My history with the travel industry stretches back to high school, when I received invaluable on-the-job training in an agency owned by my cousin. I continued to work as a travel agent in order to put myself through college. After I graduated, with a Bachelor of Business, from the University of Illinois, I realized my degree could’ve allowed me to go in any number of professional directions. However, I decided to pursue what I love: planning trips for other people. When I see the reactions of my clients, who’ve returned home from a perfect vacation beyond anything they’ve dreamed of, my job feels more fulfilling than any other career I can think of.
I like creating itineraries that turn out more wonderful than my clients ever expect. I do this, in part, by focusing on details. That conscientious attention to a client’s every need has led to many referrals, because people really appreciate attention to detail. I’m also a patient person, which helps me customize each trip according to the client’s desires. I listen to what they want to do on their trip, and give suggestions letting them know I’m someone who’s truly interested in their travel aspirations. My extensive classes, certifications, and studies have helped me hone my skills further. At the same time, I believe in the importance of learning by traveling, so whenever I go somewhere, I remember all the small things that can make or break a trip. For example, must see sites, the best restaurants, best shopping, how to get around, all of which adds perspective to a destination. I go out of my way to meet the residents of each place I visit, so that I can provide a richer sense of the destination when working with clients. I encourage people to learn about places ahead of time, and once they get there, to avoid acting like an outsider. As the old saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
While I can put together a great vacation at any budget, I’m particularly adept at planning luxury, exotic, and culinary wine trips. My skills often exceed expectations, when planning for our clients who are looking for an upscale or off the beaten path experience. Considering how long I’ve been in the industry, I’ve done it all from planning a romantic honeymoon/anniversary celebration for two to destination weddings to escorting a group of 135 in Africa. I’ve visited many places I love, and have been selling travel for over 30 years to date.
My experiences have taken me across 52 countries and six continents. I also have many certifications by tourist boards including: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Chili, Brazil, Africa, China, Alaska, Italy, Germany, and France. Whether it’s Europe, the South Pacific, East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, or South America, I’m ready to help my clients discover their own little slice of heaven.