Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

The highlight of our trip was Fogo Island
Judy Hughes | November 5, 2018

We listened to local music several times when we were on Cape Breton and the restaurants Jill suggested were all very good. Our flight from Halifax to St. John’s was canceled because of the weather. I emailed Jill and she called in just a few minutes and rearranged our schedule. She did a wonderful job.

The highlight of our trip was Fogo Island and stayed at the Fogo Island Inn. It was such a wonderful experience. Our community host, Eugene, was a great host and made us feel right at home. The next day we went on a guided hike with Roy. He is a retired local school teacher and has written several books and poems about Fogo Island. We bought some of his books. We really enjoyed our time there.

We enjoyed our entire trip. Jill did a great job.

We never would have found some of these places without her assistance
Madelyn Goodwin | October 3, 2018

Jill was wonderfully helpful during the whole planning process. She provided good suggestions for our stay in Springdale and ideas of what to do while in the area. We never would have found some of these places without her assistance. Fogo Island was amazing. She recommended excellent restaurants too. The guide she set us up within St Johns was great. Jill spent a lot of time on the phone with me discussing options. We had a small issue with the hotel in St Johns (Murray Premises) – it was really old and past its “sell by” date. Jill was quite proactive in attempting to rectify the situation and did find us another place to stay. We decided not to move as the alternative was a bit too far out of town. We were really pleased with Jill and would recommend her services. Thanks!

Whetted our appetite for a return
Sarah and Fred Guymont | October 5, 2018

Jill Curran arranged a fabulous 10-day visit to Newfoundland for my husband and me. She and I had a long chat in the first place so she could establish the sort of travelers we are and the sort of things we like to do and where to stay. She gave us two possible itineraries and we could not be happier with the one we chose, which we felt gave us a good overview and flavor of Newfoundland, and whetted our appetite for a return. The hotels were all terrific, with excellent breakfasts and all with fabulous views. All the excursions she arranged were spot on: city tour and whale watching from St Johns, wonderful boat trip with Rugged Beauty on the Bonavista Peninsula – Bruce, the owner, shared wonderful stories of the not so distant past (though it sounded like generations ago) and his fabulously colorful family. Jill recommended that we take in a concert by Anchors Aweigh when we were in Gros Morne National Park, and thank goodness she did. They were fantastic and I’m not sure we would have found them. All her restaurant and entertainment suggestions that we took up were just right. We were grateful for her last minute change of itinerary so that we were able to do our whale and puffin watching trip on a gorgeous sunny afternoon rather than the cold, wet blustery day that we were booked. Sadly the weather that day meant we weren’t able to do the famous Lighthouse Picnic – another reason to return. Highly recommend Jill and her team, and we look forward to using other WOW agents.

A real feel for Newfoundland and its people
Alison Grant | August 28, 2018

Jill is a skilled listener who figured out the kind of experiences that we would enjoy and then built our itinerary around personal experiences that would give us a real feel for Newfoundland and its people. All of the guides and activities were excellent. She chose perfect accommodations for us and went so far as to request certain rooms. Jill even arranged for the founder of the Fogo Island Inn to come to meet us. Jill provided us with restaurants, specialty shops, and nighttime music recommendations. She not only checked in with us during our trip, she gave us her personal cell phone number and urged us to call her any time. As our itinerary was so well planned out we had no need to contact her. Jill is an excellent travel agent who goes over and beyond. She obviously loves her homeland and it shows.

She has thorough knowledge of the geographic area
Adrienne Corcoran | August 19, 2018

Jill helped plan a wonderful trip to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island for two people. Her pre-planning time helped to shape our 11 days abroad. She has a thorough knowledge of the geographic area and was able to secure lodging and appropriate tickets for our visit, even when we didn’t give her too much planning notice. Communication was never a problem; always able to reach her when needed.

We came home wanting to go right back
Salena Kern | August 1, 2018

I’m writing this as the last of the “gifts” I sent to myself from Cape Breton Island arrives. I’m still psyched about our vacation to the Canadian Maritimes. We wanted a relaxing getaway and while Jill didn’t plan that we would miss the East Coast heatwave, she did plan or suggest most everything else. We put a lot of miles on our rental car (we had flown from Newark to Halifax) as we toured Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. We always knew where we would sleep that night and probably where we would dine but during the day we rambled and meandered and just talked to everyone we met. Jill understood what we wanted, made slews of suggestions, and did the legwork so we could relax. The things she thought we shouldn’t miss, e.g., the Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck, NS. or the St. Andrew NB aquarium, she was right. She planned for us what on paper was a highly detailed, complicated itinerary, it worked, and we came home wanting to go right back. Thank you, Wendy, for making this connection.

I loved Newfoundland and having Jill plan my trip!
Cassandra Lang | August 1, 2018

I traveled to Newfoundland in early July 2018. Jill Curran was instrumental in creating a fantastic Newfoundland vacation for me. I was on the west coast because I wanted to experience beautiful Gros Morne National Park. I then flew to the east coast to experience the wonderful city of St. Johns. She listened well and was able to plan according to my specific preferences. I traveled alone, and Jill assured me this was a good destination for someone traveling solo. She was right! The people of Newfoundland are friendly and welcoming. The tours she recommended were all excellent, and the entire trip went smoothly. Also, all the dining recommendations were spot on-so many options for delicious food. I loved Newfoundland and having Jill plan my trip!

Nothing but frustration in trying to book things on the internet
Tony & Mary Fereday | July 18, 2018

Dealing with Jill Curran in St. Johns Newfoundland was excellent. No problems at all. I had nothing but frustration in trying to book things on the internet; all that frustration vanished once I got Jill, via Wendy Perrin. Jill asked me pertinent questions such as our vacation objectives, age, and budget. Within our parameters, she gave us suggestions and upon our agreement made all the bookings. It worked just fine and even the Newfoundland weather co-operated with 15 days of sunshine and only 3 of rain and mist.

She arranged excursions which we never could have arranged by ourselves
Richard Goldin | July 17, 2018

With the help of Jill Curran, I traveled with my two daughters, their husbands and three grandchildren (a total of nine people) through Atlantic Canada. Jill and her colleagues arranged all hotels, minivans, and gave advice on restaurants, events, and important sights to see. But, most of all she arranged excursions which we could never have arranged by ourselves and about which my three grandchildren never stop talking. These included a boat trip in which we dug for clams, pulled up lobster traps, gathered fresh mussels and oysters and had a wonderful lobster boil on a secluded beach. Another boat excursion to islands dark with puffins, murres, razor bills, cormorants and other birds, and a boat tour of coastal resettled communities during which we saw whales.

In addition, we attended a songfest in a private home with guitar and accordion in which we participated. We also (and some say this was the best) hiked along the shore with Lori, a chef, who pointed out plants which were edible and then used them to make a sumptuous lunch.
The vistas of inland lakes, pine forests, and ocean fronts were magnificent. This was a visit of a lifetime, thanks Jill and Wendy Perrin’s WOW list.

A wonderful trip made easy
Nicole Stanley | June 23, 2018

Jill was great to work with. She helped me refine exactly what we wanted from our trip and then delivered exactly that! It was a wonderful trip made easy by all the work Jill put in on the front end.

We couldn't have done it without her!
Beth Nelson | June 21, 2018

Jill was fantastic to work with! She arranged a memorable trip to Newfoundland for me, my husband and mother-in-law. We needed handicapped accommodations and they were spot on, from booking hotels with elevators, mobility scooter rental and special room equipment brought in for my mother-in-law. We had a fantastic private tour tailored to our specific interests. She changed the itinerary mid-trip to give us a better chance of finding icebergs. We couldn’t have done it within her! Thank you!

Attention to detail was evident at every stop.
Jeanne Lee | September 15, 2017

Jill’s attention to detail was evident at every stop. Her suggested accommodations in Woody Point were excellent and she made sure we had one of the nicest rooms at the Seaside Suites. Her narratives were always appreciated, quite helpful and very specific. Every stop was very detailed and accurate.

In talking with other travelers, they would say: “Oh, that is really the nicest place to stay in the area”. The Inn at Fogo Island was the perfect ending to a perfect trip. Jill was so wonderful to work with and we will be using her again next year to plan our trip to Nova Scotia and PEI.

Hit all the highlights
Carol and Jon Shanser | August 9, 2017

My wife & I planned a July 2017 trip to the Canadian Maritimes and Newfoundland with Jill Curran. She hit all the highlights of travel there and recommended great hotels, restaurants, & sights not to mention seeing the terrific and pertinent Broadway show, Come From Away, when we happened to be in NYC prior to our trip. We flew to Halifax, NS, St.Andrews NB, Shediac NB(lobster capital), Charlottetown & Dalvay by the Sea, PEI and finally St.Johns NL as well as Fogo Island. She also included stops at Trout Point Lodge NS, and Fishers Loft in Port Rexton as well as several great whale, bird & iceberg watching trips.

Couldn't have accomplished without her
Lori Ryerson | June 7, 2017

Jill Curran of Maxxim Vacations helped me plan a marvelous trip to Newfoundland in mid-May, 2017. I’m a fine art photographer, traveling with my adult cinematographer son, who gave me only 11 days of his time to accomplish a bucket list trip for both of us. I knew I couldn’t do it alone. Jill made extensive notes of our wants, likes and dislikes at the get-go, and every step of the trip was planned with those criteria as the filters. She managed to pull a few rabbits out of hats and made some arrangements for us that we simply couldn’t have accomplished without her broad on-the-ground network in Newfoundland. She also monitored us all along the way, including changing our travel plans over a national holiday weekend while she was away with her family when our transportation was canceled due to high winds. She contacted the places we were to be, rearranged the bookings, and continued to stay in touch with us right up to the end of our trip. Since Jill lives there, she is more acclimatized to the weather quirks of Newfoundland, and won’t notice the cold as much as those from away. We would suggest that even as late as May, winter coats should go in the luggage (we wore ours every day of the trip, and we ARE Canadian, but it is still cold at that time of year!) The kindness and generosity of Newfoundlanders are legendary, and Jill is definitely a standard-bearer for Newfoundlands reputation.

A special program
Bob Eaton | October 15, 2016

Jill was terrific. We had never been to Newfoundland and knew only that we wanted to stay at the Fogo Island Inn. She designed a 10-day trip through the province and made the great suggestion that we modify our original dates to be at the Inn for Canadian Thanksgiving when they do a special program. Her suggestions about places to stay and eat were spot on and her communication before and during the trip were very helpful. We had a wonderful time — our only disappointment was that we had not allowed more time in several of the places we visited — but isn’t that the mark of a well-planned trip. We would clearly use Jill again and would recommend her to anyone.

Truly Truly WOW!!
Taffy and Dave Lock | September 15, 2016

Truly Truly WOW!!

We have just returned from a 3 week driving tour of Newfoundland (August-September 2016) which was arranged by Jill Curran and her team at Maxxim Vacations. Jill was intuitive to our needs right from the start and through phone calls and emails we fine tuned the itinerary to encompass the places we wanted to see and Jill added her magic to create a vacation full of lasting memories and amazing experiences. We were very fortunate to actually meet Jill at Ferryland lighthouse picnics where we enjoyed a stunningly beautiful day while relaxing on a picnic blanket with a gourmet feast. Jill knew and understood how much we valued our accommodation and that it was an integral part to the enjoyment of the trip – she hit the nail on the head here as well! We had a lovely mix of higher end Inns and bed and breakfasts where we got to interact with local Newfoundlanders who went out of their way to provide exceptional hospitality. Our tour took in lots of hiking and 4 different boat trips with each providing something different and added so much value for us – never could have arranged such an awesome trip without Jill. We became so engaged in the history of the province and fell in love with all the outports and harbours and came away feeling we had touched the heart and soul of Newfoundland. I really believe what Wendy says about a TTE making a trip extraordinary and Jill Curran at Maxxim certainly did that for us! It was very special.

Explored fascinating towns and villages
Ellen Fried | August 22, 2016

Jill planned the perfect trip to Newfoundland, Canada! She was responsive to all our requests and questions and provided us with a spectacular itinerary. We stayed in gorgeous inns with warm, friendly hosts, explored fascinating towns and villages where we met interesting locals and learned about Newfoundlands amazing history, experienced exciting boat tours where we saw whales, puffins and icebergs, and saw wonderful local theater. We couldn’t have asked for more. Jill answered all our questions by email and phone before our trip and was fully available during our trip. We give Jill our highest recommendation.

We would highly recommend
Milton and Jean Cross | July 28, 2016

We are so grateful for the travel expertise of Jill Curran and Maxxim Vacations. We returned from Eastern Canada with wonderful memories and pure awe at all that we saw in the Atlantic Maritimes. Touchdown to take-off went very smoothly, the few glitches in no way were the responsibility of Jill and her team! Everything they planned and organized for us was as described in the planning documents. They were wonderful to work with and we really appreciated all of the insider tips and background information.  Jill kept in close contact during the planning process fine-tuning our itinerary and activities, inserting personal tidbits and recommendations. She sent maps and a detailed itinerary with our final documents. After the trip, Jill took care of any minor glitches we experienced. The attention to detail and her ability to “read” us were awesome and appreciated!  We would highly recommend this team of professionals and would contact them again for future travels to this beautiful part of our world.

Family Travel

Colombia Is for Families: It’s Close, Safe, and Fascinating

by Brook Wilkinson | March 8, 2018

Family Travel

Watch: How to Make Family Trips Fun

by Wendy Perrin | June 14, 2016

Destination

How to Spend a Romantic Weekend in Paris: A Gentleman’s Guide

by Sara Tucker | February 12, 2016

  • Have you returned from a trip arranged by this Trusted Travel Expert?

    If so, please leave a review of your experience so your fellow travelers can decide whether this travel planner is right for them. Include your name (because anonymous reviews are not fair), the month/year of your trip, the destination(s) you traveled to, and your advice for anyone who is considering hiring this travel planner. If you’d prefer to share your review privately, email Wendy.