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Luxury Travel Agent Has Never Seen Such Chaos

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  • Stacy Fischer Rosenthal is President and Owner of luxury travel agency Fischer Travel
  • We have never seen delays and cancellations on the scale we are seeing post Covid. Lost bags are a fact of life
  • This is the story of Stacy Fischer Rosenthal as told to writer Amber Gibson.

This essay is based on a conversation with Stacy Fischer Rosenthal, the President and owner of luxury travel agency Fischer Travel, who has been in business for 40 years. Their clients pay a $100,000 joining fee to become a member of Fischer Travel, which has already added seven new clients this year and is considering increasing the joining fee. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I’ve been doing this for 40 years and I’ve never seen anything quite like it in terms of chaos.

Covid has left a long-term negative impact on all aspects of travel: airlines are struggling with staffing issues, hence the cancellations, and the hospitality industry in general is in dire straits – hotels, restaurants, tour guides, drivers and greeters. The demand for travel is there – there is only a lack of supply.

We’re used to delays and cancellations, but never to the extent we’re experiencing. People come to us because they want to feel cared for, be flexible and have options.

Recently, my team planned an independent trip for a new client.

We arranged for her French lessons in Provence, walking and cycling guides, and people to have dinner with her and chat casually in French. Then, after two days, the hiking and biking trails were closed due to the heat, so she decided to just head to Paris instead.

I felt sorry for the vendors we found but understood that she would rather be in a city and be indoors and have a museum experience. And so we are now putting together this completely different itinerary for you to Paris; We arranged chocolate and croissant baking classes and professional buyers to invite them over for a fashion day and we were able to curate this with just two days in advance.

Before Covid, people traveled maybe a week to 10 days. What we see now are families and people of different generations traveling for four to eight weeks this summer.

The planning intensity of a trip of this magnitude is enormous. Sometimes when they leave we haven’t even completed the back end of the journey because we are still waiting for replies from the customer and waiting for confirmations from suppliers because everyone is so late. Even in the best hotels in the world, concierges are understaffed.

Lost bags are also a big problem that is more common than ever.

On another recent trip, a client’s daughter, who is a horse rider, traveled from London City Airport to Nice and checked her medication and riding gear. Her bag didn’t make it to Nice and it was the week of the Queen’s Jubilee.

She offered a £5,000 reward for the bag. We sent people to both airports and nobody could find it. That was on Monday. On Tuesday when they didn’t find the bag I thought what if we pack another bag in New York and fly it to Nice with someone.

I couldn’t spare one member of staff, so I called a friend to see if she had her vaccination card and passport. She was on a 7 p.m. United flight from Newark. Customer’s assistant packed a bag in New York, had a driver pick up my girlfriend from New Jersey with €500 and $500 and a driver picked her up in Nice and they took two bags to Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. My friend stayed in Nice for two nights and then flew back on Friday.

She literally dropped everything to get on that plane and our client’s daughter got her riding gear and meds on Wednesday.

Covid is also still a ubiquitous topic.

At least three times a week there’s a 411 because someone has to get off a yacht or offboard staff or hire new staff because someone has got Covid.

We had a new client who was at a bachelorette party on Exuma in the Bahamas in May when she tested positive for Covid. Her parents called and wanted to take her home, otherwise she had to go to a quarantine hotel in Exuma for a week. I remembered reading about the Rosewood Baha Mar flying people home if they were positive, so I called the general manager and within three hours we were bringing them on a private plane via Trinity Air Ambulance for $15,000 to Miami.

Having a human travel agency is now more important than ever.

We have amazing relationships to get things right. We monitor our customers’ every movement, check them in, assist the greeter, the car and the driver and constantly monitor all airport closures, flight cancellations and entry and exit regulations. It’s an ongoing process of reconfirming 2 or 3 times to make sure everything is going smoothly.

We are the only point of contact for the entire trip and do not pass this on to anyone else. If there was one thing I would like to change, it would be that the service levels would be back and the response time would be much faster.

We currently see the greatest interest in Europe. Not that people haven’t been going in recent years, but it’s so popular at the moment and people miss it. Large families travel to one or more destinations for weeks. It’s not just about getting the villa, it’s about occupying the villa and providing attractions, activities, restaurants, etc. There are so many different facets to every trip.

Creating magical, unforgettable moments is the best part of what we do. Travel is not one size fits all. Trying to stay in the moment, I embrace the new business and embrace the challenges and opportunities. We work so hard and if people appreciate what we do for them, there’s nothing quite like it.

We are hiring by demand and we know it will take time for people to understand our business.

I just hired five students from great colleges like Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

I’m looking for passion, listening skills and openness to be creative. Of course you also have to be very detail-oriented and very open-minded to work in a team, because that’s how you will be successful here. We all bring our skills and travel knowledge into the equation to help our customers.



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In the coming three holidays, this route of Rishikesh may remain jammed, you can also choose this route.

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Everyone has made it their goal to travel during the three-day public holiday on August 15, there will hardly be anyone who will not use these public holidays. Though there are many places to visit near Delhi but if you want to visit Rishikesh with friends then let us tell you that in such place you can get a lot of crowd in these three days. In addition, you may have to face traffic jams when driving from Delhi to Rishikesh. In such a situation, today we will tell you some such routes, with the help of which you can to some extent avoid traffic jams.

Route 1: New Delhi – Meerut – Muzaffarnagar – Roorkee – Haridwar – Rishikesh via NH 334

For those who choose Route 1, it takes about 6 hours to reach Rishikesh via NH 334. Rishikesh is 235 km away from New Delhi. On this route, the road will take you through some important places like Meerut and Muzaffarnagar. The roads are in very good condition, it is easy to walk a short distance from here. In the coming 3 days holiday this place between Rishikesh and Nainital will be better, which place would you like to visit?

(Image credit: TOI.com)

Route 2: New Delhi – Hapur – Chandpur – Najibabad – Haridwar – Rishikesh Via NH 9

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If you choose route 2, it will take you around 7 hours to reach Rishikesh via the NH 9 and the total distance from New Delhi to Rishikesh is around 288 km. You can plan to visit here on the weekend, leave on Saturday morning and then rest in the evening and start your trip the next day. Then you can come to Delhi at night on Monday ie 15th August. These 6 countries will fulfill the dream of living abroad, lakhs of rupees will be given to the citizens upon their settlement

(Image credit: Economic Times)

Short stop in Meerut and Haridwar –

Coming from Route 1 you will see many Punjabi dhabas in Meerut. Here you can stop to have some breakfast water. This stopover is perfect from where you can eat delicious parathas. Once you reach Haridwar you can have your lunch by stopping here and also visit some ghats and famous temples here. This place is one of the holiest places in the country and large numbers of pilgrims come here to wash away their sins and seek blessings. Rishikesh is 25 km from here which you can reach in 45 to 60 minutes. Now that you have seen the place to visit, book a government guest house for less than Rs 1800

(Image credit: indiatimes.com)

How to reach – How to reach

-how to reach

Apart from the road, if you are thinking of traveling by train and plane, you can go this way.

By plane: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport at a distance of 21 km. This airport is connected to many places across the country.

By train: Rishikesh railway station is well connected to the rail network and trains run from all over the country. I have seen many hill stations near Manali, Mussoorie, now see these magnificent hill stations near Dehradun

Places to visit in Rishikesh – Places in Rishikesh

-Places-in-Rishikesh

There are many places to see in Rishikesh but there are some places you can visit in a 1 to 2 days trip such as Beasi, Kaudiyala, Mun ki Reti, Bharat Mandir, Rishikund, Terah Manzil Temple.

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Why You Should Travel To Rajasthan In August

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Why You Should Travel To Rajasthan In August


Jaipur: The long weekend is just around the corner and if you haven’t planned a trip yet, add a visit to Rajasthan to your plans. With the onset of the monsoon season, the scorching heat of June and July is behind us and the weather is pleasant to visit the “Desert State of India”. In fact, the month of August is one of the best times to experience Rajasthan in all its verdant splendor that surrounds the state’s historic forts.Also read – Rajasthan: Woman fills in well with 4 children, all die; she survives

Why you should travel to Rajasthan in August

In August, Rajasthan enjoys light rains and comfortable temperatures of around 33 degrees Celsius due to the advent of monsoon rains. During this period the weather is just perfect – not too hot or not too cold. Also read – Explained: What is Lumpy Skin Disease That Killed Over 3,000 Cattle in Rajasthan, Gujarat?

Plus, the rain showers turn the state’s barren and arid land green, making up for the spectacular views. During this time, the view from the top of the forts and historical sites is one of lush greenery – a sight not to be missed. In addition, the rain and pleasant weather make the hard work to climb the summit worthwhile. Also read – Tina Dabi shares images showing Jaisalmer’s monsoon beauty after Rajasthan receives its heaviest rainfall in 66 years

Sightseeing in Rajasthan in August

Udaipur

This image shows the Ganges River in Udaipur. (Photo/AFP)

Udaipur – the city of lakes – is a sight to behold in August. The city has seven lakes including Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, Swaroop Sagar Lake, Rangsagar and Doodh Talai Lake which are recharged by the monsoon rains. Travelers can book a stay at the Taj Lake Palace right in the middle of Lake Pichola for breathtaking views of the city. Aside from these beautiful lakes, the city is home to some of the country’s grandest palaces, which are major tourist attractions.

jalore

Jalore Fort (Source: Facebook)

Tucked away in Aravallis, Jalore is another great place to visit during the monsoons. During this period, the Aravalli forest is particularly spectacular after fresh rain showers. Jalore is also called the city of granite and majesty. Sundha Mountain, just outside the city limits, is a great place to visit and the views from the top are stunning. Make time for Jalore Fort and Swarn Giri Fort as well, they are some of the city’s top attractions.

Other

Garh Palace (Bundi) (Photo/ Pinterest)

A grand spectacle, Bundi is all about magnificent forts and ancient baoris (stepped reservoirs). During the monsoon these step reservoirs are filled with fresh water and make for a breathtaking view. Also, the hills around Bundi are revived with green vegetation and the rivers have swelled again after the rains.

Mount Abu

Mount Abu (India only/Getty Images)

The beautiful hill station in Rajasthan always enjoys pleasant weather and it’s even better during the monsoons. Mount Abu offers countless activities for tourists like trekking, hiking, zip lining to name a few. But if you want it to be a peaceful vacation, you can visit places like Guru Sikhar, Nakki Lake, Mount Abu Sanctuary, Toad Rock Viewpoint, Dilwara Jain Temple, among others.

jaipur

Hawa Mahel, Jaipur (Photo/Pinterest)

The Pink City shines in all its glory in August. After the monsoon showers have washed away all the dust and dryness of summer, Jaipur’s fantastic architecture looks like it has had a fresh coat of paint. The colors of the red sandstone monuments emerge after rain and Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Mandir Palace, Laxmi Narayan Temple, City Palace, Amer Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Rambagh Palace and other places look like they have get a new life.



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Top Things To Do In Jodhpur

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Located on the edge of the Thar Desert in western Rajasthan, Jodhpur continues to be a global tourist magnet. Jodhpur has been given several epithets such as Blue City and Sun City. The Rajasthanis affectionately call it Jodhana. The former capital of the Marwar kingdom is home to Rajasthan’s largest fort and several grand palaces, temples, gardens and markets full of old world charm and offers an amazing travel experience. Here we present you the best things to do in Jodhpur. By Karan Kaushik

Things to do in Jodhpur

Walk through the pages of history at Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh, often touted as the citadel of the sun, stands tall and proud as Rajasthan’s greatest fortress. It was built by Rao Jodha in 1459. Perched on a sheer bluff 400 feet above the city, this burnished red sandstone structure is backed by many stories. Its beauty has attracted many admirers such as Rudyard Kipling; he called it “the work of giants.” Today it is widely regarded as one of the best preserved forts in India. The main attraction of the fort is its Museum. Miniature paintings, palanquins, weapons and valuable mementos of the royal family are on display here. The main attractions of the fort are Sangar Chowki, Zenana Mahal and Phool Mahal.

Go ziplining over the Blue City

The Flying Fox Zipline Tour in Jodhpur is an exciting experience that will stay in your memory forever. Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described this zip line as Jodhpur’s best part. “The zip lines send you around the moats and pinnacles like Batman,” he had said. The zipline takes you over two desert lakes and the Rao Jodha Ecopark, offering stunning views of Mehrangarh and the Blue City.

Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park

Located near the famous Mehrangarh Fort, this 72-hectare ecologically restored desert came back to life in 2006 after careful reconstruction. Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, once an arid, decaying, barren land of vegetation, now boasts a local nursery, convenience store and cafe. Visitors can even hike trails amidst the 250 native plant species here and embark on a mission to spot several species of reptiles and over 200 birds along the way.

Revel in the Umaid Bhawan Palace

The magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace has hosted prolific figures from around the world over the past few decades. The palace is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architectural style and was named after and built by Maharaja Umaid Singh. It is also known as the Chittar Palace due to the use of Chittar sandstone in its construction. Interestingly, no mortar was used in the entire construction. Instead, hand-carved blocks of sandstone were interlocked. Today is part of the palace doubles as a hotel, while the others house model airplanes, guns, antique clocks, and priceless crockery for the public.

Admire the architecture of Rajasthan at Mandore Garden

Like Jodhpur itself, Mandore Garden has many names. Maddodara, Mandowar, and Mandavyapura-Durga are some of the oldest names all believed to have descended from Rishi Mandavya. Locals believe that the gardens were originally tended by Nagas, followed by Pratiharas, Chahamanas, Sultans of Delhi and finally Rathores. Today the garden is the site of many magnificent antiques temple, monuments and high rock terraces. The monoliths here date from the early fifth century. Indeed are two intricately carved monoliths depicting scenes from Krishna Leela were excavated in 1909-10. On the other side, the hilltop Mandore Palace and Fort date back to the sixth century. The highlight at Mandore Gardens, however, is the government-run museum, which houses artifacts and relics of historical importance.

Explore the twin lakes of Ranisar-Padamsar

These interconnected pristine waters are considered the twin lakes of Jodhpur and are located near Mehrangarh Fort. Both lakes date back to 1459 and were built with the intention of natural water conservation. Although it’s in a largely deserted area Condition, these lakes have a very unique quality – they rarely run out of water. Head here at the height of dawn to enjoy the water in all its glory and watch the towering fortress dance in the waves.

Take gram worthy photos in Jaswant Thada

Dating from 1899, Jaswant Thada is a famous cenotaph. While it now serves as the cremation ground for the Marwar Rajput royal family, it was originally built by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. That cenotaph is built entirely of thin and intricately carved marble slabs. They have been polished to shine under the summer sun. The main cenotaph – that of Maharaja Jaswant Singh – is surrounded by portraits of rulers. In addition, the Jaswant Thada site features pavilions, a tiered garden, three other cenotaphs and a small lake.

Shop at the Clock Tower Market

No trip to Jodhpur is complete without going on a Shopping Spree. Enjoy hot Pjas Kachoris and Mirchi commander before you start splurging on everything Rajasthani. The Sardar Market in Girdikot is centered around the famous Ghantaghar or Clock Tower. The market sells everything from Jodhpuri mojaris to Lehariya Sarees, Dupattas, Safas, ethnic jewelry and more.

Plan a detour to Osian

Ossian or Osiyan is an oasis town in the Thar desert of Jodhpur district. Often referred to as the Khajuraho of Rajasthan, this historic city is famous for its Hindu and Jain temples. While here, visit the Jain Mahavira Temple which houses an idol of Mahavira made of cow’s milk, mud and a gold cloak. Then there is the Sachayee Mata Mandir, the most important Hindu temple in Osian. You may also fancy a camel safari or an ATV ride in the sandy terrain of Osian.

Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock; Hero photo credit: Makm Photography/Unsplash

Related: Looking for a cultural holiday? Drive straight to Rajasthan!



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