We’re thrilled that our Group Travel Global Ambassador Program was a huge success in 2016, and are excited to announce that 11 new ambassadors have been chosen for 2017. Learn more about our inaugural ambassadors, and scroll down to meet the program’s brand-new members—we now have a total of 35 inspiring mentors and advocates to help guide our Group Coordinator community!
Winter Haven, FL
“I have too many favorite travel memories to choose just one! One favorite was being at a small hotel on a mountain during the Summer Solstice in Switzerland. There were fires lit up along the side of the mountain and down in the valley, which was so moving. I never knew of this incredible tradition.”
“I get a thrill from providing my group members with the travel experience that they want. So, I give them a survey a year in advance and include both an exotic tour choice and one that would appeal to a wider group. A tour to South Africa and the Alaska cruise are booked for 2017—travelers who chose the exotic tour are hoping to see animals in the wild and the Alaska group wants to see mountains and glaciers on our Last Frontier.”
“One of my favorite travel memories is from my China tour in 2016. This trip was way outside my comfort level but I had a big group of folks who wanted to go, so I did. The Chinese people were friendly, open-hearted, and generous everywhere we went. One night we were on a cruise in Shanghai and noticed six Chinese ladies making their way over to our group of three American women—they wanted to take a picture with us! They put their arms around our waists or held our hands as one of the men from our group took a photo. What a wonderful way to break down cultural boundaries and feel connected to people halfway around the world.”
“I love to organize pre-tour parties and host them every two months. My group members and I have a game night where everyone brings trivia questions about the country we are traveling to, and the top three people who get the most correct answers get prizes.”
Mary Ann Smeltz
“My next group tour is to Australia & New Zealand. Years ago, my father flew to Australia and hitchhiked throughout the continent for six months. For the rest of his life, he shared that wonderful experience with us. I have always wanted to see where his adventure had taken him. Every one of my travelers heading to Australia with me have also told me that they have waited a lifetime for this trip!”
Chula Vista, CA
“The whole world is my favorite destination! Every trip I’ve taken has been an adventure, and there’s always been a moment of amazement not listed in the brochure. I can’t express the sheer joy of sharing the discovery with friends. For instance, at Gibraltar, we stood by the lighthouse and had a unique view of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea coming together, and looked 15 miles over the water and saw Africa while standing in Europe. There are always surprises like these that I can experience with friends on every tour.”
“One of my favorite travel memories is of working with our Sicily Tour Director, Sabra, to arrange a special evening for my group in Syracuse. We attended an Andrea Bocelli concert…followed by a pasta-making class in Bologna.”
“Meeting and traveling with new people has been a wonderful experience. I have made so many new friends and enriched friendships with those I’ve met on previous trips. It is especially rewarding to have friends from different tours meet and become friends through traveling!”
“One of my group’s best “surprises” happened on tour this past summer. We were in Trieste, Italy when our Tour Director discovered the museum we were scheduled to visit was closed. Thinking on her feet, she arranged for our driver to take us to Slovenia to the farm where they breed and train the Lipizzaner Stallions. It was wonderful and my group agreed it was one of our best “optional excursions” ever. Plus, we got to see another country and our driver, who was from Slovenia, was so proud to take us there.”
“The sights, the sounds, and the foods of Italy are like none other. My favorite place to visit in Italy has been Portovenere, along the Italian Riviera. What a spectacular sight; cities nestled on the cliffs along the ocean!”
“I love helping to create lifelong memories for my group travelers. I love to explore the sights, experience the cultures, and connect with people of the world alongside travelers that often become my friends. There is a lot of personal satisfaction in seeing the excitement, pleasure, wonder, and joy I helped to provide my group.”
If you’re planning your first trip or looking for recruiting guidance and want to get some tips from one of our 35 Global Ambassadors, please email GroupsAmbassador@goaheadtours.com to be matched with a mentor.