About Michael

Founder of Visual Itineraries, Michael lives in Portland, Oregon.

Snorkeling and Motu Picnic in Moorea

Over spring break 2017, we visited Moorea with our kids, staying at the Intercontinental Moorea Resort (which was fantastic by the way). The video below is from Albert Tours, who operate a snorkel trip to a section of the lagoon maybe 1000 yards from the Intercontinental. In about 5′ of water, literally dozens of blacktip reef sharks swim around you, and a half dozen or so big stingrays will come right up to your chest. What an amazing experience!

After swimming with the sharks and rays, the tour goes to a nearby beach for a picnic and some fun demonstrations of coconut husking etc.

Exploring Canal du Midi, Southern France

Sunset on the Canal du Midi


I’ve just returned from a very different kind of vacation–exploring the Canal du Midi in southern France on a rented, liveaboard canal boat. I went with 2 friends from Toronto, and took my 8 year old son Benjamin. We spent 7 nights on the boat, traveling between Argens and Negra (south and west of Toulouse). It was a terrific experience, and I’d recommend it to couples and to families.
Continue reading

Internet Travel Leads – Best Practices

Yesterday I did an hour-long webinar for members of the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association (DWHSA) on best practices for travel agents for working with internet leads (as opposed to brick and mortar walk-in clients, referrals, repeat clients, etc.). Essentially I shared what we’d learned about how travelers shop on the internet, how they tend to work with agents and OTAs, common misconceptions they have about working with travel agents, and statistics on what works and what doesn’t, gained from my experiences with both Visual Itineraries and TheBigDay Honeymoon Registry (which I co-founded in 2001). Continue reading

Diving and snorkeling in the Seychelles

The Seychelles has a special place in my heart–I went there on my honeymoon in 2005, visiting Mahé, Praslin, and Desroches islands. Fabulous destination, especially if you’re a scuba diver, like me. Biggest, densest schools of fish I’ve seen anywhere, and I’ve gone diving all over the world. Tons of octopus too, which is pretty cool–I saw 8 in one dive alone. Continue reading

Selfie in a Volcano in Vanuatu

OK, I think I’m a bit of an adventurer…and have done my share of rappelling, too. And I’ll admit to taking the occasional selfie.

But I’m not in this guy’s league.

volcano in Vanuatu
Sam Crossman and documentarian George Kouronis drop into crater of Marum volcano in the South Pacific’s Vanuatu, one of 5 places on Earth that have persistent lava lakes.

Check out their stunning video here on Wimp.com.