Last week, my tea party here in Sun City Anthem was visited by the City of Henderson Law enforcement. Apparently, someone in this community had reported that I was operating as a travel agency. (As if!) I believe we have people up here who need to get a life… Needless to say, everything was straightened out and we all went back to enjoying our tea.
As a professional travel advisor, I work with many travel consortiums and suppliers throughout the world, and I have many titles. That said, I am not a travel agent/agency. I do not have ticket stock, nor do I collect money. I am a licensed Travel Broker with the City of Henderson. When you book a trip through me, I give you several options to choose from. You pay the travel supplier directly, not me. Then the travel supplier sends the consortium that I am representing, such as Signature Travel Network, a commission for this transaction. When everything is finalized, I get a portion of this as my commission fee
I do not sell travel under the name of “Travels With Sara Raney, LLC.” My revenue comes from consulting, selling ebooks, tour directing, lecturing and referring clients to travel suppliers. At this time, I am not charging any groups that I escort here in SCA the customary $150.00-$200.00 per day fee that I would normally charge for escorting a group, nor any other fees. Why? Because I love my community and want to give something back. This also goes for those who consult with me on individual travel plans.
The companies that I refer clients to will rarely, if ever, be advertised on TV or by any travel agencies. I specialize in working with luxury companies such as Leading Hotels of the World, Orient Express Trains, Hotels, and Barges, as well as National Geographic Lindblad Tours, such at the South America Antarctic Expedition Cruise, Galapagos Island, Rocky Mountaineer Luxury Train, Africa’s Rovas Rail, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains – Trans-Siberian Railroad, India’s Palace on Wheels, Uni World, AMA Waterways, and Cox and Kings. I also work with boutique companies such as Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, and others.
The companies that I represent are ones that I personally travel with, and I have taken their certified courses.
Why is this good for you? Seniors are VIP’s and we have special needs. Let’s face it, ladies… what about leaky pipes? And can you climb up into horse drawn carriages and other places that require you to lift your leg up really high? (I know I can’t.) What about those who want to travel and their loved ones have special problems? It is an unfriendly world when it comes to being a senior, especially if you have special needs. I understand, because I took my husband on vacations after he became ill and it was a logistic nightmare. There are a lot of ports of call and countries that are hard to get around in if you have walking issues. Someone who does not have these problems simply does not understand, and unfortunately they do not care.
Have you ever had to struggle getting someone through the airport, hotels, cruises ships, and ports of call? How many tours have you gone on that you had to run to keep up with, or drop out of, because tour guides did not think about the fact that not everyone can walk as fast as they can. I understand, and will take the time to listen and help you.
I believe you should travel! Do not put off that dream vacation that you always have wanted to do. Tomorrow may be too late.
When I was a child I had this dream of traveling the world, lecturing, writing travel articles, escorting tours, and helping discerning clients find their dream trips. Now that I am, shall I say, in the “over-50 group, who is retired and does not have to worry about a paycheck,” I can finally follow my dreams. So, what do I do? I work with discerning individuals who are looking for a unique and memorable vacation. I also set up and escort HOA groups for seniors. I am a Certified Tour Director and Licensed Guide. I hold a Special Needs Certification which helps me understand what my clients might need and helps to ensure a hassle-free senior-friendly vacation, whether in a tour or individual vacation.
To all of you who have supported me, thank you! This past year has been very rewarding. Dreams do come true.