(23 Reviews)
100% Recommended

marian wattel

Stockton, CA

Experience: CustomTravel & Adventure by Design

Travel has taught me to plan well and always have at least a plan B; it encouraged adaptability, patience, savoring the moment, and determination; it created The Optimistic Tourist, me. I have a degree in Recreation and credentials in both elementary and secondary education from the University of the Pacific. From my earliest memory, I have always loved to travel. The means of travel and the location were matched by the many things I learned along the way. Travel has educated my children and grandchildren, also. Throughout my teaching career, I never hesitated supplying materials and techniques for parents to educate while traveling. Wanting to share the joys of travel, created the travel advisor-consultant that I am today.

My Travel Specialties

United Kingdom, England Travel Concierge

Cornwall is the county of the most southern part of the U.K.where a lot of families  vacation here in the summer.   Fans of Martin Clunes arrive in the early spring to watch the filming of the TV show Doc Martin and sometimes become part of the show. For some pictures and other information about Cornwall,...
Read more from my United Kingdom, England Travel Concierge bio.

Yes, a British beach

Speciality: Adventure & Destinations for All Ages

I have always wanted to travel.  The journey was just as important as the destination.  Seeing new things, meeting new people, and having new experiences was a treat.  I never envisioned I would get too far from home.  Little did I know my future when I took my first solo trip to Hawaii at 20.  

Read more from my Speciality: Adventure & Destinations for All Ages bio.

Tikal under restoration.

A Co-Parenter's Guide to Quality Kid Travel

What do you do?  You are now a single parent who is co-parenting with your former spouse.  You had great plans of sharing so many things with your child/children when you were a couple; does that dream have to end?  ABSOLUTELY NO!!!

You need to keep in mind that your special times with your...
Read more from my A Co-Parenter's Guide to Quality Kid Travel bio.

A visit to Washington, D.C. with Mom

Cruising:Both Relaxation & Exotic Adventure

I have been on many cruises, many cruise lines, and have manage to make it  around the world by ship.   I love cruises and I can help you with your cruises  to any where or to nowhere.  Yes they do exist. 

Favorite cruises are repositioning cruises.  The #1 reason for loving cruises is they...
Read more from my Cruising:Both Relaxation & Exotic Adventure bio.

Tendering at anchor.

Roatan Adventure & Relaxation Advisor

Honduras has many faces and stories to tell.  Visit the ancient ruins of the Mayans at Copan, watch cigar making in Santa Rosa de Copan, and explore the bustling city of Tegucigalpa.  After exploring the mainland, catch a flight or ferry to the Bay Islands and explore the largest reef system in the...
Read more from my Roatan Adventure & Relaxation Advisor bio.

Experienced Eurostar Travel Advisor

Rail travel today from London to Europe aboard Eurostar  is comfortable, affordable,  and you can remain in contact with your family, friends, and followers along the way. Rails extend from Lille to Belgium or Paris and then Beyond to  countries and cities in all directions.  The degree of luxury...
Read more from my Experienced Eurostar Travel Advisor bio.

Amtrak Travel Agent Advisor

All aboard for adventure! When you choose AMTRAK for your holiday trip, not only are you in for a relaxing ride, but you'll also have ample opportunities to see some of America's most breathtaking and must-visit destinations. Sd your AMTRAK rail travel agent advisor, I know you’ll love traveling this...
Read more from my Amtrak Travel Agent Advisor bio.

Travel along the Pacific Coast

Panama Travel Planning Professional

Panama is a great place to visit from the San Blas Islands to the Panama Canal. Explore the sights and sounds of Panama City; its architecture, restaurants, and activities are as varied as the population in this diverse country.  

Visit the Mira Flores locks and learn the history of the canal...
Read more from my Panama Travel Planning Professional bio.

In the San Blas

River Cruise Travel Agent Specialist

Being a boater at heart and living in the California Delta, it is always a pleasure to get  on any river boat and enjoy the relaxed pace and scenery.  Over the years, I have been fortunate to travel on the Danube, Rhine, and Rhone Rivers. Each castle and village was pure eye-candy and a delight.  

Read more from my River Cruise Travel Agent Specialist bio.

River cruise down the Volga

Moorea & Bora Bora Travel Specialist

As a child, I always loved stories about people in far away places.  One particular story was of a girl who lived on an island in the Pacific Ocean.  The descriptions were so vivid I could see them in my mind.  I told my teacher that I wanted to go to that island some day.

My teacher responded,...
Read more from my Moorea & Bora Bora Travel Specialist bio.

Just as beautiful as I imagined at 8 years old.

Bespoke Italian Rail Adventure Consultant

Italy by rail is efficient, economical, and scenic beyond expectation.  You may arrive by rail in Italy from another country or board at the airport or your cruise ship arrival port; no matter how you get to Italy, there will be a rail station and train ready to take to you to the cities of your choice....
Read more from my Bespoke Italian Rail Adventure Consultant bio.

Sleek, stylish trains

Oahu Island Travel Specialist

 If your goal is to see Hawaii in all its glory, I can lead you to some beautiful attractions. As a travel agent advisor for Oahu, I can make your tropical dream vacation come true. Indeed, this part of Hawaii is home to some of the most stunning sights in the world. From its breathtaking beaches...
Read more from my Oahu Island Travel Specialist bio.

Waikiki and Diamond Head

Petra Travel Agent Expert

Never in my wildest of day dreams would I ever dream  about being on a 42 day cruise, being an adventurer or being up close and personal with history.  When I watched all of the Indiana Jones movies, I thought "That's nice,"  and dismissed the idea. 

Newly retired from my full time gig, I would...
Read more from my Petra Travel Agent Expert bio.

Peru Travel Agent Professional

Like most people, the main reason I wanted to visit Peru was to see Machu Picchu. While the 15th century Incan citadel in the sky is incredible and a must-do for everyone visiting the country, I soon found out that there is so much more to fall in love with in this country. Coastal deserts, high-altitude...
Read more from my Peru Travel Agent Professional bio.

Maui Travel Agent Expert

As your Maui travel agent advisor, I can plan your dream holiday to the beautiful island of Maui.   Indeed, Maui is a stunning piece of paradise. Its wide array of travel attractions is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. From its massive waterfalls, snorkeling sites, and world-class...
Read more from my Maui Travel Agent Expert bio.


People usually bring something home from their adventures away.  It might be some  souvenirs or a bag of dirty laundry.  Me?  I brought back knowledge of  how to use my smart phone to make my travels go more smoothly and add joy to everyday life.  

I am sharing this knowledge with you in hopes...
Read more from my GUESS WHAT I BROUGHT HOME FOR YOU!! bio.


Have you ever felt so locked in to your everyday routine that you just feel like shouting,"I DONT CARE. WHERE, I JUST NEED TO GO!"???

Being a dreamer and planner, I have a way to fix that!  I take into consideration the following things. 

1.What gaps are there in my personal calendar?...
Read more from my I HAVE GOT TO GET AWAY! bio.

A weekend in Cambridge, UK

Bespoke Travel Creates World Connections

Everyone has a brilliance, a special talent that makes us glow and stand out among the crowd.  This concept was posed recently and each in the cohort was asked to reveal three things which  create our personal brilliance and sets us apart. 

Sharing these personal thoughts is sometimes difficult,...
Read more from my Bespoke Travel Creates World Connections bio.

My visualization became reality.

My Travel Albums

Visiting Cornwall in the Steps of Doc Martin
Doc Martin''s Surgery on the left.
Rollin' On The River--Mississippi, that is.
Mississippi River, American duchess at landing
Canal observation and Lake Gutan
Honduras/ Roatan & others
sandy Bay, Roatan

My Travel Stories

EVERYONE can go this time!

A few years back I decided I wanted to learn to write.  Why I thought I could or had anything to say, I am not sure.    The class I was taking said to concentrate on making a small book about  a favorite topic.   My two main favorite topics  were kids and travel.  Having my own children as well as...Read more.

Customer Testimonials

Trains, Boats, and Planes Adventure Abounds

Thank you, Marian, for our diverse, detailed adventure. Having us meet fellow cruisers prior to the cruise was brilliant. We are particularly grateful for the door to door care. Our fears of not getting to the right place were eased when we saw our greeter and our names on his sign. The Glacier Express and our stay in Zermet far exceeded our expectations. We loved arriving in San Moritz and staying in our castle-like hotel. The Bernina Express was more great scenery and so uplifting. Enjoyed exploring the Milan train station completing our loop. Flying to Edinburgh, exploring the castles, streets, and lunching on the royal yacht made our short stay fly by. The train to London was a peaceful, pleasant end to our side adventure and way to ease into our week's stay in London. At King's Cross station our greeter whisked off to our lodgings via a real London taxi. Loved the theaters, royal mews, and Keys ceremony. So much to see; so little time.

My Reviews

7 of 9 people found this review helpful
upcoming trip
Marian is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic. She also thinks of things I never would. Which is way you would use a travel agent.
By  Rob  from  Los Angeles, California
Traveled to  Barcelona ~ Spain ~ Europe
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends

marian wattel responded:
Thank you, Robert. It has been delightful organizing your adventure in Barcelona. Planning this adventure has helped me learn about the many cultural offerings available. Eager to hear about the trip and see your pictures. Mew

Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
The most unbelievable trip!
Anything less than amazing would be an understatement without Marian my trip wouldn’t have been as productive and organized. With Marian’s help I got to see the most stunning places of Italy. Marian was so easy to work with and was very flexible with time there wasn’t a moment she wasn’t available seriously. I am so grateful that I got to work with Marian and I will not go anywhere else for a travel agent!
By  Nelson James   from  San Jose California
Traveled to  Italy ~ Europe
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends

marian wattel responded:
Thank you Nelson! It was such a pleasure working with you. Thank you for keeping in touch with me throughout your adventure. It was fun to experience your enjoyment of Italy and travel. Looking forward to working with you in the future. Marian, The Optimistic Tourist

Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Christmas and New Years Europe trip.
Marian put together the best father/daughter trip to Europe over Christmas and New Years. We wanted to experience the Christmas markets, travel by train, and spend Christmas in Strasbourg and New Years in London. I had only been to Europe once before and we planned to visit Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and London. Marian planned every detail including train transfers and hotels at perfect locations. We could not have been more pleased and will have memories to last a life time. Anyone wanting to travel in Europe by train and experience the Christmas markets should contact Marian!
By  Steve B  from  Bend, Oregon
Traveled to  Europe
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends

marian wattel responded:
It was a delight to work with you, Steve, and to see the smiles on your faces with shared pictures. Thank you for letting me assist in making wonderful father/daughter memories. Looking forward to planning your next adventure.

Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Points &Timeshare Treasure
When i told Marian that we wanted to use our timeshare and points, too, for our trip she said,
“No problem”. Marian helped us stay within our budget and still have an upscale holiday. With
her help, we learned where to trim and where to spend wisely. Marian guided us through the
planning process and has become our “go to” person for travel needs, big or small. We made
a new friend while planning our vacation. Memories made.
By  Villager Two  from  The Villages, FL
Traveled to  USA
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends

marian wattel responded:
I totally understand wanting to make the most our of your timeshare dollars spent and point/miles accumulated. Admit I have enjoyed many a trip that way. The Trick is to know when and how to put all of the elements together for your best experience. Adding a pinch here and a spice there makes for a delightful adventure. So glad I could help join it all together. Until you travel again.

Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
2022 Europe Trip
Marian was a pleasure to work with. She has first hand knowledge of Europe train networks prompt, professional with a positive attitude and fun to deal with.
By  Bill & Traci  from  Tacoma, Washington
Traveled to  London ~ England ~ Europe
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends

marian wattel responded:
Thank you for your great review. I must admit, I looked forward to our Saturday morning booking sessions. Sharing my love of train travel and your enthusiasm were a perfect match. Flying would have been cheaper and more expedient, but you will see things most of the world misses today. My only regret is I cannot be with the two of you enjoying UK/Europe by train. Eager to assist in planning your next adventures. Mew

Was this review helpful to you? YES | NO

Destination Expert:

  • At Sea
  • Italy
  • California
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Rhone River
  • Roatan
  • Panama Canal
  • Cornwall
  • London
  • Cinque Terre
  • Petra
  • Sacred Valley
  • Moorea Island
  • Oahu Island
  • Wailea, Maui
  • Central America
  • USA
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Aegean Sea
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Rhine River
  • Copan
  • Plymouth
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Aqaba
  • Bora Bora
  • Grand Canyon
  • Maui Island
  • Waikiki, Oahu
  • On the River
  • Belize
  • Jordan
  • French Polynesia
  • Colorado
  • Caribbean Sea
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Danube
  • Trujillo
  • Panama City
  • Brussels
  • St. Ives
  • Florence
  • Machu Picchu
  • Honolulu, Oahu
  • Kaanapali, Maui
  • Honduras
  • United Kingdom
  • Irrawaddy River
  • Seine River
  • Tegucigalpa
  • San Blas
  • Penzance
  • Milan
  • Wadi Rum
  • Lima
  • Papeete Tahiti
  • Lahaina, Maui
  • Makaha Valley, Oahu
  • Glacier National Park
  • France
  • Hawaii
  • Baltic Sea
  • Mekong
  • Jaco Beach
  • San Pedro Sula
  • Gatun Lake
  • Falmouth
  • Naples
  • Amman
  • Cuzco
  • Rangiroa Atoll
  • Hana, Maui
  • New Orleans
  • Europe

Travel Specialist:

  • Accessible Travel
  • Adventure
  • All Inclusive
  • Beach Vacations
  • Cruises
  • Family Vacations
  • Rail
  • River Cruises
  • Scuba
  • Air Travel
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • European Culture
  • Executive Corporate and Luxury Travel
  • Hiking & Backpacking
  • Luxury
  • Luxury Cruises
  • Luxury Hotels
  • Outdoor Activities & Sports
  • Singles
  • Small Ship Cruises
  • Sustainable Travel
  • Water Sports
  • Bespoke Travel
  • Business Travel
  • Couples & Romance
  • Eco-Tourism
  • Independent Travel
  • Animals & Wildlife
  • Arts & Culture
  • Film
  • Historical Sites
  • Honeymoons
  • International Business Travel Specialist
  • Nature
  • Sailing & Boating
  • Holiday Travel
  • Museums
  • National Parks

Top Travel Partners:

  • Amtrak
  • Amtrak Vacations
  • Europe Express
  • Globus
  • Pleasant Holidays
  • Rail Europe
  • Railbookers
  • Shore Excursions Group
  • Viator
  • Classic Vacations
  • Delta Vacations
  • Funjet Vacations
  • Journese
  • CIE Tours
  • Rocky Mountaineer Rail Tours
  • Avanti Destinations
  • GOGO Vacations


  • Hawaii Destination Expert Certification
  • Kaua'i , Maui, Oahu Specialist
  • Los Cabos Specialist
  • American Queen Voyages
  • Royal Caribbean Specialist (certified)

Connect with Me:

Industry Affiliations:

©  Travel Leaders Group