Winter News 2009

from Kristina at WinWin Vacations 

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,
Yes, you can.
You can travel.
Now is a good time to travel.
If you are like me, travel is part of your psyche. It's not a luxury, but a necessity.
I travel because I'm alive.
Travel takes away all
my everyday worries.
Travel instills in me a
love of life.
Travel is about how we interact and enjoy the world around us.
Travel is about understanding.
Travel is about peace.
Travel is all about YOU.

 Ellis LoveHug Kristina
 Kristina Trowbridge
with Abu, Tembo & Marula 

Zebra Stripe border
Kats Logo
Kenya Master KATS conference
Dec 1-16, 2008
 "What's the matter" asked Ledama, my driver-guide at Little Governors Camp.
"Are you sad for the wildebeest?"
he asked.
No, I was happy.
Honey's Boys were devouring that wildebeest they killed in front of me and their bellies were growing rounder
by the minute.
Those were tears of joy.

Imagine my excitement when I spotted Honey's three cubs again, now re-named Honey's Boys by Jonathan Scott of BBC's Big Cat Diary fame. There they were, all three nearly grown-up cheetah male cubs and healthy. My heart was racing 70 miles an hour, as fast as a cheetah can run. My emotions were running as wild as they are; that's when I started to cry.
I was thinking of their difficult beginning when their mom Honey, made famous by BBC, accidentally died and left them orphans. They were only 9 months old and totally incapable of hunting for themselves. They depended on Honey for everything. Now they had only each other ... and the Kenya Wildlife Services.
I came to Kenya to attend the Master KATS (Kenya Agent Travel Specialist) conference. I needed to visit some camps that I had not seen before. Travelling alone, I was able to arrange my own program with help from the Kenya Tourist Board in Nairobi.
To read more click here 
More pictures from Africa can be found at:
Click this link for
My Pictures from all over the World
Zebra Stripe border 
US Passport 
I couldn't believe my eyes. My new passport arrived in the mail within 2 weeks; before the green "Return Request" card was returned to me!!! WOW! And that was during the Christmas and New Year holidays season. 
What a surprise!!!!!
Sure, I paid the expedite fee and the one day delivery fee; I feel absolutely naked without my passport and I wanted it back as quickly as possible. With that as it may be, I still expected a two months' wait. Surprise, surprise. However, don't relax so fast; the race is on. 
It's Time to get that Passport now.
On June 1, 2009 all arriving and returning U.S. citizens must have a passport or passport card to enter the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. One exception is U.S. and Canadian citizens under the age of 16 will be able to present a birth certificate instead of a passport for crossing land or sea borders between the U.S. and Canada. There also will be special provisions for children traveling in school, sports or other groups, but my advice is to get a passport. Things can change and often do.
What's the difference between a passport and a passport card? The passport card was mandated by Congress as an alternative secure document but only for land and sea entry. The card contains radio frequency identification on an RFID chip, designed to be read quickly by scanning equipment installed at U.S. points of entry. One very important distinction is the passport card is not acceptable for air travel.
There is some cost savings in having a passport card versus a passport, here's what you need to know:
*Standard, first-time passports now cost $100 and are valid 10 years. U.S. citizens age 15 and younger pay $85 for a passport valid for five years.
*The new land/sea passport card costs $45 for adults and would be valid 10 years. Citizens age 15 and younger pay $35 for a card valid for five years.
*Current passport holders can apply for the card as a renewal and pay $20. The card costs $10 for those younger than age 16 who already has a passport.
A number of border states are working on enhanced drivers licenses containing the RFID chip and other security features that are acceptable for entry at land and sea points. Currently, Washington state is the only one with these licenses. 

More information, applications and forms can be found here: 
Zebra Stripe border
Updates from the (un)Friendly Skies
Coffee, Tea or Me?
Remember that slogan?
I was a stewardess when they wore paper dresses and hot pants and we "waived our tails" for you.
under the wing 
Girls getting some shade under the wing
 in Namibia during a re-fueling stop.
A flying safari.

Recent Airline News:
For those of us in Seattle, an era is ending next fall when SAS pulls out of Seatac for the last time and forever closes the doors behind them. Our community is still in denial, shocked by this announcment. WHY? 
They Early Bird Summer Discount fares are out, but you must hurry. They are due to expire on Feb 23rd. However, I'm guessing they will be extended to the end of the month, just a guess!!  
Now that Delta owns Northwest Airlines, there's been a lot of changes to the schedules of both airlines and more are sure to follow. Be sure to reconfirm your flights. Some flights have been cancelled, leaving you stranded!!! 
United Airlines has disconnected it's complaint department and turned off the phones. I'm NOT kidding!!!
What's the next thing the airlines can charge you for?
  • Check in with a human at the airport
  • Seats that are not in the middle or in the last row by the lavatories where the seats don't recline
  • Pillows and blankets ($7.00 on USAirways)
  • Headphones that blocks the commercials 
  • Boarding first
  • Coin lockers in the overhead space 
  • Toilett paper, soap and paper towels in the lavatories
  • Magazines onboard
 What happened to the friendly skies? You tell me!

Please check my blog for updates and special deals:
 Zebra Stripe border
Feel free to contact me at
Refer your family and friends

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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