I’ve traveled with Janet Blair’s Solo Travelers Int’l group, both alone and with my husband, to several countries in the past few years. The trips have included Turkey, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa/Zimbabwe/ Botswana, Vietnam, Croatia/Slovenia/Montenegro, Cuba, Ecuador & the Galapagos, Singapore & Bali.
Having lived overseas for large portions of my life, in numerous parts of the world, and traveled extensively on my own overseas since I was a teenager, traveling with a group doesn’t come easily. However, the trips Janet has planned have been exceptional in quality, affordability, and convenience. I’ve found that on my own I can’t arrange transportation to cover as much territory, find such amazing centrally-located accommodations, along with the professional local guides, airport transfers and luggage management that her groups provide for a fraction of the cost or inconveniences of self-managed travel.
The groups are small and congenial, there is always free-time to explore, the side-trips are excellent, meals are carefully chosen and delicious. Travel time is spent on enjoying the sights and experiences that you’re there to explore, rather than tied up with other travel details. Each trip is individually planned, so no two are ever the same even if returning to previous destinations. Few destinations are repeated more than once since many of the travelers have been on her previous trips, and like Janet, are eager to see new places. Happy Travels!
— Carole Davis
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for our wonderful trip to Singapore and Bali. For my first international trip it was an experience of a lifetime and I will cherish the great memories forever. You did an outstanding job organizing and arranging everything.
— Mike Myroniuk
Thank you so much for all the hard work you did to have our trip to Singapore and Bali a wonderful adventure. It was a trip to remember. I loved the hotel and resort we stayed in. We got a lot for our money. It was first class all the way. It was a amazing trip that you carefully planned out. There were so many memories made with good people. Again Janet, thank you for taking such good care of me and the others that got to share this dream of a trip.
— Brenda Gagnon
WOW!!! What an amazing trip abroad that was indeed. As a first time solo traveler with Janet Blair I am blown away with her fortitude, energy, guidance, scheduling, patience, thoughtful care to all travelers and the mere magnitude of the logistics of creating a 21 day New Zealand/Australia adventure.
We traveled by plane, boat, train, jeep, gondola, city bus, tour bus and water taxi. We saw so much of the countryside that my head is still bobbing from trying to soak in all the sights. Even panned for gold.
Made so many new best friends having the time of my life on the best trip ever. Yes, dreams can come true and all things are possible. I do not know how one person can do so much trying to please all travelers, but you sure took care of us Janet. Thank you so much. Looking forward to traveling with you again.
Marked my calendar for March 18th but am flexible if the date changes. Looking forward to reuniting with all my fellow travelers and reliving our experiences. Kia Ora.
— Judy Steele
Once again, thank you so very much for all of the hours you spent researching, planning and coordinating to make our recent trip to Cuba such a complete and unique experience. The amount of detail in all aspects of each and every day of our trip was incredible. I appreciate your diligence in personally checking and rechecking constantly to ensure that all of us were safe on each excursion during our tour, and on our flights from Detroit to Santa Clara, our return from Havana to Charlotte and back to Detroit. Navigating Customs and Immigration was something I hadn’t experienced for a many years and was relieved there were no unexpected issues. Your pre-travel messages, encouragement and follow-up, working to keep our group from getting separated and managing the process without any mishaps, was a huge task and much appreciated.
With the addition of our escorts and guides, Juanito and Legnay along with John/Juanito, our wonderful driver, we were fortunate to see and hear so much about the beautiful cities we visited. The sights and sounds of Cuba were outstanding. There were so many points of interest that it’s impossible to choose which was the most memorable. Each city provided opportunities for us to spend time learning and experiencing Cuban culture. As Americans, we are fortunate in so many ways and take for granted conveniences that others, unfortunately, are not privileged to enjoy.
Juanito and Legnay’s knowledge of their country provided us with a complete understanding of how various Cuban heroes fought for Cuba’s independence and sovereignty. Throughout our travels together Juanito and Legnay shared our enthusiasm and were consistently patient and positive to respond to our many questions and could be depended upon to explain and translate on our behalf.
Muy bien, Janet, Juanito, Legnay and John for ensuring we had so many wonderful moments during our nine day trip. Wonderful, smiling and friendly people welcomed us into their museums, stores, hotels and restaurants. There was laughter, music, dancing, companionship, mojitos and so much food that we are left with too many wonderful memories to count.
With warm regards and appreciation,
I want to thank you for a wonderful trip to Israel. I enjoyed every minute of the trip. We saw a maximum number of important sites during our 12 day trip. The accommodations were great and our tour guide could not have been better. I felt totally safe while touring and exploring during my free time. I really enjoyed our group and will definitely tour with Solo Travelers International again.
— Nancy Amato
Thank you, Janet, for making my dream trip come true…Iceland. It was quite an Icelandic adventure. Not only was the hotel, the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik, and inclusive breakfast a treat but the tours were breathtaking. From relaxing in the Blue Lagoon to the viewing of the Northern Lights, all was well organized and delightful. We spent a day taking in the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, the spouting springs of Geysir, Pingvellir National Park, and the site of the Viking Parliament (also one of the locations of HBO’s Game of Thrones). If any of you travelers want to see unusually beautiful terrain, Iceland should be on the top of your list!
— Mary Nowak
The Iceland trip to me, was the trip of a lifetime! My favorite event of the trip was immersing myself in the waters of the Blue Lagoon.
Traveling with Solo Travelers International was a great experience! Janet Blair does an excellent job on the reservations and any other organizing that has to be done. If any unexpected mishaps occur, she handles all the details so you can have peace of mind and just relax and enjoy! For example, a woman left her purse on the bus from the airport to the hotel, Janet did what was necessary to make sure the woman got her purse back right away. Also our flight got canceled on the return and Janet did what was necessary to get us ret-ticketed immediately.
I am a true loner and with Solo Travelers International you can do as much with the group as you want. If you want to do things on your own, you are free to do so. You don’t have to have a friend or partner to travel with. Janet will match you up with a roommate if needed so you don’t have to pay for a single supplement. I like to have my own hotel room. For an incidental single supplement, I was able to have my own room.
In the past couple of years, I have traveled to Europe alone a few times. I just never got full value out of my trips, because I did not know the best tours to book. But with Solo Travelers International, Janet knows the best hotels, transportation companies and excursions available, and takes care of that for you. I highly recommend Solo Travelers International for anyone that wants the best trip possible for the lowest price available.
Thanks Janet for the great trip to Iceland! I hope to take another trip with your group in the near future.
— Don Rannio
I want to thank you again for putting together such a fantastic trip to the Kentucky Derby. What an excellent time and life long memories.
Very well thought through with beautiful accommodations and excellent excursions. My ultimate favorite was the tour of the award-winning horse farm in the Blue Grass Region. I could have stayed all afternoon! Thanks again!
— Amy Skotzke
I just checked off the Kentucky Derby as one of my bucket list experiences, and even though the weather didn’t fully cooperate, rain or shine – you always have a wonderful time with Janet ‘s group. Although I didn’t know anyone on this trip when I signed up, Janet makes you feel so welcomed and I made lots of new and interesting friends. Janet is so organized and all of the events are so well-planned out . She has knack for booking hotels, excursions, and restaurants that are top-notch yet very affordable. You can experience the same quality as other high end tours at a fraction of the price.
Everything on this Kentucky Derby trip May 5-7, 2017 was spectacular! Travel with Janet and you won’t be disappointed!
— Rosemary Carollo
Dear Janet and Ian,
I want you both to know how much I enjoyed the trip to southern Africa this past March. I’m still talking about it as if it were yesterday; in fact, I did so last night!
I do not have a lot of experience in guided tours; I plan and arrange most of my travel. For Africa, however, I put my trust in you, and I’m so glad I did!!! I still cannot comprehend how you were able to pack so much substance into a mere 10 days!! This was such a rich, vibrant experience, that even 5 months later, the details are still very fresh and sharp in my mind.
I love telling people about my trip. There were some situations that really stand out – like baboons on the balcony outside our room in Botswana; walking the Victoria Falls Bridge; walking with and petting the lions; dinners at Boma (including eating worms – I’m a very picky eater, and people who know me can’t believe I did that, but I did!!), the Gold Restaurant and Richard’s Supper Club (what fabulous entertainment!); Ian’s special gift at the Zimbabwe border crossing, all the fabulous safaris by land and water; wonderful accommodations; great meals; and even my spider bite!! I still marvel at Ian’s knowledge of the animals and plants we saw, and how he could identify each one. I only wish I could remember everything he shared with us!
I’m not a “morning person,” and there were days when we had to get up at 4:00 a.m., but it was totally worth it. Surprisingly, it wasn’t difficult, and the days were so full of wonder and enjoyment, that I wasn’t even tired by the end of the day.
I know that the two of you worked hard before and during the trip to make it enjoyable for everyone, and I want you both to know that I, for one, really appreciate your efforts. I’m sure everyone else on the trip did as well. I would totally encourage anyone and everyone to join this “tour of a lifetime.” It is an experience not to be missed!! Thanks again for making this adventure so rich – and so much fun!!
— Best regards, Sue Berke
The trip to South Africa, Botwana, and Victorial Falls March 2017 was fabulous! I have fallen in love with the beauty of Africa, its land, its animals, and its people. Your first hint of the continent is from the plane with a sunrise that turns the horizon a glorious orange, melting into a clear cerulean blue sky above it.
All the accommodations were exceptional properties. The first night was spent in a conveniently located next-to-the-airport hotel in Johannesburg with a sumptuous breakfast buffet. We were getting spoiled already. The next 7 days were spent in 3 different exotic locations with accommodations that reminded me of ‘Life Styles of the Rich and Famous’.
Chobe, in Botswana, had high-pointed ceilinged rooms with netting-draped beds and roaming baboons. You could watch the sunset across the river while sipping one of the poolside specialty drinks, followed by a wonderful torch-and-candle-lit buffet dinner on the patio. The two boat game drives put us up close and personal to crocodiles, birds, hippos, and a wonderful huge elephant swishing his freshly picked dinner salad in the river before chomping it down. At one point I counted 16 giraffes roaming across the plains next to the riverbank. My first 4×4 safari was superb. All I could think of at first was “Oh my gosh, I’m really doing this!” We saw all kinds of animals and birds. It was just so much fun.
The Victoria Falls Zimbabwe resort had beautiful views of the country-side, great food, a golf course, and a waterfall in the middle courtyard. Victoria Falls, “The Smoke That Thunders” was simply spectacular. Words do not do justice to the mile-wide rush of water churning, tumbling, and roaring into the 300 plus foot deep gorge created over the last 100,000 years. The spray rises about 1200 feet and drenches you at the last few lookouts. Every one of the ten lookout points sported a full rainbow. It was truly unforgettable.
The trip to to Entibini was like something out of a 40’s movie set: wild game in the plains surrounding it, groups of wildebeasts lying on the road between the ravine rooms and the main lodge, and a beautiful golden towering rock formation as a backdrop. We were restricted from walking about in order to not be considered a meal by the wildlife. The game drive scenery was spectacular as we drove from the high plains down a steep road past multicolored rock formations to the lower areas where a wide range of wildlife was spotted. The last few days were spent in cosmopolitan Capetown. We rode the lift to table mountain and explored the magnificent 360 degree views. The ocean waves are wild and beautiful, especially at Cape Point. It was truly an unforgettable two weeks. Thank you Janet and Ian for planning such an awesome trip!
— Jane B.
I cannot say enough about the Solo Travelers International Group and its host Janet Blair. Only two weeks before the Turks and Caicos Trip, my work calendar cleared and my aging mother was doing well, so I checked Janet’s website and there was room on her trip! She does all the research and finds the best accommodations and transportation that are reasonably priced too.That way you don’t have to spend the time on the internet making all the connections ahead of the trip. All the planning and arrangements were conveniently handled by Janet. I couldn’t have asked for more, leaving the cold Michigan weather in January was just what I needed.
It was wonderful to have the consistent sunny skies and warm weather that the Turks and Caicos islands provide. Everyone enjoyed the famous beaches along Grace Bay and vibrant coral reefs. There was plenty to do, para sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, bike riding, shopping and wonderful food and restaurants. Bay Bistro was the groups favorite meal. There were dining tables along the shoreline with beautiful lighting a glow.
I highly recommend traveling with Janet Blair at Solo Travelers International.
— Judy Fraser
I was lucky to experience Cuba with Janet!! Cuba is such a beautiful country….lush, green countryside and mountains, lovely botanical gardens with orchids, palm trees and butterflies that are so unique!
The Cuban people were so welcoming and made me feel right at home. Staying at their homes made this trip so memorable. Weather was perfect…85-90 degrees with that tropical breeze!! The cuisine, culture and history is so rich that I want to return again!
— Barb Morganti
There is something about skyscrapers bursting out of desert dust in the past fifteen years, like weeds, that deserves personal awe. Would I have ever have gone alone? As a certified travel daredevil, even I was shy…
Solo Travelers International, Janet Blair, opened the door once again, with open arms and a well-researched, enticingly affordable itinerary in hand. The other side was a ballroom of singles, just like me: looking for adventure and serendipity. They were fun. Together we walked the streets safely, where miracles were ceaseless.
We strolled though market souks, negotiated for the best prices for saffron and curry, silk scarfs, and gold. We asked for directions and Muslims, Pakistani, and Indian cultures literally walked the extra mile to hand deliver us, charmed and grateful. Miguel, a Construction Project Manager, stood dropped-jaw and awe-struck next to me at Burj Khalifa as we witnessed the planning and execution of the tallest building in the world. We drifted away proudly, envisioning the pure potential of our own lives.
A good trip does that to your Soul: erases non-existant country boundaries when viewed from top down. It takes you on wild safari rides, invites you to dine with Bedouin Nomads, and allows you to hold their treasured falcons on the edge of your forefinger. There the world blurs a bit on the edges, intensified beneath the stars that sparkle soundlessly.
It infuses you with the kindness of strangers turned charming international Facebook chums. We laughed, we ate, we hiked, we dined in Palaces by the sea. In every dance of a day, Janet extended her own patient hospitality and intuitive attention to the intersection between group desires and needs. At the end of the trail, our four star hotel was a welcome oasis.
Delivered home safely, I am changed and honored to be rotating as One human family on the sacred blue-green globe we call home. Honor yourself next time and go!
— Ellen Waara, Inside Solutions, Inc.
This was my first trip with Janet’s group and it far exceeded my expectations. All hotels, restaurants, and tours were exceptional, thanks in part to our fabulous tour guide Neil, who made history fun and interesting and to our driver, Fred, who went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable at all times. Along the way, I had so much fun with a great group of people. I want to thank Janet for the hard work that obviously went into the planning, which meant that we didn’t have to worry about a thing! I look forward to enjoying more of Janet’s trips.
— Liz Burrows
This was my first trip with Janet and I’m so happy I went. Montreal and Quebec City were fabulous! I met so many great new friends and plan on taking many more trips. We really had a wonderful group of people. Janet handles all the details and you just can sit back and enjoy!
— Ann Morrin
My recent river cruise in Russia with Solo Travelers International was another great experience in seeing the world. What a wonderful time we had visiting both St. Petersburg with its palaces and the Heritage Museum, and then Moscow with all the splendor of Red Square and magnificent architecture. It was a treat to sleep in one place for the majority of the trip. The cruise ship provided a very relaxed atmosphere as we crossed into the Volga and various other waterways of the country. It was also such fun to see what delicious plates the Russian cook would carefully prepare for dinner each evening. The hotels at which we stayed, both before and after the cruise, were also top notch.
Janet Blair goes over and beyond to give her travelers both a thorough understanding of the country they have chosen to visit, and a great value. This time she worked in a visit to the Bolshoi Ballet since the company was home in Moscow and not on the road. Although visiting the Moscow Metro system was a part of the tour, Janet also accompanied a small group on an extra trip through the Metros to Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, shopping tour, and then then to the Moscow Cathedral of the Christ the Savior. I have traveled with Solo Travelers International to Viet Nam, Croatia, and Russia and am going to South Africa in September. Janet Blair is sincere and works very hard to accommodate her travelers in any way she can.
— Marlene Appledorn
I wanted to thank you for putting our Russian River Cruise trip together. It was a wonderful trip to a fabulous location. I enjoyed meeting all of the group. They were delightful.
I just had to let you know that the San Antonio Trip was FANTASTIC!!!
This was my first time traveling with your group and you made everyone feel right at home.
Janet, you are the best trip organizer ever. I can’t wait to share this experience with others and travel with you again.
Three years ago I signed up for my first trip with Solo Travelers International. I was single, had a love for travel and wanted a safe venue to explore the world. I signed up to go the Russia (not knowing anyone in the group). My trip turned into an amazing adventure!
Since that first trip to Russia, I have traveled to Eastern Europe (Prague, Vienna and Budapest), Turkey, Vietnam and now Croatia. All my trips have been life changing and I have met many life long friends who also share my love for travel.
Croatia was my fifth trip with Solo Travelers International. It was an amazing and unexpected find, a delightful cross between Eastern and Western Europe.
The trip had a really diverse variety of adventures and sights. We stayed in absolutely gorgeous hotels. The food was incredible mimicking the sea, olive groves and vineyards – I always had great, delicious and nutritious meals with plenty of choices. The red and white wines were outstanding, especially the Slovenian whites. We toured the coast of the Adriatic Sea from Pula into Montenegro, visiting the sophisticated Split and the picturesque Dubrovnic. Inland, we visited one of Europe’s most renown national parks, Plitvices, a forested waterfall wonderland. We got to see the most well-preserved Roman coliseum in Pula along with the beautiful aqueducts still in use and stayed in the Julian Alps in Slovenia on Lake Bled which was just like living a fairy tale. Did I mention the dragon bridge in Ljubljana and the fabulous rococo architecture, our accordion inspired dance party and apricot croissants – fantastic! All of our guides were funny historians who loved their cities. Jon, our 24/7 go-to-guy was delightfully laid back and totally engaging, and our driver, Marco, was the ultimate professional.
A small group of us left a day early to experience Venice, Italy. I highly recommend this if you have never been there.
Our group was upbeat with wonderful camaraderie’s, and everyone up for a good time. Thank you Janet for an amazing experience at a great price.
— Kristin Compau
The trip in January 2016 to Brazil and Argentina was one of the best trips I have ever taken. From the moment we arrived in Rio de Janeiro, until we boarded the plane to come home in Buenos Aires…. everything was magical. The hotels that we had throughout the trip were top notch….the food was amazing….and our tour guide Pablo was second to none!
Seeing Iguazu Falls was breathtaking and brought tears to my eyes! The Tango show and Tango dancing in Buenos Aires was the best ever. Seeing Christ the Redeemer and walking the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro were moving, awe-inspiring experiences.
I have traveled all over the world, and this trip that Janet Blair organized was truly amazing! I will definitely join her travel group again and again!
Thank you for hosting such a fabulous trip Janet, and I look forward to traveling with you and your group again soon!
Suzy Brecht, Dance Instructor
I want to thank you for organizing such a wonderful trip to Vietnam. I absolutely loved the entire experience. Our Tour Manager, Thang, was so warm, friendly and caring. He had a delightful sense of humor and was so knowledgable and willing to share the history and culture of his people.
I loved the food and I found everything very affordable. I took advantage of all of the Optional Tours offered and found them to be a tremendous value….once-in-a-lifetime experiences for very little money. In particular, the cyclo ride through the streets on our way to a fabulous dinner at the family-owned restaurant, whose ancestors descended from an ancient Imperial family, was so very special and unique.
I have enjoyed all the trips I have gone on with you, and I look forward to the next ones.
Thank you again for everything you do to make these trips so fantastic.
Our trip to Tennessee was my first bus trip with Solo Travelers International. I had always wanted to go to Tennessee and it was everything I had hoped for and more.
The bus was comfortable and got to meet so many wonderful people. With the great entertainment, including dinner shows, beautiful mountains and the fantastic country music, I wasn’t ready to come home.
Thank you, Janet, for a wonderfully planned out trip to such a beautiful state!
Thank you Janet for planning such a great trip to Nashville. Staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort was amazing. Such a beautiful resort with lush gardens and waterfalls. Each show we saw was very entertaining and showcased the amazing musical talent in and around Nashville. The guided tours you arranged were very informative and gave everyone a closer look at life in and around Nashville over the years. We hit all of the Nashville highlights on this trip including a tour of the Belle Meade Plantation. Your attention to detail when planning your trips is excellent. You strive to ensure everyone has a great time and that is very much appreciated. Looking forward to the next trip!
What a fabulous trip to Montreal and Quebec City! I can truthfully share that I was apprehensive about being on a bus for a length of time with others I did not know but can honestly say it was a great experience. The bus driver (Magic Mark) was professional yet humorous. His ability to maneuver through the small streets of the cities was noteworthy and his humor kept us all interactive during the entire trip. At each stop, he was there at the bottom of the step to take your hand assuring you did not fall. There were sufficient stops along the way to accommodate those of us that needed to use the facilities or get a bite to eat.
Our tour guide was top notch!!!!! It was intriguing to know that an American actually moved to Quebec to be a tour guide and was so well versed that he actually taught other guides who live in the city. Neal’s knowledge far surpassed anything I expected and his patience with questions and concerns were genuine.
Janet…what can I say? This was the first time I had met her and been on one of her trips and was so satisfied that I plan to engage in another adventure with her in the future. Janet is a perfect hostess. Not only did she make sure we were all having a good time but was diligent about all of the stops, accommodations and sites being flawless experiences. The warm professionalism that Janet shared was a true testament to why so many passengers on the trip were frequent travelers with the organization.
I have brought back not only multiple pictures but fantastic memories and new friendships that I am already experiencing.
Thank you for the opportunity to explore!
I wanted to say thank you and let you know how much I appreciated the hard work you put into the Montreal/Quebec City trip. I had so much fun and can’t wait to take another trip with your group.
You did an awesome job with our Montreal/Quebec City tour, Janet! Everything was great, especially our bus driver, Mark, and our guide, Neil.
I commend you for your organization and your patience!
Can’t wait to travel again!!
Thank you for planning a very memorable trip to Italy! The trip was well organized with an itinerary filled with interesting places to visit and fun activities. I appreciated the professional tour guides providing volumes of information, history, and interesting stories throughout the tour. I really enjoy traveling with your group. Each trip I meet interesting people and form new friendships that last long after the trip. Thank you for all you do to make these trips available to single travelers. I look forward to more travel adventures with Successfully Single in the future.
Thank you so much for planning our Aruba “Get Away”! Your choice of the Holiday Inn was perfect! The resort and grounds were beautiful. I loved the courtyard and one of my favorite pleasures was laying in the hammock, while the stresses from back home floated away!
Your idea for an all inclusive breakfast and drinks was the best. The breakfast bar was fantastic! The Holiday Inn location was ideal because we had so many choices of nearby restaurants and shops after spending the day in the sand.
I appreciate all your efforts to plan the trip. Aruba was a great choice and a wonderful getaway from this winter weather! I had a lot of fun!
Thanks so much for arranging this group trip to Aruba. I had a wonderful time. There are so many things to do in Aruba…..swimming, snorkeling, variety of water sports, sunset cruises, fabulous outdoor dinners at so many restaurants, walking the pristine white sand beaches, casinos in every hotel within walking distance, and of course dancing at a variety of venues. Shopping downtown was convenient using the city bus which ran every 20 minutes.
A few of us took a day trip to Baby Beach which is at the South end of the island. Along the way we stopped at several interesting vantage points and took pictures plus a restaurant stop which was built over the water.
Walking the beaches was one of my favorite things to do. The water was warm with a variety of blue shades. The air was 80+ degrees with trade winds making it very comfortable.
The hotel rooms were excellent. The open bar was a nice perk. Overall a great vacation. Thank you for all your efforts!
I just wanted to personally thank you for coordinating our trip to Aruba. I had a great time and met some great people. The Holiday Inn Resort was perfect and met all of my expectations. They were very accommodating and friendly. The hotel was very clean and well managed. I would definitely return and stay there again.
Even though our trip got off to a rocky start with our flight being canceled, I think most of us made the best of that first 24 hours. I met some great people, had lots of laughs and will always have great memories of my first trip to Aruba.
Thanks again for planning this trip and all of your efforts to satisfy the group.
Thank you from the bottom of my New Zealand heart for a journey down under into a new earth.
The Kiwi people were consistently warm, friendly and peaceful – No Worries – and your remarkable gifts of an ideal itinerary from north to south islands, affordable sights for one fifth the cost of other companies, and insightful roommate matching created a sacred space for a string of magical moments.
Days gathered momentum from extraordinary to miraculous, your bright eyed loving recommendations gave me confidence and freedom to step beyond who I was when I left. My passion for indigenous wisdom was nourished, accompanied by food for body and soul of exceptional quality.
Some tour guides show you a land, culture and people. Your guidance opened me to my greater self though Hobbiton tours, Abel Tasman visioning on the beach, Milford Sound waterfalls that stepped heaven onto earth, and New Years eve in Wellington with fireworks on the harbor.
I travel often, and this trip gave me more value, richness and expansiveness than I have ever experienced previously. Your skill, kindness and persistent commitment to exceptional service are a gift to the travel community.
May you be richly rewarded in return as you continue to give.
Ellen Waara, President – Inside Solutions
New Zealand was for me the trip of a lifetime! Janet you are an awesome tour guide…picking the greatest attractions, the best restaurants with amazing food choices and atmospheres beyond words! It was such a pleasure touring New Zealand with you and your group (which I call my new family). Can’t wait for the next trip! Thanks for the memories!
Denise Vermillion, Successfully Single Volunteer
Three boats, three trains, and numerous luxury buses transported our tour group during 16 adventurous days in a country that is probably the cleanest and friendliest on our planet – New Zealand. Knowledgeable sea captains, locomotive engineers, and coach drivers described the history of the Kiwi seas, frontiers, towns, and historical personalities as we plowed the ocean blue in brilliant sunshine (and a short rain storm one day), and were driven through beautiful rolling and mountainous scenery. No matter the direction you looked on land, you saw small villages and cities surrounded by massive green pastures of grazing sheep, cow, and deer. When on the sea and ocean you saw mountains rise out of the deep waters into pristine blue sky.
From the North Island to the South Island, our group traveled through countless tree-covered green valleys and mountain passes. We saw majestic views from cliff-side highways, and looked down upon glacier-fed rivers careening rapidly into serene finger-shaped lakes. And we waited patiently at numerous single-lane bridges so to cross in old world fashion. We even passed through a one-lane mountain tunnel.
We wandered bustling cities of modern and mid-19th Century architecture, and strolled their ocean harbors, unique museums, and botanical gardens. We walked the dirt pathways of the famed Hobbiton movie set constructed within a deep rolling pasture, and visited an historic Maori village where we witnessed an ancestral song and dance performance, then took part in a tribal Hangi feast. We rode cable cars and gondolas and Range Rovers into the mountains, while spending our nights at clean, safe and economical accommodations, youth hostels, conveniently located in many New Zealand cities and towns.
I thoroughly enjoyed New Zealand. Its scenery was spectacular. Its people, offspring of the original Maori explorers and later-arriving European settlers, were friendly and helpful. And it was commonplace for Kiwis to ask: “How do you like our country?” and “How have you been treated?” New Zealanders wanted you to enjoy their remote bit of paradise down under.
I would definitely return to New Zealand, to revisit some of what I experienced, but more so, to explore that which I did not have time to see.
Janet Blair did a fine job of planning an event-packed trip that offered numerous optional tours and different events daily, which included free time for us to explore towns and their surrounding locales. I believe Janet’s previous five visits to New Zealand made it possible for her to organize such a trip – and Janet did save the best scenery and towns for last. If anyone is interested in visiting New Zealand, I would advise researching it first, as I had, then contacting Janet Blair with questions about her leading another trip to the island nation of the Kiwi. Kia Ora!
— James Carr, Professional writer and Award-winning playwright
I want to compliment you on your expertise in travel. I have been on 4 trips with your group and am looking forward to my fifth trip – The Born Free: South Africa and Wildlife Safari Experience from September 6-17, 2014.
My first experience traveling with your group was the The Fall Color Cruise from New York to Nova Scotia in October, 2011. Not only was the shoreline color beautiful but I learned where the “Bay of Fundy” is located and the significance of that and the original “Rum Cakes” to our American history.
Next, I experienced the thrill of the Thailand trip in November, 2012. I really loved seeing the Buddha temples, city of Bangkok and the lush tropical terrain. I enjoyed the wildlife, riding the elephant at the Maesa Elephant Camp and petting the full-size tiger and tiger cubs at the Tiger Kingdom in Chiangmai.
I was a little leery of going on the Russian River Cruise in July 2013, but the Russians were so nice and wanted us to learn their language. The ballet in St. Petersburg and the dancers and acrobats in Moscow were like I’ve never seen. The cruise along the Volga River and it’s tributaries was a great way to see this country. The elegant ship had delicious food, musicians, singers, dancers and wonderful accommodations. Not to mention the experience of walking the grounds and seeing the Kremlin, churches, museums and other buildings in Moscow.
We have just returned from Panama. I was surprised to learn this year is the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. I enjoyed the boat trip through the canal, a rich part of our history and one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. What a relaxing week and you ordered such beautiful weather! In the 80’s every day – a wonderful escape from the frigid winter we have had this year.
Thank you, Janet! Your trips help fulfill my dream of traveling to different places of the world. I am grateful for all you do in choosing, planning, organizing and managing these excursions. You put in a lot of time and effort and I don’t have to worry about myself. You can count on my participation on your future planned trips.
Tricia Lloyd, Member, Successfully Single