TRAVEL with EASe Definitely Not Your Mother’s Travel Agency
In 25-plus years, the only criticism that Lynn Sullivan, owner of TRAVEL with EASe Services Inc. in Fort Myers, recalls hearing from her clients about their vacation experience is actually the secret to her success. “Whether they are first-timers or repeaters, they all tell me I ask a lot of questions that make them think about what they really expect and want from their vacation,” says Sullivan.
Sullivan’s first travel agency was located in Aurora, Illinois. “Because it was the town that NBC Saturday Night Live used in their sketch for Wayne’s World, which featured actor Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell enthusiastically hosting his TV program from the basement of his parents’ home, people always joked that I lived in Wayne’s World,” she says.
A woman who describes herself as a people person, Sullivan’s comfort level with moving around and traveling may well have to do with her previous job as a civilian employee of the government. “As a Chinese translator, I got moved around about every five or six months. I traveled around the world and lived overseas where I met the man I married. When he told me to find work that I liked, I picked travel, which was an easy decision,” advises Sullivan, who has also visited all 50 U.S. states.
Sullivan is a myth buster who enjoys pointing out why people still need a travel agent. “Millions of people think that travel agents charge more for the same airline, hotel and car reservations that they can book online. They also think travel agents are unnecessary. The truth is that when you book your vacation online, you are buying the unknown and on your own. Travel agents are there to help when you need it and can generally save you money,” advises Sullivan.
An example Sullivan offers concerns how she has helped individuals with autistic children that wanted a fun vacation for the whole family. If they were searching on their own, they would have missed out on Beaches, an all-inclusive family resort that offers specially trained counselors (at no extra cost during the day and evenings until 11 p.m.) that conduct one-on-one and small group activities for children with autism or other special needs. Parents can relax and enjoy themselves while their other children have fun, all the while knowing that their special needs child is having a good time, too. “A good travel agent would know that,” notes Sullivan.
Not a typical travel agent, Sullivan mostly meets her clients to plan their vacation at convenient local bookstores and coffee shops on weekdays, evenings and weekends. “The majority of my business is done online, particularly with Millennials who mostly prefer to use technology and social media. I do the same, except when clients want to meet face-to-face,” she remarks.
A favorite vacation spot for Sullivan is Ireland. “I love the Emerald Isle, but also like to travel at least twice a year to other destinations so that I can provide clients with recommendations based on my own experience,” she says.Edit ModuleShow Tags