How long have you worked in the Travel industry?
"I have been in the travel industry for 27 years and counting."
What is your most memorable travel experience?
"I have multiple experiences that make it hard to choose... I would say hiking the Machu Picchu Mountain Peak. The view of the ruins from above is awe inspiring and the fact that there were additional ruins along the way up was unbelievable. Amazing that the Inca’s made that climb with all those stones when I was struggling with just my day pack.
Another experience was being an Elephant owner for a day just outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand. We learned how to communicate with our individual elephants. Gave him/her a physical exam, brushed and fed them before riding them down to the river and giving them a bath. Such gentle giants and all the elephants at the sanctuary were rescued from various zoos, circuses, etc.
The last one I will mention was my two week trip in Italy. Italy is by far my favorite place so I have traveled there numerous times and each time I try to visit different areas. I love them all but the first time spending a week in Tuscany was my favorite. The people, the food, the wine, the history, the walled cities just left me wanting more. Driving around the Tuscan country side with fields of sunflowers and endless grape vines over rolling hills lined with Cyprus trees resulted in hundreds and hundreds of pictures to sort through upon return."
What is your favorite travel destination? What insider tip can you share about that destination that may help our readers outsmart their travels?
"I love Europe but Italy is my favorite. Some tips I share with all my clients are:
- Always have coins on hand as there is a charge to use most public restrooms.
- When dining be prepared to have to ask for the check – most restaurant staff are perfectly happy to let you sit as long as you want while drinking your coffer or sipping your wine."
Where will you go for your next vacation?
"I’m heading to China in April 2020. My plan is to visit the Great wall, Terra Cotta Warriors, the Rice Terraces and Li River and of course the cities of Beijing and Shanghai"
Why should people go to you for their travel planning? What are the benefits to booking with you versus online?
"I can take save the client time and take the stress out of the planning process. I make personal recommendations and provide insight on what to expect while on vacation. And I can provide the AAA travel benefit the client wouldn’t receive booking themselves."
What are the steps to planning the perfect vacation for your clients?
- Ask the right questions and get to know your client.
- Find out your clients past travel history and what their expectations are.
- Make recommendations based on your conversations with the client.
- Know your clients budget.
- Follow up throughout the planning process, their departure and their return.