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Why we started a travel agency

Karen and I have been married seven years, we both love to travel and have done so our entire adult lives. We’ve visited or lived in so many wonderful places in the United States, Mexico, Caribbean, China, and Europe and have made so many great friends in those places that help us find those hidden treasures that are not on typical travel itineraries. We love to experience new cultures, which is important when travelling abroad.

While dreaming about retirement (can anyone say countdown??) and a new chapter in our lives, we sat on the porch one evening sipping wine and asked ourselves, “What can we do to make some extra money? Something we love that we can take with us anywhere we decide to live?” We wanted to continue this lifestyle of seeing new things and experiencing new places with our eye on retiring outside of the US. These questions gave birth to the idea of starting our own travel agency. After having planned vacations for ourselves, friends and family it seemed like a perfect fit, so we decided LET’S DO IT!

We knew we did not want a cookie-cutter business that just books what you can do yourself, instead we wanted to help people take a good vacation and make it an amazing, personalized experience. Everyone knows that when you go to London you can see Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and so on, BUT by using our love of research, knowledge from friends, and previous adventures, when we went to London we discovered a wonderful food tour in the old market beneath London Bridge and got to taste great food and learned a little history of the area.


Borough Market, Central London


Knowing that there was no need to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel, we instead hooked up with a travel host. That move offered connections to all major brands as well as many lessor known companies, along with training for new agents. This allowed to be independent and do our own thing while using their resources. We began training and created a website of our own (the host provides one too). The next step was the big launch. We were so excited! Well, a week before we were to launch, the Coronavirus hit and travel shut down. Instead of letting this be a negative, we postponed the launch and took advantage of the downtime to get even more training. After months of classes and industry certifications with everything from cruise lines to all-inclusive resorts to hotel and theme parks, we felt we were ready to go. Just needed this pandemic to pass so people weren’t so afraid to go out.

Fast forward to the end of May and travel is beginning to reopen. We feel so much more prepared! Lots of people are still nervous, but this too shall pass, and I think the travel bug will bite harder than before (ever heard of cabin fever). The good news is the travel industry NEEDS your business and most brands are offering discounted rates and free cancellations. You can book now for later in the year, or in some cases next year at discounted rates. So once again, a negative has turned into a positive for us (God tends to work that way sometimes).



We feel that now is the time to launch and are so excited to branch out on this adventure and see where life takes us from here. We are looking forward to getting the business established and taking it with us when we one day retire and move south of the border. What a fun way to make some cerveza money, by helping our friends have the amazing experiences that we have been blessed with. So where do you want to go now that you “know someone in the business”?


Haril & Karen

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Haril and Karen Walpole, H & K Travel

An Inteletravel Independant Travel Agency

512-790-4464

info@handktravel.com

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