Esplanade Travel


Esplanade Travel is our parent company, which focuses on international luxury travel, and unique custom-designed trips have been their trademark for 60 years. Our staff has collectively traveled to over 150 countries around the world, and we sell the destinations we know best and love the most! Our primary destinations are Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, South America, India, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Turkey, and the islands of the South Pacific.


Please visit our website at www.esplanadetravel.com, call us at 800-628-4893, or email us at info@esplanadetravel.com


Esplanade Travel was established in 1954 in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, and over the years we have maintained our roots as a small locally-owned business with a focus on luxury travel. We pride ourselves on building individual itineraries to challenge not only the well-traveled, but also to inspire new travelers.


We are still working with some of the same local agents and ground operators around the world as we did when Esplanade started, and have developed a very trusting relationship with the people who will actually be meeting your planes, taking you to your hotels or lodges and introducing you to your guides. We can get an answer for you from virtually anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. If Esplanade has a mission statement it is to change people’s lives in a positive and rewarding way through travel.


Esplanade Travel is mentioned in 1000 Places to See Before You DieNational Geographic Guide to IndiaSpecialty Travel Index, and Fodor’s Guides, as well as in The Boston Globe's Travel Section.


Photo: Auckland City Lights

Photo credit: Chris McLennan - TNZ

Jacky Keith, President
African Land Specialist 

Jacky, President and Owner of Esplanade Travel, started traveling at the age of 12, flying alone for the first time from the UK to Paris to visit her pen pal. No such thing as “unaccompanied minor” in those days! Thus began the life of travel to – at last count – over 100 countries. She joined Esplanade in 1965 when it occupied offices on Charles Street, near the famous Esplanade on the banks of the Charles River.


Her early travels in the 60’s and 70’s took her to the Ancient World, the Middle East and Asia. She has bought a picnic lunch for 25 people in rural Iran, ridden a motor bike in Bali, an elephant in Botswana, a camel in Egypt, a horse in the Andes, and driven a VW in Ethiopia. These incredible experiences helped earn Jacky the honor of being named to the original list of 100 Most Powerful Women in Travel by Travel Agent Magazine.


Jacky is happiest working on the most challenging request for a truly out of the ordinary adventure – so pick her brain and she will readily share years of knowledge and give you a trip you’ll remember for the rest of your life.


For more information, please contact Jacky at jkeith@esplanadetravel.com or call her at 617-266-7465.

 

Photo: Lion Cub

Photo credit: Dana Allen, Wilderness Safaris

Jill Potash, Director of Africa Department
African Air Specialist

Keeping it all in the family, Jill has been working with her sister, Jacky, since the early 1980s. Starting out in marketing, Jill has enjoyed managing the Africa Department for more than 16 years. She and her husband travel to Southern Africa regularly and will be escorting a small group in 2017. Jill is often heard telling her clients “you will not go to Africa just once” - and it usually proves to be true.


Growing up in England, traveling around Europe was easy. Whether skiing in Chamonix and Zermatt or barging in France, Jill was introduced to other cultures early in life. When asked her favorite city in Europe, Helsinki is at the top of the list.


Jill also enjoys cruising, whether it’s on the Zambezi, Spice Islands of Indonesia, Tahiti and the South Pacific, or the West Indies. Being on the water is always relaxing and a wonderful way to see sites often difficult to access by land.


When not in the office, Jill works from her home in Northern Vermont surrounded by dairy farms and maple trees. She and her husband recently rescued Mala, a Bouvier des Flandres, and are looking forward to introducing her to the many hiking trails surround their property. 

 

For more information, please contact Jill at ej@esplanadetravel.com or call her at 617-266-7465.

 

Photo: Zebras

Photo credit: Moira Hopkins 



Kit Schultze, Vice President. 
New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific Specialist

Kit joined Esplanade Travel in 2006 as Manager of the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Department. She has traveled extensively throughout Australia and the South Pacific as well as living for over a year in New Zealand. Kit is a certified Aussie, Kiwi and Tahiti Tiare Specialist. Kit also had the honor of being chosen as one of the Top 30 Under 30 Travel Agents by Travel Agent Magazine.


She had the good fortune to grow up in a family that believed in home-education and in learning from people and experiences as well as from books. Kit caught the travel bug very early in life traveling with her parents around the United States racing harness racehorses and on numerous trips to Mexico. It was these early years that instilled in her an interest in different people and cultures and a love for travel she has not outgrown. Prior to joining Esplanade, Kit ran her own business for twelve years during the summer months and in the off-seasons she traveled around the world.


Kit has been lucky enough to travel to 46 US states and 37 countries and is always ready to add to that list. Some of her favorite experiences include earning her way around New Zealand by picking fruit in local orchards, teaching English in Thailand and hanging paintings in a museum in Iceland.

 

For more information, please contact Kit at kit@esplanadetravel.com or call her at 617-266-7465.

 

Photo: Lake Wanaka, New Zealand.  Rippon Vineyard

Photo Credit: TNZ



Ksusha Levkovich, Travel Consultant
New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific Specialist

Growing up in Latvia, some of Ksusha’s most favorite childhood memories are those of her family’s annual summer vacations, which began when she was just 6 years old with a trip to Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. From trying sips of red wine in Greece at the ripe age of 7 and exploring the Egyptian pyramids to celebrating her 10th birthday in Italy, Ksusha knew that her life would not be complete without exploring all that the world has to offer. After moving to the US at age 11, she continued her travels and even spent 6 months studying in Paris. She has visited over 24 countries, with New Zealand and Australia being clear favorites, and now has her sights on Southeast Asia


For more information, please contact Ksusha at ksusha@esplanadetravel.com, or call her at 617-266-7465.


Photo: Lizard Island

Photo Credit:Erik Williamson, Tourism Australia

Diane Sakakini-Rao, Travel Consultant
Europe Specialist

Diane Sakakini-Rao has been dreaming about, traveling to, living in or plotting her next trip to Europe for over 30 years. France is her particular love, but Italy, Spain and Morocco are close behind. She has also had great adventures backpacking and hitchhiking in Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Greece, and India.


Diane’s first trip to France was in 1980 as an exchange student to Angers, where she fell in love with the language and culture. Subsequently, she returned to and lived in France on many occasions, including as a sales girl in a souvenir shop next to Notre Dame in Paris, as a grape harvester in a small village in Provence, as an assistant director of an exchange program in Dijon and as a lecturer in the Faculté d’anglais at the University of Bordeaux. She returns to France whenever she can - at least two to three times per year.


Other career adventures have included obtaining a Master’s degree in French and teaching all levels of French from pre-school through college, as well as a stint with a wine importer in marketing and sales of French, Italian and Spanish wines.


Diane is the mother of 3 children, who, along with her supportive husband, share her love of adventure and travel. They have most recently hiked in Spain, visited Tangiers, hiked in the Lauterbrunnen Valley of Switzerland and explored the villages and markets of the Languedoc.

If she is not in Paris or somewhere else in Europe sipping a Leffe beer or a glass of Provençal rosé, Diane is most happy when planning trips for others to travel to her favorite spots in the world.


For more information, please contact Diane at diane@esplanadetravel.com or call her at 617-266-7465.


Photo: Gondolas in Venice

Photo credit: Dmitriy Andreyev


Tess Holman, Travel Consultant
A family trip to the United Kingdom in third grade was the start of Tess Holman's love affair with traveling.  Tess studied International Relations and Diplomacy at Seton Hall University and carved out time to study Arabic in Morocco and backpack through Europe.  Upon graduation, Tess joined the Peace Corps and lived for two years in Botswana, where she became fluent in the culture, proficient in the language, and forever in love with the landscape and its inhabitants. 

Tess's fervor for traveling - especially in southern Africa - will come through as she helps you create the vacation of a life time.

For more information, please contact Tess at tess@esplanadetravel.com or call her at 617-266-7465.

Photo: Easter Island Statues
Photo Credit:Metropolitan Touring