June 15, 2022
On March 8, 2020, fifteen members of my family boarded Holland America’s elegant Nieuw Statendam on what would turn out to be one of the last cruise ships to sail for at least eighteen months. We snorkeled with stingrays at Turks & Caicos, leapt into gorgeous rivers in the Dominican Republic, and rambled around Key West searching for the best key lime pie. On board this beautiful ship, we’d sit down together for wonderful meals and then we’d go our separate ways to enjoy our choice of musicians or shows. The teenagers amongst us trekked daily to the teens’ club, where they made instant friends with whom they keep in touch to this day. What an amazing week we had!
Even though we were surrounded by the beauty and romance of the Caribbean, the real world intruded via the daily news. And on March 13, 2020, the unthinkable happened: we ended that day with picture after picture of empty shelves in grocery stores all over the country. On debarkation day, we questioned whether we would be allowed to leave the ship and on our flight home, everyone collectively held their breath for fear of catching “The Virus.”
Several months before, I had begun my transition from workers’ compensation defense attorney who spent her leisure time traveling to luxury travel consultant who spent less and less time at her “real job.” Suddenly, that transition came to a screeching halt and in its place came lockdowns, masking restrictions, and vaccination requirements. Nearly two full years after the world ran out of toilet paper, my husband and I set sail again – this time on Royal Caribbean’s brand spanking new Odyssey of the Seas. It seems rather appropriate that I finally and officially announce the launch of my luxury travel business from the balcony of my spacious stateroom whilst on my way to the breathtaking islands of Curacao and Aruba.
Why in the world would I start a luxury travel business during a pandemic?
Those of you who know me well know that I spend an enormous amount of time studying and educating myself before making any kind of leap. After two years of observing and immersing myself into learning about travel, I can affirm without hesitation that this pandemic has demonstrated time and again that partnering with a travel consultant is not a luxury but an absolute necessity.
In a nutshell, here’s what I – a once self-avowed travel do-it-yourselfer – learned over the last two years:
I want someone who will take care of any problems that arise before and during my vacation. The unexpected happens more than it ever has before. Flights are delayed or cancelled. Travel suppliers go out of business or fail to deliver on their promises. Emergencies arise.
- I’ve been aligned for the last two years with Gifted Travel Network, a host agency that has cultivated an amazing world-wide network of travel partners who offer unparalleled services and who stand ready to assist when unanticipated issues arise. I’ve witnessed on numerous occasions just how invaluable that network has been – when travelers have been stuck on the other side of the world, with positive Covid tests in hand or when an emergency occurred back at home which triggered an immediate need to return home.
I want someone who will keep up with all the mind-boggling things I may not have considered. Mask and vaccine restrictions and requirements change daily. Passports expire and require unprecedented processing times. Attractions have capacity limits and require reservations months in advance.
- After decades of leaving no stone unturned when preparing for my legal cases, I’ve put that skill to work for my clients to ensure that they enjoy seamless adventures and amazing stress-free vacations. I anticipate the unexpected and I find solutions to problems.
In my role as your travel consultant, I am your safety net, the rock you can rely on, and your personal concierge.
Reach out if you’ve been dreaming about seeing and experiencing the world again! I’m excited about sharing what I’ve learned with you and look forward to helping make your next luxury vacation the best one ever!