About Us

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.

Both have lifelong passions for history, languages, architecture, art, music, gardens and genuine regional cuisine-essential for the creation of tours with a cultural focus.

They 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 mountains.

This 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.

Drawing 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.

Attention 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.

There also is a great deal of communication between Sharon and Roger and their clients in the weeks and months leading up to a tour.

Participants 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 are detailed.

Most 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 special interests.