Diane Sakakini-Rao

Travel Consultant

Diane has been dreaming about, traveling to, living in or plotting her next trip to Europe for over 40 years. France is her particular love, but Italy, Spain and Morocco are close behind. She has also had great adventures backpacking and hitchhiking in Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Greece, and India. The first time Diane traveled abroad was in college when she went to Angers, France, in 1980. The United States were in the middle of the Iran Hostage Crisis, and there was nervous tension with the Iranian kids in the exchange program at first. Of course, as Diane got to know them, she realized they were just like her – nice kids, struggling with the French language, missing home, trying to get by. It was eye-opening for her and she has looked at the world differently from that time on.

For Diane, working at Esplanade is simple: she loves to travel, loves planning travel, and feels blessed to be able to do this for a living!

Photos of Diane around the world

Diane’s Favorite Meal While Traveling

“On my recent trip to Italy, I had a meal in Florence that I keep thinking about. It was a little trattoria near the Palazzo Vecchio – and I chose a veal cutlet with a truffle sauce and thinly sliced avocados and artichokes. With a lovely bottle of Tuscan red… it was heaven.”

Favorite photos taken by Diane

Nothing makes Diane happier than working on a complicated itinerary and having all the pieces fall into place. Having happy clients makes all the hard work worth it.

When planning an itinerary, Diane makes sure travelers don’t over schedule themselves – allow for down time to be able to absorb the country and the people. Sit in a café and people-watch and take a walking tour or a cooking lesson with a local.

This pairs perfectly with her personal travel philosophy: “I try to spend enough time in a few places so that I can get to know the rhythm of the place and perhaps get to know some local people. I will talk with ANYONE and have made some great connections this way!”

Call us and book your trip

Call Esplanade Travel and you’ll talk to one of our knowledgeable staff members who can help you book your perfect trip.

Get in Touch

Esplanade arranged a wonderful New Zealand adventure for my wife and myself in 2020…just a couple of months prior to Covid shutting down the world! During this difficult time for the planet, the staff from Esplanade continued to reach out to us on how they recommended we deal with our travel plans and the expenditures we had previously committed to. They continuously updated our travel plans and made all the necessary adjustments to our itineraries. Almost three years to the day later, we were able to enjoy our New Zealand trip. The reservations, excursions, and overall recommendations made by Esplanade were fantastic! We commented several times that their commitment to the smallest of details was very apparent. Our flights were perfectly spaced, our drivers all showed up on time, and our accommodations and excursions were beyond expectations. We now plan on trusting Esplanade for our future travels to Africa and Europe. We cannot recommend them more.

See all of our testimonials

Travel Insurance

We offer comprehensive travel insurance at affordable rates that will give you peace of mind during your travels.

Find out more