Interview with Amy Burleigh – Luxe Event Planner

First Luggage recently sat down with luxury event planner Amy Burleigh of Raspberry Rhubarb to get some top tips on how to plan a super luxe event. Here’s what we found out…

Amy Burleigh Luxury Events

So Amy, you specialise in the luxury market.  What are the main differences working in ‘luxury’ to other areas of event planning?

Well, event planning is all about detail and whether an event is ‘luxury’ or not doesn’t mean you plan it any differently. You may be working with higher end suppliers and with clients that have extremely high expectations but as an Event Planner my expectations are always high by default. I always expect the suppliers I work with to deliver to the absolute best of their ability regardless of whether they are in the luxury market or not.

An interesting point, but still a pretty great niche to work in. What’s been the best event you’ve worked on?

Ah, this is so hard to answer! I’ve worked on so many lovely, amazing events all around the world, from luxury incentive trips to Zambia and Botswana, chartering private planes and taking over exclusive safari lodges to a global meeting at the UN Building in New York. I think for me it’s all about opening guests eyes to a whole new experience, whether it’s the best dinner they’ve ever had, driving a luxury car, or experiencing a destination as a whole. That’s the buzz for me.

You must have visited some amazing places, what’s the most luxurious?

Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli on Lake Garda, Italy stands out. I was there in September as Consultant Event Manager running a driving tour through Italy for Elegant Resorts and Aston Martin. Not only was the hotel stunning in interiors and location, but the attention to detail and service levels absolutely blew me away. It was probably the most luxurious hotel I’ve ever stayed at and was a privilege to work with them. They made my life very easy!

Sounds stunning, I’ll be Googling straight after this. Now what about insider tips? Any planning hints you can give to those who might want to arrange something special for their clients?

I’ll give you six, any more and I’d have to charge you!

1) Put everything in writing and keep a copy with you at all times, whether it’s on an email on your phone or in a folder. You never know when you’ll need it. The one time you don’t have it in writing, you’ll need it, it’s guaranteed.

2) Always be early.

3) Be nice to your suppliers – they’re human too

4) Trust your instincts, if you think a venue / location /supplier isn’t right, it probably isn’t!

5) Always consider the experience from the end client / guest perspective – walk it the whole experience minute by minute as if you were them.

6) Never leave home without – a fully charged phone with all the numbers you might need pre-loaded, a bold lipstick and a smile.

What do you look for when you are sourcing a venue, particular with your luxury clientele in mind?

Service, service, service. This is the easiest thing for a venue to get right (and it’s free!) but so many get it wrong. I would only ever recommend a venue that I know will deliver. That’s also why I rate First Luggage, they are one step ahead always anticipating their client’s needs rather than waiting for problems to occur. Also a client’s experience starts from the moment they leave their front door, what better way to start a trip than to have your luggage taken from your door and to be at the venue when you arrive?

If you could plan an event anywhere where would it be?

I love Scotland, it’s just beautiful all year round. I recently worked at an exclusive use fairytale castle on the shores of Loch Ness – Aldourie Castle – 13 bedrooms, amazing service and a real house party feel – but in your own castle. Luxurious but in no way pretentious. It really was the stuff dreams were made of.

If you could work with any brand what would it be?

Ooooo tricky question. One with lovely clients!

Thanks Amy, we look forward to hearing about your next event.  To find out more about why top luxury planners use First Luggage check out our testimonials page here.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to front up at film festivals in faultless fashion

Whether it is a once a year trip to Cannes, or an ambitious attendance at all the world’s high-profile film festivals, there is no doubt that packing for the event will require a great deal of care and attention. A red-carpet premiere requires an eye-catching and awesome outfit that will capture the attention of the press. During the day, screenings, interviews, meetings and networking demand impeccable style and possibly a few changes. These are not occasions to be travelling lightly. It is better to err on the side of caution and take more clothes than is strictly necessary, so as to be able to adapt to the climate and any spontaneous opportunities which may crop up on the circuit.

Different festivals call for different approaches. Sundance in Utah in January is famously cold. It will be imperative to take a warm outer coat that can easily be slipped off as you go in and out of the various venues. Many festival-goers like to combine their trip with a spot of skiing. As ski equipment and attire tends to be bulky and cumbersome, you really don’t want to be lugging that with you en route to the hotel. Far better to arrange to get it sent on ahead with a luxury travel delivery service.

Gowns, jewellery, tuxedoes and high heels are de rigueur for these glamorous international events but you will also need an array of smart casuals, and in cities like New York, Venice, Berlin or Toronto, there is an elite of the well-dressed and urban chic. The film business is all about appearances and if you are representing a movie in any capacity, you need to present yourself as an ambassador for the brand. Whether you are a film star or not, you can travel like one with a large stack of luggage, and be prepared for the paparazzi on any corner. Getting these bags pre-delivered also allows for assistants or hotel staff to hang garments, or press them, meaning you can hit the ground running on your arrival.

One item you will want to keep on your person is a watch. With a hectic schedule and many different timings to adhere to, it is much easier to glance at your wrist in a darkened cinema than to check your phone.

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Best luxury resorts in Europe

Skiing holidays have long been considered one of the finest, most luxurious and also most exciting ways to spend either a short weekend break or an entire three week long vacation. Europe is the home to some of the best international ski resorts, as well known for their gourmet restaurants, designer boutiques and world class hotels as their pistes.  At First Luggage we transport our customers’ precious items to some of the finest ski resorts in the world.  Here are some of our favourite European ski locations;
Zermatt, Switzerland

Tucked away in the south of Switzerland you will find Zermatt, surrounded by astonishing mountain vistas – such as the Matterhorn – and plenty of high altitude skiing. There is no shortage of choice in luxury accommodation in and around Zermatt. Notably, the Mont Cervin Palace, situated in the centre of the village, has an international reputation for excellence and is within short walking distance to local shops and some of the finest skiing Europe has to offer. For a fresh gourmet dining experience, you may wish to consider dining at The Omnia, which as well as gourmet serves a la carte and fine vegetarian cuisine. Ski luxury travel luggage delivery with a company like First Luggage is a great idea, as the area can only be accessed by train.

Courchevel 1850, France

Within Les Trois Vallées, situated in south-east of France and north of Marseille, Courchevel 1850 is, for many people, the last word in luxury skiing. It can boast of being part of the largest interconnected ski area in the world, as well as being home to no less than four Michelin restaurants with two stars and three with one star. You can soak up the genuine alpine dining experience at La Table Du Kilimandjaro while sampling the notoriously exquisite wine collection. In keeping with the luxury of its surroundings, Le Lana is one of the many notable five star hotels that attract visitors back time again.

Cortina, Italy

As well as being the most fashionable ski resort in Italy, Cortina has breath-taking views of the Dolomite mountains and plenty more to offer than simply adrenaline on the pistes. LP 26 Prosciutteria is one of the resort’s busiest restaurants due to the popularity of its many different types of prosciutto (cured ham) which is said by many to be unparalleled. Luxury accommodation is similarly well catered for, with the Cristallo Hotel Spa & Golf a great base from which to enjoy everything the area has to offer.

If you’d like help choosing your next luxury ski break or our assistance on how to get your things there then please get in touch!

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Make your next Eurostar trip the best ever

There is no doubt that London and Paris are two of the world’s greatest cities, and thanks to the wonderful invention of the Eurostar, travelling between them has never been quicker or easier. When you are over in Europe on a trip from the States, it is a fantastic time-saver to be able to hop on the train at London’s St Pancras and be walking out at the Gare du Nord in Paris in three hours.

The only thing that can slow down the process is having to look after your own heavy baggage. Unlike the Golden Age of Travel when every American in Paris could rely on a fleet of porters to cope with their trunks and valises, these days, the burden of luggage is often a huge hassle. Not only is it awkward to get on and off the train, it has to be stowed, and then dealt with all over again on arrival. Having to cope can cause anxiety and lessen the pleasures of the journey.

Eurostar have recognised this inconvenience, especially for their American customers who may be over for a few weeks’ vacation in Europe and carrying quite a lot of bags. They have teamed up with Euro Luggage Delivery to completely solve this problem. Stress-free door-to-door luggage collection means you can travel completely hands-free, and your bags will be waiting for you. The same-day service between London and Paris, and vice versa, is completely safe and reliable and luggage can be tracked at all times. It doesn’t matter if you are staying in the Ritz or in an Airbnb, whatever the destination, you are free to make your own way and find your luggage ready to unpack.

London, Paris, and many of the other famed European capitals offer superb opportunities for shopping. No-one wants to resist the lure of exceptional merchandise, whether for investment or simply for souvenirs. Worrying about what will fit into your suitcases to take back is no longer an issue when you book with luggage collection and delivery. Most items can be sent, and door-to-door means exactly that; whether it’s a hotel, a home or a place of work address you submit. Make your next trip to Europe even more enjoyable and send your bags on ahead.

Get in touch with us today in order to help you plan your trip!

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Our top ski resorts in the USA

The adrenaline rush of gliding through picturesque mountain valleys is something everyone should experience at some point in their lives. First Luggage is a luxury travel luggage delivery service to ensure that you have one less thing to worry about when jetting off to your ski destination.

Here are our top pick skiing destinations in the USA for adrenaline seekers:

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole has been ranked one of the best skiing destinations in the United States. During winter, snowfall is usually guaranteed, so booking in advance won’t be a problem. Corbet’s Couloir is the resort’s most famous ski route, consisting of a steep, narrow chute. The destination is great for beginners and intermediates due to the variations in terrain.

If you are feeling peckish, there are plenty of restaurants and food outlets to grab a bite. Couloir Restaurant and Bar is the most exclusive eatery on the complex, with stunning views to match. If you have a sweet tooth, Corbin’s Cabin sells delicious waffles.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada/ California

Lake Tahoe is a must-visit for families with plenty to do around the area, so boredom will never be an option. Resorts in Lake Tahoe to visit include Heavenly, Squaw Valley and Northstar. The resort consists of granite mountains and crystal clear waters, as well as fantastic shopping districts and nightlife, hot air ballooning and scenic cruises.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Essentially for beginners, this destination is great for those getting their first taste of skiing. There are a number of nursery slopes and chair-lifts to ensure that you are not too out of your depth. If there intermediate skiers in your party, there are also facilities for them. The Victorian-style town has a number of shops, bars and restaurants to explore in the evenings. On the resort itself, there are a number of fine dining options including ‘Seven’; an old-world inspired cuisine with an outdoor area to sit and take in the views. There are also on-site spas to relax in at the resort.

If you would like any further information about ski destinations and luggage services, please contact us!

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What’s the best luggage to travel with?

Whether you’re travelling for lengthy periods or just for short trips, a badly-made or poorly-chosen bag can play havoc with your experience. A sudden malfunction can cause significant delays, forcing you to make trips around cities or areas that you’re unfamiliar with in order to buy expensive replacements or to get something fixed. Cheap or expensive, there are some great options out there that will make your trip a whole lot smoother.

Carry on luggage

A bag for hand luggage is, often, all that is needed for holidays – providing a convenient way to carry clothing and essentials without the hefty costs that airlines attach to larger items. A hardcase provides that extra durability, though with some slight extra weight, and we’d recommend the Samsonite Fiero 28″ spinner (http://shop.samsonite.com/luggage/samsonite-fiero-28%22-spinner/55844XXXX.html) – an item that wheels beautifully, offers superb organisation through its internal dividers, and is made from strong, 100% scratch resistant polycarbonate. A TSA approved lock, meanwhile, provides top-notch security on your trip.

Sturdier, checked luggage options

If you’re travelling for a long time, or with your family, you may need to take checked luggage to provide that home-from-home that you need. Look no further than the Traveler’s Choice Tasmania three piece (http://www.travelerchoice.com/shop/tasmania-polycarbonate-expandable-spinners-luggage-suitcases-sets/), which offers the utmost in convenience (superb, reliable rolling motion) and security (internal tie-tapes for securing belongings, three dial combination locks). A great one for enviably long holidays and one-way-ticket adventures.

Duffle bags

For a stylish duffel bag for the individual’s trip – the Cenzo Leather Weekender (http://cenzobags.com/product/cenzo-leather-duffle-bag/) is the ultimate. Offering beautiful materials through its brown, Italian leather, and practicality through its floor to floor zip, this duffle is a roomy, elegant carry on, perfect for making a impact whilst holding plenty of items.

Whatever the type of luggage, you’ll want to make sure it gets their safely and securely every time.  Take a look at our How It Works page to find out just how easy a luggage delivery service can be.

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What’s the best luggage set?

If you travel a lot, it is perhaps more worthwhile to invest in a matching luggage set. These sets contain bags of different sizes, so that you always have a suitable piece of luggage, no matter where you are going or how long for. Below you’ll find some of the best luggage sets that cater to a range of budgets and purposes.

Best hold and hand luggage combo
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Traveler-Piece-Expandable-Carry-Luggage/dp/B003SMJCE2
The US Traveler Rio 2 piece set is made of a durable polyester, making for a hard-wearing purchase including self locking handles. With a large case combined with a hand eld bag which fits perfectly into the over-head lockers in most airlines, both pieces are expandable, allowing you to increase or reduce the space used as necessary. It also comes with a handsome price tag, so you won’t have to break the bank.

Best value luggage set
http://www.americantourister.co.uk/ocean-grove-3-piece-set-a-black-graphite/product-en.htm
American Tourister offer a budget, three-piece set containing three differently sized cases; the smallest of which is suitable for use as hand luggage. At incredible value for money, these simple cases include expandable compartments and several pockets for organised packing. They are also incredibly easy to handle, with four multi-directional spinners.

Best luxury luggage set
http://shop.samsonite.com/luggage/samsonite-winfield-2-fashion-20%22-spinner/56844XXXX.html
For a truly sophisticated purchase, try a renowned brand such as Samsonite. Their Winfield Fashion line comes with three cases crafted with a stylish metallic-look design. Made with the latest lightweight technology yet very durable, this set will provide you with high quality luggage with promising longevity. The largest case is also excellent for long-haul or extended trips due to its extensive size.

After investing in a luggage set you’ll want to make sure it gets to your destination safely and securely every time.  So why not head over to our How It Works page to find out how easy it is to send your baggage with First Luggage.

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What’s the best luggage scale?

When you get to the airport, packed and ready to go on your relaxing holiday, there’s nothing worse than discovering you need to pay extortionate excess baggage fees because you’ve not weighed your luggage. For every kilogram that you have exceeded your luggage limit by, a hefty fee will be charged to you, putting a dampener on your holiday spirit. Surely you’d rather reserve that money for some souvenirs or an extra couple of cocktails by the beach?

How can I weigh my luggage?

While there are scales located at the check-in desks at the airport, by then it’s likely too late, unless you’re planning to unpack your cases in front of everyone. There is an easy remedy though, as luggage scales can be purchased for a reasonable price online. This one came up as highly rated on Amazon (at the time of writing).  Many of these are portable and digital; simply attach your baggage to the hook and a clear reading will be displayed. If you don’t fancy buying a portable scale, you could even try weighing your luggage on normal bathroom scales.

How can I avoid excess baggage fees?

If you really do need to take large amounts of luggage with you, don’t be unprepared and get a shock at the airport. You could ship your luggage direct with www.firstluggage.com. With the option to ship all over the world, you can have your bags ready and waiting for when you arrive.

Do you have any luggage scale recommendations?  We’ll give a 10% discount to any recommendations we publish on the blog so leave your suggestions below.

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What’s the best luggage brand?

If you travel a lot, it’s important to make sure you have high quality luggage to withstand the strain of excessive handling and aircraft movement. The length of your flight will affect the style and type of luggage you buy, as will whether your travel is for business or leisure. Below are three of the best luggage brands available to suit a range of purposes and budgets.

Samsonite

Widely renowned as one of the best, premium brands on the market, most Samsonite cases come with a length warranty and are lightweight, durable and strong. The Cosmolite cases are among the best examples, with luxury curves and four-wheel design to make for easy movement. They are well worth the hefty price tag and are sure to survive even the bumpiest of flights.

Luggage X

Another brand that prides itself on its high durability, claiming to be ‘virtually indestructible’ but with a lower price tag, is Luggage X. These cases come in large sizes, and are suitable for longer trips requiring more baggage. The shell is incredibly tough and comes in a range of colours, so you can be sure not to lose your case at baggage claim.

Antler

Renowned for its chic style, Antler luggage is light and durable while maintaining a fashionable design. They have a range of trendy cabin-sized baggage and larger cases. While these come at a price, you’ll be sure to turn heads with these hard-wearing, stunning cases.

What’s your favourite luggage brand?  And your comments below and we’ll give a 10% discount on your next luggage delivery for any we use in this post.

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What’s the best luggage for international travel?

Choosing the correct luggage to travel with internationally is a fundamental aspect of making sure that your trip is simple and manageable. There are plenty of options on the market to suit all budgets and needs.

When researching luggage options, there are a couple of things to bear in mind to make a well-informed decision. These may include the sturdiness, purpose and dimensions of your ideal luggage. The material that the luggage is made of is also a crucial aspect to consider. Although luggage varies in price, it is always best to buy a more expensive item that will last, rather than a cheaper item which could break within a couple of uses.

Soft side cases such as polyester are the cheapest but less durable option. Nylon should last longer than polyester though as it is stronger, lightweight and a lot more flexible. The positives of these materials is that they are lighter, so will not add a great deal to your luggage allowance limit.

A hard side case is possibly the best option for long journeys due to the amount of transfers that your luggage is likely to go through. Although these cases are easily scratched, your personal belongings will be much safer.

A two wheeled case can be hefty to pull around, however the wheels are much sturdier than those on four wheeled cases. The latter is much easier to pull as there is no force needed, yet damage may be caused to the wheels if dragged along uneven flooring.

Of course, the safest and securest way of getting your luggage to your destination first time, every time is to use a luggage delivery service like First Luggage.  Head to out How It Works page to find out more.

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