: from private tours, honeymoons, adventure travel, and group travel to family vacations and bespoke luxury travel anywhere in the world. Need help with hotels, excursions, tours, activities or transfers? Can’t decide which cruise or safari to take? I’m here to help! My wish is to make your travel dreams come true. Get in touch. Let’s start planning!
An initial meeting or phone call begins the planning process. We discuss the services I can provide, your travel wishes, accommodation preferences, vacation budget, experiences you would like to have, special requests, and more. Once I have all the details, I create your customized itinerary, and we work together to fine-tune it.
As a Virtuoso Advisor with Travel Edge, I often have special access to providing you with breakfast, room upgrades, hotel amenities, food/beverage credits, etc. that can make your trip all the more special. My connections open doors and elevate your experiences.
My Travel Focus
Adventure travel, honeymoons, safaris, beach trips, cruises, family vacations, all-inclusive resorts, girls’ trips, spas, group travel … if you can dream it, I can plan it!
Let’s plan something wonderful together.
Travelista Alli’s Blog
Taj Majal Mystique
Taj Mahal Mystique
6:15 am. The stillness in the mausoleum is barely disturbed by the methodical swishing sound of a worker swinging a broom. The lone light bulb, hanging from an iron chain strung from the ceiling 240 feet above, barely illuminates the 400-year-old chamber. Flashlights aid us in examining the semi-precious gemstones that are inlaid throughout the vast white marble walls – small flowers taking up to three weeks to carve and assemble by master artisans, and inlaid Arabic lettering running from floor to ceiling set with perfect perspective, making it appear the same size despite its varying distance from the viewer.
Air vents incorporated into the brilliant architecture of the gleaming white structure allow the wind to move throughout the room. Our private guide, Aakash Jaine, hums the “Ohm” word; its sound lingers in the air for several seconds before being carried away by the wind. Then silence. The spiritual essence of this experience is palpable and is immediately etched into my memory.
History. Over the course of twenty years, 20,000 workers from throughout India, Persia and Europe, along with 1,000 elephants, painstakingly and meticulously built the architectural masterpiece known throughout the world as the Taj Mahal. Today, over 40,000 people visit the Taj each day. A continuous line of tourists snakes through the grounds of the complex, taking in the beautiful gardens, pools, red sandstone mosque, decorative minarets, and famous bench that Princess Diana sat upon during her visit. The culmination of a visit to the Taj is a visit through the mausoleum itself, where the remains lie of Mumtaz Mahal, wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who died after giving birth to their 14th child. The emperor built the Taj Mahal to honor her.
6:23 am. Several other tourists finally enter the Taj Mahal after spending time visiting the famous bench and strolling through the gardens. Thus begins the trickle that will become a stream, and then a river, of tourists who will visit this famous Wonder of the World that day.
Time. Eight minutes isn’t a long time in and of itself. However, eight minutes spent with your family in one of the most famous places in the world, without anyone else around but your crafty private guide and a lonely sweeper, feels like a stolen treasure. None of the 40,000 other tourists who visited the Taj that day had the singular experience that we did. They couldn’t hear the wind blowing through the chamber or stop while winding through the line to study the intricate gem-laden mosaics – not with hundreds of other people beside them. They couldn’t possibly know what it felt like to have the place to ourselves – alone with history.
These eight minutes are what being with a wonderful private guide is all about. Access. Preparedness. Unlocking a world of unforgettable memories. Our guide, Aakash, made all the difference in how we experienced our visit to a place that millions of people around the world have visited. Our bond with him was instant; in fact, we still keep in touch with him, several months later. Aakash took the pictures on this blog. My goal as a travel advisor is to connect you with the people and places that can provide you with memories you will cherish for years to come, just like Aakash did for us. Call or email me. I’d love to help. I can even connect you to Aakash on your next visit to the Taj!
Alli.Allen@TravelEdge.com +1 404-550-0069
My Heart Is In Africa
My heart raced as I followed the female leopard and her two cubs searching for a lost third cub. Waving in and out through the brush on the edge of the open grassland, they walked near a stand of trees, unaware that they were inching closer and closer to a male and female lion resting together. This scene from Big Cat Tales on Animal Planet excited and unsettled me – not only because I worried for the leopard and her cubs, but because I have traveled to this exact spot in Kenya in the Masai Mara and spent several days observing a leopard and these famous lions of the Marsh Pride.
The Masai Mara is one of the most special places in the world. Life and death animal interactions play out right in front of your eyes. Safari trucks often go off road to catch the action: following hunting animals, tracking hard-to-find leopards, watching baby hyenas play. Guides spot impossible-to-see wildlife that you would swear aren’t really there. Elephants and their adorable babies are plentiful, and there’s nothing quite like seeing huge hippos romping in muddy waters.
Of all the majesty and magnificence found in the Masai Mara, the most astounding experience to behold is watching the Great Migration. There’s nothing like it on earth. Your heart will both pound in excitement and cry in heart-wrenching despair as you see zebras and wildebeest hesitate, then rush to swim across the Mara River, trying their best not to get killed by waiting crocodiles. Many of them don’t make it across. Watching from the banks above the river, it is easy to spot crocodiles as they inch closer and closer to slow-moving wildebeest or baby zebras that are doomed. Bloated bodies of dead animals mix with the commotion of splashing water, busy hooves, and panicked mooing during the crossing, and it is relentless. It is Mother Nature in action.
Travel is the remedy for boredom and the elixir for routine. It captures the imagination like little else. It widens horizons and broadens perspectives. Investing in travel experiences is money well-spent that creates memories connecting people together. I became a travel advisor because my inherent love of seeing the world is a springboard for helpig others by curating travel experiences that capture your imagination, spark passion, and bring you joy.
Alli.Allen@TravelEdge.com +1 404-550-0069
Our planet is ailing. Whether we roam the plains of Africa, float on the canals of Venice, live in the jungles of Brazil, or walk the streets of New York, COVID-19 has found its way to our neck of the woods.
Musings from a Virtuoso Travel Advisor … 6:15 am. The stillness in the mausoleum is barely disturbed by the methodical swishing sound of a worker swinging a broom. The lone light bulb, hanging from an iron chain strung from the ceiling 240 feet above, barely illuminates the 400-year-old chamber. Flashlights aid us in examining the semi-precious gemstones… Read more
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The travel industry is changing. There will be a new normal.
Musings from a Virtuoso Travel Advisor … My heart raced as I followed the female leopard and her two cubs searching for a lost third cub. Waving in and out through the brush on the edge of the open grassland, they walked near a stand of trees, unaware that they were inching closer and closer… Read more