Bella Travel Planning

Custom Travel Design. Food and Wine Adventures, Travel News, Hotel Reviews, Adventure travel. Available for complimentary initial consultation via zoom or IRL.

Bella is a boutique travel planning company specializing in custom journeys for our clients worldwide. We specialize in YOU by discovering your passions, expectations, travel goals, likes and dislikes. No cookie cutter planning, here! We know the managers, owners, and GMs of the best hotels--you know...those you see graced on the covers of the travel magazines. Check us out! You'll be glad you did!

Mission: Making the world beautiful one trip at a time.

Paris Like a Local: Laurence Tafanel’s Favorite Places

Ya'll know I just love the left bank in Paris, and the Hotel Esprit Saint Germain (and her owner Laurence) is a favorite of mine. I've put many of you in her homey, elegant rooms. Many rooms have been freshly renovated (and they are Gorgeous!). This hotel feels like my home in Paris!

Here is a list of favorite Laurence's places in St. Germain--she really has exquisite taste and I am putting *all* of these on my list for my next trip!

#Paris #LeftBank #StGermain The owner of the Esprit Saint Germain hotel shares her go-to restaurants, wine bars, and shops in Paris' Saint-Germain-de-Pres neighborhood.

Delta Air Lines brings back beer and wine on flights

I knew Dry Flights wouldn't last too long... Welcome back, my pretties!! Delta Air Lines is restoring wine and beer options across most of its US flights three months after it eliminated the options as the pandemic began to cripple demand for air travel.

What’s a girl to do when her passport feels neglected—put aside in a drawer for what seems like forever?? Well—have a virtual cooking class with one of her favorite cooking schools in Rome @inromecooking Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe and Eggplant Parmigiana - food is such an important part of the travel I design *and* the travel I love to experience. I love the creativity making a new dish unleashes. Wonderful Friday afternoon spent with travel friends!! #friyay #pasta #fridayfeels #lunch #instagood #instayum #foodporn #cookingclass #italy #eatingfortheinsta #travelexperts #atlfoodie #bellastyle #weknowtravel #misstraveling #weekend @ Bella Travel Planning

Phase 1 Passport Processing starts this week. Emergency processing only for this first phase.

We are moving to Phase 1 of resuming routine passport operations at eleven passport agencies and centers on Thursday, June 11. Our staff are looking forward to safely getting back to work for you. See more information here:

Versailles, The Sun King, and All Things Golden · Bella Travel Planning

On this week's arm chair travel adventure, we are heading outside the confines of Paris to explore the gardens in Versailles via golf cart. I could seriously do this Join me in my travel memories of the Sun King. The Chateau Versailles is a delightful exploration of the whims and wants of the Sun King--where everything not moving is dripped in gold.

It’s a 7 Layer Dip and Margarita for dinner kind of night. #Saturday #margs #margarita #georgiasummer #summersaturdays #summer #june #layerdip #roswell #roswellga #nesbitlakes #atlfoodie #instayum #instagood #instadrink #cocktails

Still in Italy for our arm chair travels—today we are in beautiful Venezia. The vibrant colors captivate me! Even with crowds in high season, one can follow the labyrinth of streets to find a quiet piazza to take a beat, have some espresso, enjoy lunch, and discover the Venice that isn’t just the Rialto bridge and St. Mark’s. Water taxis, fish markets, gelato, and of course Bellinis at the ever fabulous Cipriani Hotel are some of my favorite things. Make your own masks in a private lesson from a local artisan—mine sit proudly on my living room bookshelf. I so want to go back and explore more of beautiful Venice!
#armchairtravel #armchairtraveler #venice #venezia #italy #watertaxi #gelato #italyexpert #travelexperts #virtuosotravel #postcardsfromtheworld #picoftheday #virtualtravel #travelmemories #latergram #muchlatergram #instago #instatravel #bellastyle #weknowtravel

Ya’ll know my love language is gifts—especially edible ones!! These cookies tho!! So.freakin.amazing!!
Thank you Travel Experts for the unexpected treat!! It was my pleasure to sit on your virtual travel advisor panel sharing financial business strategies to my colleagues. I learned a lot myself and have spoken to many fellow advisors offline about planning fee strategies. Looking forward to future learning opportunities!
Dear Hope's Cookies I don’t know where you’ve been all my life!!! Best cookie delivery ever!!
#cookies #cookiesofinstagram #ediblegifts #instayum #instagood #cisforcookie #latergram #travelexperts #travelblogger #travelmentor #thankyou #bellastyle #weknowtravel @ Bella Travel Planning

Today’s memories come from Liguria in Italy. This gem of a region has stunning topography and charming towns. One of my favorites is Porto Venere just south of Cinque Terre.
This colorful harbor town is off the usual tourist track, but a boat ride away from Cinque Terre and a great non-touristy home base. You can explore the Carrara marble quarry where Michelangelo chose his raw materials. There are also nearby hiking trails for the enthusiast or the serious hiker.
Also pictured is spaghetti alle vongole (clams) and a beautiful doorway in Monterosso.
#armchairtravel #armchairtraveler #liguria #portovenere #cinqueterre #monterosso #pasta #spaghetti #instagood #instayum #italy #postcardsfromtheworld #picoftheday #tlpicks #latergram #muchlatergram #travelmemories #virtuosotravel #bellastyle #travelexperts #weknowtravel

As it warms up here in The ATL for the holiday weekend, my morning thoughts go to our time on the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz in Switzerland. The Glacier Express is the world’s slowest express train.
Zermatt is one of my favorite places. This cute ski town at the foot of the Matterhorn just oozes with charm. It’s pedestrian only except a few electric taxis and horse-drawn carriages.
Since Zermatt is right over the mountain from Italy, you have some great Italian restaurants—and chocolate!! One cannot forget the chocolate!! The logo of Toblerone is of the matterhorn.
We stayed at the Kempinski in St. Moritz and had a heavenly champagne brunch overlooking the mountains.
#armchairtravel #armchairtraveller #switzerland #swiss #glacierexpress #train #trainspotting #zermatt #zermattmatterhorn #matterhorn #stmoritz #passportready #travelexpert #bellastyle #picoftheday #postcardsfromtheworld #weknowtravel

Piemonte, Italy is one of my favorite places in the world! Gorgeous vineyards with the Alps as a backdrop make a stunning landscape. Piemonte also is home to my favorite wine, Barolo, with my favorite varietal, Nebbiolo.
Tis the season for poppies in Piemonte. You’ll see them everywhere!! These vineyards are outside the little Barolo producing town of La Morra where the Renato Ratti tasting room is located. Their tasting room has a stunning view of the vineyards!
The cuisine in Piemonte is rich and robust like the wines! Pictured is a tagliatelli with rabbit ragu and a lovely dessert offering with berries and a pistachio paste cone. Delish!
We stayed at Antico Podere Tota Virginia - a delightful, small four star property in Serralunga with seriously the best meals ever.

Also pictured is a label from our lunch wine - La Spinetta's lovely little Barbera d'Asti.
#armchairtravel #armchairtraveler #piemonte #piemonteturismo #lamorra #serralunga #italy #italytravel #postcardsfromtheworld #picoftheday #memories #travelmemories #latergram #muchlatergram #travelblogger #virtuosotravel #Bellastyle #weknowtravel #vineyard #poppies #wine #barolo

Remembering the spring in 2008 when I visited beautiful Provence in all her springtime glory.
Provence is so rich in sights to see! We visited all the cute towns, the olive garden where Van Gogh painted, the Roman aqueduct, Pont Du Gard, the markets of Arles, and the white city of Avignon.
In Provence, I had my first gallette in a medieval town whose name I’ve forgotten. I still make gallettes to this day.....
The colorful shutters, hidden pathways, dramatic views, and delicious foods captured my heart. I cannot wait to return!
#provence #provencefrance #latergram #travelmemories #postcardsfromtheworld #travelphotography #travelgram #travelblogger #armchairtravel #armchairtraveller #bellastyle #weknowtravel #france #avignon #arles @ Bella Travel Planning

Lindblad Expeditions

I think I need some hazelnut ice cream in my life....

Chef Max is back to end your week with a sweet DIY: how to make hazelnut ice cream. Don’t have an ice cream maker at home? No problem—Chef Max has a handy workaround.
See the full recipe in our comments below. We’ll see you again next week!

Where the royals love to eat and drink in London — Condé Nast Traveller

Where the royals love to eat and drink in London — Condé Nast Traveller These restaurants in London have been frequented by generations of royals, from white tablecloth spots to buzzy neighbourhood bistros

Virtuoso Travel

Flipping through this issue of Virtuoso Life brought tears to my eyes - seriously - trying hard not to just weep over the ol laptop. I miss travel - I miss planning lots and lots of travel adventures....YOUR travel adventures. I love the anticipation. I love the people. I love the food, the moments that take your breath away, the moments where you just want to be still.....and the moments that beckon you to join the party.

What do you love the most? Click on the link below in the text to read the full issue.

The new May issue of Virtuoso Life is a special digital-only edition, and it’s dedicated to some of the many, many reasons we feel compelled to explore. We settled on 50 things we love about travel, but we could go on for 50 more – and another 50 after that. Flip through our love letter here (we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we loved making it):

Travel Advisors' Favorite Cities

It's just so fun to see you own name in print - especially when you are talking about one of your favorite cities: beautiful, elegant, and oh so southern Charleston. Give me a jingle and ask me why I love this city so much! Getting stir crazy and want to make some summer plans (even if ever so tentative), Charleston is a great option! #BellaStyle #Charleston A look at 10 cities that travel advisors adore.

One of the hardest things I've had to do during this trying time has been navigating the time it takes for refunds and credits for my clients. This infographic puts things in perspective and is only for airfare and not for wholesalers, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour companies, etc. Click on the photo to see the whole scenario. It's a crazy time and I am a very lucky girl that most of my clients were and still are very patient.

Even today, I spent 3 hours on hold total re-accommodating just a couple of peoples' travel. I love what I do and it's simply part of my job (even in good times, I swear half my time is spent on hold), but's why I drink.

Armchair Traveler: Floating in Glacier Bay, Alaska · Bella Travel Planning

Gosh - dreaming of a new zip code just restores my soul--especially when it's full of happy memories with the ones I love!

Check out our newest Blog Post with some super fab pictures of Glacier Bay, Alaska. This year's Alaska season may have been cancelled, but I look forward to the day where I can do a deeper dive into this gem of a state!! I was not prepared for the colors: the blues and greens set on a deep green backdrop. I was not prepared for the rugged beauty of the mountains peeking out of the mist

andBeyond Travel

What a wonderful discovery! Mama with her cub! #ArmchairTravel #BellaStyle

WILDwatch Live | "She has got her cub. She has got her cub..." Be a part of this morning’s live game drive and join andBeyond guide, Eric Excelby, in his excitement of seeing the Birmingham lioness and her cub for the first time! Taken at andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve, South Africa. See what lies beyond...
Did you miss it? Relive the anticipation of this morning on our YouTube channel here:
Join our expert andBeyond guides as they follow the natural drama of this incredible wilderness unfold at @andbeyondngala, South Africa! You can find andBeyond's WILDwatch Live broadcasts on the below Social Media sites:
◾️: Instagram - andBeyondTravel
◾: Facebook - andBeyond Travel
◾: YouTube - andBeyond Travel
◾: Twitter - andbeyondtravel
You can view the LIVE safaris between:
◾ 06:00am – 09:00am CAT (sunrise dependent)
◾ 15:00pm – 18:30pm CAT (sunset dependent)
safariLIVE and EcoTraining
#seewhatliesbeyond #andbeyondtravel #WILDwatchLive #Wildwatch #djuma #andbeyondngala #birminghampride #lioncub #southafrica #luxurytravel #luxurysafari #safari #travelinspiration #andbeyondexperiences #wishyouwerehere #wildearth #ecotraining

It’s pizza night tonight at Casa Luko. We are learning to make Pizza and Pizza Rolls - gosh I haven’t had a Pizza Roll since Perhaps 1989.... see the post for the ingredients you need and follow along with me. You’ll be glad you did!!

Don't forget to tune in to our Pizza Night cooking class on Facebook Live TODAY at 4 pm! Our owner Tal will be teaching everyone how to make sun dried tomato pesto dip pizza rolls and homemade pizza! 😍🍕⁠

Didn't get a chance to order the pizza night kit in time? Here's all you need at home to participate.

Qualitaly 00 Soft Wheat Flour 2.2lb
Caputo Semolina Flour 2.2lb
Instaferm Yeast 15.88oz
Roi Cucina Extra Virgin Olive Oil 8.45 fl oz
Agromonte Cherry Tomato Sauce 11.64oz
Agromonte Sun-dried Cherry Tomatoes

Additionally, everyone will need: salt, pepper, 4 garlic cloves, grated cheese for pizza, rolling pin and a sharp knife.

andBeyond Travel

For those of you at home with the kiddos, this is a great educational activity. Sign up in advance and they will send you resources, too. We watched this, yesterday, and it was a great experience!!

WILDwatch Live || Join our expert andBeyond guides as they bring the game drive magic LIVE to your living room, from andBeyond’s Ngala Private Game Reserve, in concert with WildEarth on Djuma Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa. See what lies beyond…
Don’t forget that this is your game drive! Interact with our guides and ask them questions through the comments section or by using the #wildearth on your Twitter profile.

And for the afternoon game drive, get the kiddies interacting with the first 45 minutes dedicated to kid’s questions only. Details below:

If you’d like to sign up your little ones for a personalised experience, go to and select the date you are interested in joining. Once onboard, your kids will be able to ask their questions via an email you send on their behalf to [email protected]. Remember to note your child’s name and age in the email for an age-appropriate and name-based answer live from the field!

Make Your Home Feel Like a Luxury Hotel | Marriott Bonvoy Traveler

Right now, to keep our sanity, we are preferring to think of our home as a luxury hotel, sometimes. Of course, I find myself wondering when housekeeping is going to show up for turn down service.....but still. From spa days to exciting new cuisine to craft cocktails - ya gotta do something to break it up, mix it up and perhaps even find a new joy in your personal space. Here are a few tips to do just that. Love the comforts of luxury hotels? Upgrade your slumber with chic, cozy finds that turn your home into the ultimate vacation destination.

Arm Chair Traveler: Shelter in Place at Hermitage Bay · Bella Travel Planning

I need a beach - like yesterday.....dreaming of the last time I was in the Caribbean with my toes in the sand..... follow me on another Armchair Traveler journey to the beautiful island of Antigua So here is sit in my comfy chair overlooking my outside deck, dreaming of the last time I experienced total Caribbean Bliss—at Hermitage Bay.

My Passport has been on Shelter in Place and I cannot wait for the day it gets cleared for takeoff! This picture today reminded me that I was to be on my way to see tulips in the Netherlands this week. Next year — next year.

So Beautiful 🌸🌷 I miss these flower

#netherlands #tulips
By: @lauriebracewellv

Quarantine Cocktails With Zach Wilks

Ciao Bella! Today, I was supposed to be in Florence attending a by-invitation-only luxury travel show, DUCO. I am thinking of my friends and partners in Italy today as well as my friends and family who workin the hospitality industry. Enjoy this cocktail lesson from one of Indianapolis’ finest bartenders.

It’s Just Another Manic Monday! Today we’re talking aperitivos! An aperitivo (or apéritif) is often described as being similar to the American happy hour, but in reality, it’s much more than that.

An aperitivo is a pre-meal drink specifically meant to wet your appetite. Although the concept of inspiring your stomach to do one thing or another with alcohol is probably as old as alcohol itself, the concept of the modern apéritif is generally thought to have been invented (or effectively marketed) by the distiller Antonio Benedetto Carpano, who also created one of the first types of vermouth in Turin in 1786. He claimed that his special combination of fortified white wine and various herbs and spices stimulated the appetite and was more suitable for ladies to drink than red wine. It thus became one of the first popular aperitivo drinks.

Apertivo Spritz

Apertivo Select, the classic Italian bitter liqueur from Venice, provides the base for this iconic aperitivo drink. A simple combination of three parts Prosecco, two parts Apertivo Select and one splash of soda water, the Spritz is an outright phenomenon in Italy. It has also made significant inroads in America, where riffs on its bitter, bubbly, low-alcohol formula have proliferated.


Serving: 1
3 ounces Prosecco
2 ounces Apertivo Select
1 ounce soda water

Garnish: orange half-wheel

1. Add cubed ice to a stemmed wine glass.
2. Add Prosecco, Aperol and soda and gently stir to combine.
3. Garnish with an orange half-wheel.

Thanks everyone for all your support! There are a lot of us that have already been out of work for weeks. This is week three for me. We’re donating tips that we raise to The USBG’s Bartender Emergency Fund which is helping bartenders in this time of uncertainty. See you tomorrow we’ll be talking Negronis!

\Cash App: $ZachariWilks
Venmo: @Zachari-Wilks
PayPal: PayPal.ME/ZachariWilks

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