Recently Bev, a member of our global marketing team, joined a Trafalgar Egypt tour. While it may have looked like she was simply cruising the Nile, exploring the great ancient pyramids, and raising a glass with her tour companions – Bev was on the road for serious research reasons.
With a notebook in one hand and a pen in the other, Bev returned to her HQ desk filled with fresh knowledge, a better understanding of the guest experience, and a stack of ideas on how we can improve even more.
Let’s chat to Bev about what it was like to go from behind-the-scenes to on this Egypt tour, what surprised her about the familiarization trip, and whether she made any connections or friendships on the road.
Which experience were you most looking forward to before the Best of Egypt, and which experience ended up being your favorite?
I had heard so much about our amazing Nile cruises and was really looking forward to enjoying the luxury onboard. It was an amazing experience and watching life unfold on the banks of the Nile as we cruised by. It was incredible.
However, for me, the ultimate highlight was the Pyramids of Giza. It was one of the last inclusions on the trip and I felt this anticipation build throughout the trip that even though we were seeing all these amazing sights, the best was yet to come.
Our guide took us to the Pyramids early to avoid the crowds and we truly did have the place to ourselves and that feeling of being alone with these mystical structures rising from the sand just in front of us, ones that you’ve seen hundreds of times on TV and in brochures, nothing could prepare me for the emotion I felt to be up close to them.
TAKE THE TRIP: Best of Egypt
What did you love most about traveling in Egypt with Trafalgar?
It was the feeling of being looked after from start to finish. To see the best of a destination like Egypt you want your trip to be organised and hassle-free so you can get the most out of your time there.
There is so much history and culture in Egypt that to have a knowledgeable guide with you is invaluable as there is so much to see and learn. And [I had] so many questions to ask and our guide was always on hand to answer.
What impressed you most about traveling with Trafalgar? Did anything come as a surprise?
The whole experience was so easy. I am a well-traveled person and quite like the challenge of arranging my own trips. So, I did have reservations about being on an organized trip and that loss of control, but to sit back and let someone else take care of you was a very wonderful surprise. It meant I could concentrate on just enjoying myself and really submerse myself in the destination.
What did you learn about the Trafalgar experience by being on the road Vs being behind a desk?
Nothing can compare to actually being in a destination. It’s the best learning tool you can have. I have worked on many brochures, sourcing pictures and reading copy, so I knew what was included in the itinerary. But I was so taken with the people we met, the culture, the tastes, the sounds and smells — and nothing can prepare you for that feeling. Truly an experience I will never forget.
EXPLORE EGYPT: Wonders of Ancient Egypt
Do you think it was worthwhile to experience a tour for yourself?
Absolutely. My last trip with Trafalgar was nearly 20 years ago, so you can only imagine how the trips have evolved since then! Obviously, we know about the incredible experiences that are included in a Trafalgar trip but to see how it all comes together on the road is invaluable.
I was so proud of what Trafalgar has achieved in showcasing Egypt. The connection I felt towards Egypt is something you cannot replicate unless you are there — and am excited that our guests should feel that too.
What it was like meeting – and traveling with – a group of people you’d never met before?
I was a little apprehensive about traveling with a group of work colleagues. I was with my husband, so I wanted to enjoy Egypt with him without being in work mode. However, after the initial introductions about who was TTC staff and who were the +1’s, it was a good mix of people from around the globe with a mutual love of travel.
With so many personalities, cultures, and different backgrounds it was a wonderful opportunity to meet people and hear their stories. It was surprising how quickly everyone gelled together and how relaxed I felt in their company within a relatively short space of time.
All the while being looked after by our wonderful ground crew who were a massive part of our Trafalgar traveling family! There was also plenty of time where my husband and I could spend time on our own. The balance was perfect.
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Did you make any friends or bonds on the Egypt tour?
Everyone was wonderful and those friendships were just as important to my Egypt experience as the sights and experiences. When I think back to my trip it’s not just remembering the sights, but it was who was there with me, what conversations we were having, their reaction to the experiences and the laughter.
The laugher didn’t stop the whole trip and that is a wonderful memory!
TAKE THE TRIP: Best of Egypt
What – if any – were the areas you thought that Trafalgar could further improve on?
I thought the whole Trafalgar experience was just the right balance. However, operating in destinations like Egypt does come with its challenges – many of which are outside of Trafalgar’s control.
One being single-use plastic. As a company, Trafalgar is always trying to reduce and eradicate single-use plastics where it can, but there is always work to be done in this area and I am proud that Trafalgar is doing this and continues to educate in places such as Egypt where it is so ingrained in everyday life.
Are you hoping to travel to Egypt or join an Egypt tour soon? Leave us a comment…