By Catie Ragusa
The entertainment industry can bring its loyal supporters anywhere in the world, sending filmmakers and other entertainers from one extreme location to the next. But when the work wraps up and the crew is ready for a break, relaxation may become a top priority. “They may be interested in having us make dinner arrangements, or help them to decide on excursions, or maybe check out the nightlife,” says Robert Landen of VIP Travel Experience, a high-end, luxury concierge travel service. “Whatever it is that they choose to include on their itinerary, we want to have all of that taken care of. We want to deliver a complete package that can even incorporate ideas that someone may not have ever thought about when they planned their vacation.”
Landen has traveled the world extensively, and throughout his journey he noticed that there was no complete, high-end travel service such as the one he now offers. So he decided to build one himself. By connecting with luxury travel suppliers worldwide, Landen has been able to build a network of professionals across the globe and a strong base of clients looking for the best luxury travel experience available.
VIP Travel Experience specializes in creating vacation packages and itineraries for the businessmen and women who are looking for a hassle-free, creative and completely pre-planned luxury vacation experience. The travel specialists at VIP work closely with clients to create their dream vacations, including transportation and excursions across the globe. The goal is to create a completed luxury vacation experience, with all aspects being covered under one roof. “We want to take care of all their needs, whether they need transportation from their home to the airport or from the airport to the hotel, or to their villa where they’re lodging,” explains Landen. “Whatever it is that we need to put together for this luxury package, we want to take care of it so that our client doesn’t have to go through other companies and spend extra money on their personal travel experience.”
Luxury vacations can mean relaxing on a privately owned yacht in Monaco (an excursion that VIP recently offered) or it can mean traveling the world to experience some of the most-watched sporting events on the planet. Recently, two of Landen’s clients purchased a grand vacation package to South America. Their destination is Brazil, and their package includes tickets to two World Cup games and a five-star luxury hotel, among other excursions and amenities. To show appreciation for their business, Landen sent the couple personalized Beach Towels with embroidery of Brazil country colors spelling out “2014 World Cup Brazil” with a Brazil colored soccer ball along with their personalized names in Gold embroidery to take along on their trip. “It was a specialized gift that I gave to them,” he says. “They were shocked that I went out and did something so personalized for them. That gives you an idea of what we do. As a business, we want to be on a more personal level with our clients. We want to take care of their personal needs, their travel needs.”
Landen is able to give his clients the most personal vacation experience possible because of his company’s close connections to vacation vendors and suppliers all over the world. VIP Travel Experience works directly with over 110 suppliers, and more contact him weekly to learn more about the company and collaborate to create amazing dream vacations. After initial contact, the suppliers are carefully screened to see what services they offer and if their organization is compatible with VIP Travel’s high quality services. Upon collaboration, VIP and the new partner work together to generate specialized vacation packages for their clients. “That is the backbone of our business,” says Landen of his global suppliers. “VIP Travel Experience has worked over the years to establish personal relationships with our suppliers in exciting destinations all over the globe!”
Now VIP Travel Experience is anxious to accommodate new clients in the film and entertainment industries, especially those along the Gulf South. More filmmakers, music and movie producers and talent are making New Orleans, Austin, Atlanta and other Southern cities their new homes. Rich cultures and cool atmospheres can seem like the building blocks of luxury living, and that Southern charm goes a long way. But sometimes a trip to paradise is a necessary getaway, even for frequent travelers. “We want to accommodate people who are in the movie and entertainment business, who are coming into the Louisiana, Mississippi and surrounding areas, and actually take care of all of their travel needs in one place,” says Landen. “We want them to be able to use us for air travel (think private jets and helicopters), ground travel, lodging, excursions and everything else to make their trip a success.”
For the latest vacation packages and destination information, visit www.viptravelexperience.com.
Top 10 Ways to Travel Like a VIP:
1. Plan ahead – Choose your luxury destination. Dance in Ibiza, Spain or go exploring in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
2. Do your research – Once you decide on your dream destination, decide on the best excursions to suit your style. Do you want to cruise through Europe in a Lamborghini, or would you rather tour the rainforests of South America?
3. Ride like a pro– Choose to travel through your destination in a private helicopter or take a ride in a luxury car. Your driver will handle the rest.
4. Invest in fancy luggage – Spoil yourself with the best luggage. People will notice your professional traveler status.
5. Look for upgrades – Ask your travel specialists and airline professionals about upgrades. You may just luck out.
6. Dress the part – Extra effort on the way to your destination can go a long way, especially when you’re looking for those upgrades!
7. Think “all-inclusive” – All-inclusive vacations can get you the most fun for your money. The umbrella drinks don’t hurt either.
8. Trust your travel professionals – Your VIP Travel specialists can plan your trip completely. Tell them what you’re looking for, check out your packaging options and they will plan accordingly!
9. Experience something new – What’s a vacation if you don’t try exotic cuisine or explore the Great Barrier Reef?
10. Forward your luggage – Have your (shiny new) luggage forwarded to your hotel so that you can travel hassle-free!