We have recently returned from a monthlong, 4 Caribbean Island adventure organized by Meg Austin. Our trip was in celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary and the trip was extraordinary, But first, some comments about Meg. She noted that she would be coming along with us and, in fact, she did. Meg was in continuous contact with each concierge to ensure every organized activity was executed as she planned. And, the planning exercise was made difficult by the fact that two of the facilities had not yet opened for the season and hence obtaining timely commitments was complicated at best. On more than one occasion we were asked if Meg was a relative or close family friend given the attention she gave to our arrangements. The answer is “no,” she is an outstanding Wendy Trusted Travel Expert who does her level best to provide unique support for her clients. We will certainly be contacting Meg again for another adventure and clearly recommend her very highly.
As for our trip, we visited Barbados, Dominica, St Barts and St. Martin. We stayed at the Sandy Lane (where we had honeymooned and returned for our 25th anniversary), at IHG, at Eden Rock and finally at La Samanna. Thanks to Meg, each property recognized our 50th and treated us as a special guest. We enjoyed private touring on each island, catamaran trips on Barbados (The Cat & The Fiddle) and St. Martin (Freedom) and whale watching on Dominica. We were fortunate to enjoy excellent weather. We found the facilities, staff, food & drink at each resort to be excellent. Meg managed to blend free time with activities in a manner that allowed us to keep busy but yet relaxed. We met many wonderful staffers, too numerous to mention, and they all worked hard to ensure we had a great time.
Meg also arranged for Fast Track at each airport. While pricey, this support ensured we moved through each airport in record time and with minimal traditional airport processes. Our only mistake was to rent cars on St. Barts and St. Martin. We really didn’t use them very much as the private touring and occasional taxi did the trick. Can’t forget Wendy’s WOW Moment rum tasting on St. Martin at the La Samanna La Cave. Don’t quite understand how Wendy selects these WOW events but this was perfect. A very special treat…thank you Wendy.
Meg did a great trip for us. We knew where we wanted to go so she made all the arrangements and transfers and was on top of it all. We just wanted a relaxing vacation and we did get that. She also added extras since we were celebrating an anniversary. Great job Meg!
This is the third dive vacation in three years that Meg Austin has helped us plan. After exceptional trips to St. Lucia and Grand Cayman, I did not hesitate to contact her for a last-minute spring break trip for two families with 11-, 12-, 14- and 16-year-old kids. I was not surprised by her quick and efficient planning process, and within a couple of days she presented us with two great options in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. We ultimately decided on the Hilton Tulum Maya Riviera all-inclusive, partly because she was able to include first-class airfare for eight. Although we have had some terrible experiences at all-inclusive resorts in the past, Meg spoke highly of her experience in Tulum and reassured us that it would be a great place for our families. She was absolutely right. Although we have discovered that we are not good at all-inclusive properties as a couple, the resort was great for our families and was everything Meg said it would be.
Meg ensured that each family had adjoining rooms, essentially giving each of us a two-bedroom suite. I doubt that we could have accomplished that on our own due to the last-minute nature of our trip. The elevated experiences we had as Enclave guests were exceptional. The private check-in and check-out, personal concierge, exclusive bar with top-shelf drinks, and the private pool went above and beyond our expectations. In addition, the food and wine were excellent. We got to know Aaron and Angel, the wine director and assistant sommelier, who hosted a private Food of the Region Wine Tasting for the adults while the kids happily ordered room service. It was best meal we had that week. The chef was brilliant and it was a great experience that I would highly recommend to anyone willing to pay a little extra for a tour of Mexico through wine and food.
Outside of the resort, Meg set up a fishing excursion, complete with a birthday cake, on our son’s 14th birthday. She also organized a Mayan Ruin, Snorkeling and Cenote tour which was the highlight of the trip for those who were not certified divers. For the certified divers, the highlight of the trip, and possibly our diving careers, was diving the Chikin-Ha Cenote. The visibility was only limited by your own vision or how far your flashlight could penetrate the darkness. The cenote openings were gorgeous and the underwater light shows were breathtaking. Overall, the trip exceeded our expectations and I would highly recommend Meg Austin to anyone looking for a fabulous vacation.
My wife and I consulted Meg for a Spring Break trip for us and my 7-year-old son, trying to decide between a snowboarding trip out West or a Caribbean trip. After a thorough discussion on the phone of the type of experiences and vibe we were looking for, both individually and as a family, as well as our budget, Meg steered us toward a tropical-type destination with lots of activities we could enjoy together. Meg asked specific questions that really drew out what we wanted from our time off. Within days, I had an email with choices, all wonderful and on point, but Hotel Punta Islita, Costa Rica, really fit the bill, both in terms of the myriad of experiences, travel time, and budget. We had our own mountainside suite with a private patio and plunge pool that looked out on a rainforest and ocean. Every dusk and dawn was a sound- and landscape of howler monkeys, macaws, and other colorful birds all easily visible from our patio hammock. Meg was certain to arrange private surfing lessons for my son for 3 days, a highlight of our trip at their easily accessible beach — he was in heaven with 2 instructors attending to him! Other activities included a dawn birdwatching hike, zip lining, howler monkey trek, horseback riding, macaw breeding & recovery center tour, a mixology lesson, and massages on the beach. The food at Hotel Punta Islita was unbelievable — they have a “zero kilometer” menu, so everything is local, fresh, and prepared beautifully. And the staff and vibe were all laid back but attentive, warm, and accessible. In sum, this vacation encompassed our desire to be immersed in nature without roughing it, have easy access to adventurous activities, top-notch food, and a low-key warm vibe for family memories. Meg was in touch throughout all stages of the pre-trip planning, ensuring activities were booked ahead of time and our suite had an unobstructed view of the ocean. She arranged private, air conditioned, wi-fi enabled transport from Liberia airport to the hotel, a 2- to 3-hour drive, which was quite comfortable. She also checked in during our trip, but all went so smoothly that no issues arose. It was my first time using a trip planner and I’ll never go back — I didn’t have to do a thing, other than decide. So many easily done activities were done, so many memories were made, all was healthy both in mind and body, we were immersed in nature and gained an appreciation for our natural world. When it came time to leave, my son stopped several times on our way to the transport van, looking back, saying “Daddy, I just want to take a picture in my head. I loved it here and don’t want to leave.” I think that’s the definition of a successful vacation. Meg’s insight and energy resulted in the best vacation we’ve ever had.
Meg was wonderful and very responsive. She knew where to go and when—which was a big piece for us, as we were traveling without kids for our anniversary and wanted it to be special but also be within a 5-hour direct flight in February, when warm choices are limited. Knowing she had traveled to the resorts we were considering gave us great peace of mind. We ended up staying at the Viceroy in Riviera Maya, which was great and met our needs. We were disappointed in the beach there however, due to seaweed and the size of the beach, so there were some edits we would have made to the trip but alas… we received a nice upgrade in our villa, which was clearly due to Meg’s relationship. The hotel had a jungle vibe and excellent spa. The food was also pretty good. We did have a hiccup with the private transportation provider, Amstar, at the start of our trip, which was disconcerting, but Meg was available and tried to help us in the moment as she could. We would rate our trip an 8/10 and we came back refreshed and happy!
Meg orchestrated a perfect (last-minute) vacation for us to Mexico (12/27/22-1/2/23). Though we contacted her late in the game—most people apparently book their holiday travels a year in advance (who knew???)—she found a perfect spot for us. She also arranged a spectacular day trip to the Mayan ruins and a magical cenote—the HIGHLIGHT of the trip. We are already booking next year’s trip with Meg…because apparently people book their holiday travel a year in advance :).
A relaxing holiday…just what our family needed.
Meg Austin helped secure a fabulous property on Turks & Caicos. We thoroughly enjoyed staying at the Rock House, which opened about 8 months ago, and is part of Grace Bay Resorts. Our trip was from December 26, 2022 – January 2, 2023. We had a 2-bedroom villa with a plunge pool for our family of 5. It was located on the ridge and provided an incredible view. On most nights we ate off property, mostly because we like to eat somewhere different every night. Meg Austin handled our dining reservations, which were all wonderful, but Coco Bistro was our favorite! We hired a driver, Romey, who was incredibly reliable, safe and fair-priced. Meg made suggestions for activities and we booked a full-day snorkeling trip with Island Vibes, which I highly recommend. My husband and son enjoyed 2 days of kiteboarding with TCK and our family took a 2-hour kayak tour of the mangrove area, which was fun too. Outside of that, we enjoyed swimming in the clear blue water and relaxing on the white sandy beach (FYI the beach area is a bit small at the Rock House, but we still enjoyed the space). Meg Austin is super easy to work with and very responsive to emails and texts. I am about to request another trip through her for December 2023 and look forward to working with her again.
My family and I went for six nights over Christmas (12/25 – 12/31) to Cabo and stayed at the Gran Velas all-inclusive resort. Meg Austin did a terrific job helping us with our trip. From start to finish the trip was seamless. She arranged for our hotel, our trip insurance, our transfers to/from the airport, etc. The place could not be more perfect for my family with two young adults (23 and 26). The place is gorgeous, with a fantastic infinity pool and the ocean right in front. Every room has a view, but Meg managed to get us into the same rooms we had last year, which we loved. Yes, we really liked this place and did return for a second year in a row. They have six nice restaurants and a couple fun bars/clubs. We ate at each one and enjoyed the food, beverages and service very much. We also got massages and experienced the water treatment at the spa…very nice! I highly recommend using Meg Austin to help guide you in your next sun-and-fun adventure!
We were interested in a week on Anguilla or St. Lucia right around the time of Lisa’s birthday (Dec. 16). Meg helped us zero in on Aurora Anguilla, the old Cuisinart Resort, which turned out to be a perfect choice. It was considerably less expensive than the other luxury resorts on the island (Malliouhana, Cap Juluca and Four Seasons) and Meg pointed out their one free night for every four deal, so it made sense for us to stay eight nights, at the price of six. And by following her advice to leave on Friday Dec. 16 instead of a day later, we saved hundreds of dollars by not overlapping with the high season rates. We were able to afford a beach-front suite, walking right out to the sand every morning to enjoy the sunrise. And the beach at Aurora was perfect: calm and inviting, unlike the rougher seas on the other side of the island. We couldn’t have been happier.
Anguilla was very uncrowded ahead of the holiday season; we were able to enjoy just about everything the island has to offer with worrying about competing for dinner reservations.
I did a lot of research myself, but Meg reinforced our choices for meals, car rental and air transportation. You can now fly to Anguilla from Miami (on American) instead of having to go through St. Marten and ferry over. And smartly, we worked out an arrangement to fly to Miami the evening before, spending the night at an airport hotel rather than having to get up before 4 am to make a very early 6 am flight from Boston to Miami. We checked our bags all the way through (though I would suggest saving a change of clothes in our carry-on, which we forgot to do). We were on the beach by 4 in the afternoon, enjoying a sunset swim ahead of Aurora’s Thursday evening beach BBQ.
Best of all, Meg cleared the way for us to enjoy lunch as visitors at Cap Shack, the informal beach restaurant at Cap Juluca, where we built up an appetite strolling on the beach and swimming to our hearts’ content. Meg also suggested the Tradition sailing trip to Prickly Pear island, but unfortunately, their motor was being repaired so we weren’t able to go. Maybe next time.
All in all, for a very modest fee, Meg took the stress out of our trip, staying in touch from initial planning in the summer, and then following up with the folks at Aurora to make sure we were treated like royalty. I look forward to working with Meg on any future Caribbean escapes.
We had never been to Aspen, but many friends love it, so we decided to tack on a visit after a conference in Denver. We drove to Aspen, and took a hair-raising route over the continental divide. I am a pretty fearless person but this had me gripping my seat. (We returned to Denver Intl airport via a different route!)
We and Meg Austin chose the St. Regis and I am so glad. Meg is registered with Stars and we benefitted with free breakfast and an additional $100 credit. The St Regis is wonderful; we appreciated that it was beautiful, small and felt homey. Meg guided us in our room choice; she suggested a Junior Suite with a balcony, and it was spot-on. The room was wonderful, large enough and the décor, bedding and furniture were beautiful. We enjoyed the balcony.
The St. Regis staff was excellent, tripping over themselves in providing good service. We know the world is suffering from staffing issues, and this property was no different. In fact, they had flown in ‘Task Force’ people from Arizona to help out.
Unfortunately, our room was not ready until after the guaranteed 4:00 pm. The hotel courtesy-credited us $350 on the spot. We were greeted soon after we were in our room with champagne and sweets. When Meg found out about the late check-in, she then arranged for more champagne and a charcuterie platter. Really over the top.
I have to mention Housekeeping; she/he did not miss a beat, it was as though they ‘knew me.’ Usually housekeeping is very good, but this had an above-and-beyond element to it.
Meg Austin was a delight to work with. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and a lot of fun. She introduced us to the hotel concierge Stephanie, who Meg dubbed the “#1 Guru in Aspen.” This is indicative of how fun and charming Meg is.
Stephanie suggested an array of restaurants that we then chose from. Stephanie made the reservations, and they were all superb. She meticulously guided us in our day trips, and they were perfect. And…Aspen is simply breathtaking!! We didn’t know, and I’m blown away.
I think we benefitted from our trip being at the end of August. Aspen did not feel crowded.
Meg checked in with us before, during and after, and made a huge difference in our trip. Her guidance and all her special touches made our 3 nights in Aspen picture-perfect.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Meg Austin planned an outstanding 40th birthday trip for me and my husband to St. Lucia in 2020 so I didn’t hesitate to call her about a summer trip with our children. We wanted a place to unplug and spend time together as a family. Our 11- and 13-year-old boys were working on their PADI scuba certifications and Meg suggested Grand Cayman for our trip. She set us up in a beautiful two-bedroom suite at the Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa on Seven Mile Beach.
Meg also arranged dives for us with Living the Dream Dive Shop. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for the boys to complete their first open water dives. Matt picked us up at the hotel after lunch and returned us when we were finished. He was great with the boys and made sure they were ready and comfortable. Thanks in part to Matt and in part to the world-class diving Grand Cayman offers, they were already planning our next dive vacation after their very first trip underwater. It was fun to watch their eyes light up every time they saw a sea turtle, squid, or nurse shark.
The atmosphere above the surface was just as enjoyable. Every restaurant we went to, from haute cuisine to waterside meals on picnic tables, had delicious food, outstanding seafood, and equally impressive wine lists. Other than the diving, the biggest hit of the trip was the day we rented a boat with a captain who took us to Stingray City, Starfish Point and Bio Bay. The boys couldn’t say enough about Stingray City. Our captain was very knowledgeable and gave us a mini lesson on stingrays and then caught a pregnant female for us to hold, pet, and kiss. She even gave us a back rub. The starfish at Starfish Point were just as friendly and it was amazing to watch them slowly get comfortable and wrap themselves around you. Bio Bay was by far the most breathtaking experience of my life. Swimming through the exceptionally warm water at night with the bioluminescent plankton was like swimming through the galaxy with stars emanating from your very pores. It was truly a magical experience and both boys, despite being stung by jellyfish, loved it. On the way home that evening, my hard-to-please 13-year-old said, “Mom, this is the best week of my life, and it isn’t even over yet!” Thank you, Meg, for an amazing week! We will definitely be calling you again.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL We were originally planning on going over Christmas to Sugar Beach Resort in St. Lucia. 2 A-symptomatic Cases hit our party of 10 and we had to cancel. At the beginning of our planning process with Meg, we had expressed our concern of this happening or worse needing medical assistance for my Father when on island. Meg suggested we purchase Travel Insurance with Trip Mate. We were blown away by how fast Meg handled getting our claim processed. We were back planning a 2nd trip for April break to Sugar Beach in no time.
Meg planned a fabulous itinerary for us with all inclusive dining, diving, hiking, mud baths, sunset sail, and spa treatments. Our Villa at Sugar Beach was spectacular, the house Butler (Gus) and nurse (Eric) Meg found for us made the trip accessible for my Father in a wheel chair and helped meet all of his medical needs. In true COVID fashion, COVID hit 2 more people in our party 4 weeks before the trip and Meg once again had to alter our activities as we could not get diving clearance from our Drs. Meg just rolled with every change. She cancelled and rescheduled other activities and we still got to enjoy every minute of our trip.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Meg Austin is exceptional!
Long story short, she planned a trip for me, my husband and two adult children to visit Turks and Caicos. The trip ended up being cancelled due to Covid. Two years later, Meg again arranged for my husband and I (unfortunately no children) to stay at The Shore Club on Long Bay Beach. The accommodations were exceptional and Meg went to great lengths to ensure our stay was memorable. Knowing that we are an active group, Meg provided us with all the information to go scuba diving with Big Blue off of Grace Bay. We also tried our luck at kite sailing and went snorkeling at several different reef locations. Although we were only visiting Turks and Caicos for a short stay (March 14-18), it was packed with fun and wonderful memories. This is a major thank you to Meg Austin and of course Wendy’s WOW List for helping us find her!!
PANDEMIC TRAVEL There’s a travel saying that if you found something good, don’t share it for fear it’ll become too popular. Well – that is Meg! Having done many luxury travels with other agents, she’s simply top notch. With the online tools available, anyone can book and research their trips but somehow having a knowledgeable, trusting agent made all the difference. We’ve been to Beaver Creek many times before and the thought that I could easily book everything on my own for a Feb 2022 trip was so wrong. With COVID, staffing shortages and constant airline changes, a trip that we’ve taken annually for the past 3 years became a nightmare. Meg stepped in to check on our lodging prior to booking to make sure it was as advertised, took numerous trips to track down ski instructors for a busy week (even though it was booked in advance) and knew our family to make early reservations at easy kid friendly restaurants and times. While we were there, we never felt the resort was understaffed due to the tremendously well planned itinerary. Meg is always thinking about the next 2 steps esp when there’s potential problems due to factors outside our control. Meg is great and I can’t wait to plan our next family trip with her.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Unlike pre-pandemic trips in which we like to explore and investigate different cultures, food, art, etc., for our first post-pandemic trip we just wanted to get away. Away from the cold Northeast, away from the daily Covid anxiety. Basically, we wanted to veg out on a beach with as few hassles as possible. We contacted Meg because we were thinking of a Caribbean island vacation. In order to keep our time in airports to a minimum, we wanted a non-stop United flight from the NYC area to the island, which greatly limited our options. Meg heard us and suggested an all-inclusive resort on the Riviera Maya, part of the Mexican Caribbean coast. This is not usually how we travel but made sense in view of our needs. The package also included Business Class airfare and for a relatively small fee, trip insurance that was cancel-for-any-reason up to two hours prior to flight. We scheduled the trip prior to the Omicron surge, so the insurance made us feel comfortable as Covid cases increased as we approached our departure date and a go/no go decision had to be made. The surge started to fade, we went and the trip was flawless. We had private transportation for the 1 hour+ drive to and from the Cancun airport, masks were worn by all the staff and requested of guests when inside, and the resort provided the required Covid test for our return. Meg checked in on us before, during and after the trip to insure that we were well and happy. Thanks to Meg, everything went smoothly.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Let me start by saying Meg is the best! Meg patiently worked with us as we tried to find the perfect location for our family of eight during these pandemic times. She understood my concerns in regards to travel and finding a place that would accommodate all our children. One of the places we suggested was the west and Meg came up with a fabulous hotel, The Waldorf Astoria in Park City, Utah. The hotel and staff were wonderful! In addition she set up a daily itinerary that included ATVs, horseback riding, raft trips, the Olympic Park and so many more!
All the outdoor activity kept our health risks low and the hotel accommodations were fantastic in every way. Meg put together an amazing package that included a special room rate, daily breakfast, and a hotel credit that came with her status at the Waldorf. We were pleasantly surprised with treats in the room and it was obvious that Meg is a big deal at this hotel. Everyone made us feel very special and were always happy to assist us with anything we needed.
Throughout the entire process Meg was always in contact with us reserving restaurants and all activities. My kids had an incredible time at the Olympic Park engaging in all the different activities offered, from zip lining to private bobsled rides. They also loved the ATV tours and the incredible natural surroundings of the area.
If you’re planning on visiting the west everyone should use Meg! She truly made our trip an extraordinary one and was so detailed on making sure it would be an incredible memory for our family. Thank you Wendy Perrin and group for recommending Meg, she truly belongs on your WOW List.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Meg heard what I wanted in a trip and found it! I don’t think I would have ever come up with her suggestion on my own. It was a fantastic trip!
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Meg Austin was a terrific travel planner. She was always very prompt in replying to questions, communication was excellent and frequent, and she was easily accessible. She was patient and flexible as our vacation plans transformed into something different than originally planned, and she was instrumental in securing a great property for us. With Covid, the travel and hospitality industry is understaffed, and Meg was the most important advocate we had in dealing with problems, She was wonderful! Highly recommend!
PANDEMIC TRAVEL What a great trip our group of eight all had! Everyone agreed that the Rosewood Mayakoba is absolutely lovely, as is the entire resort property with all four Mayakoba hotels available to guests. All of our planned offsite activities as well as our spontaneous ones were lots of fun and very memorable…. swimming with the whale sharks and manta rays with marine biologist, Rafa!!!; Cozumel diving and snorkeling with a ceviche lunch on a floating table; Dos Ojos cenote dive/snorkel exploration and private-guided Tulum tour; private cooking lesson at the beautiful Ceiba Garden; archery lessons; tennis; cycling daily through the resort; running on the nature trail throughout the property; lounging at our pool and hot tub at our beautiful villa; dinner at a different restaurant every night. And most especially, we loved the wonderful people of Mexico …. all were so very friendly, gracious, and kind. Mirsa, our private guide, scuba and snorkeling leader, and logistics expert extraordinaire was the star of our Riviera Maya trip. She is a true gem, always laughing and engaging, while watching out for us at the same time. The entire staff at the Mayakoba resort was amazing in every respect and also surprised us with gifts most every day. All of these wonderful experiences lead back to our super WOW list travel specialist, Meg. She planned this really wonderful adventure and getaway in truly difficult times. Her experience and network allowed us to re-enter the realm of international travel with relaxed smiles and a feeling that the world is hopefully on the mend.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL I went to Cap Jaluca in Anguilla April 14-21.
I called Meg because I wanted to get away and really didn’t care where I went in the Caribbean. I wanted someplace that was safe, even though my wife and I have been vaccinated, and offered a choice of dining experiences. Meg advised us Anguilla would be perfect as they have a dining “bubble” of restaurants available and they take Covid very seriously.
We had been to Cap Jaluca 15 years ago and loved it. Mind you, we very rarely go anywhere a second time as there are so many places to explore in this world. However, Cap Jaluca, with its wonderful beach and excellent service, fit the bill.
We had a wonderful time. Meg negotiated an upgrade and free breakfast delivered to our room every morning. We certainly recharged.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL There aren’t enough superlatives to describe our experience with Meg. Our daughter and a friend wanted to ski/work remotely for a month anywhere out west. The problem was there were no season lift passes and weekly passes, if available, were cost prohibitive. With nowhere to turn, I emailed Meg from Wendy’s WOW List to see if she could help.
Meg was able to secure terrific accommodations in Aspen which came with 30 day lift passes. Additionally, when an issue came up with their original condo prior to arrival, Meg had them upgraded to a beautiful unit at no charge.
All along the way, Meg provided useful advice about ski rentals, restaurants and happenings in Aspen. She clearly understood this was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity and was genuinely excited to be part of the planning process. She was responsive and terrific to work with and I would highly recommend her!
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Feb 2021 trip to Miami South Beach for a special landmark birthday for my wife. Meg Austin did a great job walking me through the options and chose the best place for this special occasion and equally as important set things up where the experience was a special one. She added her own special touches to the special trip that added up to making it extra special.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Meg was the greatest. Patient with us while we figured out dates and flights and destination. She gave us places to choose from and once we had it down she handled everything. She pulled it off in 3 weeks time. Absolutely we will use her again when planning a ski trip and probably a spring break trip as well. With all the changes in 2021 she guided us through hurdles we would have had to figure out the hard way as well as saved us time in research. Even checked in with us each day and sent me an email at 430 in the morning after checking the status of our 6am flight!!!
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Meg Austin is a magician, miracle worker, and a hero to the people!
I called Meg to try to get us a safe, on budget, and kid friendly trip to the Caribbean for our family of 6 (including kids ages 9, 7, 4, and 1 1/2) – Certainly not the easiest task in the middle of spiking COVID cases here in the US and changes in policy for travelers returning to the US. To be honest, I was about to give up on this trip due to uncertainty regarding evolving COVID issues and other agents’ difficulties coming in at our budget.
I decided to call Meg as a bit of a “Hail Mary.”
That Hail Mary was a winning touchdown pass for our family. Meg nailed it – nailed it – and nailed it:
Kids had an absolute blast.
And our itinerary was to us quick as a flash. Did I mention I gave her only about 5 weeks of notice?
She’s a kick to work with, enthusiastic and fun, and put us in just the right spot. She was super fast with responses to questions, concerns, and followed up with us on the days of travel and while we were on our trip to make sure things went smoothly with return COVID testing/airline requirements/and all things pandemic related.
Very highly recommended! Call Meg Austin.
Matthew D. Gamble, M.D.
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Meg Austin planned a trip for my family of 3 to Canyons/Park City, Utah over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday. It was perfectly planned. She suggested great restaurants (although due to covid, we mostly got take out in our lovely suite that she found with amazing views of the mountains). When we arrived at our suite, we had a stocked fridge, a bottle of wine, and a decorated Christmas tree all coordinated by Meg! She found ways to minimize risk on the airplane by getting us first class seats (at a good rate) on the first row of the plane. She had the skis delivered to the lobby of our hotel, no waiting in line!
Meg suggested we ski at Canyons/Park City because we could use our season passes from our local ski resort in Pennsylvania there. This saved us money. We did not have to wait in long lines for lift tickets because we had our season passes already. We went right outside from our hotel and there was the lift. Our flight was delayed on return and Meg was on it immediately, making sure we could get a late check out at our hotel and rearranging the car service to the airport. It was the smoothest family trip we have taken. My husband, who isn’t a big skier, said it was the best ski trip he’s been on! I appreciated her knowledge and feedback in finding the right ski resort for us!
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Meg Austin planned and coordinated a ski trip for us that far exceeded our expectations and took the angst out of all the details. We traveled to Beaver Creek the week before Christmas 2020. Being veteran travelers and a party of 9 we wanted the guidance and expertise of a seasoned travel expert with the ever evolving COVID pandemic. Having used Wendy Perrin for a trip a year and half ago, we knew this was our best way to go.
As Richard Branson says, “When making experiences, attention to detail matters.” Meg made sure every detail was covered from arranging a party of nine arriving from three different states to two different airports to finding accommodations where we could all be together. Our equipment was even delivered to our lodging in stages as members of our group arrived at different times. She found beautiful, perfectly located accommodations with amenities that fit our needs. Her demeanor was so positive and enthusiastic! She was very respectful of our budget and made sure to stay within it or find a way to make it work. We take pride in making our own travel plans, however, we do not think we could have even made it work within our budget with the quality of accommodations, location, reservations and services we received.
Meg is very focused and never pushy which we truly appreciated. We threw her curveballs when our son had hand surgery 2 weeks before the trip and our daughter developed a back condition that sidelined their skiing plans and she responded with home run alternative ideas. We often wondered if Meg ever slept as emails and texts were almost always answered within minutes. If you want top notch travel advice with a plethora of options to choose from, we highly recommend her for your next travel experience. We guarantee you will not be disappointed!
We are immensely grateful to Meg for making our family holiday trip truly extraordinary and look forward to using her again in the very near future!
PANDEMIC TRAVEL Meg did an amazing job for a last minute request to find us a place to stay in the Turks & Caicos that had some privacy to reduce risks around COVID. She didn’t bat an eye and found a couple of amazing options. We weren’t sure we’d be able to put together a trip with only about a week’s notice–but she helped make it happen. Thanks!
I have worked with travel agents and travel specialists throughout my adult life on trips spanning several continents and complicated itineraries. In short, Meg Austin is THE best in every aspect of planning a trip from start to finish. I’m not sure if I’d be classified as “high maintenance”—you’d have to ask Meg that—but I ask a lot of questions and require a lot of information and guidance in every step of planning a BIG trip like the one my husband, daughter and myself planned through Meg. It was our first cruise and Meg guided me through every aspect patiently and expertly. Meg knew exactly which cabins to book for us, which flights to put us on, when and how to reserve our excursions and dining options so there would be no FOMO. Meg is incredibly well connected with insiders, so she was able to pull strings to get us everything SHE wanted us to have in our tour package—items I didn’t even know to ask for, but thank goodness Meg did. She handled me with humor, grace, zip-quick responses, and was always one step ahead of me.
It will take a long time to fully process and digest the breathtaking beauty of Tahiti, the graciousness of its people—including every crew member on the Paul Gauguin—and how perfectly Meg took care of my family through every step. This was a trip of a lifetime, and it’s going to take a lot to top this week.
No hitches or hiccups at all, anytime, period. Once onboard the ship, I followed Meg’s guidelines to a tee and booked our dinner, diving, and excursion reservations—which were all about timing, as the ship was fully booked. No problem for us—we had Meg Austin as our travel guru.
Meg could not have picked out a better cabin for us and our daughter. It was everything she said it would be—fantastic location for viewing breathtaking scenery, and the cabin amenities were wonderful. Cabin service twice daily! Fresh towels and stocked refrigerator throughout the day!
The food throughout the cruise was only exceeded by the professionalism and warmth of the Paul Gauguin staff. We made fast friends with the ship’s captain, so we were treated to tours of the bridge and engine room, and of the galley with the executive chef. The only way I didn’t roll home was due to all of the activities and excursions I went on that were so well organized and staffed. The snorkeling was excellent, as were the guides. My husband and daughter enjoyed terrific dives—four divers to a divemaster, unheard of on a non-liveaboard diving trip. Nothing was lacking. Everything exceeded all of our expectations. We met lovely guests from around the world. Yes, the ship was fully booked, and there were a lot of kids and family reunions, but we did our thing and they did theirs. Maybe next cruise I’d opt for adults only, but that’s just me. Even my previously Cruise-Averse Husband was completely won over by this Paul Gauguin cruise experience. You’d have to be insane not to have felt this way. It was luxurious beyond words.
We are Meg Austin lifers—if she’ll continue to have us. I actually helped some of the guests with information that Meg gave me that they didn’t know! I guess that makes me a Meg Austin protegee!
I tell everyone about the Wendy Perrin website and WOW List… and I suppose I also have to now share Meg Austin as well. I have not had one iota of disappointment with either.
She planned everything and had to make changes when our plans changed. Everything went smoothly during the entire process. She knew the right places, the right guides and the right resort to satisfy a diverse family group.
Meg was extremely helpful and patient while arranging our travel to a friend’s wedding in the South of France. When the original hotel for the wedding was booked, she helped us make alternative plans and continually contacted our first-choice hotel until they were able to accommodate us for our entire stay. She was proactive, quick to answer emails and followed up with us before and after our trip. We enjoyed working with Meg for a second time and definitely plan to use her in the future.
June 2017, Les Baux de Provence
I can’t say enough great things about Meg. We have just gotten back from our third trip arranged by her. She went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure everything was perfect for us. She took calls on her day off and made magic happen. We vacationed in her backyard ( practically ). Her insider knowledge helped to make us feel like locals rather than visitors. I recommend Meg in a heart beat.
Meg Austin planned a fabulous Spring Break vacation on relatively short notice for our group of 10 – two adult couples and six teenage girls. She personally vetted our accommodations – Villa Yuum Ha at Hotel Esencia, sending me her own photos and emailing and calling to explain the house’s unique floor plan. The house and additional beach house worked perfectly for our group. The full staff at the villa met our every need, and the staff at Hotel Esencia also checked on our group regularly. Meg arranged 2 excursions for the group. The first was a trip to the ruins at Tulum and to dive in Dos Ojos cenote. The second was an open water dive off the coast at Playa del Carmen. The Cenote and Tulum were a little overrun with tourists, but the outing was still a success. The guide at Tulum that Meg arranged was excellent. The dive guides for our open water dive were also very professional and attentive and helped make our entire group comfortable on a pretty advanced dive. The beach at Xpu Ha bay is beautiful – practically private, with perfect white sand and clear blue waters. We would all return to this location and I would definitely use Meg to book another trip in the future.
We just returned from a trip to Playa del Carman that Meg arranged for my husband and I. It was our first time using her and we couldn’t have been any happier with everything! Meg asked us what we were looking for in the trip and then came back with options that filled those categories perfectly. We loved the all inclusive we stayed at, and being in Mexico made us realize that with the overwhelming amount to choose from we could have easily ended up at one that wasn’t at all what we wanted. Meg has such a great knowledge of the resorts there that we trusted what she recommended, and we absolutely loved it. The private excursion she set up was incredible, we loved our guides and felt well equipped for our adventures. Basically, every detail that Meg had her hand in was amazing. We sang her praises every day we were there. We will always work with her in the future. You just can’t beat her knowledge and experience.
We have been working with Meg for the last decade, and value her insight and experience. My wife has had some very serious health problems. It has radically changed our outlook on vacations. While I am sure many people look for adventure on vacation, we value safety, comfort and convenience. Meg has gone to great lengths to make sure that my wife is comfortable and well cared for, and that if problems arise, we can get home quickly and safely.
I have known Meg since the 1970’s. She has been my trusted and valued travel agent for many years. Her vast knowledge and experience has guided me and my wife to destinations all over Mexico, Central America, Caribbean and parts of Europe. We just returned from Secrets in Costa Rica and it scored (in my strict standards) a 9.28 out of 10! It was perfect. Our dear friends (whose mother was a travel agent for decades) also raved about this specific Costa Rican resort. Meg is straight forward and wants to make sure her clients are well taken care of. I strongly recommend Meg for any adventure you might be contemplating. Smit in Woodinville, WA.
Meg is incredible! My wife and I have booked many vacations with her and I would not consider using anyone else. Cancun, Cozumel, Cayman Islands. She does it all. This past trip she got my family the absolute best room at the entire hotel at the Iberostar in Playa del Carmen. She also had a private limo pick us up at the airport and take us to the hotel. Total surprise on both accounts but that’s the kind of service she provides. Only the best. Use her for your travel and you will NOT be sorry!
Wendy, thank you for recommending we use Meg Austin to put together our 2-week vacation to Hawaii. We used Meg for our trip to Mexico after Christmas, and she did a bang-up job on that. When I contacted you about whom you recommended for Hawaii, you suggested I use Meg again. That was outstanding advice. She put together a trip for us that ran perfectly. She got us a third free breakfast each day for our daughter who was sharing our room at the Fairmont Kea Lani. Each activity she booked for us was well run and professional. The rooms she got for us were superb.
I have used your recommendations for travel specialists worldwide and have to count Meg as one of the best. No one could respond more quickly on email.
Thanks, Wendy, for being such a wonderful resource for travel specialists worldwide. I recommend your site to all of my friends.
We have traveled all around the world with our 3 boys, and could have never done it without the wonderful help of Meg Austin. She is smart, honest, determined, and works tirelessly to provide the most amazing adventures! We have experienced cultures, learned about history, religion, politics, and the local traditions of many countries, and she never ceases to amaze us. On the rare occasion that something goes amiss, she is on it immediately to resolve any issue and her follow up is impeccable. Always looking forward to planning another get away with Meg!
Meg Austin was very knowledgeable about where we could travel to meet our varied needs (beautiful sandy beaches where we could just walk into the water and see lots of sea life while snorkeling, yet a full service, higher end resort).
Meg also checked in with us at the start of our trip to let us know that we could contact her at any time. We chose not to because we shut off from the world during our trip :)
When we were flying home, we were already at the airport when our flight status was changed to “delayed”. We weren’t getting much info from staff so we contacted Meg and she immediately got to work and found out why and approximately how long we would be delayed.
Meg was a great asset to us.
Meg Austin has been one of the most responsive, smart, and pleasant travel specialists that I have ever had the pleasure of working with and I have worked with quite a few. I cannot recommend her highly enough. I just wish she was a travel specialist for the whole world, so I could always use her for our travel needs.
Meg helped us plan our honeymoon in the Riviera Maya (Mexico) in August 2015, and her recommendations were great! I’ve never used a travel agent before, but will definitely do so going forward—we got a lot of perks (e.g., upgrades, spa credits, etc.) that we otherwise would not have gotten. The trip was incredible!
Meg Austin was terrific to work with in planning our trip to Vail over the July 4th weekend. She was able to help us with reservations and, using her clout, provided us with lots of perks. She was timely in communication and follow-through. Meg offered us her advice while simultaneously honoring our needs. Before crafting the trip she spent a lot time with us to understand what we wanted to get out of our vacation. Her recommendations were spot on. The only glitch (out of her control) was with the car rental company. I would certainly work with her again, not only to plan trips back to Colorado, but to the Caribbean, which is where she was doing research while we were in her back-yard.