I am fortunate that my parents gave me travel experiences at an early age by taking lengthy car trips throughout the U.S. every summer; and also several European bus tours throughout that continent, during my adolescent years.
How My Experiences Led Me to Travel Designing
It all began with one very memorable event occurring at the age of 8, my first cruise. During Christmas vacation break, my family sailed from New York City past the Statue of Liberty for a month-long round-trip voyage through the Caribbean and along eastern South America as far south as Buenos Aires, Argentina. During that awesome adventure, I learned that kids of all ages in a completely different cultural environment enjoyed the same life experiences including opening Christmas gifts. I was hooked on cruising and traveling to foreign lands and knew I wanted to travel and design journeys the rest of my life! My love of travel and passion to get the most out of each adventure throughout early adulthood gave me the desire to help others create lifetime memories.
Fast forward a few years -- my inspiration to assist others achieve the same cultural rewards prompted me to begin training at a local travel agency and after a few years and a change of ownership, it was time to develop Getaway Dreams Come True Travel Agency.
Travel Skills and Credentials
I am a Certified Travel Associate (CTA), having earned my designation from The Travel Institute, the oldest non-profit certification organization in the travel industry. These credentials require that I have travel industry work experience and also complete rigorous certification and testing and follow up with education credit requirements each year.
In addition, I am a CLIA™ (the cruise industry's organization) Certified Cruise Counselor along with Certification in Luxury Travel and continually update my education online and during onsite inspections. I have completed training in the Destination Wedding & Honeymoon category with The Travel Institute and am a Certified Sandals Resorts Specialist. Individual cruise line Academy Courses have been completed to achieve Expert Status in Ocean and River Cruising.
Like most other professional services specialists (i.e., lawyers, doctors, and accountants), you expect to pay for their services when hiring them to perform their occupation with expertise. You will also be asked to sign a contract.
To cover my time researching your custom itinerary, arranging all of the details and being on call for support while you travel, I charge a professional fee which varies and is based on trip complexity. I'll be sure to share that fee with you during your complimentary consultation call, before we start working together. No surprises here!
For an initial up-front fee of $125 for a basic trip, you'll receive up to 2 tailored-to-you initial itineraries, after which we may charge an additional planning fee or if it can be determined during our call, I will convey the charges at that time. Travel planning takes time, so the more information you can give us at the start the better.
Additional fee may include:
-$125 per person change/revision fee after the final itinerary has been delivered
-$250 per person cancellation fee (in addition to cancellation fees charged by suppliers, if any).
Fun Facts About Me
- Bowled a 298 game (out of 300, leaving 2 pins on last ball)
- First cruise (mentioned in story above) was at 8 years old in 1959. (Ships have changed dramatically since then)
- Enjoy Doo Wop & Folk music from the 1950s and 60s and Broadway Musicals
- Met husband Dave in a motel where he worked
- Was an Avon Lady, as well as worked at many other customer service positions
- Have traveled to 6 continents; Antarctica remains on my bucket list
- Getaway Dreams Come True Travel Agency was awarded Best Luxury Cruise Agency - Pennsylvania, in the third annual Travel & Tourism Awards of 2018.
- Getaway Dreams Come True Travel Agency was awarded the Best of Fombell Award for Travel Services in 2017.
Are you interested in upleveling your vacation?
We have the feeling you do not want a cookie-cutter vacation and wish to tailor your adventures to your desires in destinations less-visited with top-shelf amenities. For our guide to 10 easy ways to V.I.P. your next vacation, click below.
WOW, where do we begin? We had the MOST AMAZING trip EVER! We can’t thank you enough for all of your help in putting the itinerary together; it could not have been any better, it was absolutely perfect! It truly was a dream trip that we can check off our bucket list. The variety of experiences and private admittance in Italy; the cities, mountains, lakes and the Mediterranean sea.
Thank you and cannot wait for you to plan our next family adventure.
Cavanaugh Family, Cranberry Twp., PA