Nora Blum

Maple Grove, Minnesota Travel Agent

Customized and Privately Guided Vacations

As a fan of both fabulous hotels and cultural experiences, I have traveled throughout the world enjoying the views, history and local specialties that make each destination unique. Whether you are looking for a restorative retreat or simply a little pampering, my connections can get you that beautiful beach front casita or private villa you’ll remember for years to come.

My Travel Specialties

Arriving at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu and Peru Vacations

Machu Picchu is one of those trips of a lifetime you will never forget. I was fortunate enough to make this trip in December 2013 and had the chance to experience Lima, Sacred Valley, Cuzco and Machu Picchu first hand. To ... Read more from my Machu Picchu and Peru Vacations bio.
Danube River

River Cruising and Guided Vacations

After experiencing both River Cruising and Guided Vacations, I can help match you to the right experience to meet your vacation desires and wishes. It can be pretty complicated to organize a big European adventure and with so many choices it's ... Read more from my River Cruising and Guided Vacations bio.

Qua Spa at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas

Want Pampering and Relaxation? Try a Spa Vacation

As a self-proclaimed "Spa Junkie", I understand the needs and desires of travelers looking for the stress reduction, pampering and relaxation of a spa vacation. Whether it is a couples retreat, a girlfriend getaway or solo travel, there are many ways to ... Read more from my Want Pampering and Relaxation? Try a Spa Vacation bio.
Enjoying a cafe

Customized guided and experiential vacations

I have been with Travel Leaders since 1997, specializing in Latin America and Europe, but never hesitate to search out new vacation experiences around the world for my clients. My specialty is customizing guided vacations to suit each travelers wishes and ... Read more from my Customized guided and experiential vacations bio.

My Travel Experiences

Adventure to Another World

I was lucky enough to experience a preview of Disney's Pandora - The World of Avatar.  Even if you haven't seen the movie Avatar, this new land located within Disney's Animal Kingdom allows visitors to imagine they have been transported across space to Pandora and explore the nature and wilderness of this interstellar ... Read more from my Adventure to Another World story.

Street food in Peru

Peru is known for potatoes. There are so many types of potatoes, our guide said it was thousands of varieties, and they are in many of the dishes served both hot and cold. One potato based dish was prevelant called Causa. This was a mashed yellow potato layered with fillings ... Read more from my Street food in Peru story.

Why stay in Aguas Calientes?

Some clients ask why they are staying in Aguas Calients instead of right at Machu Picchu during their stay in Peru. To answer the question, you have to understand the logistics and geography of the area. There is one 5 star deluxe hotel atop the mountain at Machu Picchu called The ... Read more from my Why stay in Aguas Calientes? story.

Customer Testimonials

Exceeded my hopes and expectations

Hi Nora, The trip was perfect. Exceeded all of my hopes and expectations. We had 2 beautiful days in Machu Picchu...pictures and descriptions simply do not fully capture how amazing it all is. We're still mulling over our next trip, but since this trip was so flawlessly planned...I will be calling you when we decide. Can't thank you enough for setting up such an awesome trip for us! Kelly

Provided by Kelly H., MN

Always planning a new adventure

Nora, your expertise and diligence has made it possible for your clients to explore the world, knowing that every aspect of their journey has been reviewed and detailed. I sincerely appreciate every ocean voyage and land excursion, together with the journeys that we have coordinated throughout every continent.. The trips have been fulfilling my gallavanting dreams.... Knowledge brings understanding....and I have learned ''volumes"....

Provided by Renee B., Richfield, Minnesota

My Reviews

40 of 72 people found this review helpful

A wonderful honeymoon

Reviewed By Robbie - Fargo, ND | Traveled to Playa Del Carmen ~ Quintana Roo ~ Mexico
Nora was SO helpful in planning our honeymoon. Everything was seamless in the travel arrangements. My wife and I were able to focus on enjoying our honeymoon instead of worrying about travel plans. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable time, and I hope that we can do it again soon.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
And I'll be here for your anniversary trips for many years to come.
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42 of 78 people found this review helpful

NORA IS THE BEST!!

Reviewed By Kimberly - New Brighton, MN | Traveled to Mexico
Nora has been helping me with my travel arrangements for over 10 years and she is absolutely THE BEST! I can always count on Nora to find the perfect destination with great accommodations - and at a price I can afford. Nora is so helpful and knowledgeable - she definitely knows Mexico and the Caribbean - my favorite places to visit! She always goes above and beyond to make sure everything goes well. And, she also asks for feedback after the trip to make sure everything went as planned. I know people who try to plan their own international trips on the internet, but are very disappointed with how it turns out. I don't have to worry about being disappointed...because Nora helps arrange my trips. She's awesome!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
Thank you for your kind words. It certainly does help that I've been to many of your favorite places, and I do try to make sure everything goes well on all of our trips.
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41 of 76 people found this review helpful

Nora is the best.

Reviewed By Happy Travelers - Minneapolis, Minnesota | Traveled to Alaska ~ USA
Nora knows the right way to plan a trip. We have used her expertise numerous times and she always delivers. We trust her with all our travel experiences.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
Trust and a good dialogue go far to making a successful relationship and trips that are just what you imagined.
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14 of 24 people found this review helpful

Fabulous 15th Anniversary Trip!

Reviewed By Merkster - Lakeville, MN. | Traveled to Costa Rica ~ Central America
My husband and I knew we wanted to take a trip of a lifetime for our 15th wedding anniversary and for the first time decided to seek the help of a travel agent. Nora had come recommended and we are so glad we sought her guidance and expertise!

Nora was extremely helpful and knowledgeable during all phases of planning. She was patient when I couldn't make up my mind on hotels and locations and was a steady and calm force offering thoughtful feedback and pro/con arguments for various choices we had to make. She encouraged us to stick with our original Costa Rica plan when we considered alternative destinations, and I'm so glad she offered her genuine advice. She knew what we were looking for in this vacation and made the best recommendation for us.
She also offered sage advice to not fill up our vacation with excess excursions but enjoy the luxurious amenities of our hotels. All along I felt she was trying to provide us exactly the kind of trip we desired and that's what we got! :)
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
I'm thrilled your anniversary trip to Costa Rica was so fantastic and I look forward to working with you again on the next one.
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42 of 80 people found this review helpful

Awesome trip to celebrate 20th wedding anniversary

Reviewed By Angela - St. Paul | Traveled to Montego Bay ~ Jamaica ~ Caribbean
Nora Blum made our wedding vow renewal trip completely hassle free. She helped us choose a resort that was modern and clean, with an exceptionally friendly staff. And she coordinated the travel plans of all our friends and family who joined us in Jamaica from all over the country. She did all the work and we had all the fun. Her recommendations throughout the process were all on point. We are forever grateful.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
Loved working with you and your family! And I hope you all decide to make it an annual event.
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40 of 78 people found this review helpful

Great intro to Ireland

Reviewed By snowbankers - St. Paul, MN | Traveled to Ireland ~ Europe
Our friends had initiated the trip so we came in when most plans had already been made. We did have a couple of changes to personalize our travel needs and Nora was very responsive and accommodating. Should we need someone to assist with future travel plans, we wouldn't hesitate to contact Nora. Our trip was a worry free trip and recommendations made by Nora were good ones!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
Thanks for entrusting me with your vacations and I look forward to working with you again in the future.
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37 of 74 people found this review helpful

Past trips have been great experiences!

Reviewed By Barb B. - Greensboro, GA | Traveled to Europe
Nora far exceeds our travel planning experience. She offers alternate tour options which get us thinking about further possibilities to enhance our travel experience. Her follow up is superb; both pre and post trips. I recommend her to my friends.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
I like to share those extra ideas for pre- or post- trip to make it really special and customized to you. Thanks for the kind words!
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36 of 74 people found this review helpful

Best overall vacations that we have had!

Reviewed By Zenk's - Maplewood, MN | Traveled to Cancun ~ Quintana Roo ~ Mexico
Nora has been my travel agent for over 10 years. Over that time frame she has come to know what kind of travel I enjoy & when I call her with travel dates I don't need to give her any other information. She puts together the travel package which includes; airfare, lodging & transportation to & from the destination airport. Because of my experience with Nora, I don't entertain business anywhere else & I do have numerous other options.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
And I really appreciate the referrals you've sent my way!
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35 of 74 people found this review helpful

Trip to Mexico

Reviewed By Dave and Nancy Bauman - Little Canada, MN | Traveled to Playa Del Carmen ~ Quintana Roo ~ Mexico
Nora, as always is very helpful in fulfilling our vacation, get away needs. She take in our requests, and helps us find a time away that fits our needs, answers our multitude of questions, and makes us comfortable with the experience.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
That's a great compliment to know I make you comfortable with the experience - that makes for a great trip when you don't have worries.
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40 of 85 people found this review helpful

For great travel experiences

Reviewed By A and J - Saint Paul, MN | Traveled to Italy ~ Europe
Over the past several years, We have had the pleasure of working with Nora on 3 separate vacation trips: Italy, Ireland, and Australia/New Zealand. Her experience and her intuition have provided us with great choices leading to memorable vacations.

Nora is a true professional with extensive contacts and the ability to create truly customized travel. We have recommended her to several of our friends.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
Customization is the key. Trips work best when I know exactly what you have in mind and can use my contacts to make it a memorable experience. Thank you for the recommedations and referrals.
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33 of 74 people found this review helpful

Go to travel contact

Reviewed By Krys - Bloomington MN | Traveled to Chicago ~ Illinois ~ USA
Very good. Nora is very patient with clients that don't know what they are looking for! She narrows down the options.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
Easy to narrow down your options when we have a good dialogue and I get to listen to exactly what you want.
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33 of 75 people found this review helpful

Wonderful Adventures!

Reviewed By JB - Minneapolis, Minnesota | Traveled to Israel ~ Middle East
Nora is very knowledgeable in all areas of the travel industry. She is responsive in getting back to you in a timely manner with any questions or concerns you may present her with. She listens to what you are hoping for in your choice of your next adventure--And then helps you to fulfill your dreams of travel. She offers insights into things you may not have had the foresight to consider on your own. Her love of travel is very infectious and exciting! Yeah Nora!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
I love planning trips with you and exploring the possibilities to fulfill your dreams of travel.
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34 of 77 people found this review helpful

Best Christmas ever

Reviewed By Jeff - St Paul. MN. | Traveled to Playa Del Carmen ~ Quintana Roo ~ Mexico
Fantastic , responsive, thorough. Wonderful assistance to my travel planning.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
Thank you! I strive to make sure all of my clients feel this way about the service I provide.
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30 of 70 people found this review helpful

Vienna--Our great experience with Nora Blum and TL

Reviewed By Heather - St. Paul | Traveled to Vienna ~ Austria ~ Europe
I have recommended Nora to many friends over the years. She is absolutely wonderful to work with. She recently helped us book a dream trip to Austria to visit the Advent Markets in Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck. We made our plans about 10 months in advance of travel, and as usually happens that far out, the flights through Chicago to Vienna from MSP changed. She quickly notified us, and suggested alternatives. We ended up saving money on a one-night layover that was originally planned, and found earlier flights home. Nora is the consummate professional--she always returns inquiries quickly, and she is creative about meeting needs in terms of times and dates of travel. She also assisted us with booking a very large tour to the UK in 2014, and she did an excellent job managing all of the different needs of our group, as well as some difficult personalities! In short, she is amazing!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
Your referrals are greatly appreciated and I thank you for your business.
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39 of 89 people found this review helpful

One of the best trips we have been on!

Reviewed By mbaretz - New Hope, MN | Traveled to Jamaica ~ Caribbean
Since day one Nora has always been a pleasure to work with. I enjoy talking to her and learning from her experiences. She knows what kind of resorts and destinations that we like. I have recommended her to others and they have said the same.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
I think we both love the same kinds of resorts, so if I love the resort, I think you will love it too!
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30 of 76 people found this review helpful

Trip of a Lifetime

Reviewed By Mary from Minnesota - Inver Grove Heights, MN | Traveled to China ~ East and Southeast Asia
It has been a pleasure working with Nora over the years. My husband and I have taken several major vacations with Nora's assistance, including a tour of China and Tibet and a river cruise through Europe. Nora is a wealth of information and has guided us through these very important trips each step of the way. She is professional, patient and thorough. Because of her extensive background, she has made suggestions in advance that we would have never thought of to make our vacation a better experience. She anticipates potential road blocks or problems and offers suggestions for resolution. You can't get that kind of service and advice from an on-line vacation source. If you are planning a very important vacation or a trip of a lifetime and want every detail to flow smoothly, give Nora a call. You won't be disappointed.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
Thanks for your kind words. So easy to work with you and live vicariously through many of your amazing adventures.
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31 of 83 people found this review helpful

First trip over seas!

Reviewed By Steph - St. Paul, MN | Traveled to England ~ Europe
Great about getting right back to me and very friendly. Helpful, for things that I didn't even know to ask!
Thanks.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
Nora Blum responded:
Yes, that's what I love to do, letting you know those insider tips or those things you wouldn't even know to ask!
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