Certified Travel Teacher
From a very young age, travel has been part of my life.
Having an Uncle who traveled the world and took me to interesting places, sparked this interest. Even in grade school I would sneak into a local hotel on my way home from school and take the brochures from the rack in the lobby. I thought I was stealing and I can still see the dark wood and the dim lights of the lobby. Then I made scrapbooks of every state in the Union and every capital of those states.
After I married and we moved to various cities as well as on the trips we would take, we always explored the area as though we would never return. We even checked out hotels which I do now as part of my profession.
In 1979 we started our own construction business and since then have owned many businesses. It wasn’t until 1993 when a friend told me she was going to travel school did I ever think of travel as a profession. I jumped into school and knew this was going to be my “end of life” career. After 2 years in school I went to work in a travel agency as an outside agent. Going to travel school was not even a drop in the bucket of the knowledge I needed to begin selling travel. This is the most complex business I have ever been in. After 7 years in 2 agencies, and being very independent, I moved my office home and have kept right on going. I now have a number of Independent Contractors who work with me.
The first thing I did was begin to get my certifications.
I went to over 15 Cruise a Thons, which were training conventions and no longer exist, and began my Cruise Line International Association or CLIA certifications. I traveled all over the US to take classes including a time at the University of Miami. It took me over 10 years to go through the 3 steps of certification – ACC, MCC, ECC. After the ECC, Elite Cruise Counselor , was developed I quickly went to work on this. At that time not many home based agents could qualify. I was #43 in the country to get this certification. Along with the CLIA certifications, I began to get my Travel Institute Certifications. These are even harder to get and require a lot of study. I passed the tests and received my CTA and CTC certifications. Many countries, islands and cities have Destination Specialist programs. These are ongoing and I have earned DS certifications in many of these. The biggest learning I have done is to travel the world.
Make sure the travel agent you use is certified and can help you see the world before you leave it. Granny on the Go can!!