Why did I become a personal travel planner?
In the old days, when I was a kid, going abroad from Iceland was a major project. Buying the ticket, packing, taking pictures of the bags (and then forgetting the camera), driving to the airport, saying goodbye to everyone before leaving and then having this amazing feeling of flying away, away from this rock in the middle of the North Atlantic for an adventure.
Before that time, people made a trip out of that trip to the airport with picnic stops, eating sheep heads, coffee and cake on a beautiful spot in the lava on the way. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.
In modern times, there is almost nothing easier than to book a flight to the other side of the globe, whenever one feels like it. Reserving online packages to dream destinations can be easier than arranging a night at the movies in some places.
So why did I start Iceland by helgastina with focus on personalized travel planning?
Call me old fashioned but while „online everyting“ is great,it is important to have an alternative, one that allows for richer and more personalized experiences.
A personal travel plan and the opportunity to connect with local people is something I want for my customers because Iceland is not a cheap place to visit and every minute of the journey needs to be given the maximum opportunity to deliver something memorable, something new.
When I get contacted by my future customers I book a Skype talk with them, or meet them in person if it is geographically possible. I do this to establish trust on both sides and to make sure the customer knows that I am a real-live Icelander who is really in business to make their Iceland dreams come true.
I ask everyone to fill in a survey for me so I can understand why they want to come, what they want to do and where else they have been before.
Sometimes people have simple requests, like trying one of the geothermal baths in Iceland, and sometimes people have complicated travel plan ideas that cover the whole ring of the country and cross country with different needs for accommodation, vehicles and guide services.
With using my amazing network in Iceland I go to lengths to provide insider information, recommend hidden gems, and enable personal connections between the traveler and the Icelanders, because people want to connect and get inspired.
Dining with The Icelanders; „Wonderful start of our first trip to Iceland. We felt so welcome and the food and company were fantastic!“
Travel Planning; “I had a wonderful trip to Iceland and a large part of that is due to Helga’s planning and recommendations. I’m so glad I worked with Helga and I’d recommend her to anyone who wants to experience Iceland”.
“The Saranow family would like to express deep gratitude for Helgastina for tailoring our trip to Iceland to our desires and needs (especially because we were traveling in more rugged terrain with a baby). We feel we had an authentic Iceland experience, including wonderful and unique playgrounds, musical concert with a beautiful family that felt like kindred spirits, and visiting the less-common path that most tourists choose. We are leaving with a profound love and respect for Iceland and Icelanders and also leaving with the feeling that we have built connections with people who we plan on seeing again, here or there–or both, hopefully!”
Iceland is becoming an increasingly „hot“ tourist destination. What I offer, though, is access to the Iceland beyond the standard tourist sites. I help my customers „unwrap“ Iceland, a great present, that produces great memories, that last well into the future.