Let’s talk about suitcases. Actually, I have a confession. I prefer to use my little collection of colorful carry-ons because I like them so much. They weren’t expensive, and every time I go to Ross, Marshall’s, Target or other stores like that, I buy one. Love them!

There are many different reasons to travel with carry-on and I will list as many as I know, and will add my personal experiences as well. I have been to 71 countries and have been traveling non-stop for over 29 years (since I came to the US). I can tell many personal stories – and I HATE black suitcases. When you are traveling and go to the carousel to get your suitcase, it feels like everyone in the whole world has a black suitcase. Many years ago, someone took my black suitcase and left hers on the carousel. After waiting for an hour, and with only that lookalike black suitcase left, I took it and then drove miles out of my way to her address to exchange it and correct her mistake. I wanted “my” dirty laundry, “my” souvenirs, and “my” stuff. I was tired and wanted to go home. She was young and laughed as though it was a funny misunderstanding, but I wanted wipe that smile off her cute face. I knew better, so I smiled and left.

On two previous trips, our suitcases arrived a few days after we had already arrived to our destinations in Italy and Greece. Not fun going to buy clothes to sleep in, and cheap clothes to go touring in and not knowing when our suitcases would arrive.

After those experiences, I had had it! NO MORE big suitcases, and definitely no more black – ONLY colorful carry-ons would contain my things! On most planes I try to keep them with me, but when that’s not possible and I need to check it through, it is so colorful, people DO NOT TOUCH IT. It is my luggage, and I can see it from far away!

How to travel with a carry-on for over 21 days:

1- Mix and match your clothes and color coordinate. Choose colors so that the tops and bottoms can be matched easily.

2- Limit your underwear to 3-4 pairs.  You can wash them in the shower before bedtime; by the morning they are dry. Avoid 100% cotton.

3- Bring just a few bottoms and lots of colorful cheap tops. This is my biggest secret for when I travel. I buy very colorful tops at Target that are very cheap. I’ll use them 2 times on my trip, and instead of washing them, I leave them in the hotel to be given away to those less fortunate.

4- By leaving my tops behind, I have space in my carry-on for small souvenirs. I will send larger souvenirs directly home (like rugs, table tops and etc.)

5- Make sure you leave a note that your “give away” pieces of clothing in the hotel are there to be given to someone, otherwise, in many hotels, they stay in the “lost and found” forever, waiting for you to collect them.

6- On the plane, wear your big boots or your hiking shoes and keep your tennis shoes and other shoes in the carry-on.

7- Remember that if you wear everything twice, you’ll need half the clothes, So, count the total number of days, divide by 2, and get the correct number of tops.

8- Prior to leaving, check the price of laundry at the hotels, just in case you need to do it during your trip.

9 – Learn how to pack small, and use every little space inside your carry-on.

Relax and enjoy your travel! After all, you are there to have fun and not to worry too much about your suitcase.


friendsOr, we could rephrase that to say, how to have a great time with your clients. I consider myself to be very lucky! I have traveled with many travel agents who became my dear friends, and I hope to continue to do so. These are some of the great gifts of life: travel and friends. What a joy to meet new people with one big common denominator: Travel.

I would never have met these wonderful people if I hadn’t organized those tours. In this case, they were FAM Trips and Tours for Women. The travelers were travel agents and their companions from all over the USA and Canada, from different backgrounds, ages, views of the world, but all sharing a love of travel and traveling together. I have to confess that this is the cherry on top of my cake, the part of my work that I look forward to the most!

Now, to ensure the success of a smooth and wonderful group tour, you need to make sure that you will be the Travel Leader (yes, if you organize a group, you become the Travel Leader).

Let’s go over some basics:

1- Decide who will pair the roommates: you, or will you let the travelers interview each other? If you decide that you will be doing it, ask questions, such as, do you snore? What do you expect from your roommate? Also, ask other questions pertinent to your specific trip.

2- Decide if you will all travel together from one gateway, or meet at the destination.

3- Decide how much “free” time and/or optional tours you will offer to your group.

4- Decide on the number of people you are willing to include on your trip. In my opinion, keep it small for your first groups to make it more manageable.

5- Decide if tips to drivers and tour guides and are included or not, and if not, if you will collect from the group and present to each professional, or let each traveler give individually. (Please advise your travelers ahead of time to avoid surprises!)

6- Set some ground rules before the trip, or as soon as you arrive to avoid future problems (Trust me, problems happen and I could write a book about them!). For example: ask travelers to let you know that if they have a problem “today” to tell you “today,” and not “tomorrow.” It is hard to solve problems from “yesterday.”

7- Medication – People seem to believe that once they are on vacation, it means “I will not take my medication.” This is a big mistake, and can jeopardize a great trip

8- Respect: Personal views on politics, race and religion are like underwear. I don’t want to know the size, color or even if you are wearing them! We all love great conversation, but those topics are out of question!

9- Make sure that you will be the only one communicating to the tour guide and tour organizer, That way, you avoid “many tour leaders” and everyone knows who is who.


How old are you?


I love this question! Seriously! I love it!
By the time you read this I will be 71 “countries” old! My bucket list is still huge, because out of all the 28 countries in the Caribbean, I have only been to the Dominican Republic.
I remember that two year ago, in December 2014, I posted a picture of Petra, Jordan on my Facebook page saying: “Celebrating my 60th… that is!” I got so many fun comments.
The reason I am writing about this is not to brag about how “old” I am, but to inspire you to start bringing this tradition to your friends, family, clients and prospective clients. It is like poking them. They start counting how “old” they are. They then think of creating a bucket list and planning their goals for how “old” they want to be by 2020. It is such a nice topic of conversation. And a face-to-face conversation can be so fun! People get a pen and paper and start writing their list of countries. They even ask if they should count the Vatican or Monaco as a country. And how about Puerto Rico? How about stopping at a foreign airport, does that count as a country?
Watch how people’s mood change. They get excited, they smile, they start their big bucket list, and voila! You can then make sure to tell them that travel is your business! Talk to them about some of the countries you know very well (from being there, or by having learned as much as possible), and then give them your personal opinion. Sharing your personal opinion is always a nice thing to do. Because it is personal, no one needs to agree with you 100%, but sharing it shows how much you care.
Remember to use humor when you have this conversation face-to-face. The “older” people want to be, the more chances you have to gain a forever client.
I am getting close to my first goal, which is to be 75, and my second goal is 120!
How “old” are you? How “old” do you want to be?
Happy Birthday everyday! I wish you many memorable travels!
Share this on your social media, and let them dream!