• Donna Thomas CTC, 118 South Bellevue Avenue, Langhorne Borough Pa 19047
  • +1 800-367-5494 | +1 215-741-5155 | Fax: 1-888 256 3059

16 Years as Travel and Leisure Magazine Top Travel Expert for New Zealand and Australia

Travel and Leisure says: "Donna Thomas has explored many corners of North and South Islands in search of hidden gems. She can help birdwatchers see the endangered yellow-eyed penguin or send avid trekkers on guided hikes to secret waterfalls in Paparoa National Park."


Rosamond Lu

I have been a loyal Conde Nast Traveler reader and global traveler for many years. In the past I have always planned our own trips. My young children (8 and 10) have visited 12 different countries. After viewing a documentary filmed in New Zealand on Nov. 7th, we decided to take a family vacation there during the December school break. With only 5 weeks left, very limited availability of accommodations, and all the pressure of the holidays, I decided to enlist the help of Donna Thomas of NZ Travel. Donna was unfazed by the challenge. She carefully listened to our needs, preferences, interests and time constraints. She and her team worked nights (due to the time differences), weekends and through the Thanksgiving holidays. We got a custom-made itinerary that satisfies all our requirements, and all the travel documents arrived in a neatly organized folder. Thanks to all the hard work by Donna, my family had a most memorable and fantastic trip to New Zealand. We had such a great experience that I am already contacting another Conde Nast Travel specialist for our next vacation to the Yellowstone.

So what made Donna stand out and our vacation so seamless? I believe that a specialist adds value in several ways.

Efficiency

Instead of pouring hours over researching on my own, Donna knew exactly what are the right accommodations and activities/tours for us. Not only that it is a huge time-saver for me, it also made our last-minute trip possible. Without her connections, we would not be able to get into the most desirable accommodations and tours with such short notice.

Attention to Details

Donna doesn’t miss any single detail to make our trip more pleasant. In Auckland, she arranged for a delicious picnic complete with gourmet healthy choices and local dessert for an outdoor outing. Having our active children in mind, she also made sure that we have access to laundry facilities throughout the trip so that we can pack sensibly. She even made individual Scavenger Hunts for each child to keep them engaged.

Access

We made five different stops in NZ. At every place, Donna arranged for seasoned guides to meet us. Their intimate local knowledge made us feel as if we have close family members hosting us. Gary in Blenheim took us to the best vantage point to marvel the beauty of Marlborough Sound. He made us the freshest green-shelled mussels straight from the ocean on a cruise. He also stopped to show us many interesting sites along our drive. Lee in Queenstown took us to roads where rental cars are not allowed. She showed us the most breathtaking views, gave comprehensive history of the area, took us to the best lunch spot and ice cream shop, art gallery and the children literally struck gold (at a former gold mine)! She entertained the children while we toured a boutique vineyard tucked away in the most picturesque bay.

Peace of Mind

As many of you would agree, we often need to expect the unexpected when traveling. Donna was always there for us, she emailed to check in on us even during the holidays. When we arrived in Auckland at 6am after a 13-hour red-eye flight, our hotel room wasn’t ready as promised. Our liaison Chris quickly made calls and sorted it out for us. Due to clouds, our whale-watching trip was cancelled. Gary made sure that we settle comfortably into our hotel and have anything we need before he left. Jack rose at 5:30am on Christmas Day in order to drive us to Christchurch. Jeff gave us a quick tour of Queenstown once he picked us up from the airport. He pointed out all the interesting shops and the best restaurants so we had the best gourmet meals. On our last day in Queenstown, we booked a skydiving excursion. Judy had the foresight that it might be cancelled as the weather was turning. She researched and recommended that we go for zip tracking instead, and we were able to get the last spots. Even at the airport Judy again saved the day by asking the agent to reprint some boarding passes when they mysteriously disappeared on the short walk from the counter to the gate!

Donna has spent so much time getting to know NZ inside out and built up a team of trusted guides that truly deliver the best services. With her help, we were able to travel in the know. And the best part is that I didn’t feel I needed a vacation for myself after a family vacation with young children! We had such a great time that my son wrote in his journal “if you ever visit New Zealand you will want to live there forever!’ And you bet I will be calling Donna when we do move there!

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