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What is your No. 1 way of spicing up an itinerary? Following are answers from Leisure Group Travel readers who responded to the question: What is your No. 1 way of spicing up an itinerary? Find more comments on leisuregroup travel.com, online exclusives.

as a leader in culinary travel on the east Coast, my motto is “it is all about the experience.” i have found people are looking for the ground- and sea-totable-type of experiences. our programs include lobster pulling cruises followed by a lobster bake dinner. other experiences include walking through an oyster farm in a salt marsh followed by an oyster shucking with champagne, breakfast with a chef where you create your own breakfast, and foraging with a chef and then using your finds in preparing a meal. Chris Donnelly Sugar Tours, Inc. Creative Culinary Tours West Dover, VT on every one of our tours we add a wow factor. something that people feel they can go home and talk about. it might be a personal meeting with entertainers following a performance...taking a group into a sculptor studio and having the sculptor create a special piece for each group member to take home...having an attraction open early just for the group so they don’t have to deal with crowds. it might be taking something that is normal and “spicing it up,” such as a traditional high tea and making it a tipsy tea party. or producing special 22 June 2009

CHRIS DONNELLY

LORI LEIMAN

shows that go along with the theme of the specific tour. it might be offering a wine and cheese party on a rooftop garden or a canal boat. Diane Sphar, President Ohio Travel Treasures LLC Cincinnati, OH we like to surprise our guests with various wee things on tour, such as strawberry picking, where passengers pick their own and eat back at the hotel. we also drop into whisky distilleries, farms and those wee nooks and crannies other tour companies pass on by. we have also been known to have “Jacobite clansmen” attack our tour coach. we

ROB WEBBER

sight into the instrument, even giving people a try. Paul McLean, Owner McCleanScotland Perth, Scotland i like a restaurant with atmosphere, like the Proud Bird in la, where you can watch planes and listen to the control tower. or a restaurant with a lovely water view such as many in newport Beach. The Cannery in newport can give you lunch in the restaurant but then dessert on a boat cruise around the harbor. i also like lambert’s in springfield, Mo., Home of the Throwed rolls, which is fun and different as waiters

Bagpipers at breakfast and roll-throwing waiters can shake things up. make a sightseeing/photo stop and suddenly eight or so armed clansmen “attack” us, brandishing swords and other weapons. great fun and they then chat to our guests about history and their costumes/weapons. we also have pipers welcome us, and some evenings they will give piping demonstrations and in-

throw rolls at you from across the room. also, a trip to springfield’s Bass Pro outdoor world (the original and largest Bass Pro), which is almost like a museum, can fill a few interesting hours. Lori Leiman Lori’e Adventurers Queen Creek, AZ  LeisureGroupTravel.com


we organize cycling and walking tours that raise money for aiDs and breast cancer organizations. we always try to customize an event to the local country. in scotland, for instance, bag pipers might call everyone to breakfast and send us off on our first day of riding. we also have themed days, like country western day, Mardi gras day, red/pink dress day, Hawaiian day and white party. we publish the themes in advance so participants can bring appropriate “costume” items. we also provide themed trinkets throughout the day and pass them out at pit-stops and lunch; this can be anything from temporary tattoos, to squirt guns, to feathered masks for

Mardi gras night. our support vehicles also play a selection of music, themed to the appropriate day and we’ll even have themed meals. lastly, at the start and end of the trip we’ll send off or welcome home our participants with a shower of environmentally friendly confetti (made from corn starch) that can be used just about anywhere and when it rains the confetti just dissolves. it may sound like a lot of work, but i think it’s what keeps our participants coming back year after year. it’s a week-long party, instead of just a week-long walk/bike ride. Rob Webber For A Cause, Inc. Chicago, IL

IN THE AUGUST ISSUE of Leisure Group Travel, our on the record column will explore fall foliage trip planning. Please send us your response to this question: What are the challenges you face in planning and executing fall foliage/harvest season trips? along with your comments, please include your name, company name and location. also for publication, send a high-resolution photo of yourself. a selection of responses will be printed in the august 2009 issue. Thanks in advance for your valuable opinions. send to: randy Mink, randy@ptmgroups.com

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Camden Waterfront, NJ 800-616-JAWS

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On The Record: What is your No. 1 way of spicing up an itinerary?