Farewell Travels: Hello Travel Designer

Westporters are no strangers to luxury travel. Whether it’s a helicopter to the Hamptons or a private jet to Jasper, you (or a neighbor) has done it.

Or heard someone brag about it, in the Balducci’s checkout line.

But there is luxury travel, and then there are people like Susan Farewell.

Today’s New York Times has a feature story on “a subset of travel planners — they prefer the term travel designers — who do far more than simply book trips. They manage the travel portfolios of their affluent clients.”

Susan Farewell

The piece includes Farewell Travels — the eponymous owner’s company. Like other travel designers, Farewell makes house calls (to observe family dynamics), and does “reconnaissance … the better to make recommendations on lodging, tour guides and special excursions.”

As an example, the Times article cites Westport clients Russell and Bobbi Crocker. Farewell planned a trip to South Africa and Zambia for the couple — then went ahead to check everything out.

After returning, she booked a different — presumably better/nicer/more something — for the Crockers.

The Times reports how she works:

Ms. Farewell’s initial meetings with new clients amount to an intake. She isn’t interested solely in where they would like to go, but in where they have been, their “style” (large hotel or boutique? adventurous or not so much? sedentary or active?), the ages of their children, the length of time they are willing to spend on a plane, the number of days they have available and the money they want to allot to travel annually. It’s not unusual, she said, for some small families she works with to spend $50,000 for a weeklong trip (not including the private jets).

The Times story notes that one client — hopefully not Farewell’s — would never use his particular travel designer again. At a remote location, the man was served frozen — not fresh — orange juice.

I’m sure no Westporter would ever feel so entitled.

But if he did, I’m also sure that Susan Farewell would tell him where to go.

(For the full New York Times story, click here.)

9 responses to “Farewell Travels: Hello Travel Designer

  1. Bill Boyd (Staples 1966)

    Some people have TOO MUCH money….hopefully they’re VERY philanthropic (as in giving away money and not just attaching their name to causes)…..

  2. Nancy Hunter

    Which Jasper? Jasper Alberta is not the place for the “travel designer” mentality. Too much over-thinking anxiety and you’ll be eaten by an elk!

  3. Bonnie Bradley

    Nancy, I lalways love your snarky comments, but I think elk are vegetarians.

    • Nancy Hunter

      “Snarky”? How about “Grizzly “?
      Seriously, elk, like bears, are not amused by animals (your pets) invading their natural ecology, even on the streets of Jasper or Banff.

      • Bob Stalling

        Or perhaps they’ll be gored by a Grizzly?

        Sorry, just being snarky…

        • Nancy Hunter

          “gored” by a grizzly? Bull. Bob, maybe a bear bell is sufficient… maybe.

  4. Mary McGee

    I used Susan a couple of times in the past year after first reading about her in this blog. She provides a excellent, knowledgeable service for a reasonable fee. I hope the NYT article doesn’t leave people thinking that she’s only for the la-te-da crowd.

  5. Bob Stalling

    Where all the comments are about “luxury travel” and it’s affect on climate change? Hmmm…
    Maybe in Balducci’s checkout line…

  6. Deb Holliday Kintigh, Staples '64

    CONGRATS, Susan, on the well-deserved accolades!
    We are NOT among the wealthy, luxury travelers referred to in the article, but received the same personal, attentive service when Susan helped us arrange our 50th anniversary trip to Curacao and Aruba last fall – no question was too minor, no request too small. She made suggestions after ensuring she understood EXACTLY what our ‘perfect’ celebration looked like. Susan’s a GEM, and we could not have been happier. KUDOS!