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Donna Dowden-Somis,CA

An Independent Contractor with Travel Leaders Hemet, CA

Aussie/South Pacific & Cruise Specialist

The quote “People don't take trips, trips take people” describes how I feel about travel. When planning a client's vacation, I keep this quote in mind and book a trip based on your vision of the perfect trip to create memories of a lifetime.

One of the benefits I bring to my clients, beyond certifications, is a fresh perspective and high level of excitement based on many years of travel experience throughout the U.S.. and abroad.

Having traveled to Europe, Australia, enjoyed cruises from Tahiti to Alaska and traveled extensively throughout the US, I use my experience to navigate clients through the many details of travel such as:

  • Passports
  • Money exchange
  • Air and ground transportation
  • Booking tours, and
  • Selecting the perfect accommodations.

Whether you are looking to see black bears in Juneau, grizzlies in Alaska, snorkel off the Napali coast of Kauai, or road trip to the National Parks in the US, you will benefit from my understanding of what is involved when it comes to booking hotels, making national park reservations, choosing the best time of year to travel, and seasonal attractions and activities.

My focus is finding exceptional travel values and sharing ideas, insights, and advice, with a personal touch to help make the planning process stress free.

Why I Am Qualified

As with any profession, continuing education is required in the travel industry to stay current with travel trends. I have completed the comprehensive Princess Cruise Academy coursework achieving the highest level of Princess Commodore. In addition, I am a Certified Freestyle Specialist with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), which is the forerunner of "freestyle" cruising. I am able to assist you with all the layers necessary to find that dream cruise vacation.

Also, I am an Aussie Certified Specialist through the Australia Tourism Board, which consists of several courses detailing the continent of Australia. I have also traveled to th

My Reviews

Trusted Donna with the biggest trip of my life!
Donna provided a turn-key honeymoon itinerary, which was super helpful as we were busy planning a wedding. Donna gave a myriad of options from which to choose. She provided every excursion we requested - amazing tour of James Bond island, visit to the Elephant Sanctuary, river boat cruises, etc.

I'm glad we had Donna's expertise-- we stayed in the most fantastic hotels, avoiding some of the ones that presented themselves well online but were not nearly as nice when we passed by them in real life. I know we wouldn't have successfully gotten some of the fully-booked hotels without her travel agent connections. :-)

A really luxurious aspect, Donna had arranged for transportation between every junction. In an unfamiliar place, it was super nice to have drivers waiting for us with a sign.

When we did have one question during the trip, Donna was responsive and quick to help out.

Donna provided all this with a super organized itinerary. I will ask for Donna's help again.
By  D-Livs  from  San Francisco, California
Traveled to  Thailand ~ East and Southeast Asia
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends

Donna Dowden responded:
Thank you Dan--it was my pleasure to assist you with your honeymoon. :)

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6 of 13 people found this review helpful
Experience the best of Italy in 12 days
When we gave Donna the places in Italy we were interested in visiting, she gave us numerous options and recommendations? Once we had decided on our tour, Donna worked hard to get us the best tour at the lowest price. Then Donna worked very hard at getting the lowest airfares possible. We wanted to schedule our trip about 10 months in advance to take advantage of special offers and Donna provided a monthly payment plan so our tour would be paid in full before our departure. We choose a Globus tour of Italy which included Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Capri and Pompeii.
The tour was fast pase, our tour director and various local tour guides were all very knowledgeable and friendly and we enjoyed every location we visited. By the way, we never stood in line at any location as Globus had preferred entrance into all of the sites including the Vatican.
We would highly recommend Donna for all aspects of travels. She's very knowledgeable and makes sure the details are covered.
By  Mr Leisure  from  Tustin, Ca.
Traveled to  Italy ~ Europe
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends

Donna Dowden responded:
I'm glad you enjoyed your vacation and it was a pleasure to help you plan this wonderful journey.

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5 of 16 people found this review helpful
Donna is the best!
Donna was amazing to work with. She helped our group of 19 passengers have an amazing time on our 5 day cruise. She was very knowledgeable and so proactive with all the planning and paperwork. She's easy to talk to her response time was lightning quick if we had any questions. She's sweet and totally responsible for our unforgettable trip. Thank you, Donna!
By  Lyhn  from  Lakewood, CA
Traveled to  
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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5 of 16 people found this review helpful
My group cruise wouldn't have been possible without Donna!
Donna Dowden made my "30th Bday bash" dream come true. She was so knowledgeable and helpful about picking which cruise would be the best to accommodate me and my 19 friends, and then just took over! Booked us the best cabins on the cruise, constantly updating me and my friends about the best specials and options. Once booked, she took care of EVERYTHING! Including special decorations for certain cabins, informing us about excursions and any hidden options we didn't know about (such as faster to the fun package and local activities) Me and my entire group knew we would have fun, but coordinating this big of a group would have been impossible without her guidance. She truly made it a seamless experience from start to finish! THANK YOU and looking forward to booking out next trip!
By  Stana   from  Campbell CA
Traveled to  
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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5 of 17 people found this review helpful
A Carefree Trip
From start to finish, our vacation in France was carefree and enjoyable due to Donna Dowden's excellent service and expertise as a travel planner. In the planning stage, she shared with us her personal experiences in France, and recommended various activities and places to visit. She was also open to our particular interests, and researched excursions and activities that she felt would be to our liking. She made excellent suggestions, and worked with us on all aspects of our travel arrangements and accommodations. There was not one part of our trip that she did not consider.

I highly recommend Donna to anyone who wants carefree travel.

Janet Koch
By  Jan  from  Ventura, California
Traveled to  France ~ Europe
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends

Donna Dowden responded:
Thank you for your kind words; it was truly a pleasure helping you with your vacation in France. I look forward to assisting you in the future!

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Destination Expert:

  • Australia
  • Hawaii
  • Disneyland
  • Antigua
  • Alaska

Travel Specialist:

  • Cruises
  • Animals & Wildlife
  • Beach Vacations
  • European Culture

Top Travel Partners:

  • Princess Cruises®
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Travel2
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Certifications/Awards:

  • Travel Agent Proficient Travel Institute
  • Princess Academy Certified Expert
  • Marriott Hotel Excellence Certified
  • NCL Freestyle Specialist
  • Anchorage Wildlife Specialist

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