In addition to extensive reading on the region, Newman has plenty of firsthand knowledge of the area. She has visited the South Pacific 17 times since her first trip in 1992. "Anyone can say they are a specialist if they take a test, but you really are not until you experience travel there;" she said. In her view, because she specializes in a single area of the world, she can book trips more knowledgeably that can most agents in larger travel agencies.
When she travels to Australia, New Zealand or Fiji, she travels like a native. Because of that, she said, she can organize one-of-a-kind adventure vacations. In many cases, she has arranged a trip for a client that gives him or her the same experiences she enjoyed. For example, she said, she can set up trips where vacationers can see Mt. Mulligan, a rock in the Outback of Australia that is held sacred by the Aborigines. The only way to see it is, she said, to know an aborigine or get special permits. Newman made that trip herself last year. She has also been allowed to enter a native village in the Fiji highlands after performing the tradition of drinking a potent drink that contains a strong natural sedative called kava.
The trips she plans are widely varied, she said, with lengths starting at two weeks. Prices range from $3,000 on up, including air fare. Newman said she makes friends everywhere she goes. She has more friends in the South Pacific than she does in the United States, she said. "I talk to Australia or New Zealand on the phone every day with friends or booking trips;" she said. She also has acquaintances from the area visit her in her Bayside home.
Newman said she works hard to give her clients personal attention. She often does the trip planning over coffee or a meal at her home. To make sure her clients are safe and enjoying themselves, she always calls during their vacation (and leaves a little something in their room). She often sends her clients postcards from her own vacation destinations. Newman, a Bayside resident for 30 years, said she has worked in sales all her life. She has also worked for a time as a medical technologist.