Monica Varri, CTA


Monica Varri, CTA

They say you are always one decision away from a totally different life. That stands true for me when I decided to join my mother in the family business in 1999, after having worked for several years for a Fortune500 company in an international sales capacity. I always shared my mom’s desire to explore the many corners of the world and recognize how deeply ingrained this passion is in me. Although I was born in Madrid, my main childhood memories are from the many years in Venezuela and Peru and South Africa. After college I lived in Milan, so being a specialist in Italy is natural but I also enjoy counseling travelers seeking experiences in other European countries, South America, Africa, and Asia. I relish exchanging personal experiences with clients and most importantly hearing where they have explored, what lifestyles they have experienced, what cuisines they have tasted, what new relationships they have established for years to come. My two teen daughters, Sofia and Gabriela, have been actively part of my travel tribe, often visiting our family members in Europe, and now exploring other parts of the world. In every family trip, I make sure they are kept active (screen free...) and always include an exciting experience. The most recent was paragliding over Lake Engadin in Switzerland over the summer! These are memories to embrace for a long time and have instilled a passion in them to crave more adventures! Life is what you make of it! TRAVEL!

  • Favorite Hotels and resorts: Il San Pietro di Positano (Amalfi, Italy), One and Only Gorilla’s Nest (Rwanda), La Residence (Franschhoek, South Africa), Royal Malewane (Marrakesh, Morocco), Belmond Il Splendido (Portofino)
  • Recently Visited: Jacksonhole, Wyoming; Sils Maria, Switzerland; Ascona, Switzerland; Egypt; Jordan; Rwanda
  • My Bucket list: Tanzania, Iceland, Portugal, Israel, Italy (I know, again)


Excellent advisor and planner. We completed a 3 week cruise/land tour of NZ and Australia. We have used Monica for 10 years in travels all over the world. We highly recommend her and her team. She is hands on, practically oriented, and very experienced.
Bob | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Silverseas trip by Monica. Monica was great! Quick, informative, precise. and in particular she was careful to remind us of adhering to important traveler check points before leaving on our trip. She was gracious in accommodating itinerary changes. I give her five stars!!!
Gordon | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Eau Palm Beach Florida. Excellent as always. Using a Virtuoso travel advisor gives the guest some nice extras. Furthermore, Monica knows one of the Managers who is as delightful as Monica.
kbp | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Positano and Amalfi trip. Fantastic, creative and insightful. The tours she booked were fabulous. The guides were extremely knowledgeable.
eakesq | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Attention to Detail. This is the 4th major trip Monica has done for us, and all have been exceptional. Pampered, and luxurious.
Tony | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica was very accessible and responded quickly to some last minute book requests we had for some shore excursions. She has always been personable and professional in all our interactions and I would recommend her without reservation to other travelers!
Walt | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
As always, Monica surpassed my expectations. I was looking for something other than a typical waterfront property in Laguna Beach. The Ranch at Laguna Beach hit the mark. It was exactly what I expected based on everything she told me. Looking forward to my next get-away perfectly curated by Monica!
Todd Szwajkowski | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica is the epitome of excellence. Monica Varri, and her support team at the Lake Forest Travel Bureau, have provided our family with exceptional service and ideas that are based on her first hand knowledge. Consequently, each trip has been a success. She deserves more her high reputation.
Kb | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Pure Relaxation. I absolutely love working with Monica and her team at Lake Forest Travel. She has all the best kept secrets and she shares them with me! All of the accommodations we have booked with her have been excellent and I can't wait for the next adventure! Where to, Monica?????
friedkara | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Botswana safari. I have worked with Monica for some years now. She always listens to what we want and gets us the most interesting, highly enjoyable vacations. She gives us a choice in terms of price and variations and we know whatever we choose everything will run smoothly from our point of departure until we get home again. We know we will not have any worries. Our accommodations in Botswana were impeccable and luxurious, the safaris amazing, the staff most attentive. We added on a couple of extra things before and after the safari and it all linked up beautifully. No matter where we live I will always use and be guided by Monica.
Amanda | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
We decided to go on a cruise, but were unsure of cruise lines and destinations. Monica’s agency found the Seabourn line for us, which turned out to be the perfect ship for our needs. We hadn’t traveled before using a wheelchair; this ship accomodated our needs extremely well- from the suite, to lounges, and boarding the ship - all allowed us to enjoy all services offered on the ship. We chose not to leave the ship at ports, yet had plenty to do onboard.
Richard | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica did an outstanding job of planning our trip to Italy. She was respectful of our budget and picked first rate, but generally not extravagant properties for us to stay. She arranged transfers from airports and train stations which substantially decreased the pressure of getting around in a foreign country. Monica also arranged for outstanding tour guides in the cities where we requested them. It was a pleasure to deal with Monica. I recommend her without reservation.
Ron | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Our most recent trip was through Scandinavia followed by a cruise up thru the Arctic Circle into the midnight sun. Was terrific. As a travel agent, Monica is excellent. She plans with attention to detail. Offers helpful hints. Is very accessible. With her help, we have traveled throughout the world over a number of years. We plan to continue to use her travel services.
Bob | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica was terrific as she had representatives in Panama who, with Monica, planned the few days there before we went to a longer trip in South America. She was able to incorporate the attractions we were interested in and a hotel that had been recommended by friends into what was an interesting experience, without actually having to spend the time going through the Canal. She does an excellent job.
kbp | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
As always, Monica meets our criteria for accommodations and travel, but exceeds them with special thoughtful arrangements. Whether it's a brief hotel stay or entire foreign travel itinerary, she ensures that our trips are always very special.
K&J | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica is a top notch travel agent. She helped me find a hotel room in Chicago on a Saturday night at a reasonable price which is not easy to do. She was so fast with her call backs etc. A true professional. I would recommend Monica to anyone.
Lisa | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica Varri recommended a resort that provided a relaxing and enjoyable experience for both adults and children. Although Tropical Storm Alberto rained one morning, the rest of the time was pool for the children and spa experiences for some of the adults who needed the time to decompress. Monica was spot on for what was needed for an fun family weekend.
kb | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Amazing Vacation. Monica listened to what was important to us and planned one of the best vacations we’ve ever been on. Her ground contacts and intimate knowledge of the country made our trip special and flawless. From air to ground transport to tours to hotels, her expertise enabled us to relax and enjoy our vacation knowing all the details were taken care of. I highly recommend her services to anyone who wants to make their next vacation the most special it can be, beyond your belief!
Amie K. | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
For a number of years, we have travelled around the world with Monica. Most recent trip was 25 days (mostly in India but with extensions in Nepal and Dubai). Monica is an experienced professional, knowledgeable, timely, responsive and practical. We intend to continue to use her. She is excellent.
JRM | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
My trusted travel advisor. As always, knowledgeable, efficient and a delightful person. She has chosen her team well and they too do a good job of meeting my needs.
Donna | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
As usual, Monica is very good giving options and reviews following the guidelines we give her. She is good with details as well. Has a lot of experience. 
Vicki | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Any trip with Monica is of the highest quality as she clearly is an outstanding expert in her field. Furthermore, she is a pleasure to deal with.
kb | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica recommended the Eau because our usual resort on the Florida Keys was hit by the hurricane forcing a relocation for an annual family holiday vacation. Her help in finding a resort enjoyed by all ages was perfect within the family issues. We had an emergency for one family member, and Monica was proactive in solving that issue too. Monica is top-notch.
kb | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Working with Monica is always a pleasure. I trust her guidance and her recommendations for trips I have taken in Europe.
Michelle | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Thank you so much for all of your help. Monica provided us with a detailed itinerary tailored to our specifications. When something needed to be added, subtracted or adjusted, Monica worked with us until we ultimately got exactly what we wanted. Every detail was thought out. We look forward to working with Monica again!
Daniel K | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica took over from another agency when the advisor was not responsive to questions and issues. Monica was helpful and responsive which was much appreciated. We were pleased and are using her, and her expertise, for future trips.
KBP | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
What I great trip. I did not have to do anything. Every upgrade was done without me even to having to ask for it. When you work with a travel agent, such as Monica, for a long time, she gets to know your preferences. The changes she made, made the trip so much more enjoyable and easy for my wife and myself. Her suggestions for additional side trips were perfect for us.
Chuck the Hawk | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
EXCELLENT!! We had some last minute changes made to our scheduled vacation and she managed to take care of all of them. Her recommendations are spot on. She is an excellent travel agent.
Vicki & Ed | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Easy is the best way to say working with Monica. She always seems to anticipate my needs before I know them myself.
Chuck the Hawk | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica is a seasoned professional with international contacts. We have been planning trips with Monica for many years. She has never failed to recommend the best in transportation, accommodations, tours, restaurants and anything else that makes a trip memorable and enjoyable.
Team Smith | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
From start to end every detail of the trip was exactly as advised. All requests were taken care to perfection.
Chuck the Hawk | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica is excellent - so helpful and responsive on all the details of our trip, visas, and everything else. She made us feel like her most important customers.
Audrey | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Our trip to Tanzania and Uganda was long awaited, and exceptionally well planned by our travel advisor. We had "vague" notions of seeing gorillas in their habitat and big game in the Serengeti; Monica and Erica interpreted our vision and put it into detailed action. Each day we were amazed and delighted with the itinerary and attention to detail in planning - the travel routes, hotels selected, arranging for air when it made sense - details I would not have anticipated had I tried to arrange the trip myself. Of particular importance to us is that we met local people- through guides arranged by Monica & Erica- and felt a deeper connection and understanding of the people and communities we visited- we didn't simply observe through a car- we met, interacted, and got to know the locals. Monica made our dream trip come true!
Marilyn | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica is an excellent advisor and actually listens to the customer. In addition, she has an outstanding amount of travel experience.
TravelBug | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Working with Monica is always great. This time she managed to get my group connecting rooms at the beautiful St. Regis resort in Punta Mita Mexico. The tricky part is we planned the trip only two days before. As always, everything was great. The special touches are greatly appreciated. I always plan my travel with Monica. 
Mary | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
The Viking cruise was very nice, but I prefer their river cruises. They did not seem quite ready for a trans-Atlantic cruise. But the ports were interesting and service etc. was very nice. Your associates that set up a pre-trip to Oslo-Bergen did an excellent job with hotel selections and locations, with good tips for airport transfers etc.
papi | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica did a terrific job helping plan our trip to Prague! Her local contacts there proved to be wonderful, extremely knowledgeable. With our changing days, times and numbers of participants, I know we tested her patience. But she was always attentive and responsive and we ended up seeing everything we wanted. I hope to be able to use her skills again for some future adventure!
Deb52 | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Our 14-day trip to Italy was meticulously arranged by Monica. And, Monica was very accommodating and responsive with the changes that we requested during the planning process. The flights, hotels, guides, drivers - everything was perfect. It was truly the trip of a lifetime! LF Travel and IC Bellagio exceeded our expectations. Grazie mille!!
JB | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Our recent European trip was outstanding from star to finish. The hotels in Amsterdam and Paris were elegant, well located with spacious rooms and the Virtuoso amenities were abundant and much appreciated. Our trains bookings were perfect, good schedule, good connection time and excellent value to cross through three different countries . Monica always plans the perfect trip!
MFG | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica is always gracious and helpful regardless of the length and complexity of the trip. She attends to every detail even for an overnight stay.
KJ | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica helped me set up my honeymoon to Croatia and the Amalfi coast. Private tours, car transfers, and 5 star hotel bookings were all handled by Monica with perfection. Not a single thing went wrong the entire trip. I didn't have to stress or worry at any point. Would highly recommend and will absolutely use Monica's services again.
Cbrady | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica understands and remembers what's important to us and always has good suggestions. Her follow-up with details and responses to questions is quick and thorough.
KJ | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
For this trip, we had different specifications for our hotels from previous trips we booked with Lake Forest Travel. We thought it would be a challenge to find the right hotels, because we traveled to Switzerland, where everything is quite expensive. Monica found us terrific accommodations at good prices and in great locations. I couldn't have been more pleased with her suggestions and follow-up with details.
MJ | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Great trip. All the details were taken care of. Food, accommodations, and logistics were terrific. Would highly recommend this to anyone looking to do an African Safari.
Raydee | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Once again, Monica has exceeded our expectations for a terrific trip to Thailand and Hong Kong. During the planning process, she presents good options promptly and specifically addresses our needs and interests. She always has good suggestions and recommendations. Once the trip is booked, Monica puts together a package for us with all travel materials and confirmations. We know as we set off on our trip that everything will go very smoothly. She has checked and double-checked all the arrangements and details before we depart, so that when we're on our trip, we can focus on travelling, not logistics.
KJ and family | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
While we usually book our domestic, short, business and pleasure trips ourselves, this time I asked Monica if she could help a quick weekend trip. She was as prompt, thorough, and helpful as with our longer, more complex, international trips. I am so appreciative of all that she does to make our travels easier and enjoyable.
KJ | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Our Belize trip was beyond wonderful. Weather was incredible, water was warm and crystal clear, and seafood was unreal. I highly recommend staying at Mata Chica if you want to disconnect from your digital devices and enjoy resort life. Staff called us by name and always made sure we had everything we needed. Snorkeling is a must. Affordable pricing and just a short plane ride away.
Sarah B | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica and her staff always provide me with excellent service. Monica knows how my husband and I like to travel and always finds us the perfect spot. I can often times be indecisive, but she always is patient and very responsive with my requests for pricing, etc.
laura12 | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Monica's organization and wisdom of travel and accommodations made our European trip absolutely effortless! It was perfectly planned and we felt welcomed and pampered everywhere we stayed! A+
CSRS103 | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA
Our trip to The Ritz Reserve in PR was A-Mazing!!!! Thank you Monica for helping to make our trip so fabulous! All 12 of us agree - the BEST trip ever... The resort is the nicest I've ever been to in the islands....the service is impeccable...can't wait to go back!
Sheri | Agent: Monica Varri, CTA