As COVID-19 has lingered well beyond what anyone had expected, we’ve been forced to continue to think out of the box at every turn to solve challenges and seek ways to help our clients travel as seamlessly as possible, without losing the opportunity to experience the bliss of vacation with family. Our clients have learned that their personal Ciao Bambino Travel Advisor isn’t just a convenience to reduce the work involved in planning a trip, but a true lifesaving asset offering support that is truly priceless, in every sense of that word. We’ve all experienced the hard way over the past 20 months just how precious time is, and making every minute count has entirely new and profound significance. While we share our clients’ disappointment when trips are cancelled due to COVID, the joy of a trip successfully taken is that much sweeter!
The words of appreciation below are what energize and empower us to move ahead, despite — or maybe even because — families need our help now more than ever.
In these crazy COVID days, international travel is exceptionally challenging. Almost prohibitive. Well, unless you’re a brave (and maybe a little cuckoo) traveler. I have learned, however, that my greatest asset when traveling is not a negative PCR test but having Ciao Bambino and you behind me from beginning to end. My insatiable appetite to travel with friends and family has been facilitated by you and your team in such a way that I won’t step out of the house any more without you knowing. And this applies to my domestic travel as well. There isn’t a corner of the world where you can’t extend your hand and expertise and create a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Although initially I had reached out to you to help me with traveling with our 10 children, our relationship has extended way beyond this to a travel concierge who can truly provide exceptional travel anywhere in the world. Thank you!
Though the places that I mention would be a standard destination in a non-pandemic world, assisting me in vacationing to exotic destinations like Egypt, Sicily, Italy, Turkey and Kenya has been nothing short of epic and life changing. Equally, or perhaps even more important, is how you have helped me manage the unexpected. We have run into numerous situations that could have stopped my travels in their tracks, but the safety and security you have provided while I am away is a warm security blanket that I will never again consider traveling without. — Kaufman family trips to Africa, Europe and more, designed by Melissa Rosdahl
I took my daughters (ages 12, 12 and 14) on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Galapagos Islands in early June, and it is safe to say that it would not have been possible without Helen’s heroic efforts. Before we began planning the trip, Helen spent some time finding out about my family and our approach to traveling so that she could help plan a trip that was tailored to our particular needs and preferences.
Not surprisingly, the Galapagos Islands are a challenge to visit during the best of times, and the ongoing pandemic added an additional layer of complexity. But Helen helped us navigate through some dicey logistics, found truly unique lodging for us (including a four-bedroom villa with a dedicated three-person staff!) and selected tour guides who were able to expose us to the wonders of Galapagos wildlife and the natural, scenic beauty of the islands. The trip was memorable in so many ways, and my family will always be grateful for the experience and Helen’s tireless efforts to make sure everything went smoothly. — Ferdinands family trip to the Galapagos Islands, designed by Helen Buckner
I have lost count of the number of trips Barbara Weindling has helped us plan since 2017. But it’s a lot! Two trips to Europe (one with two families, one that was adults only), Vancouver, Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, Blackberry Farm, and others. And of course, one dude ranch!
The reason I keep returning to Ciao Bambino for our vacations is because I know that I am going to get the best possible trip with the least amount of stress in the planning component as well as the trip itself. It’s very important for my husband not to feel the stress of keeping us safe and well-maintained when it comes to organization, and Barbara makes all of this happen. From drivers at the airport who take care of our luggage to getting the best possible rate at resorts or hotels, it makes it easier for me to plan a trip knowing that it will all be done well. The Virtuoso amenities of a full breakfast and possible upgrade are, in themselves, worth it even for our shortest of getaways. And Barbara has gotten to know my style and wishes when it comes to choosing hotels and activities, and I trust her to protect me from my own crazy whims! Not to say that I don’t enjoy planning alongside her, because I do like the planning side, but I know in the end that we will have exhausted all possible options and our end result will be amazing and well done. — Berry family trips to Europe, Canada, the U.S. and more, designed by Barbara Weindling
That's what we do! Our Family Travel Advisors can help you choose where to go, book vetted accommodations, create a custom itinerary and more. Click to send us a request!
Cary was immensely helpful in creating a framework around our New England family vacation! She helped us stay in a variety of locations and experience some amazing adventures. She tailored our experiences and our days to what worked for our family and our interests. In two weeks we visited six states and made memories to last a lifetime! — Carlton family trip to New England, designed by Cary Walker Collett
My husband and I travel quite a bit, often as a couple, but sometimes with children and grandchildren. In the past, I have done most of the research and booked hotels and activities myself. But for a spring break trip to Sedona in March 2021, I decided to work with Helen — and I’m so glad I did. We had a party of eight for this 5-day trip, and Helen helped with every aspect, from booking our preferred rooms at the Enchantment Resort to activities such as jeep tours, a private journey to the Grand Canyon and a hot air balloon flight that was everyone’s favorite. She also made dinner reservations for us each evening. Everything during our stay was excellent. And when a delayed flight to Phoenix made it necessary to change our dinner reservations for that night, Helen was right on top of things and took care of it for us. I was truly able to relax and enjoy the time with our family.
Helen is currently helping with a family trip to Costa Rica this December, and again I’m so pleased that she is helping coordinate all the moving parts that a trip with 14 people can include. On a couple of occasions when I didn’t need assistance with a full trip, Helen was able to help with hotel suggestions. Bottom line: I have discovered how much easier — and safer — it is to work with someone who can do the trip research and book our hotels and secure activities using preferred providers. I look forward to working with Helen on a number of other trips. — Durand family trip to Sedona, designed by Helen Buckner
This was an unforgettable trip. Every single tour and arrangement was flawless from day one to day six. We cannot thank you enough for everything you did for us over these two years. It was all worth it!!! — Landesman family trip to Iceland, designed by Katie Stewart
We had an amazing stay at Forte Village. I think it’s definitely the most kid-oriented hotel we’ve ever stayed at. My kids loved the kids’ club and the aqua park and loved all the shows at night. I thought service was excellent and that all the staff was extremely dedicated. The kid restaurant was also an added plus as we could give them an early dinner and not worry about them being hungry before the later dinner. The meals were always great as well … I hope to come back in the following years! — Nasser family trip to Sardinia, designed by Mandy Cechetto
We had a great time on our trip! We had so much fun cooking at Los Colibris, horseback riding and working on the mosaic art. Our tour guide, Caesar, was really nice and helpful as well. And Garza Blanca … we knew that was going to be the relaxing portion of our trip, but we didn’t expect that it would be such a beautiful place. Our rooms were incredible there … Thanks again for everything. — Westlund family trip to Mexico, designed by Susan Robinson
I love working with Ciao Bambino as you did all the legwork on a project I simply didn’t have time to research. I know all the resorts were pre-vetted and you found great options for us in record time and during a very busy July 4th week when availability was limited. If I gave you more time to plan, I can only imagine what you could come up with. — Brubaker family trip to Lake Placid, designed by Linda and Brendan Considine
The trip was our BEST VACATION EVER. Definitely want to catch up and give you details, but wanted to make sure you know how phenomenal everything was. You did an incredible job planning everything–everything was seamless and an extraordinary experience. THANK YOU!!!!!!! — Wagener family trip to California, designed by Kristi Marcelle
Unforgettable! This is the word that comes to mind when I think of our beautiful family trip to Alaska, planned with the help of Melissa Rosdahl. Of all the trips we’ve ever taken as a family, this is the one that will always stand out. Why? Because for once, we relied on the expertise of a professional trip advisor to help us create an adventure with memories that we will cherish forever. From the moment I called her to say, “We really want this trip for our son’s graduation to be special,” she got right to work identifying all the must-see locations in Alaska, taking all the guesswork and stress of planning out for us, and working with local resources to plan the very best excursions with the most professional guides that were a perfect fit for our family (which includes a wide range of ages from teenagers to elementary-school age). Although it was a tall order with a tight time frame, Melissa crafted a brilliant plan that allowed us to take in the beauty of Alaska while creating family connections through unique experiences and excursions. It ended up being the perfect combination of leisurely sightseeing and trilling adventures, all wrapped up in a budget that was within our comfort zone (also very important to us). For all these reasons and more, I am happy to recommend Melissa and Ciao Bambino to anyone looking to plan a meaningful trip. I can’t wait to get another unforgettable experience on the books! — Hirsh family trip to Alaska, designed by Melissa Rosdahl
We had the pleasure of working with Cary and Ciao Bambino to plan our family’s trip to Greece this past summer. Cary consulted with us about our goals and expectations of our trip and then tailored our destinations in Greece and tours around these. She found our destinations and resorts in places that we would not have located on our own, and they worked out perfectly! The tours she booked took into consideration the ages and attention span of our two boys. I know our trip would not have been as successful without the help of Cary and the ease with which she organized everything for us. We look forward to planning and booking another trip with Cary and Ciao Bambino in the near future! — Fears family trip to Greece, designed by Cary Walker Collett
Katie put together the perfect itinerary for us for road trips to Scotland (from London) both last summer and this summer — once to Edinburgh and more recently to Isle of Skye and Inverness. My husband and I were traveling with our three boys (ranging from 4 to 8 years old), and Katie was able to construct a plan with something to keep everyone happy. In addition to arranging top-quality guides and special hotels, she provided expert tips on restaurants and things to do and see on our own. She really understands how much young kids are capable of handling, and advised us on several great stops along the way to stretch our legs and let the kids run and explore. All of the restaurants she suggested were child-friendly, while also giving us a good local flavor. She suggested activities we might never have thought of or tried on our own that were huge hits, and helped us to think through various options for what would be best for our family. Throughout it all, we had great communication and she made sure the trip was going well. There is so much to see and do in Scotland that it can be overwhelming to choose and to plan the best trip for you, but Katie takes the guesswork out and will make your trip truly bespoke and special. — Birge family trip to Scotland, designed by Katie Stewart
Helen and Ciao Bambino were an absolute lifesaver! Our family can’t get enough of vacation but the buildup to planning for it is just too much for me as a single and working mom. After spending weeks trying to plan the perfect vacation, losing my mind with the stress and still coming up empty-handed … Helen to the rescue. With a relatively quick phone call, Helen got all the information she needed to get an understanding of what would be meaningful and memorable to our family. And in just a matter of days, voila: a complete vacation with a lovely condo that we greatly enjoyed, was perfectly located, fantastic excursion experiences that gave us memories we will cherish for years to come … and all without an ounce of stress. The fee for her services was completely reasonable and worth every penny! — Del Barrio family trip to Breckenridge, designed by Helen Buckner
Editor’s Note: Photos courtesy of the individual families pictured.
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.