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Through a Mask, Dimly

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Welcome back to Philip James Travel!

Does our newsletter title, “Through a Mask, Dimly” sound a little dark this week?  Our intention is not to sound foreboding, but rather to state the obvious, that we’re living in times that some of my colleagues are calling the “Next Normal”.  The mask of course refers to that contentious accoutrement that some are determined never to go anywhere without, and others are equally loath to don.  And dimly simply paints the opaque picture that this next normal is not yet clear.  As we begin to see the beginning of the world reopening, many of us will view everything with a sense of caution, because as we know too well, nothing about our future, including travel, is certain.  We’ve got long roads ahead, and we need to navigate them carefully.  As we travel along in these tense times, we simply suggest that having a little patience, and a dose of tolerance, and being kind to one another should be the orders of each day.

The coming weeks will be like peeling back the layers of an onion in terms of what is possible down the pike for travel.  The information already available to you as consumers and to us as travel professionals is equal parts staggering in volume, and at the same time quite a bit short on definite truths.  Just when you’ve found a news headline that promises you answers to all your questions, the answers turn out to be incredibly non-committal.  Great; thanks for all the clarification!  So that’s when a network really comes in handy.

Looking back through the last 6-months of e-newsletters that we’ve written (yep, this is article #26!), we realize that we’ve never specifically talked about one of the most important assets we possess at Philip James Travel.  Some of you familiar with the travel network to which my agency belongs, but others may not yet be aware.  Virtuoso is the travel industry’s leading luxury network, spanning over 26 countries and 9,000 travel advisors.  Below are just a few of the benefits. 

Value for Travelers - Virtuoso advisors can maximize the value of any trip through their connections, relationships, knowledge, advice, creativity, and advocacy. They can often save you money.   

Hotels, Cruises, Tours, And More - Virtuoso partners with hotels, cruise lines, and tour operators; advisors have long-standing working relationships with each group, and that pays dividends back to you as a traveler. (Oftentimes, your advisor is working to plan your trip by speaking to a close friend of theirs at a hotel or with a cruise ship.) The relationships in our network drive everything.

Expected Benefits - Benefits can vary by property and experience, but generally Virtuoso travelers receive preferred rates at hotels, upgrades upon arrival (if available), Virtuoso-only amenities (spa credits, shopping credits, etc.), daily breakfast for two, and early check-in/late checkout.

The bottom line, and main point of discussing the power of our Virtuoso relationship today is that, when the world view is dimly lit, and the answers just don’t seem to be found anywhere in the information overload, it is through this incredibly strong network that Philip James Travel can find the answers and get the help that we need.  Our Virtuoso preferred supplier partners are our boots on the ground (quite literally in some regards), and these friends answer their phones when we call.

Thanks as always for taking a moment to visit us here at Philip James Travel.  There are 2 offers that we’d like to make available to you. 

  • If you’d like to have direct access to the Virtuoso hotel booking engine so you can see for yourself the value-added benefits you can receive by booking one of the 1400+ Virtuoso member hotels worldwide through my agency, simply let me know by return email, and I will gladly provide that link to you. 

  • The second is a very special offer from one our fantastic Virtuoso-preferred river cruise partners, AmaWaterways, which is offering a Complimentary Sailing for Frontline Medical Heroes.  If you qualify for this as a frontline medical hero (thank you!) and are interested in learning more about this, please let me know.

Keep your travel dreams alive, stay well, and be kind.

Destination Inspiration: Charleston

Philip -


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