Jill is incredibly knowledgeable and thorough: I’m convinced that she knows every restaurant, every guide, and every room in every hotel to an amazing level of detail. This results in a trip that is well-planned and flawless in its execution. She’s incredibly responsive before and during your trip, making sure every detail has been considered and that it’s all going well along the way. We are repeat clients and will continue to be. – Trevor Fetter, Professor Harvard Business School
Before anything else please allow me to compliment you for planning such an excellent trip, an itinerary full of diversity of landscapes, sites and activities. We had a wonderful time in Brazil. We found all five states we visited very nice and totally different between them. We liked the people, the food and the music. We adored their art, the culture and traditions. The trip was extremely well planned and organized. We really appreciated your concern and the way you kept following up the execution of your excellent itinerary. All of our guides were very good, they all spoke English well and they were very knowledgeable. So were our drivers in Salvador and Minas Gerais. The hotels were excellent, and in most cases blended perfectly with the character of the city they were located. We are so happy from this wonderful journey you prepared for us that I cannot stop thinking about it!
I’ll begin by unhesitatingly recommending Jill and her services. Over the past 18 years, my family and I have traveled the world, every continent bar Antarctica. We have used a travel specialist only twice. In 2010 for a 3 week trip to Africa and Jill for a 3 week trip to Brazil earlier this year. We typically like planning and doing things on our own but Brazil, like Africa felt sufficiently different, overwhelmingly large and distant. We also don’t typically visit just the major tourist spots, so felt we needed an inside connection, this despite a daughter who had been living in Brazil for 5 months on scholarship. At the end of our trip, which we consider one of our best ever, the entire family was convinced that Jill had done a remarkable job. Here’s why:
- She helped curate a set of experiences tailored to our specific desires. My wife and I spoke with her regarding what we liked and wanted to experience and we collectively designed a program that was perfect for us. We felt like we seamlessly went from one customized highlight to another, with no experience being remotely like the previous one.
- Jill was eminently professional throughout the process, with excellent communication, ongoing updates and a very easy and straightforward means of working. She gave us and discussed options, pushed back when she felt she knew more, and explained the pros and cons of various choices. We ultimately agreed to something we were eagerly anticipating even before we left New Jersey.
- Jill’s connections in Brazil were superb. The guide we had in Rio was one of our best guides ever and became a part of our family during our time there. The accommodations were excellent and everything ran like clockwork. Not necessarily an easy task in a South American country.
- Jill stayed on top of our logistics even when we were mid-trip. For example, we had a delayed flight and she knew about it, connected with our transfer guide at our next destination in order to make sure we were met at the airport as planned. (Outstanding service!)
- Her local consolidator for intra-Brazil flights was top notch and we got a detailed itinerary which we never needed to question.
- Jill stayed exactly within the (admittedly ample) budget we had discussed with no attempts at up selling anything.
- Jill’s professionalism was evident in pretty much everything she did, from the package we received prior to departure, to the communications, to the billing process. BTW, we found her through Conde Nast Traveler Magazine.
When I was assigned to shoot a photo story on Amazon River Dolphins for National Geographic Magazine, I needed expert help with making connections and travel arrangements in Brazil. Fortunately I found Jill, who helped make my entire project possible through her long experience in the region, her many personal contacts, and her enthusiasm for the Amazon. In short, I couldn’t have done it without her.
Jill did a wonderful job organizing our trip to Brazil for us. We gave her a general idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do and she made it all work for us. The local guides used in each of our three destinations were excellent as they were extremely knowledgeable on the areas we visited. They were more than happy not only to answer all of our travel related questions but also to share their general knowledge about Brazil and the local customs. Their English was outstanding and there were no communication issues. All of the guides and drivers were where they were supposed to be at the time arranged. Our only hiccup was weather related and we were able to get in contact with Jill to sort out the delayed flight logistics. She answered all of our pre-trip questions promptly and was in touch with us along the way in Brazil. We would highly recommend using Jill to plan your next adventure.
My husband and I were looking for a unique trip to share with our 13 year old granddaughter. Thank heavens we found Jill. She was the answer to a prayer. We only knew where we wanted to go but not how to pull it all together. Jill offered suggestions and followed through with a wonderful itinerary. Every guide was outstanding, friendly and engaging, drawing out our shy granddaughter, finding out what she liked and put her at ease. The two week trip flew by! We will turn to Jill again when we travel to other parts of South America. To sum it up, Jill is attentive to any problems that arise, has wonderful connections in Brazil with guides and hotels, is knowledgeable about where to go and what to see. I smile thinking of what a pleasure it was to work with her.
Our Honeymoon was incredible! We had such a wonderful time exploring Rio and Sao Paulo with the help of your guides. Thank you for all of the suggestions and setting us up with such knowledgeable and experienced people. We felt that we were truly able to get a good understanding of the culture and pace of each very different but exciting city. Our stay at the Villa in Trancoso was absolutely breath taking. The hotel and staff were top notch. Avery and I felt like we were staying at our own private beach! Thank you again Jill, for helping us create such an incredible honeymoon! Avery & Phenix Zuck
I researched out and found Jill to fulfill a formidable travel plan, in a short time (3 weeks) just before the Christmas holiday season. I wanted to be introduced to Brazil on a trip with my 25 year old daughter. Without any fuss, listening carefully to our goals, and instilling full confidence, Jill came up with and implemented an itinerary that was just everything we hoped for. We had art and history in Salvador, coastal retreat and paradise-like relaxation in Paraty, art and awe in Rio and wonder in Iguacu Falls. In every place, we had the best accommodations (despite the late planning), great food, and the smartest, nicest and best-informed drivers and guides. The trip went seamlessly and despite packing in something really interesting every day, we arrived home in New York, totally relaxed and rested. I’m ready to do it again….only with Jill!
“Jill is an incredible person to work with. She planned my three month excursion to Brazil and Chile. All of her suggestions were thoughtful, practical and very creative. She helped me plan my wedding, found an excellent photographer and resort to host the ceremony. I have traveled all over the world and have never met someone with Jill’s strong work ethic. She truly cares about her clients and you end up bonding with her. Her trip planning is unique because she is constantly checking in to see how you are and if there is anything else she can do. The work day never ends for her. You feel like she genuinely cares about you and the experience you are having. Throughout the course of this adventure, she has introduced me to several contacts in Brazil. It becomes so much more than a vacation when you are making friends and work contacts in a new country. Jill is the one that has facilitated all of it. For anyone considering a visit to Brazil, Jill is a must. She understands the culture and her level of sophistication and creativity are unsurpassed. I highly recommend her services and I am so glad that I met her. She is very special and this experience would not be the same without her.”
Without Jill Siegel, our trip to Brazil would not have been the all-encompassing experience it was. It would be so simple to say that Jill worked her “magic”, because she made it seem so effortless. However, her clear understanding of her clients’ (at this point, I’d say friends) wishes, combined with an amazing attention to detail — always completed in a prompt and gracious manner — would be far more accurate.
Our trip presented a real challenge. Three generations (69, 43, 11) all of whom had different visions. Being a history teacher, I wanted to discover Brazil’s past and culture. My son, a physician and student of poetry, hoped to visit all the places where Elizabeth Bishop, the Pulitzer prize winning poet, had lived during her sixteen years in Brazil. My granddaughter, a typical eleven year old, wished for it all — places to see, people to talk to and some shopping thrown in along the way.
Jill fulfilled every request — and more. Our stops in Rio de Janeiro, Ouro Preto and the Amazon region were perfect. Every day we experienced the diversity of Brazil’s history, culture, people, and food, as each of our wonderful tour guides (thank you Valeria, Celia and Anavilhanas staff) shared her/his knowledgeable, yet personal, perspective of the country. Aside from the landmark visits, we discovered the cashew fruit, which gave Bishop an asthma attack and caused her unplanned stop in Rio, several games of foot volley at Ipanema, feijoada (yummy!) at a local lunch stop, baroque churches and oratorios in beautiful Ouro Preto, and a two room school in a small village on the Rio Negro, where we learned of the problems and hopes of Brazil’s future. And these are only a few of our unique memories.
But the most amazing feat Jill achieved were the connections to Elizabeth Bishop. Before contacting Jill, the best we hoped for was to discover the locations of Bishop’s houses and take photos. However, we not only toured the homes where she lived (which are privately owned and not open to the public,) but we also were invited to lunch and spent the day with a recognized Brazilian mogul, who shared her perspective on Bishop. Jill also arranged a luncheon with Bruno Barreto, the director of the 2013 film about Bishop, Reaching for the Moon, and this incredibly kind and unassuming man discussed his research for and message of the film.
None of this, and so much more of our trip, would have been possible without Jill. I guess she really is a magician.