A Life in Travel

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Travel is Getting More Adventurous | A Closer Look #21

Travel is getting more adventurous

If 2019 is any predictor of the future of adventure travel, disruptions from climate change, global social movements, and chaotic change in the airline industry are becoming the new norm. Just last month during Thanksgiving a "bomb cyclone" in the Northwest and paralyzing storms in the east combined with protests and airline strikes in South America had us working 24/7 behind the scenes for many of you. Helping you negotiate the disruptions is an increasing part of our job description.

One Wildland traveler's recent feedback prompts me to share a Closer Look at what goes behind the scenes at Wildland Adventures to keep you on track, safe and happy:

 "….the incredible Wildland team has helped us in so many ways with every adventure we've taken…"

Here are some of your stories and how we made your adventure one you'll never forget, for all the good reasons.

The First Step

Getting to the airport and taking off on schedule is the first step on your journey of a thousand miles. So, if you need assistance we're just a 24/7 call away. This week we helped one family headed to Galapagos over the holidays scramble to get a new flight when their son realized at the last minute that he had mandatory exams the day the family was departing for Ecuador. Coordinating with our airline ticketing partners at Exito Travel, we re-booked his international departure and also make contingency plans in the Galapagos; in case his new flight is delayed, he have a small shuttle boat waiting to help him catch up with his family if their yacht has to leave port before his arrival.

"I haven't been in protests since the Vietnam War!" 

When Jim and Donna stepped out the front door of their hotel on their first morning in Quito, Ecuador after the president declared an end to fuel subsidies the street was blockaded by friendly protesters and troops of local police. Events unfolded quickly. Accompanied by their guide Fabian, Jim and Donna had to leave that hotel because they had to get to Galapagos the next day, but they still hoped they could see part of the city and learn more about current events. Sherry, our Galapagos Program Director, was in constant contact throughout the day. She switched their accommodations to a beautiful hacienda close to the airport assuring they could catch their flight to Galapagos the next day. Then she got on the phone with Fabian to redesign the city tour so they could see the city highlights safely and learn more about social and economic issues in Ecuador while they made their way around blockages and friendly protesters.

"We sincerely appreciated our guide Fabian who went right to plan B and the whole team of Wildland agents who made our travel through political unrest smooth!" 

How to Handle a Crisis in Your Sleep

Hint: We'll take care of it for you. 
When Wildland travelers were climbing Mt Kilimanjaro far out of non-emergency communications range, we discovered that Air Uganda went out of business. Before anyone in Africa woke up the next day to discover the news, while our travelers were climbing on the roof of Africa, we had them re-booked long before they arrived back in Arusha and ever knew what happened. They had purchased trip insurance so we provided all the documentation they needed and filed notice with TravelEx of their forthcoming claim before they got home. 

No Fear of Flying

Flights are the first and last engagement of your trip and can be the most unpredictable and unreliable elements of travel. There are probably more adventure stories arising out of trip disruptions due to flight changes, missed connections, or misplaced luggage. If the skies have always been friendly for you, take note, things are getting dicier with air travel. But have no fear! In collaboration with our air partners at Exito Travel, we can help you through the maze of ticketing strategies and decisions including finding best fares, which combination of carriers to use, the best airport hubs and connecting times, and so much more. 

If something does go awry before, during or after your trip, we're here to help. Unless you're flying Business Class or are a high-miler privileged flyer of that carrier, airline agents are not likely to give you preferential treatment. But when you book air with us you can think of us as your personal air concierge.

Left Something Behind or Baggage Delayed?
No matter how big or small, we'll help you recover items left behind whether it's a pair of reading glasses you left in your room or a $10,000 camera bag forgotten on a plane. One Wildland traveler informed us just as he was making his connecting flight home that he left his camera gear in the back of his bush plane. We quickly had the guide collect and secure the the camera bag until we could have it hand-carried on a flight to Los Angeles whereupon one of our staff flew down to LA to retrieve it for this 10x Wildland frequent traveler from Seattle.

We never take for granted the opportunity you grant us to send you to the farthest reaches of the planet. Our foremost goal is to surpass your highest expectations and create the most memorable trip possible. 

Thanks for entrusting us with your precious vacation time and happy holidays! 

Keeping it wild,

Kurt Kutay
Wildland President

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