Steve And Marg Swink And The Value Of Being Prepared

Christmas at Taj Lake Palace...
... in Norway's fiords...
... and Singapore at Christmas-time.

What's Your Pillow Preference?

A single question launched a multi-year, 40-plus-trip relationship. Here's how.


Seven or so years ago, Steve and Marg Swink of Tucson, AZ were contemplating a second trip to Australia. Steve had read Travel and Leisure recently and come across a "Top 100" list of advisors, which contained Virtuoso advisor Cassandra Bookholder. Bookholder is based in Phoenix, so Steve Swink gave her a call. The Swinks drove up to have an initial meeting with the advisor, and almost a decade later, the first question she asked still resonates.

"She asked us what our pillow preference at hotels is," says Steve, laughing.

"In fairness," says Marg Swink, "since that conversation, gorgeous feather pillows have followed me around on these trips."

That focus on personalization began the relationship. It's only blossomed. Since that trip to Australia, the Swinks have taken over 40 trips with Cassandra's guidance, including India for two recent consecutive Decembers.

"The amazing thing is," says Steve, "in all these trips, there has never been one time where something was overlooked or poorly-planned."

The Swinks have been able to ride elephants, play with boa constrictors, and see a large chunk of the world as a result of their work with an advisor.

"Travel expands your view and gratitude about the world," says Marg, "and on these trips, we've had an opportunity to give back as well. We donated to the Mother Teresa Orphanage and many others."

When possible, Ms. Bookholder books the Swinks in Virtuoso properties as well.

"That's very important to us," says Steve. "Those properties are consistently flawless."

"The bottom line is that the advisor is really smart and always prepared," says Marg.

"Research, planning, execution, and follow-ups are her hallmarks," adds Steve. "We never would consider planning travel in any other way."

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