Russ and Elke's European Travel

It's not only what you see, it's how you see it

Russ and Elke's European Travel is a small company run by husband and wife team Russ and Elke Beck, a professional travel agent.

Over the years we have experienced some fantastic places, people, food and wine.  Out of our love for travel developed the idea to create very exclusive, intimate and interesting itineraries and let our clients experience, taste, smell, touch and hear what has given us so much joy in our travels. 

Getting ready to depart for Tuscany

View from an olive grove we picnicked in toward San Gimignano

All  travelers feel that wonderful rush of excitement when they are within a month of departure to their long dreamed of vacation destination. To get there is somewhat of a lengthy and often very stressful process. It starts with that dream but is then followed by extensive research and a ton of planning. Then, reservations need to be made and money has to be paid to the suppliers. After all that the only thing left is to wait until it is time to pack the bags.

For all of the Russ and Elke tours, we cover 99% of those tasks and work hard to eliminate any worries for our clients. We want to make sure that this is an easy, stress free, experience and leave them to their often busy lives. Vacation should be just that, a time to relax and enjoy every moment. We take care of all the planning, booking and organizing. 

Everything is done discreetly behind the scenes and starts approximately a year prior to our client’s departure. We spend countless hours contacting our purveyors in Italy making sure that lodging, transportation, tours, meals, farm visits, wine tastings, museum visits, castle tours and cooking-classes are set up and organized by times and dates.

In addition, we have worked hard on perfecting and making sure we offer an exciting itinerary that is enjoyable yet manageable for our clients. Russ and I know driving distances and travel times between all the locations we visit and, through years of experience, we have figured out how to tweak our itinerary so we don’t exhaust our clients, or overwhelm them, so that by the time they return home they need a vacation from their vacation.  We detail this itinerary in our final travel documents which are prepared about a month before departure.

While our clients get excited studying their travel documents and fantasizing about the fabulous places they are about to visit, we send out last minute e-mails or spend time on international calls re-confirming all of our arrangements and making sure everything is as perfectly planned as possible as well as having back-up plans in case of bad weather and other unforeseeable circumstances.  This last step is an absolute necessity, since Italians are very passionate and busy people and need a reminder that we are about to arrive.

In our final documents for our clients we include a list with suggestions for packing and commonly forgotten items so all they have to do is check off the lists, and decide which clothes to pack and whether or not they want to splurge on some new fun items for the upcoming trip. Those decisions are generally easy, and if in doubt we are only a phone call or e-mail away.

We take the stress out of departing on a Europe adventure unlike any other. And by coincidence I will shoot off some reminder e-mails to our friends in Italy today, since our next tour is right around the corner and we are excited to take a new set of clients to explore Bella Toscana with us.

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