On The Road With Julie Grauf

“Who says you only ski in Colorado?” 

I’ve been to Colorado many times growing up, but always for skiing. This year we took our family and another to explore the small little tourist town of Manitou Springs. It’s actually closer to Pikes Peak than Colorado Springs and usually gets a little more snow because of it.

We beat the snowstorm that dropped two feet of snow in our area! We definitely enjoyed sitting in front of a warm fireplace at the house we rented, drinking hot chocolate and playing games. 

Julie and her husband, Chris, on a trail in Colorado.

The first days were spent sledding and exploring our area and hiking Red Rock Canyon open space. Glad we brought a good pair of boots! There is something magical about a walk through the quiet falling snow and viewing the mountains all around you. We even had visiting deer that would walk through the neighborhood eating berries off the trees. 

We drove an hour and a half to the Royal Gorge and walked through all the States represented on the bridge. 

Manitou Springs is known for its mineral springs that are still there today- be sure to stop and taste the healing waters. 

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods was a favorite site for all our party. There are paved trails with beautiful views and large red rocks shooting up to the sky. Kids even built a snowman village to leave for the other patrons. 

Hiking is our favorite past time and we took the trails up Pikes Peak walking over frozen waterfalls. During the summer you can drive to the top or take the Cog Railway (which will be up and running starting May 2021.)

Kids standing in front of Manitou ducks.

We spent an afternoon strolling the local shops in Manitou- everything is on the main street and plenty of places to “duck in” to get warm.

We might have been the only people to stop and get frozen custard on a 40 degree day but the worker at the Colorado Custard Company entertained us with jokes for tips!

Loved our trip to the Colorado mountains! 

at Pikes Peak

Are you ready to plan your time on the road? Contact KaliKosmos Travel and experience the difference of Professionally Planned Travel.

The current state of traveling

I won’t say “unprecedented.” I won’t say “uncertain times.” I won’t even say “out of an abundance of caution.” We’ve all heard, we know, and we thought we’d be farther past it by now.

But, there is sunlight breaking on the horizon. The Caribbean and Mexico are open and accepting travelers, smaller cruise lines are gearing up for their return to the water, and domestic locations are more open as well. Even yesterday Alaska took away the “testing on arrival” requirement.

Since the start of 2021 more travel requests have been coming to our inboxes. People are not only ready to plan, they are ready to go. And when they go, they want to know a professional is here for them. That’s why they turn to KaliKosmos Travel advisors. We’re here to work for them and for you- turning travel dreams into amazing travel stories. … Yes, even in the midst of COVID protocols.

As travel plans begin to come together and more people hit the road and take to the skies, we’d like to remind all travelers of ways they can be safe and ready before and during their travel experience.


  • Discuss travel insurance policies with your travel advisor, discovering what is and is not covered.
  • Understand the entry, exit, and re-entry requirements you will need to meet and be prepared.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 — even though some places do not have this requirement, knowing your COVID status before traveling keeps you from unintentionally spreading the virus.
  • Pack extra safety measures, such as additional masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. To help, the TSA has increased the amount of hand sanitizer passengers can bring on board to 12oz per person.
  • Bring any medicines you may need on your vacation and pack at least 15 to 30 days’ worth of extra medicine, just in case.


  • At the airport, use touchless check-in options, ditch the bins at TSA checkpoints and maintain social distance while boarding. If you arrive at the airport early, wait at an empty gate until boarding is called.
  • On your flight, wear your face mask, wipe down the surfaces you will be touching, sit next to the window to decrease people walking near you and open the air vent to increase circulation.
  • If you check bags, stand back at baggage claim until most other passengers have left.
  • When renting a car, use advance check-in online or via the rental company’s smartphone app to speed the process and reduce, or eliminate, the need for person-to-person touchpoints.
  • At the hotel, use options for online check-in, mobile room key and contactless payment, and ask for less frequent room cleanings to decrease other people in your room.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially when arriving at new locations.
  • During any activities — such as eating at restaurants or visiting attractions, wear your mask as much as possible and keep a distance from others not in your party.

When you’re ready to travel again, KaliKosmos Travel advisors will be here to put our professional planning skills to work for you. Contact us for details.

New year, new services

packing list

As avid travelers, we know that packing is usually the least exciting part of the travel experience. Writing down a list (and then re-writing it because we can’t remember where we put the envelope we were using as paper to write the first one), finding out the local weather, deciding what we need to take and what we need to leave at home, remembering to buy a new adapter because we left one at the resort on our last vacation, finding the right place to buy a great new outfit for a special night out –  we know, packing can be rough. 

So, we started asking ourselves-

Why should the ease of Professionally Planned Travel end when the packing starts?

We don’t think it should.

Introducing customized packing guides from KaliKosmos Travel

Our packing guides make suggestions based on your destination, dates of travel, gender, vacation activities, and the local weather forecast.

With access to products from brands like Anatomie, Kari Traa, Cotopaxi, Patagonia, Tumi, and Tory Burch, our guides also offer the ability to shop while you plan. From hand sanitizers to airplane seat covers, from lounge wear to the perfect dress for a night on the town, these products will have you covered. 

And, our customized packing guides include a check list so you know what you need to buy and what you need to pack. You can even use it when you’re packing to return home (to cut down on those lost adapters!). 

Beginning this year, every Professionally Planned Vacation, Customized Itinerary, and Rental Experience will include a customized packing guide!

For clients who utilize our Professionally Planned Flight Experiences or our Single Reservation Solutions, you can create your own KaliKosmos packing guide here.

And the exciting new services don’t stop there!

Travel in 2020 didn’t happen like most of us thought it would and who’s to say how 2021 will pan out (fingers crossed!). Even if travel isn’t on your calendar just yet, we think you should still have access to the amazing products offered within our packing guides.  The next time you’re in the market for anything from toiletries to clothing or from luggage to ski boots

Our Travel Store is your place to access it all.

items available in the Travel Store

And, because KaliKosmos Travel wants all people to enjoy this beautiful world, we’re actively working to add brands like Safe Place Bedding that supply special needs products to our Travel Store. We’re excited to provide access to great products that can assist people with special needs, not only for travel but also for every day life.

Special Needs items from the Travel Store.

At KaliKosmos Travel we believe this is a beautiful world and our commitment is to help you discover it your own unique way.  With our new packing guides and access to our Travel Store, we’re excited to have ways to help you discover it even better.

Welcome to 2020

2020 on beach

Welcome to the start of a new year.  The ball has dropped, the page has turned, a new year lies before us, a year full of potential.  A year that is waiting and ready for each of us to make our mark upon it.  The beginning of a new year is a time of reflection, dedication, and anticipation.

At KaliKosmos Travel, we take this moment and reflect on where we’ve been. We reflect on our beginnings, taking a moment to share with you the story of how KaliKosmos Travel came to be. We also reflect on the past 11 years of service we have provided to you; to plan amazing adventures for you, to assist you when the unexpected occurred, and to hear about all of the memories you made when you returned from your trip.  It has been an honor to serve you in this way.  At the beginning of this new year, we also take a moment and reflect on the changes we made in 2019, not only on Julie’s move to leisure-only reservations, but also her new focus and specialization: special needs travel.  And, we reflect on the educational opportunities we had this past year, such as Katie’s completion of the American Express Pay with Points program and her new participation in the Travel Collection by the Travel Leaders Group. Our past has given us an excellent foundation for the year to come, and for that, we are thankful.

suitcase with camera

With the start of the new year, KaliKosmos Travel, like many others around the world, is making resolutions of dedications for the coming year.  We resolve to remain dedicated to our commitment to our clients.  We remain dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service to all clients, past, present, and future.  And we remain dedicated to showing future clients why they should not only use a travel advisor but, more importantly, why they should choose a KaliKosmos Travel advisor to plan and reserve their next trip.

We know the reason we have continued to have growth year after year is because we have carried through these resolutions of dedication year in and year out.  We know our growth in 2020 will continue because we know these resolutions will continue.

girl on mountain

As 2020 begins, we are full of anticipation for the year to come.  We are excited to see more of you and your travels when you post your “Where in the World?” video on our KaliKosmos Travel Facebook page.  We are also excited to roll out improved pre-travel email communications for clients.  In 2020 we are taking steps toward helping you be better prepared for your upcoming adventures.  And we are excited to share more about ourselves and the world of travel through the new KaliKosmos Travel blog. Like our Facebook page and visit our blog to keep up to date on these wonderful enhancements.  It is going to be a fantastic year and we can’t wait to see it all unfold.

where in the world flyer

Welcome to 2020. We hope the coming year brings with it moments of awe, moments of joy, and moments that will last a lifetime.  We hope this year will provide you with times of reflection, dedication, and anticipation.  We hope the next 12 months will be everything you dream it to be and more.