Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Travelers411 Travel Radio Shownotes - September 10, 2011
"Travelers411" Radio Show - September 10, 2011
St. Stephen's Green Shopping Mall in Dublin, Ireland. The Donegal Shop Delights Buyers in Dublin, Ireland; Terry Flynn Tours Showcase Ireland's Beauty and People; Gene Kilgore's "Ranch Vacations" Offer Something for Everyone; Hotel Phillips: A Gateway to the Sights, Sounds and Tastes of Kansas City, Missouri.

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Hour 1

Topics Include:

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Carol Meagle, The Donegal Shop, St. Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, Dublin, Ireland.
www.donegalshop.ie

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams welcomes Carol Meagle, Owner of The Donegal Shop in Dublin, Ireland, to the "Travelers411" Radio Show.  Stephanie recently received a Donegal Pen as a gift when she attended Milwaukee Irish Fest.  She describes the writing instrument as "beautiful, very professionally made, boxed in a beautiful box pen that is a delight to hold in your hand and writes so smoothly."  She learned the artisans behind Donegal Pens are Ronan and Conor McGarvey, two brothers age fourteen and eleven who live in County Donegal, Ireland.  Stephanie called Carol to encourage her to sell the pens in her store located in the St. Stephen's Green Shopping Centre at the top of Grafton Street in Dublin. 

As it turned out, Carol, who purchases handmade, cottage industry goods for her shop, is already selling Donegal Pens.  She regularly stocks the pens although the demand for them is quite high.  Carol says the McGarveys are a "lovely family" and once people buy one of the boys' pens, they tend to order more, particularly now as Christmas is approaching.  Stephanie recommends listeners who travel to Ireland visit Carol's shop, which she says looks like an enormous, ornate white birdcage.

Stephanie now turns her attention to a concern she has about Americans' use of credit cards while in Ireland.  She and her husband had difficulty charging purchases in Ireland this past March because U.S. cards are backed with a magnetic strip that is no longer compatible with the charge card equipment most Irish stores use.  That equipment, which is becoming the standard in Europe, only reads chip and PIN credit cards that rely on a computer chip embedded into the card to require a four-digit PIN number. 

Carol encourages American travelers to inform their banks before their trip that they plan to travel to Europe and will need to use their credit cards, but Stephanie points out that this alone may not work.  The problem is "rampant," she says, in large department stores where, unlike at The Donegal Shop, the owner is not on-site.  For this reason, Stephanie advises listeners to visit the Travelex website, a company that is not only the world leader in travel currency, but also offers a prepaid chip and PIN MasterCard Cash Passport for those who travel abroad. Travelers should also visit the Travelex Directory Listing at Travelers411 where they can listen to commercial free interviews with members of the Travelex team to get a better understanding of the problems US travelers are experiencing using their credit cards and the benefits of the Travelex Chip and Pin Cash Passport for those visiting Euro zone countries.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13384

For more information visit www.donegalshop.ie


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Terry Flynn, Managing Director, Terry Flynn Tours, Ireland.
www.terryflynntours.com

Radio Show Host Stephanie Abrams continues this hour of the "Travelers411" Radio Show with Terry Flynn, Managing Director of Terry Flynn Tours in Ireland, whom she recently met at Milwaukee Irish Fest.  He launched his company in 1965, venturing into the world of tourism in what were then the very beginnings of Ireland's travel industry.  His earliest tours transported groups from Waterford City to various locations throughout the country.  According to Terry, this was "something that wasn't that common at that time."

After purchasing a new motor coach in 1965, a tour operator asked Terry to transport twelve American women from Chicago, Illinois on a ten day tour of Ireland.  Because they enjoyed themselves so much with Terry as their leader, the group invited him to Chicago and introduced him to U.S. clients who began to organize tour groups with him.  After forty six years, Terry's business continues to thrive and his children are also actively involved in Terry Flynn Tours.  He transports groups of all sizes, including customized friends and family tours for groups up to twelve.  Just as it was nearly five decades ago, Terry says the majority of his business comes from word of mouth.

Stephanie asks Terry about tours with incentive groups that reward employees for a job well done.  She believes these kinds of vacation incentives are the best way to ensure personnel meet goals and deadlines.  She also says they are a cost-efficient company reward because excess profits and revenues pay for them.  Terry says his incentive tour groups are typically comprised of up to eighty couples who travel for about six days.  While being on holiday is always a treat, he believes spending time with the Irish people is the greatest take away for these tourists.  Stephanie agrees and notes that most Americans may not realize "the people of Ireland are its biggest attraction."

Stephanie urges her audience to consider more than one trip to Ireland because they cannot truly experience the country in a single visit; she herself travels to Ireland two to four times per year.  Another draw to the country is its culinary delights.  Whereas meals once consisted of what Stephanie describes as bland shepherd's pie and peas, the food has evolved to satisfy even the most sophisticated of palates.  With so many wonderful offerings, Terry calls Ireland a "brilliant destination" from which "ninety nine percent of people go home with more than they paid for."  Stephanie concurs wholeheartedly.  "Ireland is a destination that over delivers!"

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13385

For more information visit www.terryflynntours.com


Travel Tips:

Travelex’s new, pre-paid chip & PIN MasterCard Cash Passport is not only widely accepted throughout Europe where British Pounds and Euros are the standard currency, but it also reduces the likelihood of identity theft because it does not list individuals' personal information.


Fun Facts:

Have a Coke and a smile!  Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams says Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland is hoping to attract tourists to its new Coca-Cola Visitors Experience in Lisburn, Ireland.  Folks can tour the main production facility to see how the beverage is manufactured and view a short film about the company's one hundred twenty five year history.  In fact, Stephanie recommends that Terry Flynn partner with Coca-Cola Ireland to get more people to visit the center because that could be a "chunk of business" for his company!

Terry Flynn Tours is located in Carrick-on-Suir, Ireland, the hometown of champion cyclist Sean Kelly, one of the most successful cyclists in the 1980s.


Guests Include:

Carol Meagle, The Donegal Shop, St. Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, Dublin, Ireland.
www.donegalshop.ie

Terry Flynn, Managing Director, Terry Flynn Tours, Ireland.
www.terryflynntours.com

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Gene Kilgore, Author, "Ranch Vacations", California, USA.
www.ranchweb.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams kicks-off this hour of the "Travelers411" Radio Show with Gene Kilgore, Author of "Ranch Vacations," a travel guide now in its eighth printing.  Highlighting his more than thirty years of experience in ranching vacations, Stephanie describes Gene's book as a "wonderful, practical guide with information in text on a multitude of specially selected ranches" that features "wonderful photos of gloriously beautiful places in America."  Gene talks about his interest in ranches and what readers will learn in his book. 

A childhood jaunt from San Francisco, California to Trail Creek Ranch near Jackson Hole, Wyoming piqued Gene's interest in ranches.  He wrote his first book on the topic in 1988 and launched his website in 1995.  He believes ranching holidays are one of the few vacations that truly touch people's hearts and souls.  Stephanie suggests those planning ranch vacations drive to their destination since it is not only the least expensive way to travel, but also affords the opportunity to camp along the way at grounds that offer activities like go-carting, fishing and swimming.  Gene agrees, pointing out that driving is a great way to see the country.

Most ranches, says Gene, offer all-inclusive packages that include lodging, meals and activities, which make these excursions "a great vacation for all members of the family."  His book, formatted similar to a Michelin Guide so travelers can easily take it on the road, primarily showcases ranches in western states such as Arizona, Colorado and Montana.  Nevertheless, it also includes information about a few ranches on the east coast like Clear Creek Guest Ranch in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains and Rocking Horse Ranch Resort located about ninety minutes from bustling New York City in Highland, New York

Gene determined which ranches to feature in his book based on how many years they have been in operation as well as the kinds of activities and the level of hospitality they offer guests.  Stephanie notes that the book's photos are "seductive and enthralling" and asks Gene to talk about the different kinds of ranches where tourists can vacation.  According to him, dude and guest ranches are "pretty much the same;" guests can horseback ride, fish and hike at these properties.  Resort ranches also offer tennis, swimming and sometimes golf.  Working cattle ranches provide travelers the first-hand experience of herding cattle.  Many ranches host kids' programs, too, which can give parents a chance to relax while knowing their children are enjoying themselves.

Stephanie wonders where one can find the intersection between a ranch with "a nice level of amenities" and the most gorgeous of settings, but Gene says there is no clear-cut answer to the question.  After all, he says, the exciting part of ranching is that this is an incredible country with so much to offer for everyone who wants to enjoy America.  He just tries to open the door to this vacation possibility in print and online.

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13386

For more information visit www.ranchweb.com


Link to this segment

Dan Bergmann, General Manager, Hotel Phillips, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
www.hotelphillips.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams welcomes Dan Bergman, General Manager of Hotel Phillips in Kansas City, Missouri, to "help share what's glorious" about this Midwestern destination.  She likens the hotel, which is located between Baltimore and Twelfth Streets, to other renowned properties like The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts and The Plaza Hotel in New York City because of its "elegant, old world charm."  Dan says the downtown property, which was built in 1931, offers more than two hundred guest rooms and is within blocks of the Kansas City Convention and Entertainment Facilities.

Kansas City has undergone significant redevelopment over the past five years, Dan says.  Called "Paris of the Plains" because of its rich performing and visual arts, the city's attention to aesthetics is reflected in the architecture of its buildings and public spaces.  For example, its Country Club Plaza shopping center, one of the nation's first suburban shopping centers, features fountains and open-air walkways among its one hundred fifty stores.  Stephanie wages the city offers "very good eating" because of the cattle industry, and Dan says diners can enjoy not only good beef, but also wonderful Austrian, Vietnamese and French cuisine.  In addition to delicious food, Dan notes Kansas City's great entertainment and professional football team, the Kansas City Chiefs, draw people from all locations.

Hotel Phillips reflects the art deco style of its construction era, although like the city, it, too, has recently been extensively renovated and refurbished to update the lobby, mezzanine and guest rooms.  Dan says the accommodations create a "very residential" atmosphere, and the use of warm browns and deep blues in the fabrics contribute to this ambience.  The twenty story property includes both queen and king size beds and some rooms offer views of downtown.  Visitors will see Dawn, a statue modeled after a local gymnast that has been displayed in the lobby since 1931, and can dine at 12 Baltimore, the hotel's restaurant.

Stephanie notes the central location of Kansas City, which makes it an appealing choice for corporations looking to convene people from both coasts.  Dan agrees; New York City is about two and a half hours by plane, and Los Angeles, California is less than a three-hour flight.  Kansas City is not only cheaper than these big cities, but its convention center is almost four hundred thousand square feet.

Stephanie asks Dan about area happenings in which the audience may be interested so they can plan to visit both the city and Hotel Phillips.  Dan says there is a myriad of galleries and boutiques since Kansas City is an artist community, and singers like Roger Daltry, Cyndi Lauper and Enrique Iglesias will be in concert at the Sprint Center Kansas City in the upcoming weeks.  The city is also home to the National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial, the only WWI museum in the country.  In addition, the Rhythm & Ribs Jazz & Blues Festival will be held October 8, 2011.  "Sounds very yummy!" Stephanie expresses.

Although Stephanie has never visited Kansas City, she says she will find her way there because it sounds like it is "bubbling over with value for the visitor."  Dan agrees.  "There are lots of things going on around town," he says.  Stephanie needs no convincing because she is already a believer.  "Kansas City rocks!"

Related Photo Galleries:
Coming Soon!

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13387

For more information visit www.hotelphillips.com


Travel Tips:

When booking travel to Kansas City, visitors may want to view the calendar for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a new venue that opened in fall 2011 to showcase music, opera, theater and dance, including a "Best of Broadway" series.


Fun Facts:

"City Slickers" is a 1991 comedy starring Billy Crystal as Mitch Robbins, as burned-out New Yorker who spends a two week vacation at a Southwester cattle ranch with his two best friends.  As Mitch and pals drive cattle from New Mexico to Colorado, they learn to overcome their personal crises.  As Stephanie puts it, "He got his smile back."

Hotel Phillips statue "Dawn" was modeled after fifteen-year-old Virginia Raupp, a champion swimmer and diver who was later a banker at the Kansas City Federal Reserve.

Guests Include:

Gene Kilgore, Author, "Ranch Vacations", California, USA.
www.ranchweb.com

Dan Bergmann, General Manager, Hotel Phillips, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
www.hotelphillips.com

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