When I was college age, my younger self could set out on the road without much worry about missed planes, lost luggage, weather and all the vagaries of travel. But today I have wife and two young, adventurous s just as eager to hit the road as I was.
Today I plan more and prepare more before we set out on our journey, ready for anything… or almost. After all, let’s face it, travel, especially internationally, something, big or trifling, is bound to happen as nothing is perfect.
While Big Five has always handled issues that might arise during a journey, it was at 3:00 a.m. one morning in 2009 that the idea of 24 Hour White Glove Service® came into being to help assure that our travelers enjoy their adventures in safety and comfort without stress or worry.
The true value in our White Glove Service® is that our travelers are never alone, no matter how far off the beaten track they go, or regardless of the time of day. They are always able to connect to the wider world when needed.
That has lead to dozens and dozens of stories such as the guest who broke his hip in the Galapagos Islands. His daughter wrote: “My Father was recently aboard on of your tours of the Galapagos Islands. I wanted to thank your staff for taking care of him. For as long as I can remember, my father has been an avid bird watcher and my siblings and I were very excited to hear about his plans to visit the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador when he first began to make travel arrangements six months ago. This was the trip of a lifetime for him, and it was exciting to hear that he would get a chance to do something he loved in such a unique place. He had not really traveled while my mother was still alive, and I was very happy and excited he was going to get a chance to take this trip. He had researched everything about the islands and was looking forward to exploring with you.
Unfortunately, my father fell and broke his hip on one of the islands. Your staff and guide on the ground aided him in getting to a medical facility on the islands and your tour guide stayed with him until arrangements could be made to get him back to the United States.
When we first heard, my siblings and I were terrified. Here was my father on an island with no real hospital and it was unclear how he was going to make it back home. Fortunately, a few days and several phone calls later, with the aid of your company, my sisters were able to arrange with his insurance for an air-ambulanced home. He has had surgery and rehab and is now home and walking around a bit.
More than anything, my family I wanted to thank you for taking care of our dad; especially your tour guide and those who helped him get medical care quickly. It really meant a lot to my father that your guide stayed with him until he was able to be back home. The tour guide was one of the few at the medical center on the Galapagos who spoke English and it was comforting for him to communicate with someone. Thank you all for making sure that he was taken care of; and thank you also for sending flowers. Your tour group is really a class act and we appreciate all you have done for our family!”
While those situations are thankfully few and far between, is it vital for travelers to know and trust their tour operator, no matter how far they travel. We receive many more reports along the lines of the family traveling to Kenya and Tanzania, who wrote: “Thank you for assigning our guide to us while we were on safari last week. He opened our eyes to East African landscape and wildlife, sharing his extensive knowledge during our daily game drives. We were traveling with our grandchildren, and he was most attentive to their questions, making it an exhilarating trip of discovery for them. He is an excellent ambassador for his country and its people.”
I think about how far we have come in not only creating life-enhancing journeys, but also in solving just about any issue that may arise. Detailed and specific planning supported by professional teams such as our White Glove Service® guest relations are the keys to giving travelers incredible travel experiences.
To learn more about us and how we work for you, visit our About Us page.