Story by Muriel Vega
With the rise of ticket reserving and lodge aggregator websites on the Web, chances are you’ll assume that the journey agent career has develop into out of date. Nevertheless, the personalised curation finished by journey consultants is right here to remain, even throughout the holidays, in response to Lindsey Epperly.
“The largest false impression individuals have about journey companies is that they’re nonetheless old style, purely transactional and that the brokers haven’t traveled wherever,” says Epperly, an Atlanta-based journey marketing consultant and entrepreneur. “Prior to now, they might simply e book a visit for the shopper with out attending to know them, whereas we’re very service-oriented.”
Epperly owns journey consultancy Epperly Journey, an company that provides luxurious journey providers for these customers who aren’t enthusiastic about navigating journey boards on-line and wish just a little additional help to seek out actions that match their itinerary and finances.
She began touring at a younger age, when her household booked cruises to the Caribbean and Alaska. “Once I was in faculty, I studied overseas in France and attended the Cannes Competition, considering I wished to do movie,” she says. “I got here again from my semester overseas, [having] fallen in love with journey.”
As a 20-year-old English main on the College of Georgia searching for extra info on an upcoming household cruise, she walked right into a small Athens journey company. “I wasn’t vying for a job in any respect they usually provided me one on the spot to promote honeymoons. I stated, ‘I’ve by no means been on one, however let’s see who buys one from me,’” she laughs.
Three years in the past, she expanded Epperly Journey previous her one-woman operation, bringing on a number of journey coordinators and partnering with an even bigger umbrella company to offer extra shopping for energy for his or her purchasers.
Now her journey consultancy makes a speciality of international, 5-star luxurious getaways, from honeymoons to household journey. Partnerships with vetted properties, tour teams, and different distributors might help purchasers skip the customarily nebulous evaluations on-line that depart them questioning if the lodging or tour might be a superb match. These questions develop into particularly urgent throughout the vacation season, historically one of many yr’s busiest occasions to journey domestically.
“While you log on, you’re simply placing in what you assume you need, or what Expedia tells you is the most cost effective factor on the market,” she says. “Whereas we’re serving as that interpreter. I’ve had so many individuals discover out that their dream journey is in a special space than they had been anticipating — they’re open to the brand new vacation spot simply based mostly on our experience. I don’t imagine that journey is one-size-fits-all.”
Epperly shares one of the best spots to spend the vacation season and reap the benefits of the sluggish season for locations overseas.
Christmas in Italy. In the course of the low season, Italy has develop into an important bang on your buck over the vacations, Epperly says. When you gained’t have the ability to go wine tasting in Tuscany or cling on the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, main cities like Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice supply lovely winter points of interest just like the Christmas Market of Piazza Navona in Rome or the various piazzas adorned to the nines with massive Christmas timber, like Milan’s Piazza Duomo. “You’ll be able to nonetheless have a beautiful time in main cities at nice charges with subsequent to no crowds,” she says.
Holidays within the solar. “Plenty of vacationers are hoping to seek out just a little enjoyable within the solar throughout the holidays, nevertheless it’s essential to notice that the Christmas and New Yr’s interval are the most costly occasions to go to sunny locations just like the Caribbean and Hawaii,” Epperly says. Her most important tip when you select to go the sandy route: Discover not too long ago opened properties or new hidden gem lodges to seize decrease charges.
She recommends Solaz, the brand new Luxurious Assortment property in Cabo, and the beachfront Park Hyatt St. Kitts within the West Indies. At St. Kitts, don’t miss the Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage website, and its well-preserved grounds and forts. For those who climb to the highest, you possibly can see as much as six different islands within the distance.
Journey within the new yr. An enormous fan of the Southern Hemisphere, Epperly recommends utilizing the sluggish time on the finish of the yr to flee the winter and luxuriate in Australia and New Zealand’s summer time. She recommends a keep at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand for the unimaginable views and farm-to-table choices throughout your keep.
In New Zealand, take a brief 30-min ferry to Waiheke Island for a tour of the native wineries. There are a number of excursions obtainable that take you to 3 to 4 wineries, and if you wish to unwind after, there’s a seashore and eating places close to the ferry port earlier than making your method again to Auckland.
For 2019, Epperly recommends East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania), particularly for individuals who’ve already finished South Africa and a extra approachable outside journey with entry to seashores and wildlife. However her No. 1 vacation spot is Portugal. “I personally traveled to Portugal final yr and I feel it’s finest saved secret of Europe,” she says.
Lindsey Epperly’s No. 1 journey tip is packing garments inside the identical colour scheme so you may have extra versatile outfits and may match them multi function carry-on.