About Us

We created Unquote Travel to help other travelers experience the world through well-designed itineraries, insightful tour leaders, and meaningful encounters with locals.

Smaller groups, better experiences, real travel

Unquote Travel’s mission is to provide to best value small group tours on the market. We are a company of travelers serving travelers. Smaller groups, better experiences, real travel. That’s what we have in mind for each of our journeys.
Why Our Tours are Different
Our tours are different. The group will be small, limited to 12. The point of our trip is simple: travel in a method that gives you better experiences. We will be passing on tourist traps in favor of sites of cultural interest. We will be using public transport when possible, showing you how independent travelers navigate. We’ll stay at small hostels and family-run guesthouses and eat where the locals eat. Our pace of travel will be slower than a typical group which will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of each place. Our travel leaders have years of independent travel experience and will be sharing their tricks of the trade.

Our Team

Stephen Bugno
Tour Developement

Stephen has been traveling ever since he was old enough to unfold a map and not quite able to fold it back again. He started writing about his trips not long after. After finishing university, Stephen joined the US Peace Corps where he volunteered teaching English and leading community projects in Uzbekistan. After those two years in Central Asia he continued traveling in between English teaching contracts in Mongolia, South Korea, Spain, and the West Bank. Somewhere about that time he began freelance writing for both print and online media outlets. Some of his favorite trips have taken him overland through the Middle East, the backpacker route around Southeast Asia, by foot across northern Spain, through China and India, numerous rail journeys criss-crossing Europe, and by car through the vast landscape of the American West. More recently he set out five years ago with his now wife, Juno Kim, to travel the world as digital nomads. After setting up two travel blogs, www.bohemiantraveler.com and www.gomadnomad.com, he’s worked from destinations near and far, as long as there’s been an Internet connection.At some point Stephen realized that he could share his passion for traveling by leading other on trips in a similar fashion to the way he traveled--connecting them with the local culture and enabling them to have better travel experiences. Stephen feels most comfortable in a small town with no traffic somewhere close to where he can easily go walking in the hills and get some writing done with a cup of herbal tea in the quiet of the morning.

Paige Conner Totaro
Business Manager

Paige Conner Totaro became fascinated with travel and cultures as a child, when she met an exchange student who described his difficulty in learning to nod his head for yes and shake it side to side for no. The fact that something that seemed so natural to her did not exist in his culture made her question all of the customs around her, which continues today. Paige took an 11-month trip around the world with her husband and twin 13-year-old daughters in 2012-13, visiting 28 countries along the way. But there is still more to see! So she is always planning the next adventure. Paige was a founder of Misra Records, a founding board member of Transformer in Washington, DC, and a longtime board member and director of Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts. Paige is a fan of Scandinavian design, Ethiopian food, Canadian hospitality, Japanese vintage stores, Brazilian music and Thai beaches, but also American craft beer, garage rock and roller derby. She blogs at All Over the Map.

Juno Kim
Marketing and Social Media Strategist

Juno is a prolific travel blogger, social media expert, an award-winning visual storyteller at Runaway Juno Media. Originally hailing from Seoul, South Korea, Juno set off for the wider world to pursue her passion for international travel and storytelling. Since leaving her engineering job, she has been living out of a backpack, writing, and photographing her way through more than 50 countries for last five years. She believes there are always stories to tell, in any corner of the world. She's also an amateur astronomer, life-long nerd, and a believer of serendipity.

Noel Lau
Tour Designer & Trainer

Noel's love for traveling dates back to his childhood. He would daydream about things he would see in different countries and the adventures he would have. The occasional family trips were only feeding his wanderlust. So when he couldn't resist the temptation any longer he quit his budding career, sold his possessions, stuffed some clothes into a backpack, and took to the road. And so it began a 12-year nomadic life. Noel has worked as a barista in England, a street artist in Colombia, a construction worker in Chile, and taught languages in Spain and Taiwan. His unforgettable experiences include walking for over a month on the medieval pilgrimage route of Camino de Santiago, in Spain, experiencing the kindness of people in the Middle East, feeling like the only person on this earth in Patagonia, swinging in a hammock cruising up the Amazon River, and coming face to face with the drug cartel in Colombia. Noel travels slowly and enjoys making friends with locals, in an attempt to understand their culture. He also has a knack for picking up languages quickly, and speaks English, Chinese, and Spanish fluently. He is a contributing writer for gomadnomad.com and DreamCatcher Travel Magazine. He blogs at wander2nowhere.com when he feels inspired. Noel has started a project to inspire young people and adults to travel and to follow their dreams. So far, he has given talks in numerous schools and colleges in Taiwan and Malaysia. Noel describes himself as a citizen of the world, with an Asian heritage and a Latin soul.

Why Choose Us

Get Local

We get you off the typical tourist trail and closer to the local culture and people.  

Better Experiences

We focus on creating better travel experiences for you.  

Best Value

We've got the best value small group tour on the market.  

What Customers Say

  • We had the most amazing time with you [Stephen] and Noel Lau! Your Malaysian Food & Culture [Tour] opened our eyes and made us appreciate the traditions and way of life of those in Southeast Asia! Thank you so much…sign us up for the next cultural tour!!!
    Jen from Pennsylvania
    Tour Participant
  • “What an amazing tour! I saw places that I never would have seen on my own and ate food that I never would have been brave enough to try on my own. Noel and Stephen were wonderful guides and full of great information on food, culture, and history. I would book another tour with them without any hesitation.”
    Kathy from Wisconsin
    Tour Participant
  • “Thank you for compiling a great mixed programme. Hotels, food, sights and activities, all was every day in a great mix offering the best possible at the highest value for money. We had busy days and lazy days and I liked each single one of them.”
    Lex from the Netherlands
    Tour Participant