Ker & Downey Staff Profiles: David Jones

At Ker & Downey, we believe that people matter. It’s the people who make up this incredible company who work to make your journey truly memorable. Over the course of the next year, we’ll be introducing you to the people that make up Ker & Downey. You can also read more about us here.

David Jones joined Ker & Downey in 2004 and serves as our Vice President of Sales and Marketing. His love for travel led him to start his first travel agency when he was only ten years old and though he only arranged one trip for himself and two friends from Seattle to Portland, it launched his passion. Today, his travel journal is jam-packed with destinations, including Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, South America, Central America, and the Middle East.

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Favorite place you’ve traveled: Adrere Amellal in the Siwa Oasis, Sahara Desert, Egypt.

Favorite city and why: Tbilisi, Georgia. I like it because it has managed to keep its unique character for centuries. Castles, fortresses, and a medieval historical center blended with phenomenal food and wine and ultra modern architecture.

What is the best thing about traveling: Meeting the locals in each destination and establishing longtime friendships. Continue reading

Stunning Southeast Asia

Seeing the history, beauty, and rich cultural landscape of Southeast Asia should be on your radar, and winter is the perfect time to journey to this corner of the globe. Consider Cambodia, home of world-renowned Angkor Wat, and enigmatic Myanmar, boasting a landscape rich in natural and man-made beauty. Ker & Downey presents both destinations and more from Southeast Asia in completely-custom and authentic fashion. Contact us now to start planning your visit.

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Jewels of Burma | Myanmar

Experience the Grand Four: Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, and Inle Lake on a one-of-a-kind, exclusive discovery of Myanmar’s mysterious past and fascinating present — an itinerary handcrafted by Ker & Downey for a unforgettable journey.

Intrepid Cambodia | Cambodia

Feeling adventurous? This 10-day journey is a unique and exciting way to see the many splendors of Cambodia. Temples, lush scenery, and pristine beaches come to life by gondola, bicycle, motorbike, tuk tuk, zip line, kayak, or boat.

Balloon Over Mandalay | Myanmar

Seeing the many temples and pagodas of Myanmar’s countryside is an exclusive treat. At Mandalay, find monasteries and more than 700 pagodas, including Shwenandaw Monastery and Kuthodaw Pagoda, “the World’s Biggest Book”.

Hike Phnom Kulen | Cambodia

Phnom Kulen, a small national park just north of Siem Reap, shelters a number of pre-Angkorian animist statues amidst rocky outcrops and tropical forests. Hike the trails and be rewarded at the end of the journey with an exhilarating motorbike ride.

For more information about adding Myanmar or Cambodia to your next Ker & Downey journey, please contact your Travel Professional or visit us online at www.kerdowney.com. Stay up to date on all of Ker & Downey’s online content by “liking” our Facebook page.

Hong Kong’s Hottest Plates

Fierce Traveler Scott Goetz serves up the insider’s guide for foodies in Asia’s world city. Read the article on our blog and in the debut issue of Quest Magazine.

For more than 150 years Hong Kong has embraced her colonial role as the world’s gateway for Westerners heading East. Now, for the first time, China is experiencing booming wealth, and the tides have opened to the West with a flood of vacationers hungry for international luxuries. Hong Kong is embracing her new era by graciously playing the part of the energetic host who welcomes her guests to revel in the cultural explosion of the arts, architecture and food.

This new appetite has unleashed an East-meets-West cultural clash of tidal-wave proportions. Nowhere is this confluence of cultures more evident or enjoyed than in the restaurants, where a total of 63 Michelin stars shine bright on the plates being served under skyscraper roofs.

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Beyond Myanmar’s Golden Stupas

Myanmar is a country full of stunning archaeological and architectural wonders and a landscape rich with natural and man-made beauty. Some 4,000 stupas pepper the face of Bagan and the mountainous surrounds of Inle Lake shelter some amazing scenery as well as more than 30 hill tribes. Recently some Ker & Downey clients returned from a trip to Myanmar and wrote about their journey for us. Written by Randolph Barba

Myanmar is the land of the golden stupas. When you hear about traveling to the country or you look at advertisements for its tourist sites, Buddhist iconography is always front and center. In fact, Buddhism is such an integral part of the culture that you rarely find yourself in places or with people not participating in the religion in some way. Myanmar has much to offer that goes beyond the traditional religious and historical sites most travelers encounter. In particular, the country is rich in ethnic minorities each offering unique behavioral customs and dress. Exploring these minorities is one of the high points of a trip off the beaten path.

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My wife and I made an extended journey through Myanmar from the southern to the northern reaches of the country and just about every major area in-between in March 2014. We certainly hit most of the traditional sites including Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake. However, we wanted to experience the “rest of the country.”We cruised the Myeik Archipelago in the south, explored the environs around Inle Lake in the hill country, hiked in the ethnic Christian minority villages around Putao in the north and stopped by the beach for a little R&R before we left the country. These experiences gave us a deep appreciation for the people and habitat that is Myanmar.

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Safari with Ker & Downey

Don’t put off your safari plans. To allow for confident travel, our Ker & Downey specialists can craft a journey that includes the ability to cancel within 60 days of departure without any penalties. Special pricing may also apply to select destinations. Book by November 30, and contact us now to begin crafting your own custom safari experience with Ker & Downey.

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Ker & Downey Staff Profiles: Cherie Tann

At Ker & Downey, we believe that people matter. It’s the people who make up this incredible company who work to make your journey truly memorable. Over the course of the next year, we’ll be introducing you to the people that make up Ker & Downey. You can also read more about us here.

Cherie joined the Ker & Downey team in 2000 as a Sales and Marketing Assistant before moving into the reservations department as a custom travel consultant. With Ker & Downey, she has traveled to various countries in Africa and South America, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Favorite place you’ve traveled: Botswana

Favorite city and why: Cape Town – it’s a beautiful city with so much to do. You can be in Hermanus or Winelands within an hour.

What is the best thing about traveling: Meeting new people and seeing the world. I am in awe with how beautiful this world is. Continue reading

Hot Spots: Four Seasons Maldives

Martine Bury concludes that three resorts are better than one. Read the article in the current issue of Quest Magazine and below. 

The first morning I arose in my over-water bungalow at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa in the Maldives, I walked straight out to the deck to drink in the surreal view. There was water as far as my eyes could see, crystalline and turquoise blue. A few feet directly below a graceful, solitary blacktip reef shark glided through the tranquil waters lapping at the structure’s wooden beams. Home to over 30 species of sharks, including the elusive, gentle whale shark, the Maldivian archipelago is a designated sanctuary for these fish spanning 35,000-square miles of Arabian Sean in the Indian Ocean. Suffice to say, I didn’t spend much time contemplating the swath of nature that spread out before me. I grabbed my iPhone, took a shot and promptly posted it on Instagram and Facebook—the modern- day postcard. The immediate reaction of scores of friends and acquaintances overwhelmingly expressed that this breathtaking range of 1,200 coral is- lands, dotting this intimidating spread of ocean, is at the top of most people’s bucket list. “Dream trip,” “Bucket list,” “Wow, wow, wow.”

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Winter Escapes

Embrace the cooler weather and head for ice and snow of some of our favorite destinations. Beautiful natural scenery begs to be explored in these two outdoor havens, perfect for intrepid travelers. Contact us to begin planning your own winter escape.

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Chile & Argentina | Patagonia

Set off on an hike across the Perito Moreno Glacier, a kayak excursion past Glacier Grey, and stunning outdoor activities in a chilly expedition through Patagonia with our Patagonia Escape

Georgia | Greater Caucasus

Hit the slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, and opt for a helicopter flight over the range to reach choice spots for skiing and snowboarding with our Georgia Explorer.

For more information about a journey to Chile, Argentina, or Georgia, please contact your Travel Professional or visit us online at www.kerdowney.com. Stay up to date on all of Ker & Downey’s online content by “liking” our Facebook page.

How to Travel with a Baby

Traveling with an infant can be daunting and leaves many parents wondering if it is even possible. Ker & Downey’s Bekah McNeel proves that traveling with a baby is not only possible, but enjoyable as well. 

Yes you can… travel with an infant.

Seventeen days. Five regions. Twelve flights. With a six-month old. That either sounds like a nightmare or an impossible dream. But for our family, it was neither. We just returned from a top-to-bottom tour of Argentina and came back smiling, ready for our next adventure.

As we traveled, I took notes on the recipe for successful travel with an infant. There’s definitely an art to creating a moveable sense of security for little ones. Many times I thought, “If only I had packed…” or “I’m so glad we decided to…” By the end of the trip, my list had taken shape.

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European Escapes

The vast history and wealth of varied cultures on the European continent are within your reach with Ker & Downey. Our journeys to Europe offer experiences no one else can match, and the travel inspirations below are perfect for planning your own winter escape, or making travel plans this spring.

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Magical Christmas Markets | Germany and Austria

Encounter the wonder of the holidays at Europe’s finest Christmas markets. From Vienna and Salzburg to Munich and Regensburg, uncover these historically rich and vibrant cities by way of carriage rides and experiences straight out of a fairytale.

Arctic Ice Driving | Sweden

In January and February, the iced lakes of Lapland are a playground for high-end vehicle manufacturers to test their latest models. Feel the rush of a turbo-charged ice adventure from behind the wheel of a luxury sports car on this unique journey to Sweden.

Royal Amalfi Escape | Italy

Set sail in exclusive luxury on your own private gulet and explore the coastal towns and picturesque landscapes of Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast. A dedicated staff and crew attend to every need as you sail from Ponza to Capri and through the Mediterranean.

The Alps by Classic Car | Germany

See Germany in fashion as you drive on the no-limit Autobahn in a sleek roadster, dine at Michelin starred restaurants, visit a BMW production plant, shop in Munich with a personal stylist, and meander through the countryside in an antique car.

For more information about making a European Escape your next Ker & Downey journey, please contact your Travel Professional or visit us online at www.kerdowney.com. Stay up to date on all of Ker & Downey’s online content by “liking” our Facebook page.