Travel Director: Marie Dubois
Regions: Mostly France but also Italy, Spain and Switzerland
Trafalgar’s Travel Directors play a key role in providing each of our guests with a truly memorable experience. From the moment your Trafalgar journey begins, our Travel Directors share their local knowledge and provide a personalised, one-of-a-kind insider’s view of each destination. They are experienced travellers, learned historians and culture buffs whose job is to help you become immersed in the places you visit.
Travel Director Marie Dubois took a few minutes to talk to the Trafalgar Blog to share some of her experiences and give some insight to why she loves what she does.
Tell us a bit about yourself Marie…
I studied Languages & European studies at university, specialising in Art and History, which enabled me to travel a lot through Europe during my studies. Above all, I love travelling as it broadens my horizons, lets me meet incredible people and discover fabulous cultures. I especially love hiking in the Andes, the Himalaya or the Alps and the Pyrenees.
What is the best part of your job?
Getting to meet and know many fantastic people from such different parts of the world, as well as travelling and speaking foreign languages.
What’s your best Hidden Treasure?
My handprints in Cannes: there is a famous actress in France called Marie Dubois whose hands are facing the red carpet!
What is your favourite place to take guests?
Our Be My Guest venues in Aix en Provence or Villandry, as the guests are so impressed by the fact that they get to see a place they never would have discovered themselves. Beatrice in Villandry is such a lovely host and they are all touched by her story. Also Nice, as it is such a lovely and relaxing part of France!
What is your most memorable on the road moment?
I took a group to St Emilion on a Sunday and did not tell them there was a special festival in the town; I gave them more time than usual and some of them seemed surprised to spend so much time in what they expected to be a small village. They were so pleased when they saw the all villagers (and other visitors) dancing, playing typical regional music and jumping on stilts with their sheepskins and berets! Some of my group joined in dancing with the locals and some tried out the French I taught them on the coach – a truly unique experience for them. The group talked about it for the rest of the tour, and one guest even wrote a poem on how they spent a Sunday in France!
What vacation photo would you recommend our guests have to take?
The photo of a person they meet that will always remind them of a special moment they shared.
Staple travel items?
Music, maps, scarves, sunglasses and an alarm clock.
What is your tip for feeling like a local when traveling?
Interact with locals, taste local food, ask for recipes, try to start a conversation with them. Ask for local restaurants and cafes, and take public transportation.
A favourite local saying you need to know is:
“Vive le voyage, c’est la liberté!”
What is your favourite food within your region?
A great French Cheese board, also “Magret de Canard” duck breast with a delicious caramelised sauce and vegetables, oysters, and all the pastries France can offer!
Must buy souvenir?
A French Recipe book, a Cd of local music or a painting by a local artist you meet during your travels so you bring a little bit of France at home!
What or who is your biggest inspiration?
Ella Maillart; a great woman traveller!
What is your best travel tip?
You are travelling to experience the difference, not to search for what you have at home.