Join me as I explore Europe with the innovative travel company Monograms. In this episode we learn more about what makes Monograms Travel so different and why they’re the perfect choice for independent travelers.
A couple of years ago, I had the great pleasure to work with Monograms, a company that I have at times had some difficulty in categorizing. They’re not a tour company, not really, but they’re not just an online travel agency either. They’re an interesting hybrid of styles and technologies, and my week spent with them exploring Colombia and then Italy also taught me that they’re the ideal choice for even the most independent of travelers.
I recently joined them for a third travel adventure, this time in Europe, and since they’re a somewhat challenging concept to explain at times I decided to make them the focus of this week’s episode. In brief though, let me outline who they are and what they do.
First of all, Monograms is not a travel tour operator. Not really. They call themselves an “un-tour” but first I think it’s important to define what a tour company is in the first place. While it varies, a tour operator creates package trips with everything you’ll need on your travels. This can include flights, but not always, but always does include hotels, tour guides, activities and many meals. They’re one-stop shopping, they ARE your trip. Monograms doesn’t do that. Instead, I really see them as a different kind of resource for the independent traveler.
Essentially, Monograms offers packages all around the world that share common characteristics. They include:
- Specially selected hotels based on service and location
- Transportation to and from the airport as well as transportation throughout the trip
- Limited sightseeing. Usually a half a day or so of sightseeing is included with a local guide, but most of the time is independent and left up to the individual
- Local Host. This is what separates Monograms from everyone else and is an on-site local who is there to help with anything you might need. From knowing where the cleaners are to finding the best spot for dinner, they’re the fix-it people that are priceless to have on a trip.
Even reading through and understanding these bullet points though didn’t help me all that much. No, it wasn’t until I actually traveled with them that I finally understood the incredible benefits they bring to the travel experience and that’s what I hope to convey with this week’s podcast episode.
Steve Born, Chief Marketing Officer
Steve Born is chief marketing officer for Group Voyagers, the company that markets and sells the Globus family of brands (Avalon Waterways, Globus, Cosmos and Monograms) within the United States.
Born began his marketing career outside the travel industry more than 30 years ago and now is responsible for guiding all marketing and call center initiatives for the Globus family. He spends his days bringing consumers the experience of travel–one of his true passions–and he could not be happier. A self-proclaimed people person, Born thrives on the daily interactions he has with travel industry colleagues, as well as with his staff–a group of individuals he fondly compares to NASA engineers. With the help of this “rocket science” crew, Born has helped grow the Globus family from two to four brands, including the introduction of Monograms and Avalon Waterways.
Prior to joining the company, Born worked as vice president at Karsh and Hagan Communications, Inc., in Denver, Colo., overseeing the account services department. Born received a B.A. in advertising from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he graduated cum laude.
When not “talking travel,” he and his wife spend their time following the busy lives of their two adult children.
Rachelle is a popular travel and food blogger who has been sharing her stories through blogging since 2007. As a former innkeeper, Rachelle honed her cooking skills practicing with chefs she met while managing the social media marketing for multiple bed & breakfasts. Her success through blogging and social media led to even more opportunities including working for the Travel Channel as a video journalist and appearing as a guest chef on the syndicated morning show, Daytime TV. She’s also contributed to Visit Florida as their Food and Dining Insider and was chosen by the Four Seasons to blog about their inaugural Around-The-World By Private Jet Experience visiting 8 countries in 22 days.
Named one of the 13 Twitter Personalities to follow by Elliot.org and one of the Top 10 Food and Travel Bloggers by USA Today, Rachelle has definitely earned her spot as a top influencer in travel. Always on the move, Rachelle has now been to over 50 countries and is always planning her travels around finding the tastiest meal.
Helene quit the corporate world and packed up two suitcases, two dogs, and she and her husband moved from Dallas, Texas to Heidelberg, Germany- a country she’d never stepped foot in. The purpose was to travel Europe, write about her travels, and encourage others to live out their dreams. She is a full time blogger who has a passion for photography and capturing the moment. She has helped thousands of other bloggers build and grow their brand through tried and tested strategies she learned while working in digital brand strategy, social media marketing, and marketing. Helene has been featured on national and international TV, radio, and publications.