Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

The communication and responsiveness was just what we needed
Robin Fisher | June 1, 2023

Jim Berkeley and Arlene Santos put together a wonderful last-minute trip to Cairo and Luxor for my family. The communication and responsiveness was just what we needed. The guides, drivers, itinerary and accommodations, as well as restaurant recommendations, were excellent. What a service it is to have a list of experienced and talented people for specific destinations. Thank you Wendy and all for arranging a wonderful trip for my family.

A reliable network of guides and fixers made the trip frictionless and very enjoyable
Allen Kindman | May 16, 2023

Unless you speak Arabic fluently, traveling in Egypt and Jordan is not at all like the US or Europe. Having a reliable network of guides and fixers made the trip frictionless and very enjoyable. Jim’s office put together a complex trip with multiple handoffs, internal flights that allowed us to see what we wanted to see, and do what we wanted to do. The local guides and drivers were all knowledgeable and totally focused on our enjoyment and safety. Word of advice— bring lots of small US bills (1 or 5 USD) for tips for locals, and bigger bills to tip the guides and drivers.

The end of April was a great time to go as the weather was really lovely
Rekha Mankad | April 30, 2023

My daughter and I just came back from an amazing week in Egypt! This was one of those trips that we will truly never forget. Arlene (we did not communicate with James directly) did such a fantastic job of giving us a week filled with visits to all the major highlights of this fantastic country. The end of April was a great time to go as the weather was really lovely. It was Ramadan during our time there, but this really did not impact any parts of the trip (certain attractions closed earlier in the afternoon, but this really worked well for us as it gave us time to relax after a full morning/afternoon).

Someone asked what our favorite parts of the trip were and to be perfectly honest, it is impossible to pick one thing. The local trip leaders and guides were so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Our guide, Abdullah, on our 4-night trip on the Nile was so passionate about hieroglyphics—we really got such a detailed instruction on how to “read” these stories within temples and tombs. The days on the dahabiya on the Nile were so relaxing. It was nice to only have 12 tourists on the boat (which was the maximal number); this allowed for nice conversations, particularly during meal time. The meals were pretty amazing, with plenty of options for any dietary limitation/restriction. Eman, with whom we spent 3 days in Cairo, was so informative. My daughter and I really bonded with her. We would love to have her again on another trip into Egypt!

This trip was really perfect from beginning to end. Arlene really made this trip successful from our arrival (very late) into Cairo until our departure (in the middle of the night) out of Cairo. We were so well taken care of by the drivers, trip leaders, and guides. We felt safe throughout. Definitely think of a trip to Egypt with Jim and Arlene as a “must-do”!

We were able to experience the Sphinx and the side of the Great Pyramid with virtually no one else around
Heidi Gunst | March 28, 2023

My trip to Jordan and Egypt over the holidays was fantastic! While there were a couple of times in planning that communication seemed a bit delayed, Jim and his colleague Arlene planned a great trip. All of our guides were absolutely top-notch and super knowledgeable, and everything was organized perfectly — we were met and escorted through airports, there were cars waiting with A/C and cold water, etc. Even though my friend and I are both experienced travelers, it was nice to be able to relax and not worry about where we were going next or how we were going to get there — for example, when we did the fly-in excursion from Aswan to Abu Simbel (which I highly recommend!), we were escorted past the rest of the people on our flight who were waiting for shuttle buses and directly to a private minivan, making us the first ones to the site with our guide). We felt like we were able to see all of the must-sees/highlights, but also, despite being there at a very crowded time of year, were able to get off the beaten path a bit to visit places with few if any other visitors. We only had a few days in Jordan, so our time going to/from Petra was a whirlwind, though we packed in as much as we could and our guide and driver were great about replanning our route and stops on the fly when some protests closed the main road. We didn’t love the Movenpick in Petra (we had rooms on opposite sides of the building but the dozens of barking dogs outside kept us both up all night, despite noise-canceling headphones), but understand there really aren’t any better options in the area and it was super-convenient to the site. All of our other hotels were wonderful. We absolutely loved the Old Cataract in Aswan, where we had great spa treatments and only wished we could’ve had a few more days to laze around on their terraces and explore the grounds. Our Nile cruise was very comfortable, and the Four Seasons in Cairo was lovely — our rooms were upgraded and mine had a balcony overlooking the Nile with views of the city (and even the pyramids!). Our day visiting Giza and Saqqara I think really perfectly illustrated the benefits of using a WOW list professional – our Egyptologist guide knew exactly when to get there, and where within the complex to start, the benefit being that we were able to experience the Sphinx and the side of the Great Pyramid with virtually no one else around. Similarly, in Saqqara we visited a few stunning tombs that had few, if any, visitors. And our lunch stop was for delicious, traditional Egyptian food served in a beautiful garden; it felt like eating at someone’s home. We also loved our food tour in Cairo. Egypt had been on my bucket list for years and I’m so glad to have finally made it. The only disappointment was that the Grand Egyptian Museum had not opened as planned by the time of our trip, which I suppose just means I’ll have to go back in a few years!

The 2023 WOW List: 86 Top Local Fixers in Countries Worldwide

by Wendy Perrin | January 22, 2023

How to Get an Extraordinary Trip: Wendy’s WOW Approach

by Wendy Perrin | January 1, 2023

Wendy Wants To Amp Up Your Trip!

by | January 1, 2023

Where and When to Travel in This Unprecedentedly Busy Year

by Wendy Perrin | May 14, 2023

How to Get More For Your Miles and Points in 2023

by | January 31, 2023

10 Top Dream Trips for 2023

by Brook Wilkinson | February 1, 2023