Do you enjoy travel? What’s the perfect, exotic vacation you would take if expense and time were no object? Suzanne Kostalnick discovered her passion for travel at a young age, living abroad in places like Indonesia and the UK with her family. During her first job as a teacher, she took students on trips to Europe. She and her husband always traveled as much as they could, and when their kids were five, they decided to make travel an integral part of their kids’ lives and broaden their exposure to the world. They made a conscious effort to make travel an important part of their family experiences and have taken the kids all over the world.
Travel advising seemed the perfect opportunity for Suzanne to spend more time with her children and also share her passion with more people. She told me there is nothing more satisfying than being in touch with her clients, seeing their pictures, hearing their stories, and knowing she has helped create some positive family bonding time for them. Join me for this delightful conversation with travel consultant, Suzanne Kostalnick.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- [2:45] Suzanne’s opinion for the top brand for her family for the best travel experiences.
- [5:58] Top destinations right now for families and for couples.
- [7:14] One of the few places out of the country where you DON’T have to travel with a COVID test
- [10:53] Number one destination she gets inquiries about.
- [17:13] The added benefit of working with a boutique travel agency versus an online agency.
- [21:04] Taking the current world landscape in mind, the new travel trends moving forward.
- [24:58] What Suzanne does every day that brings her joy and puts her in the right mindset for success.
Suzanne’s top destination picks right now
Interestingly, when I asked Suzanne what the top destination picks were right now, she said she would think first of Hawaii and Alaska and all things Disney, but when she thinks about her own clientele, so many want to go to Europe or South America — to have an adventure experience — and just need help with the logistics of getting say, a family of 5 there safely while having an amazing time in the process.
With the landscape shift that COVID has brought, she has been getting more requests for US travel. People also want to know which countries they can travel to where there are not as many entry restrictions. Right now, Mexico does not require a COVID test and would be a good choice for couples. For families, Suzanne chose Hawaii as an easy choice for West Coast residents and a more intentional destination for East Coast travelers.
“Every trip is like an immersion into another world for me,” Suzanne remarked when I asked if she lived vicariously through the trips she got to plan for others. “It’s kind of another way of just experiencing the world, planning these trips.” Listen to get the full story on all of the interesting trips Suzanne has planned through the years!
Why it’s more important than ever to work with a travel advisor right now
Now more than ever, with COVID, it is extremely hard to keep up with the ever-changing guidelines, restrictions, and insurance requirements that you need to be able to travel. Many countries are not only requiring COVID testing and quarantining but also requiring travel insurance. Before, if you were hesitant about getting travel insurance, now you really need to go ahead and budget for it because there are places that will not let you into the country without proof of travel insurance. The expectation is that you could face issues with COVID and these countries want to make sure you have adequate coverage and that any medical attention you might need is covered by insurance.
Not only do travel advisors help you during the best of times but when things like the current world situation arise, that is when they shine. They help you get deposits back, reschedule stays, or even move them to a completely new location as the landscape changes. On top of that, there are added benefits of working with a boutique travel agency, such as Suzanne’s. With an experienced travel advisor, there is always somebody there looking out for them. As a boutique agency, they have developed relationships with different properties. They know the people who work there, so when they call and ask them to take care of clients, they listen to them. You just don’t get that with an online agency. Tune in to this episode to hear more of how a travel advisor can save you time and money.
New travel trends moving forward
I asked Suzanne about other major changes to the destinations people were requesting in this current climate.
Are people calling about the off-the-beaten-path island where the threat of COVID is not so great?
Her answer might surprise you.
She said the trend was toward smaller group experiences. More intimate tours — like the ones provided by Adventures by Disney — offer that small group, luxury guided-tour experience. She believes this type of scenario is what will likely drive tourism back to its normal state. People are definitely shying away from large group types of trips. Listen in to hear all of the fascinating travel news and anecdotes that Suzanne shares with us!
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Suzanne
Suzanne developed a love for travel at a young age and continues to nurture that love today. Having traveled extensively as a child, alone as a young adult and now with her husband and own children, she knows what details make each trip special. She has been able to use her own varied luxury travel experiences as a guide for others.
- Suzane Kostalnick – My Path Unwinding Travel
- Luxury Travel Insiders Facebook Group
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