Designing Exotic, Budget-friendly Travels Abroad
Mar 29, 2019 06:58PM
By Erin Lehn Floresca
Diane E Lohmeyer's very first international trip to Kitzbuhel. | Turtle shell is from the sanctuary in Galapagos.
Diane E Lohmeyer, owner of DEL Tours (which stands for Designing Exotic Locations as well as her initials) developed her love affair with international travel nearly two decades ago when she met her husband, Dan, an international consultant. “He promised me that he was going to show me the world. So far, he’s been fulfilling his promise,” she shares.
Soon after they met, Diane got her first passport and the pair traveled to Austria for her inaugural international excursion. She was officially hooked and couldn’t wait for their next travel adventures. “Dan ended up getting a work assignment in Poland for five months, and I joined him. We used Poland as our launching pad to visit Greece, France, Germany and other places. It was phenomenal,” affirms this passionate tour guide, who says that she and Dan often travel with tour companies and have witnessed firsthand how helpful it is to have an experienced guide leading the way. “Every country is so different, and it can be hard to navigate at times. It’s nice to let somebody else take care of those worries so you can relax and enjoy your vacation.”
Fast forward 20 years and dozens of trips later, the Lohmeyers were aboard the La Pinta cruise ship in the Galapagos when they met a tour operator that would change the course of Diane’s career path. “We connected with Susan who was on board leading another tour group. She had been running her business for 30 years. We discovered her tour was a lot less money for the same quality as the one we were on. Susan said because she was a sole proprietor, her overhead was low compared to other tour companies,” says Diane. “That made her trip accessible to more people, which I liked. I also really appreciated that the tour company owner was the main guide during the entire excursion.”
Diane was impressed with what Susan did for a living. When she discovered that Susan’s business was for sale, Diane’s wheels began to spin. Conducting travel tours was something that really resonated with her. “I was looking for my niche. And international travel was my passion. My husband also agreed that it was a great fit. He started the ball rolling with us seeing the world together, and now I’d have a chance to show him the world too,” she says.
Diane enthusiastically took the plunge and purchased the business. “Being a tour guide is a dream come true for me,” affirms this knowledgeable world traveler. “There’s nothing more thrilling than witnessing the excitement people have when they first lay their eyes on places they’ve always dreamed of visiting. It’s about helping my fellow explorers fulfill their dreams. My mission is to create travels that they’ll still be talking about for months and years to come.”
Diane assures future travelers on her tours that they will have an unforgettable experience. “Leave your worries at home. I’ll be in charge of what to do, where to go, and what items you should bring. I know country customs and how to deal with currency issues and will make sure you’re up-to-date on information pertaining to the particular countries that we visit.”
For those that shy away from international travel due to food allergies and sensitivities, Diane shares that with her own history of severe food allergies, she can ensure that each traveler’s dietary needs will be taken into consideration. “There is nothing worse than sitting there watching everyone else eat or being given a fruit plate or oatmeal at the same cost as everyone else. You leave hungry and hurt while everyone else is satisfied and happy,” she says. “Whether we’re going to allergy-friendly restaurants or calling ahead to talk to the chef, I’ll make sure that you’re able to enjoy dining out while we’re on tour.”
While DEL Tours will hire local guides to show the tour group around, Diane assures travelers that she will always be there too. “I’m personally coordinating each trip, every step of the way,” she confirms. “Leave your worries behind and let me do the worrying for you. We’re going to have an amazing time.”
DEL Tours is excited to announce the Bali and Beyond Tour in October. Travelers can choose a 7 night/8-day tour from October 23 to 30, or the 10 night/11-day tour from October 23 to November 2. Those interested in staying longer and exploring can join any of the add-on tours including a trip to Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Cambodia.
Other upcoming excursions include an Africa trip scheduled for February 2020 and a trip to Amazon, Peru and Ecuador in August 2020.