Of the innumerable reasons we feel passionate about discovering new places with people we love, the power for travel to deepen our relationships reigns.
In between planning trips for clients, our tribe of natural-born explorers is constantly jetsetting with family. From the Maldives to Japan and back, no destination is out of the question (all in the name of research, right?). Atlanta-based travel advisor Melissa Rosenbloum has been spearheading adventures for her family for nearly two decades, so we were excited to sit down and learn more about why she makes adventures a priority.
What inspired you to get started in the industry?
I literally get to plan the best parts of my client’s life, it’s pretty amazing.
I am loyal and constant in my love for travel. Seventeen years ago, I made the decision to make it my life’s work. I love to engage people and help make their lives richer and more purposeful, that’s a powerful thing. I literally get the plan the best parts of my client’s life, it’s pretty amazing.
Why do you think it’s important to introduce children to new cultures?
There are so many wonderful places to see in the world and by traveling to even just a handful, you’re not only coming home with photos of their landmarks; but you’re meeting people that are different than you to better understanding their culture and history. You are trying different foods and learning about the way they raise their children. When your children are experiencing this with you, it’s most incredible gift you can give them. It creates open-minded and empathetic young adults who are better equipped to make a positive impact on the world.
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What destination always keeps you coming back for more?
Paris is always a good idea and an even better choice for a long weekend, since it’s an easy hop over with so many direct flights. For my daughter Sarah’s 16th birthday, we travelled back to Paris and stayed at one of the best hotels in the city for families, the Four Seasons George V. As a Preferred Partner, we were upgraded to the most incredible suite with a terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower. We were out on the terrace enjoying the weather after a great dinner and when the clock turned to midnight (officially marking her sweet sixteen!) the Eiffel Tower started sparkling over the “City of Lights.” She turned to me in awe and said, “OMG, did you do that for my birthday?” I laughed and told her, “No, it happens every hour on the hour.” But it was pretty cool she actually thought I had; she’s seen me create some pretty special experiences over the years for clients and our family, so she thought it was possible…
What’s been your most fun adventure together to date?
We’ve had so many incredible adventures, it’s hard to pick one! Bali was pretty incredible. We started at Amankila in East Bali with a suite elevated in the treetops overlooking the black sand beach. We took an outrigger boat excursion and met a couple from Australia who also happened to have a cock-a-poo named “Barney,” like our dog. Sarah bonded with them over stories of our trip the summer prior to Australia. Then, we were off to Mandapa in Ubud where we hiked with private guides for days, learned about Balinese culture, enjoyed the spa, and discovered Nasi Goreng (local rice dish). We finished down at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay on the Southwest coast, in a gorgeous villa suite with a plunge pool, for some beach time.
How have mother-daughter trips strengthened your relationship?
Time is our most precious resource and sharing new experiences together is priceless.
Travelling is an incredible opportunity to be more purposeful with your family and friends, and my relationship with Sarah is stronger because we have travelled the world together. Time is our most precious resource and sharing new experiences together is priceless. It’s also an opportunity to teach, and it’s been incredible to volunteer together around the world from teaching English to students in a rural Costa Rican school and deliver backpacks full of school supplies to planting trees in the Blue Mountains in Australia. It’s also fun to look back and laugh about funny things that have happened over the years, and reminisce about the people we’ve met along the way.
How do you balance getting yourself/your family out of your respective comfort zones and still have a luxury experience?
For Sarah’s 18th birthday and her high school graduation, I told her she could choose to go wherever she wanted in the world and she chose the Tomorrowland Festival in Belgium, Amsterdam and Ibiza. Basically, she wanted to party through Europe with her parents (in Europe the clubs allow entrance at 18, rather than 21 in the U.S.)! We “glamped” at the music festival in Dreamlodges, which as my husband put it is, “absolutely not part of Virtuoso.” It absolutely took us all out of our comfort zone and I’d be lying if I said we weren’t craving some pampering afterwards! Following the festival, we stayed at the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, followed by the Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay. The trip was a great combination of bespoke experiences, amazing food, fun nightlife and a variety of accommodations.
What types of trips do you specialize in planning for your clients?
In 17 years, I have not duplicated one trip, they are all different, all custom, and all over the world.
What I do is so far beyond just booking travel, I create that one-of-a-kind luxury travel experiences for my clients based on their personal preferences. In 17 years, I have not duplicated one trip, they are all different, all custom, and all over the world. I become an expert in my client, and then use global connections and hotel partners in each destination to deliver the best possible experience.
I’ve also started a proactive approach to travel planning that organizes my clients travel dreams into a clear strategy for the next few years, so together we can develop a multi-year, multi-trip travel plan focusing on the destinations and experiences they want to have. This will give me the ability to craft even better experiences and do an even better job for them. The best places in the world and going to get harder and harder to get in, especially at the last minute, so it’s important to plan ahead.
What’s up next on the docket?
French Polynesia is our next big family trip for summer 2020. We will fly to Papeete, hop over to Bora Bora and finish at The Brando.
Connect with Melissa to begin planning your own family adventure.