News from Kristina at WinWin Vacations November 2008

Amboseli ellie stampede 
 
 
 
 
 
Comments from Happy Safari participants 
Meerkats sunning
 
Kristina Trowbridge, who has a love for and a first hand knowledge of Kenya and its indigenous people, the incredible Maasai, escorted our group on a journey of a life time. Her thoroughness made connections smooth and timely while giving every care and consideration to us as individuals. 
 
She knows the accommodation operators on a personal basis who then gave us 110% service and at different times lunch, dinner or cocktails with appetizers at safari locations as surprises.  Through Kristina we witnessed the heart and spirit of Kenya--its wildlife and people.  I'll never forget witnessing the three Cheetah brother's taking a zebra--wow!!

Your thoroughness in handling the accommodations and safari guides -- the Maasai people were essential to finding the game, in my view. It was a big plus that you knew these people and there was a bond of trust. You knew the territory well enough to send us by small plane--kudos. You enjoyed the experience with the enthusiasm of a first timer. You seemed to appreciate the trip as much as we did--in other words you were not a burned out tour guide. Linda T
 
Kristina you look after every detail of an adventure.  You know what you want your travelers to have and they get it.  I have traveled, a lot, but I never had every "T" crossed and "I" dotted.  All of the goodies you sent to us to get us acquainted and the trouble you went through for every, and I do mean every thing we did was very appreciated by me. Norma
 
Kristina had everything under control.  No real glitches.  The trip was very well planned and the activities were varied enough to make the trip very interesting. Jan

Kristina is so thorough in her planning that everything goes smoothly.  She has vast knowledge of the resorts and personnel and the birds and other animals.  She is a walking book of information and it is a joy to be traveling with her. Kristina is so knowledgeable and she is willing to do more research to look into other alternatives. I really appreciate that, Linda P


 

Kristina is the Featured Travel Agent in the July newsletter for Ker & Downey ,  a USA based luxury custom Tour Operator  to Africa, India and South America 

riding on top

Meet Kristina Trowbridge -
Not Your Average Travel Agent


As a board member for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of APTA, Kristina Trowbridge is more than just your average safari specialist.  Her long list of titles should tell you of her passion for Africa.  She is an Africa Destination Specialist from the Travel Institute, a Botswana Travel Specialist from the Botswana Tourist Board, an Egypt Specialist from the Egyptian Tourism Board, not to mention a KATS diploma holder, FUNDI expert, a Cape Town Specialist and a Tanzania Tourism Specialist! With such a long list of education, there is little doubt about the expertise of this energetic woman and even less doubt about her love for this contintent - Africa.
Kristina hails from Seattle, Washington where she runs her own agency WinWin Vacations.  Having been to Africa over 20 times, she can certainly call herself an expert, but she also specializes in destination travel to South America, Europe, the South Pacific, India and Alaska.  Perhaps it is her Swedish heritage that sparked her passion for discovery.  Having grown up in Sweden and immigrating to the USA at age 20, travel was in her blood.  Knowing 7 languages and flying as a 'stew' for TWA only fueled the passion and the fire for adventure. 

Click on this link to read the entire article about me:
 
 
Dear Safari Enthusiast,
 
A Huge and Happy Thanksgiving
 
Thank you for your trust in me
to help you with your travel arrangements
for the past many years.
I hope you will continue
to use me. 
 
Kristina Trowbridge

 Ellis LoveHug Kristina

 
 Fiji sandbar island
In October I made an educational trip to Fiji  
 
I love Fiji and its people, considered the friendliest people on earth. I cannot disagree with this. SalomeEverywhere you come or go, the Fijians will sing for you; either a Welcome to our country song or a sad goodbye song, we shall meet again: Isa Lei.
 
I visited 22 hotels and 2 cruise ships in only 8 days. We hit the ground running from the very beginning. Air Pacific arrives in Nadi early in the morning 2 days after you leave home, which includes crossing the International Dateline.
 
Our schedule was hectic. We immediately boarded our waiting bus from Rosie's and set out on the Queens Road to Pacific Harbour, stopping at The Hideaway Resort and at Taunovo Bay Resort for lunch. Then we boarded a boat for the 1 hour trip out to Royal Davui for a site inspection of this lovely island resort in the Beqa Lagoon. After returning by boat to Pacific Harbour, we boarded the bus again for the 3 hour ride to the Outrigger on the Lagoon Resort for dinner and overnight. And so it went.
 
 Finally, we boarded the MV Mystique Princess in Lautoka and got a nice break for 3 days. She is one of the Blue Lagoon ships that sail in the Yasawa Islands.
Yasawa Panorama
A typical stop on the Blue Lagoon Cruise; here we climbed to the top of the hill at Liku for this incredible view. These are deserted white sand beaches. It's breathtakingly beautiful.
 
During this 3 nights/4 days cruise, I completed the Blue Lagoon Specialist course for agents. My passing score was 100%. Yes!!!
 
Sunset at Castaway Island:
 

Castaway Sunset

 
Updates from the (un)Friendly Skies
 
The national average price for a gallon of gas has fallen every day for the past 60 days. Gas reached its peak of $4.114 on July 17. Now, it's at $2.105, according to a recently released survey from the AAA. According to AAA data, its been almost two years since the price of gas was this low. 
 
With oil prices coming down almost every day, you may think that the airlines would reduce or even eliminate their fuel surcharges.
 
!!!FAT CHANCE!!!
 
under the wing 

I just purchased a ticket to London roundtrip from Seattle for December travel. The base price of the actual airfare is a whopping low $204.00 roundtrip. Now everyone knows that the airlines can't survive on that. However, my total price that I paid was $788.88 when all the taxes and surcharges were added in. The fuel surcharge was lowered by $18.00 recently and BA was proud to announce this fact. BUT, I still paid $380.00 in fuel surcharges. Does this make any sense?
 
Other news:
Now that DL owns Northwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines has raised its change fee for domestic tickets to $150 this week. The others are sure to follow.
 
United is increasing the service fee to check a second bag on a domestic flight from $25 to $50 one way. These changes apply to customers who purchase a ticket on or after September 16, 2008 for travel within the US and to/from Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands on or after November 10, 2008.

American Airlines is rolling out the option of electronic boarding passes - via cell phones or PDAs - starting Monday at the airports in Los Angeles (LAX) and Orange County (SNA) in California. These mobile boarding passes are already in use by American at Chicago/O'Hare. Check the details at the www.AA.com  
 
Bush Announces More Thanksgiving Air "Express Lanes"
 
President Bush yesterday announced the expansion of the "Thanksgiving Express Lanes" used last year when the military opened its East Coast airspace to civilian flights during the Thanksgiving holiday season. The effort to deal with holiday air traffic worked so well last year, Bush said, that the government will expand it to areas of the Midwest, the Southwest and the West Coast, including the skies over Phoenix and Los Angeles. He said the government is working with the FAA, the TSA, and the airlines to make more staff available to speed check-in and boarding, and to help passengers affected by cancellations and delays. Bush added that regulations providing increased protection for airline passengers have been completed, including measures that will require airlines to provide greater compensation for lost bags, as well as tougher penalties when airlines fail to notify travelers of hidden fees. The regulations should take effect in December, in time for Christmas and New Year's travel, the president said. For more information, visit www.whitehouse.gov
 
 
 
What happened to the friendly skies? You tell me!

Please post your comments on my blog at http://KristinaSafari.blogspot.com
 
 
 
 
Feel free to contact me with any questions at kristina.trowbridge@gmail.com
 
Sincerely,

Kristina Trowbridge
WinWin Vacations WinWin Vacations logo
call 206-297-7179 
or  877-297-7179
 

WinWin Vacations, Your Travel Solution, PO Box 30903, Seattle, WA 98113-0903
phone (206) 297-7179,
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