On the Road with Motivation Excellence: October 2021

Motivation Excellence

Things are changing quickly when it comes to travel. At Motivation Excellence, our goal is to keep our followers and clients informed on the latest protocols, trends and tips. In our On the Road series, we’ll highlight our own travels for leisure and business, as well as report on current client trends in the incentive industry. Look for the latest On the Road post at the end of each month. If you ever have travel questions during this uncertain time please reach out to us at ME@MotivationExcellence.com. We’re happy to be your virtual shotgun or plus one!

In October we had two intrepid international travelers and a quick turnaround client program stateside. Read more below! 

NYC in the Fall – Brilliant for a Client Gathering

Traveler: Rhonda Brewer, VP Sales

As you read about in September, when I went for the site visit, this client gathering was a quick turnaround! It turned out amazing! More than 150 people came together for three days and two nights of celebration! We utilized Bobby Van’s near the New York Stock Exchange and the fantastic outdoor space at the Central Park Zoo; I’d use both again in the future. We had room blocks at both the Central Park Hilton and JW Marriott properties. Both hotels were exactly as we expected. The trickiest part about this was the planning for all outdoor meeting and dining space, since NYC requires proof of vaccination to enter indoor event space and we knew we had some guests that were not vaccinated. A big thanks to one of our favorite partners Hello! DMC and their new office in New York for helping produce meaningful events that will be remembered for a lifetime!

Key Takeaway:

  • New York City is vibrant and still a great destination for events and meetings, you just need to know the vaccination status of everyone attending so you can guide them on the COVID restrictions.

Off to Paris and Scotland – What a Tour!

Traveler: Rhonda Brewer, VP Sales


It was great to have the opportunity to go to Europe again! Once you understand the new COVID protocols, that vary by country, things go very smoothly. It was great to see people out and moving which is fantastic to see!

In Paris, for the SITE Foundation meeting, we talked about the resurgence of incentive travel on a global basis and how everyone is seeing this around the globe. That said, we do hear those who are running programs are staying within region and while some are venturing outside their continent, likely most will start traveling outside of their region in 2023. As for Paris, it was great seeing so much activity. Masks were worn indoors and it was easy entering any indoor restaurant or museum as long as you show your completed vaccination card.

Next stop for the week was Edinburgh, Scotland, Gleneagles, Royal Scotsman and the Kimpton Charlotte Square. What an absolute treat to be able to be in Scotland again for the Belmond Advisory Board and see the Scottish Highlands via the Royal Scotsman! The train is so well appointed and the entire staff is so gracious and accommodating. It is truly an experience of a lifetime and would be a great addition to any incentive program! Starting in Edinburgh either at the beautiful Gleneagles, traveling on the Royal Scotsman for 2 nights and then finishing your program for a night or two in Edinburgh at either the historical Balmoral or at the Kimpton Charlotte Square. So many options but just a beautiful experience that will be talked about forever!

Key Takeaways:

  • Being in Europe again is fabulous!
  • Traveling for business in NYC, then heading to Paris and Scotland for industry events is a lot! Hopefully you can visit all three at a more leisurely pace. 

Cruising on the Danube

Traveler: David Jobes, President/CEO

I just returned to Chicago after spending 10 days traveling on a Danube river cruise visiting cities in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. And, wow, did it reengage my desire to start traveling again! After international travel being virtually unattainable for over a year, it was great to see its return. Even if you are not a “cruiser,” a European river cruise is intimate (smaller ships) and reaches both large and small towns in various countries where you can enjoy welcoming people and fabulous foods. This was a great way to start traveling abroad again. We were aboard the AmaWaterways AmaMagna and found the accommodations and hospitality excellent!

Once you get off the ship, I would encourage you to explore as much of the cities as possible. Traveling in October to Europe is perfect with temperatures in the mid-50’s and generally sunny. All locations were easy to get around with English spoken by most people and a lot of the signage was also in multiple languages. In the larger cities, such as Vienna and Budapest, finding taxis was easy and inexpensive, just be aware not all taxis take credit cards for payments. 

Key Takeaways

  • Euro-Countries require you to have proof of COVID vaccination in order to enter the countries.
  • It is wonderful to get reengaged with different cultures again.
  • The airlines and the ship all took extreme measures to make sure everything was sanitized and kept to high safety and health standards.


Coming Up Ahead

  • Portugal with travel planner Joe Reise
  • Back in Vegas for an industry event

Buckle up and enjoy the ride with Motivation Excellence as your guide!