Sharon and Roger Smith founded Travel Designs in 1989
after several years of residence in Italy and previous
careers in academia-for Roger, including years spent
in Southeast Asia, and for Sharon, as a choreographer
and teacher of American modern dance and also Italian.
have lifelong passions for history, languages, architecture,
art, music, gardens and genuine regional cuisine-essential
for the creation of tours with a cultural focus.
both love ravishing countryside and historic cities
and towns that have retained their integrity.
They also enjoy the remarkable "high" that
comes at the end of a morning of hiking among spectacular
has led to the creation of a series of very unusual
but easy walking trips in the Alps, based on experiences
they enjoyed while living in Milano.
upon their knowledge and familiarity with Europe, Southeast
Asia and the northeastern United States and Canada,
and their rigorous academic grounding in the liberal
arts, Sharon and Roger create singular, imaginative
itineraries to stimulate their travelers' interests
and to meet their high expectations.
Often the expected becomes a departure point for new,
enriching and pleasurable experiences unexpected
at the outset by the participants in the Smiths' personally-led
small group tours.
to detail is an important part of this process, from
the beginning of the planning of a new itinerary to
the moment the tour arrives at its conclusion-including
their personal selection of each menu.
also is a great deal of communication between Sharon
and Roger and their clients in the weeks and months
leading up to a tour.
in a Travel Designs small group tour are queried about
their individual interests, and many pre-tour materials
are mailed to them, e.g.,
a varied list of suggestions
for reading before the trip, historical and cultural
background information, and practical advice on traveling
in the particular destination. Final tour materials
importantly, Sharon and Roger are always more than
willing to address individual questions and concerns,
and the fact that they personally plan all Travel
Designs small group tours, make the arrangements,
and lead the tours themselves enables them to respond
to questions with keen insight, as well as to meet
their clients' expectations and to focus on their