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As one who’s traveled internationally decades for business, I’ve always taken control of my trips and managed the details. But recently when planning a vacation trip to Argentina, I tried an entirely different approach- I used a local Argentinian travel company to do most everything. I took that approach for several reasons: it was a country where I had never been and wanted the advice of locals, and I wanted to avoid the stress of attending to all the details while on vacation. It was time to let others take charge and go with the flow.

The results were well beyond my expectations. I didn’t deal with payments at restaurants and hotels, on tours, at airports, and with drivers. I just showed up and everything was prearranged and paid for. I was fortunate to have found a travel company that has experience in putting these trips together and stayed close to me day by day over WhatsApp.

When my wife and daughter decided to go to Galapagos, I knew that was not for me. I get seasick and would likely impinge on their enjoyment. Instead, I decided to plan a trip to Argentina to enjoy their famous steak and wine. I used an Argentinean company called MacDermott’s, and worked with Mariane, one of their planners. I described what I wanted to do, visit Buenos Aires and Mendoza to enjoy their best asados and wineries and tour each city. From this general description came an eight day trip where she selected hotels, reserved interior flights, scheduled daily tours, arranged for winery visits, and booked dining experiences. Planning began about 5 months earlier. I trusted her recommendations, but couldn’t resist checking the reviews of some of her selections. I needn’t have worried, because her selections were all top rated, but were also often unusual and creative, such as a small boutique hotel in Argentina, an amazing cooking experiences and stay at a winery in Mendoza with dinner prepared in front of our eyes by one of the most amazing chef’s I’ve ever encountered. As my plans were developing, I shared them with friends, four of whom joined the tour.

We are now back from our trip and it was perfect. five amazing meals with the best steaks I’ve ever eaten, visits to a half dozen wineries, and personal guided tours of each city. Along the way Mariane kept in touch, confirmed our day and even checked in for us on the domestic flights and emailed our boarding passes.