We are a team of professionals including experienced vacation planners and logistics experts, seasoned outdoor and international trip leaders, gourmet kosher chefs, mashgichim, and travel agents with diverse skills and many years of combined experience in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries.
Despite our diverse backgrounds (we hail from several continents), we share a common passion for vacation and travel, exploration and adventure, professionalism and attention to detail, and providing you – our clients – with exceptional vacation experiences.
We look forward to hearing from you and facilitating for your family the most memorable and enjoyable vacation ever!
Custom Family Tour: Galapagos Islands & Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador:
“I am writing an unsolicited letter of the very highest praise for Devora Ratner, who was our tour guide for the Shai Bar Ilan Geographical /Eddie’s Kosher Travel & Tourism trip to the Galapagos Islands and Amazon Rainforest in August, 2014.
I can say with all sincerity, that I have never been associated with anyone in any field who is more competent, more professional, more organized, more diligent, more hardworking, and more kind and pleasant than Devora. Devora Ratner literally helped make our trip the most memorable we have ever taken. She did the following with great skill and enthusiasm:
– Facilitated all the complicated logistics of getting our family of eight (including five children from 17 to five years old) to numerous sites;
-Made special arrangements to get a Minyan for Shabbat Services in Quito by calling in advance an official with the local synagogue and encouraging to bring several men to the service, and then when we were still short one person, literally going with the executive director of the synagogue to get one additional man out of his apartment.
-Made certain all the kosher food was ready in each venue, personally overseeing the kitchen, in difficult circumstances and venues;
-When my large duffle bag was not delivered when we landed in Quito, and still not available when we embarked by boat to the Galapagos, she personally intervened, using her excellent Spanish language and people skills, to track it down, and have it sent to me by boat, as we were at sea. She was a real “trip-saver.”
-Devora also got a noisy cabin that made it impossible for several members of the family to sleep properly, changed to a much quieter one;
-When my daughter-in-law had a problem with her leg, Devora arranged for a doctor onboard to treat her, and got medications for her.
-Went on many of the activities with us, becoming almost a member of the family.
But even all of this fails to capture how wonderful it was to have Devora as a guide. Because her sweetness and kindness, her ability to relate to the needs of my grandchildren, without ever getting flustered or upset, was truly remarkable. You are fortunate to have Devora working for your company, just as we were fortunate to have her as our guide and facilitator.
Ambassador S.E. – Washington DC
Custom Family Bat Mitzvah Tour: Italy: Art, History, & Jewish Heritage Tour:
We are writing this letter of recommendation to express our sincere appreciation for the outstanding service that we received from Devora Ratner on our recent kosher Samuels Custom Italy Trip from July 16, 2015 to July 29, 2015. Devora coordinated with Zach from the very beginning, exploring multiple options to create the perfect tour for us and our two granddaughters, introducing them to the wonders of Italy and to the richness of our Jewish heritage there. We made a number of changes to the itinerary and Devora was always helpful in accommodating our wishes. Our trip included Rome, Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, a stop at our friend’s villa in Lamporecchio, Vinci, Pisa, Florence, Padua and Venice. Devora coordinated the complicated logistics of kosher bed and breakfast facilities and made special arrangements for outstanding guides, private cars and drivers, access to the important museums and exhibitions, as well as arranging each day a kosher lunch and snacks for us.
She met us at the airport arriving in Rome and saw us off in Venice. We very much appreciated all of the personal attention. Throughout the entire tour, she was professional, accommodating, gracious, and lovely to be with. She handled everything efficiently and competently. She accompanied us throughout the tour, making sure that every detail was perfect. It was a trip of a lifetime that we and our granddaughters will always cherish and remember. Much of it was due to Devora’s attention to every detail. We look forward to planning future trips with her.
Zach and Elana Samuels – Los Angeles, CA
Custom Tour: Historical, Jewish, and Modern Greece:
We would like to give the strongest and most heartfelt possible recommendation for Devora Ratner, who was our tour planner and guide for a custom Kosher Vacation Experts tour of Greece. Devora did an incredible amount of research and preparation to ensure that we would enjoy the trip of our dreams, and she made the dreams come true. She has the perfect personality for a tour guide – a harmonious mix of organizational skills, genuine warmth and cheerfulness, persistence, and the ability to deal both cordially and firmly with people when necessary.
Devora accomplished the following flawlessly:
– Arranged perfectly timed outbound and return international flights.
– Met us at the airport in Athens the second we stepped through the exit door, and accompanied us until the departure gate for our return flight.
– Brought an entire suitcase of Kosher food and kitchenware, arranged meals for us at Kosher restaurants in Athens and Thessaloniki, and prepared all of our other meals throughout the rest of Greece. She also made sure that we always had wonderfully healthy snacks available at all times.
– Arranged a perfect itinerary containing a mixture of ancient, cultural, and Jewish historical and religious sites. In addition to the standard tourist sites like the Acropolis and Delphi, she added places that we had never heard of, like Meteora (a series of residential structures perched on top of enormous rock pillars), and Vergina (location of the intact tomb of Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great).
– Persuaded an impatient driver to stop for a few extra minutes so that we could see one of the temples at Delphi separated from the main site.
– Arranged a visit to Santorini (an incredibly scenic island consisting of the remains of a volcanic crater), including a sunset cruise.
To sum up, we will use Kosher Vacation Experts for future foreign vacations without hesitation.
Howard and Yocheved Stone – East Providence, R.I.
Custom Honeymoon, Northern Italy:
Kosher Vacation Experts planned us the best honeymoon we could have asked for. We traveled across Italy (including stays in Venice, Sirmione on Lake Garda, the Dolomite Mts. in the Alps, and Rome) for 12 days and everything including the flights, hotels, food and transportation was arranged. Besides that, Devora was always available to answer our needs, and even before our trip she came over to our apartment and went through the entire schedule with us. In every city we went to in Italy, we felt prepared to make the most of it. In addition, as kosher travelers, in every place we went we received a list of references (and had access to) food, minyanim and Shabbos plans. Our time spent in Italy was a truly magical experience, thanks to Kosher Vacation Experts.
– Paige and Alan Nochenson – Jerusalem, Israel
Custom Honeymoon, Maui, Hawaii:
My husband and I spontaneously decided to go on our honeymoon early December instead of at the end of January as planned, leaving us a few weeks to plan the trip. I had never worked with a travel agent before and feeling burnt out after planning a wedding, I decided to give it a try and reach out to Devora, who came highly recommended by a friend.
After working with her, I don’t think I can ever go back to planning a trip on my own! I gave her a quick description of what we wanted, our budget, etc. and she immediately went to work on making our dream honeymoon come to life. She made the process simple and seamless for us, booking our flights, a rental car, and places to stay. We wanted to stay in a private villa in Hawaii but had no idea what to choose, as the options were seemingly endless. Devora made this super easy for us by selecting three options that matched what we were looking for and fit into our budget and then dealing with the logistics.
My husband and I keep kosher so Devora made sure to let us know of the grocery stores that carry kosher items nearby, and helped us coordinate with Chabad to order food for shabbat and some weekday meals. She also made sure we spoke to a Maui concierge to plan our activities and maximize our time in Maui. She saved us countless hours of research and reading reviews and looking on Google maps to see what was close to what, making the planning of our trip almost as relaxing and luxurious as the trip itself! I will definitely work with her for future trips and would highly recommend her to anyone.
Sabrina and Alon Bendory – Manhattan, NY
Women’s Wellness Retreat – March 2016, Nahsholim Seaside Resort Israel:
Thank you, Susie and Devora, for the most wonderful getaway! Everything was exquisitely planned, down to the last detail. May haShem continue to bless you with the strength, wisdom and beauty to continue to give of yourselves so generously and make such a big difference in the lives of others. – Miryam Noll, Attorney, RBS
Gorgeous setting, such care went into every detail of the retreat. Looking forward to the next one. – Rachel Hershberg, Torah Teacher, Bet Shemesh
BS”D Thank you again for all your hard work! The retreat was clearly a labor of love–your attention to detail was amazing! Also, I know there are some women in Israel who like to travel internationally but their husbands do not. Have you ever thought about organizing for such a group? Thanks very much! – Elisheva Bronstein RBS
The retreat setting is amazingly beautiful and clean. My room was much bigger than I expected, like a suite, felt wonderful. The grounds are very beautiful compared to other resorts in Israel. The nature walk was an important part of my vacation, allowing me to go to wonderful sites which I wouldn’t venture by myself. The writing workshop was very important for me, gave me insightful advice for my writing. I’m so happy I participated!! The tea extravaganza was surprisingly tasty, special, exotic, and I didn’t even know tea existed in such a form. The acting and improvisation workshop is a keeper – fun and therapeutic!
Overall I felt very pampered, and the fact everybody was in achdus, and above all Devora’s personality created the whole retreat for me. Just like a bee, she kept working, flying around us, always busy but not stressed, always thankful to Hashem. I felt she just wanted so much for us to enjoy – it spread like a positive cloud around and above us all. Thank you is not enough. – Dana Jacobi, Sanhedria, Israel
The location was beautiful, clean, relaxing and wonderful. The yoga was so special, Susie has a magical way of bringing our physical exercise to a spiritual high. The Divrei Torah were enlightening and interesting. Acting & improvisation workshop – I have no words, it was the highlight for me! The food was delicious, nutritious, plentiful. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Wonderful, magnificent – can’t wait for the next one! – Celia Feder, Har Nof Jerusalem