Featured Traveler: Jesse, from Jacksonville

In addition to our group departures, Zoom Vacations also designs private tours and destination events for any number of guests. Jesse and his partner wanted to visit Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and so they hired Zoom Vacations to plan their trip of a lifetime!

Zoom: Why did you hire Zoom Vacations to plan this trip for you?
Jesse: Friends of ours have done group trips with Zoom in the past and always talked about how great they are. One of those was to Israel & Jordan, so when we were starting to plan our trip to the region, we decided to connect with Joel to get his thoughts and loved his ideas for where we should go given our interests and time we had.

Zoom: Did the trip live up to your expectations?
Jesse: Yes, absolutely! I would say it exceeded our expectations, especially with the quality of the guides and drivers we had in each country. 

Zoom: Were there any bumps in the road during your vacation? Were you satisfied with how they were handled?
Jesse: We only had one bump in the road where one of our hotels had our reservation for the wrong night. The hotel was not very accommodating, but we were able to immediately reach Bryan back in the States and he helped to get everything resolved.

Zoom: How were your guides in each of the countries you visited, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt?
Jesse: Our guides were amazing in each country – they really made the trips special, made it possible to see more of each country, and provided way more information and historical context than we would have ever been able to know on our own. I didn’t realize how important a good guide is until this trip as we spent so much time with them – we felt really lucky to have them!

Zoom: What was your highlight at each country? 
Jesse: This is a tough question…. Israel would have to be Jerusalem and the old city, in Egypt the Nile cruise, and in Jordan Petra, although Wadi Rum is an incredible place also—like you’re on another planet!

gay wadi rum

Zoom: If you could return back to Jordan, Israel, or Egypt, what would you choose?
Jesse: Probably Egypt as it sounds like there’s a lot more to see and experience there. 

Zoom: Did you feel safe and cared for during your trip? 
Jesse: Absolutely! We never once felt unsafe in any of the countries or cities. Having a private guide and driver really makes a difference, although even when we were on our own we never felt unsafe or uncomfortable.

Zoom: Is there anything that you would do differently in hindsight?
Jesse: I tried to think of something we would do differently, but I don’t think there is. The easy answer is to spend more time over there as there’s so much we did, but so much more to see and experience, but that’s something I would wish for on every trip!

Zoom: What would you say to someone thinking of planning a trip to this part of the world?
Jesse: I would say to absolutely do it, but get help in the planning from someone who knows the area, and for sure have a guide and driver. 

Zoom: What made these destinations, unique and different from other places you have been? 
Jesse: Picking one overall theme for all of them, I would say the historical significance and amount of history in the region is really incredible and hard to wrap your mind around. 

Zoom: Anything else you would like to add?
Jesse: If you’re going to take a trip to the region, I would highly recommend brushing up on your history before your go! This is something we wish we did, as it was hard at times to keep all the time periods and empires straight. Having a good historical context before we went would have been really helpful. 

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