Our first speaker today was Juli Parrott from Table Mountain Travel in Golden, Colorado. Juli is back from an incredible journey to South America and wanted first to discuss the different type of trips you can take, whether it be guided, hosted or independent trip.
A Guided tour is one where you are part of a group and generally your entire itinerary is planned: this includes any transfers, hotel accommodations, tours, meals and all transportation. There will generally have a tour guide with you for the entire trip, as well as using local guides for certain aspects of the trip.
A Hosted tour is where you are not generally part of a group – although you may be for certain tours. Your transfers, hotel accommodations, tours and transportation are all pre-planned. Individual guides are provided for the various tours, but there is no “general” tour guide for the entire trip.
An Independent tour is where you just “wing it” upon arrival or you can pre-book hotels and transfers, but your tours are booked independently either before departure or upon arrival. Transportation from the airport to the tour is not generally included.
Then Juli went on to discuss her recent adventure to South America, with a quick history of the country. It was under Spanish rule for most areas – Portuguese rule for Brazil and parts of Uruguay. Simon Bolivar, an independent leader, for Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Columbia. Jose de San Martin was in charge of Chili and Argentina – Chili declared independence on February 12, 1818 and it was recognized by Spain in 1844 and Argentina declared independence on July 9, 1816. The War of Independence went on from 1810-1818 in Argentina and 1810-1820 in Chili.  Juli, then went on to discuss the differences between Peru, Argentina and Chili, the first thing she noticed was that in Argentina and Chili there was a lack of the indigenous people, you will see them in small specific areas. Most of the people are of European descent, mainly 2nd or 3rd generation Spanish and Italian. The food and dining are very European in nature and very good. Another thing that Juli noticed was that you don’t see poverty in the main hubs, when venturing out into the indigenous communities is were it becomes apparent. In Patagonia, Juli asked how would you feel if you were hiking and realized that you were the only person in a 100 miles radius. This is not true in the Torres del Paine National Forest, but in areas between Torres del Paine, Puerta Natales and Punta Arenas there is vast openness. Another thing to keep in mind when traveling in South America is that the seasons are reversed – now is their summer. However, when traveling in the high mountain, it may be 40-50 degrees, but it felt like 30 because of the high winds! Many people were wearing winter coats in Punta Arenas. On the cruise in Torres del Paine they traveled far enough south that the sun didn’t set until 11:00pm while on the northern end at El Calafate it set at 8:00pm. She went on to discuss a few of the excursions they went on such as in El Calafate they went trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier and visited the Iguazu Falls an Unesco Heritage site with 275 waterfalls that drop up to 200 feet. At the Devils Throat Lookout you can see the deepest of all the falls at 269 feet as well as have access to the upper and middle trails through the area. It was a very fun trip for Juli and the pictures that she passed around were wonderful. She told about a funny sign they saw for a Puma Warning – “Do not Run – Fleeing May Trigger an Attack.”
The last comment Juli had was about your bags, for International flights there is 1 free bag weighing 50 pounds, however local carriers within Europe, Asia and South America will vary. Aerolineas Argentinas, they have a 30-pound limit, you can pay $35.00 for up to 50 pounds and carry on was supposed to weigh 11 pounds. If you are looking for a travel agent that knows the ways of the travel industry give Juli Parrott and Table Mountain Travel a call.
Juli Parrott * Table Mountain Travel * 303.277.1580 * www.tablemountaintravel.com * juli@tablemountaintravel.com

Our second speaker today was Linda Schafer with GL Specialties in Golden, Colorado. Linda brought many samples with her today to pass around. Her first comment was about battery powered promotional products – most of these products come packaged with a block to keep the battery from discharging. By using a company like GL Specialties, you can avoid issues like that, as Linda knows which companies to work with for the best products. Linda talked to use about the importance of ordering sample, she had a client that had picked out a brass pen holder for her customers. Linda ordered a sample to make sure the quality was what the client was looking for. However, once receiving the product she found that, although it was a high-quality item, it was also very heavy which would have doubled the cost due to the shipping. Linda passed around the sample and it was very heavy. Next Linda passed a metal double insulated coffee cup with a lid, these are always popular, the cost on these range from 7.00 to 12.00 depending on the imprint and quantity. Very nice. Her next item was an hour glass with a magnetic base, so the hour glass looks like it’s floating, the price on that ran from12.00 to 15.00. For those that like the new fidget spinner craze, Linda has a pen that has a fidget spinner on the end, comes in a variety of colors. Another item that Linda really likes and is new in the industry is the “Build a Kit”, this is where you pick a bag and a couple items to put in them – these run between 4.00 – 10.00 depending on the products you fill it with. First Aid Kits will generally run on the higher price point – mainly because of the aspirin/ibuprofen component. Every promotional product on the market has a minimum order that comer at a higher price than the higher quantities of 500 and above, most companies will do below minimum quantity, but this will come with an upcharge. Almost all promotional product companies have an artwork charge for each order, one thing that has lately been bothering Linda is that many of her clients are repeating orders (for pens and the like) and even though the company has the art from the previous order they still charge for the set up! This has been an industry standard forever – initially when everything was done by hand it was understandable – but – not in this day and age with the art all on computer.
Linda Schafer * GL Specialties * 303.456.9035 * www.glspecialties.com * glspecad@glspecialties.com