Planning Your Vacation

At Blue Sky Destinations we know that planning your vacations can be stressful.

You love to travel, but you aren’t interested in a cookie-cutter experience. And even when you know where you want to go, the vast number of options for how to get there, where to stay, and things to do can be overwhelming – and putting it all together can be a time-consuming challenge.

It doesn’t need to be that way.

Interested in a River Cruise?

Take my quiz to find out which River Cruise suits your travel style!

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Why Choose Us?

At Blue Sky Destinations, we are your expert travel guide. We take the time to listen and understand the vacation experience YOU want. Then we use our years of experience and on-the-ground connections to curate the trip that is right for you. Our clients are relaxed and delighted because we take care of all the details. Travel becomes stress-free and easy!

Our professional planning includes destination advice, flights, itinerary planning, hotel, tour and restaurant recommendations, and anything else that will make your trip a delight. You can sit back and relax while we design a vacation that allows you to explore, unwind and reconnect!

Client Testimonials

Meet Kira Gartner!

After a lifetime of loving travel and exploring the world, Kira Gartner founded Blue Sky Destinations in 2007 to help people plan trips that allow them to relax and immerse themselves fully in a destination. For years she has been providing hands-on service to her clients helping them plan exciting and memorable vacations.

When you work with Kira you are getting your own personal travel concierge!

Contact Kira

Services We Provide

At Blue Sky Destinations, we take care of every aspect of your vacation planning, including:

  • Complimentary in-depth travel consultation
  • Advice about best times and dates to travel
  • Comparing cruise lines and itineraries
  • Destination recommendations
  • Itinerary advice and planning
  • Hotel, resort, and villa recommendations and booking
  • Flight recommendations and bookings
  • Transfers between airport and hotel
  • Car rentals
  • Train reservations
  • Tour and sight-seeing recommendations and bookings
  • Restaurant suggestions
  • Passport and visa support
  • Comprehensive printed itinerary
  • Available 24/7 during travel to provide assistance if needed

Our professional research and planning fee includes all of the above and anything else that will make your trip delightful and memorable. You can sit back and relax while we design a vacation that allows you to explore, unwind and reconnect!

Start Planning

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While you are in Cologne, take some time to discover their unique beer culture and their delicious Kölsch beer.The New York Times said that “Drinking a Kölsch beer is more than just drinking a beer: it’s like drinking an entire culture.” And that is definitely true!The history of Kölsch beer goes back more than 100 years, and today the German government recognizes and protects Kölsch beer, only allowing specified brewers to legally call their lagers ‘Kölsch.'A clear, all-barley pale brew, Kölsch beer has a characteristically fruity flavor, and is subtle and light in body. Kölsch is always served in the traditional straight-side, narrow, cylindrical glass called a Stange. The glass is six inches tall but just two inches in diameter - and is small enough that it can be consumed quickly before it gets warm.So drink up in a traditional Brauhaus where the Köbes are happy to serve the ale one after another until you say no (or put the beer pad down!). It is the most authentic way to imbibe the beer and enjoy like a local Köhn!Ready to drink a beer along the Rhine River? Let me know and I'll help you plan your trip! ... See MoreSee Less
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The vibrant city of CologneAs Germany’s fourth largest city and the largest metropolis in the North-Rhine region, Cologne is one of the highlights of a Rhine River voyage. Much of Cologne was destroyed by bombing in WWII, but it has been rebuilt and is an exciting and welcoming place to visit.You will find an abundance of incredibly diverse museums catering to interests as varied as art, Roman history, and chocolate. Shopping, food and people watching are all fun in this vibrant city.No trip to Cologne is complete without a visit to the Kölner Dom, the twin-spired cathedral that looms over the city and the largest cathedral in Germany. Building the cathedral took more than 600 years between 1248 and 1880. It survived WWII almost entirely intact, and is now the jewel of the city. ... See MoreSee Less
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OK, I know it's a bit geeky, but one of my favorite parts of traveling on a river cruise is going through the locks along the way.When you are traveling along the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel, you are actually climbing up towards the Alps - and the entire river rises about 1000 feet along the journey. In order to make the Rhine River navigable, you will encounter 14 locks along the way. The ship enters the lock with the river at one level, and then inside of the lock it is gradually raised to the next level of the river before being released to continue the journey.Other rivers in Europe (such as the Main and Danube) have even more locks than the Rhine, and no matter where you travel on a river cruise you will encounter at least a few of them.River locks have been around since the time of Ancient Egypt, and one of Leonardo da Vinci's inventions that is still in use today is the "mitered lock"! They allow for passengers and commerce to flow freely through areas that previously would have been very challenging due to fluctuations in water level, rapids, or other The experience of going through a lock can be a bit surprising or even startling - you may wake up in the morning to see a gray wall just outside your window! But if you have even a little interest in engineering I think that you will find them as fascinating as I did!Let me know if you're ready to book your river cruise!#rhineriver #rhinerivercruise #cruiseeurope #rivercruise #rhineriverlocks ... See MoreSee Less
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Testimonials

Aubrey H

Kira was a delight to work with from the first moment we spoke to her. She had FABULOUS tips and suggestions, helped us save money on car rentals, etc and was always available for any questions we had. I would HIGHLY recommend using her expertise – we definitely will be contacting her again in the future!

Aubrey H.

Ephrata PA

Michael W

Kira was instrumental in creating a family trip for us which included finding accommodations and tours. She got us a great deal for an 8-person van we used from Firenze until our return to Roma! Additionally, she was a great resource for traveling with a child (as she had traveled to Europe with four!). Kira was involved in choosing the tour guides we used in each of the cities we visited and was available to consult via email during the trip which was very helpful. I would recommend Kira without hesitation for anyone’s upcoming travel needs!

Michael W.

Baltimore MD

Ellen N

We had a fabulous family adventure to Italy and I can’t imagine that we could have pulled it off without Kira’s help. We didn’t do an “arrive in Italy and join a tour group.” Our trip was custom-made for traveling with a family of 6 including a 1 1/2-year-old. Our apartments were booked and individual tours to a few requested sites were arranged. Kira’s suggestions and advice served us well. Ultimately we had an amazing trip with wonderful memories for a lifetime.

Ellen N.

Smithville TX

Brooke P

Kira planned our 2018 trip to Disney World because we were so overwhelmed. She made it a truly seamless, stress-less, enjoyable experience for us so that we could have the best time as a family. In 2019 Kira planned our trip to Negril, Jamaica and again – we were blown away by how easy she made it for us. She was able to help with little details as well as recommend fun excursions to take. Kira will plan our 2020 trip to Italy because we are so confident that she just “gets” our family and understands how we like to vacation. I cannot recommend Kira enough!!

Brooke P.

Lafayette Hill PA

Hilary B

Kira was exceptionally helpful. She went above and beyond to help us with our complicated itinerary, securing the cheapest flights at relatively short notice. Way cheaper than we could find! She was unbelievably available when we found ourselves stranded after midnight at the airport (canceled flight). In the middle of the night, Kira was there for us, helping us sort flights for the next day, including our onward connections.

Hilary B.

Bryn Athyn PA

Justin W

She is incredible to work with. Very responsive, easy, and takes care of everything.

Justin W.

Schwenksville PA

Ruth T

Kira is amazing! She is knowledgeable, available, and fun to work with. We have the pleasure of traveling often and we would never make a move without Kira’s advice. Once the trip is planned, her services are not over! I remember one time, we were in San Francisco, leaving in the morning for Hawaii and the airlines were having a computer glitch. We called Kira, who answered immediately. Considering the time delay, we were shocked ourselves. She advised us through the process and everything worked out fine! Kira Gartner is a traveler’s best friend!

Ruth T.

Philadelphia PA

Karen S

Kira helped us set the itinerary, figure out all the travel connections and found great accommodations. We had 2 weeks and multiple priorities and it all came together beautifully. It was such a help – I can’t say enough good about working with her!

Karen S.

Philadelphia PA

Liz S

Kira understood what we wanted and asked the right questions. She set up our trip from start to finish. We always felt taken care of.

Liz S.

Ventura CA

Mikenna M

Kira was so great to work with! This was my first time with a travel agent and as someone who is very controlling it was hard to imagine someone else planning our trip…That being said Kira took care of everything and made it easy for me because after talking to her for 5 minutes I knew I could trust her to plan a wonderful vacation.

Mikenna M.

Warren Ohio

Shannon L

She was great!

Shannon L.

Tucson AZ