Ellie Leinaweaver, Founder
Some years ago I taught high school at Green Mountain High School in Jefferson County (Denver, Colorado), and took students to Europe in the summertime. One year my professional organization, International Reading Association, asked me to do an adult literary tour of Britain to correspond with the International Reading Conference in London. I did so and discovered that I much preferred doing adult tours!! (Ten guesses why.) The Denver friends who went on that tour asked me to do another the next year.
We had such fun doing the tours that we just kept on planning them. The number of tours grew. People who had been on them told friends and relatives. One day I decided on the name Focus Travel Club. I sent out a newsletter to inform everyone who had traveled with us that they were “instant members”. The “club” continues to grow as members recommend us to others. We do not advertise except by word of mouth. Perhaps for this reason all our groups seem to “meld” and we have a grand time together. I have to say - an absolutely wonderful group of people travel with us - roughly half couples and half single women with the occasional single man. Sometimes a single brings a friend. Other times I match someone with a roommate I think that person would enjoy. Occasionally, someone prefers to go as a single.
Our groups are small (anywhere from 12 - 25 usually, to an occasional top number of 30-32) and we favor soft adventure, a leisurely pace, and wonderful accommodations. Our current travel purveyor is Tumlare Travel, where vice-president, Joe Green, takes wonderful care of us. We know from experience that Tumlare and Joe are full of integrity. They bend over backwards to provide us with wonderful itineraries to intriguing destinations - and they tailor our trips exclusively for our Focus groups!
Over the years we had other tour partners: Leisure West Tours and Cruises. Joan Fields and Lee Dahl did a wonderful job for us on our US Tours. Hamdy Nossair, of HLO Tours, was our travel purveyor for all of our African tours, with a fantastic track record with us. He always personally escorts us on our tours.
Anyone interested in a trip or trips, just calls or e-mails and lets me know. I will then send a day-to-day itinerary of that/those trips so those who are interested can get a more detailed idea of what the trip will include. Or, if you express an interest in a trip for which I do not have an itinerary as yet, I place you on the “interest list” for that trip. That way I know to send an itinerary as soon as it is ready. I try to do as much via e-mail as possible.
Our trips are generally “all inclusive”: Denver to Denver airfare, all full buffet breakfasts, generally most dinners, sometimes some lunches (although usually we do not include those because it takes such a chunk out of a day), wonderful lodgings, a private coach and driver, a multi-lingual guide who travels with us from the first to the last day and who is well-versed in the history and lore of whichever country we are visiting, various step-on guides at special places, porterage, etc.
We do not like to be “nickel and dimed” to death on a trip, so we try to include just about everything we can so there are no monetary surprises on a trip. We include gratuities, even, so you needn’t tip on the trip. We do, however, pass two tip envelopes (one for the tour escort and one for the driver) at the end of each tour. Tour group members can, and generally DO, choose to add something extra to the tip envelopes to reward wonderful service on the tour.
People who live far away can either opt to come to Denver and fly with us from here, or (as often happens) to call the travel purveyor doing that particular tour for us and arrange to meet the group in our gateway U.S. city and fly with us from there.