From designing world-class itineraries to planning trip logistics to unrivaled customer experience, we make your trip unforgettable.

About Us

Insider Expeditions is a premier travel company that curates and hosts one-of-a-kind experiences for groups and individuals on all seven continents. Our extensive global network — from presidents to poets, prestigious universities to pioneering explorers, superstar artists to high impact non-profits — enables us to create genuinely unparalleled voyages to the most remarkable corners of our planet.

Our trips range from educational journeys for leading universities, to business delegations for Fortune 500 companies; from mission-driven expeditions with non-profits to creative brainstorming journeys for entrepreneurs; from wellness and yoga retreats to extraordinary family reunions; from creative workshops with artists, to musical or sports adventures with celebrities.

We are driven by a mission to share our love of this beautiful and magical world through thoughtfully designed experiences, ethical and responsible travel, and genuinely transformational journeys.

The Insider Advantage

Commitment To Our Clients

Our commitment of providing world-class service to our clients is our highest priority.

From tour conception and marketing strategies to tour implementation and program evaluation, we partner with our clients to make sure they are included at every stage and ensure that their expectations are exceeded.

World-Class Customer Service

We pay attention to the little details that make any journey extraordinary. 

From early engagement materials to the itineraries themselves – every detail is refined and curated. Our itineraries are filled with exclusive opportunities not feasible through independent travel or with another operator.

Engaging Travel Community

We provide opportunities to engage with industry experts, renowned artists, and local communities.

Enjoy relevant discussions and interactive activities that enhance every program. Most of our itineraries also contain an impact component, honoring both our traveler’s interests and our commitment to the communities we visit and the planet we love.

Some Of Our Partners

Our Leadership Team

As the founder of Insider Expeditions, I’m proud to have led travel programs in more than 100 countries. After riding my bicycle across the country as a college senior with a motley crew of 30 riders raising money for Habitat for Humanity, I have dedicated my life to creating group travel experiences which combine the qualities I so enjoyed that summer: a fun, inspiring, curated itinerary, lots of memorable surprises, local community engagement, and a journey that leaves behind a positive impact. Shortly after that trip, I moved to South America with a local tour operator, leading cultural exchanges, service projects, and innovative travel itineraries throughout the region. Honored a few years later with a World Peace Fellowship by Rotary International, I then moved to Japan for my Masters and worked with Peace Boat, whose circumnavigational voyages focus on meaningful interactions and cultural exchanges with local communities, service efforts, and unique educational and enrichment opportunities for their passengers.

Since founding Insider Expeditions, I’ve had the opportunity to organize business delegations for Fortune 500 companies, donor experiences for international non-profits, trade missions on behalf of the US government, educational trips for top universities, creative brainstorming journeys for entrepreneurs, extraordinary family reunions, world-class destination weddings, epic birthday celebrations, wild dancing adventures, and remote wellness retreats.

Through Insider, it’s my mission to share our team’s love of this beautiful and magical world through travel and thoughtfully curated experiences, no matter your group, interest, or mission. It’s our own mission to have you look back and say, “wow, that was one of the best trips of my entire life”. On behalf of our fabulous, dedicated, and experienced team, we can’t wait to travel with you.

Carl Shephard

Founder & CEO

Photo Location: Great Wall of China

Favorite Insider Trip: Split, Croatia

Dream Destination: The Moon (or Nepal, whichever comes first)

Fun Fact: I once drank Mongolian beer on a Chinese train in Russia

Stephen Reilly

A self-proclaimed jack of all trades, Steve has spent more than 20 years as an entrepreneur in the global travel industry. In 2001, he co-founded Global Experiences, an international education program and tour provider. After selling Global Experiences to a large international education organization, Stephen co-founded Legends Abroad with Carl and Paul on the Insider team, which ultimately became a prized program within Insider Expeditions where he currently serves as COO. Having lived on four continents, Steve has a strong passion for helping others immerse themselves and experience other cultures globally. He currently resides in Annapolis, MD with his wife and three children.
Photo Location: Skyline Drive, Virginia

Favorite Insider Trip: Gettysburg

Dream Destination: Namibia

Fun Fact: I have an apple allergy. I can only eat Honeycrisps!
Director of Operations

Megan Burden

Megan is a firm believer in the transformational power of travel, having spent her entire career researching, crafting, and managing bespoke travel experiences to destinations around the globe. After a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in Madagascar, she jumped head first into the travel industry and hasn’t looked back. For over nine years Megan has thrived on planning unique adventures to any destination one can imagine and relishes the chance to get out of the office and on the road with her travelers. She has traveled to over 50 countries and is determined to join the Travelers’ Century Club one day. Megan lives in Maryland with her husband and two amazing kiddos.
Photo Location: Paulet Island, Antarctica

Favorite Insider Trip: Antarctica

Dream Destination: African Safari

Fun Fact: I am the second oldest of seven children!
Director, Event Programs & Marketing

Rachel Wisler

Rachel is a passionate marketer and creative designer of unique experiences, with expertise working alongside international events and celebrity talent across the travel, sports, music, and culinary industries. During her time in the entertainment industry, she curated VIP experiences that gave fans the opportunity to learn from legendary artists, athletes, and chefs all over the world. She fell in love with the magic of travel and bringing people together to create unforgettable moments in new places. At Insider she leads marketing and design efforts as well as the creative magic behind Insider’s programs that involve major events and top talent and artists.
Photo Location: Jaipur, India

Favorite Insider Trip: McEnroe Brothers in Antarctica (coming 2023!)

Dream Destination: Zanzibar

Fun Fact: I was in Hakone, Japan when officials believed Mt. Fuji was sure to erupt (very scary!)

Nakimera Moore

When your first travel memory is of a tropical bird of prey swooping down for the fish tensely gripped in your four year old fingers, it’s only natural to want to continue chasing such phenomenal experiences. Upon completion of her MA from University of London, Nakimera determined to explore two new countries every year. After spending half a decade in luxury travel, she has since smashed that goal with expeditions to over 30 countries, setting up residences in four. Her new goals are to broaden the pool of people who have access to uncommon travel experiences, and encourage newcomers to venture outside of their comfort zones. As a Program Manager, she specializes in designing unique programs that stimulate the five senses, ensuring an indelible experience.
Photo Location: Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Dream Destination: Iran

Fun Fact: I'm an avid supporter of Liverpool F.C. YNWA
Traveler Experience Lead

Kelan Simmer

Kelan is the definition of a people person, who applies this talent to providing incredible traveler assistance before, during, and following life-changing travel experiences. After living in Guilin, China for over two years he hopped into the travel industry with the goal of helping others achieve their dreams of global exploration. He embraces the confluence that has emerged from his passion for and expertise with both customer service and experiential travel. Having lived on three continents, and being a self declared “history nerd”, Kelan has a wide and ever growing breadth of knowledge regarding a far expanse of diverse destinations.
Photo Location: Aqua Resort in Nicaragua

Favorite Insider Trip: Antarctica with Wow It's Now/Daybreaker!

Dream Destination: New Zealand

Fun Fact: I am a certified instructor of Yoga Sculpt (yoga with weights!)
Special Projects Manager


From a young age, Hannah was a lover of travel logistics and details – by the age of seven she insisted she research and coordinate all family vacations going forward. Her love for the “minutia” of travel has only deepened over the years, and after taking a gap year between high school and college to travel the world, she decided she wanted to experience every cultural and geographical landscape possible. An anthropology major who has worked in marketing and project management for other companies, Hannah takes her passion for design, details, and especially epic travel experiences into her role as the Manager for Insider’s special projects. As a health fanatic and foodie, Hannah is keen on making sure all trips have the best culinary and wellness options possible.
Chairwoman of the board

Jordan VAldés

As Chairwoman of Insider’s Board of Adventurers, with unparalleled connections at home and abroad, Jordan leads some of our most strategic partnerships around the world. She has a special place in her heart for Cuba, crafting new adventures across the island where Insider has led more groups than any other destination over the years. She is fluent in Spanish and French, conversational in Arabic and Italian, and proficient in Cuban cooking. And watch out for her on the salsa dance-floor.
Managing Director of Destinations

Paul Cohen

Paul Cohen brings nearly thirty years of experience in the global travel and tourism industries working with tourism marketing organizations, destinations, and travel suppliers. Paul has helped to drive tourism arrivals, spend and investment to dozens of destinations, including those in the U.S, China, the British Virgin Islands, Iceland, Botswana, Seychelles, Uganda, South Africa, Nicaragua, Italy, Greece, Nigeria, Jamaica, Egypt, Israel, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Bhutan and Vietnam. He has also provided strategic consulting for Fortune 500 corporations and ancillary partners in the travel space, including Visa International, Sony Pictures, Discovery Networks, Universal Studios and the Travel Channel. Paul is also a managing partner of our favorite eco-resort in Central America!
Photo Location: Antarctica

Favorite Insider Trip: Antarctica Solar Eclipse
Chief Explorer

Ben Saunders

Ben is one of the world’s leading polar explorers and has covered more than 7,000km (4,350 miles) on foot in the Polar Regions since 2001. His accomplishments include leading The Scott Expedition, the longest human-powered polar journey in history, and the first completion of the expedition that defeated Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, a 105-day round-trip from Ross Island on the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again. Ben is the third person in history to ski solo to the North and South poles, and holds the record for the longest solo Arctic journey by a Briton. He is a global brand ambassador for Land Rover and Canada Goose, an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, a patron and fellow of British Exploring, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an acclaimed keynote speaker, described by TED (where he has spoken three times) as ‘a master storyteller’.
Julia is a Swiss-American travel ninja, and passionate experience architect, creative strategist, and magnetic leader. She has proudly conquered all seven continents, once in a single year with one of Insider’s top clients, and continues to seek inspiration through travel and community. Julia lives in Europe and loves uncovering new hidden gems in well-trodden places, and sharing those secrets with our travelers.
Senior Advisor

Julia Sommer

Alex is a PhD nuclear physicist, data scientist, accomplished author, and pretty much the smartest guy we know. As an expert in oceans and ocean technologies, he has traveled extensively both above and below the waves throughout the Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe. Alex has a passion for technology from all eras, from modern neural networks to medieval astrolabes, and is the mastermind behind our total solar eclipse trips and other adventures which require the perfect geolocation and celestial timing.
Scientific genius

Alex Boxer

Jeff has been representing companies and individuals in the travel industry since 1992. His clients, located around the world, have included tour operators, travel agencies, trade associations, technology based travel platform companies, travel insurers, and executives. Prior to law school, Jeff worked as a travel agent, tour guide and sales manager for two airlines. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and the University of Miami School of Law, Jeff is always ready for the next unique travel program.
Legal Wizard

Jeff Ment

Trusted Networks

We remain engaged with global networks that keep us informed of trends, new hidden gems, and destination updates that allow us to bring our clients the best experiences possible.

Insider Expeditions is a proud member of IATAN and the Educational Travel Consortium.