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Travel Specialists
Cassandra Bookholder
Years in Industry: 8 Years
Hometown: Central Coast, AUSTRALIA - currently resides in Monterey, CA
Specialty:

Australia, New Zealand & Honeymoons

Certifications:

Certified Travel Associate (CTA)
Travel + Leisure Magazine 125 Top Travel Agents 2009, 2010 & 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Premier Aussie Specialist
Kiwi (New Zealand) Specialist
South Pacific Specialist

Phone: 602-889-5902 Email: cassandrab@camelbacktravel.com

  
 
Cassandra's Travel Bio
What is your travel vision?
Having a job where I create inspiring and amazing travel experiences for clients is not a job at all, it’s a lifestyle… and I love it! I’m in the travel industry as I have a strong passion for learning new cultures, experiencing  unique destinations and enjoying  the most interesting food & wine the world has to offer. I get great pleasure tailor-making these options and so much more for like-minded travelers. 
What's in your carry on?
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones, An issue of the local country’s VOGUE, Qantas Eye-Mask, Flip video camera, Lucas’ Papaw Lipbalm, bandaids, sunnies,  and a cardigan.
What is your most memorable or most inspiring travel experience?

Most recently, I would say the most eye-opening experience I enjoyed was a conversation with a book-store owner in Agra, India. The two of us chatted about our beliefs and principals in life and shared a cherished moment between two different cultures. My most fond & favorite travel memories will always belong with my family and the great experiences we had while I was a child traveling across Australia on every holiday.

What has been your best culinary experience/ memorable meal while traveling?

Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef) Picnic Basket of King Prawns & Sauvignon Blanc while dining on a deserted beach surrounded by the most beautiful coral reef (including giant bright purple clams)!

+  Treetops Lodge in New Zealand where a native Maori walked with me through the forest picking ingredients for our lunch to only then have it prepared and dined next to the majestic Bridal Veil Waterfall.
What is the one destination/experience you still want to go/have?
See the Great White Sharks breaching at Seal Island, South Africa

Cassandra's Favorites
Destination: Swimming in the pure waters of Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island, Australia
Hotel: Titilaka Lodge on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Peru + The Upper House’s modern luxury in Hong Kong
Hotel Room: Owner’s Cottage at Kauri Cliffs, New Zealand (impeccable design by Virginia Fisher)
New Property Noi Hotel Santiago, Chile – a chic & boutique hotel with a great location for the city’s best restaurants
Travel Read/App:

Newspaper = New York Times
Weekly Travel Articles

Magazine = Travel+Leisure

Monthly IssuesBook = Holy Cow; An Indian Adventure by Sarah MacDonald

Favorite Trips

Dubai, UAE:
The ideal short-stay destination with highlights including off-roading through sand dunes, checking out the world’s most valued horses at the Meydan Racecourse and sipping champagne in the world’s tallest building

Australian Coast & Outback Adventures: Cassandra travels to Australia 2-3 times every year to check out new experiences. Recent activities include blending her own red wine at Penfolds in the Barossa Valley, rolling across the Nullabor Plain onboard the famous Indian Pacific Train and snorkeling Ningaloo Reef in one of the most remote parts of Western Australia

New Zealand Luxury Lodges: Properties Cassandra has recently experienced include Huka Lodge in Taupo, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and the breathtaking Minaret Station tucked in the NZ highlands and only accessible by Helicopter

India’s North & South: Cassandra has shopped for pearls in Hyderabad, twisted with yoga lessons in Kerala, sipped cocktails while watching the sunset over the Taj Mahal, been blessed by a local priest (pujari) in a 300 yr old shiva temple in Jaipur, enjoyed being pampered with pool butlers in Udaipur and so much more

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador: A real highlight in 2012 was getting nose to nose with baby sea lions while snorkeling in the Galapagos, an outstanding experience by Galapagos Safari Camp  

Chile & Chilean Patagonia: Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park is a must for every world traveler. This experience ranks high on Cassandra’s treasured traveled list… plus wine tasting in the Casablanca Valley, art hopping in Valparaiso and dining around Santiago aren’t too bad either!

The Amazon & Lake Titicaca, Peru: Sailing down the Amazon River onboard the luxury boat, The Aria by Aqua Expeditions and eye-opening cultural experiences on the shores of Lake Titicaca at the delicious Titilaka Lodge

English, French & Spanish Getaways: With family in France, Cassandra has enjoyed seeing Western Europe as a local and is able to offer a fun twist on the well-traveled route

Hong Kong Delights: Cassandra loves dim sum dining explorations around this city as well as the exclusive access to the China Club, shopping like a mad-woman, finding the best priced foot massages around and drinking “hairy” tea which supposedly helps you lose weight (which is great after all that dim sum!)

USA Luxury Resorts: It’s important to note some close-to-home destinations which shouldn’t be missed --- Cassandra’s current favorites include the renovated rooms at the Hotel Del Coronado and La Costa Resort & Spa in San Diego region, as well as the spectacular Amangiri Resort in remote Southern Utah