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Staff Travel Story: Susan Blum, Manager of the Israel Department

Posted by Iris Hami on Nov 15, 2012 3:54:10 PM


I have visited Israel 43 times in my life Susan said as she settled down to talk about her Passion, creating the ultimate travel experiences for Gil Travel Clients. Her knowledge and unquenchable desire for excellence is what makes Susan one of the best travel agents with programs to Israel in the industry! As with many of Gil Travels Travel Professionals, Susan fell in love with Israel at a very early age. After so many trips to this glorious country she knows that Israel very, very well and knows that Israel is much more than a destination. Israel is over 3000 years of epic history. If you are Jewish it is the Western Wall in Jerusalem it is a visit of the soul while Christians experience the Bible literally coming to life before their eyes and stepping into the pages! Susan knows that the most seasoned of travelers can't resist the seductive appeal of desert landscapes and the abundant sunshine of December. Susan also knows that Tel Aviv was recently named the Mediterraneans Capital of Cool and she would love to share this information with you and help you design the ultimate travel experience of a lifetime.

Just this past summer Susan was yet again in Israel (passage number 43) on a Fact Finding Mission to discover what is new and exciting in this ever changing, magical land. Although Israel is roughly the size of New Jersey it has more museums per capita than any other country. While Ms. Blum has not been to all of them (yet) she has been to most and is expert in giving advice on the ones that would be best for you. She is also familiar with most historical sites and can advise which must sees are, which are really not worth the effort and what times are best to visit them. When one is in a country like Israel it is important to be working with an expert in time management as well as what is interesting. Proper scheduling is key in covering as much ground and seeing as many of the awesome historical sites.

New restaurants open and close continuously and hotels change in status for the better or worse. Susan's expertise is to determine what best fits the Gil Travel client best. She has spent many, many hours inspecting and experiencing all sorts of venues in order to recommend what is best. Guide books are not Bibles and Susan is well aware that ratings are sometimes bought and even a great place to eat in spring could change hands and be not so great by autumn. She also can advise where dining value is and what is costly but worth it. What is authentic Israeli cuisine and what is the perfect spot for a bite on the run or an unforgettable romantic dinner for two.

Susan specializes in individual travel, group travel, educational and family programs. She understands that just like the unique country that she loves each trip she designs must show case the destination and be tailor made and fitted to the individual travelers. She knows that the ages must be taken into consideration but also how there is so much for everyone from toddlers to the more mature. She can satisfy all from one age group or a mix of several age groups. This is something only experience can teach and Susan has been in the business for over 35 years! She knows the must see attractions as well as the hidden gems. Blum also knows that choosing the right tour guide makes all the difference in an outstanding or a once in a lifetime trip. Again, it is imperative that all components match and the correct guide are teamed with the right individual or family. Examples are which are patient and great with children and which are extremely intellectual and better with the scholar type. As with almost anything, one size does not necessarily fit all. Ms. Blum knows this and who is best suited to whom. When one realizes just how very complicated and time consuming Susan's job really is, she can only wink and say that “I suppose that is why so many ask for me to plan their trip, from all over the world! The smile and twinkle in her eyes speak volumes. She absolutely loves what she does!

While a Jewish Heritage program is packed full of history and historical sites the trip also needs touches of comfort and adventure and Susan knows just all about both. She can recommend Hotels suitable for the most discriminating world traveler or those seeking something more casual and child friendly.

She knows what to suggest for those looking for a bit of low or high adventure. A surprisingly affordable plane ride over the Dead Sea (the lowest elevation on the planet), Jeep rides, zoos, biking or swimming in the Gan Hashlosha Water Springs.

Having your Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Israel as part of an Israel Tour is about as special as the occasion could possibly be. Celebrating ones special day at a historic place makes the unforgettable happen not to mention the strengthening of family ties and the outstanding opportunity to incorporate community service projects, Mitzvah projects, and Susan has been involved with many over the years.

Susan feels that the thing that has kept her enthusiastic and refreshed about this destination for so many years is that no other country offers so much history, great weather, educational possibilities, sun and fun, cosmopolitan sophistication, folk lore and down-home feelings and just the finest vacation possibilities possible! Like she says, one could plan trips for 500 people individually and each would be different and every one spectacular, memorable and the best trip ever! Susan loves Israel and loves to share it with anyone at anytime.

Topics: Gil Travel, group travel, Israel Travel, World Travel