Before becoming a travel agent, I would plan trips for my friends and me. I would research different places and destinations. I would then call a local travel agent and tell them what I wanted, where I wanted to go and who would be calling. After a few years doing this, my best friend Mark told me I should become a travel agent. I told him I didn’t have time for that. He responded, “You do it now.” The more I thought about it, he was right. So I started looking into it and found an agency that would train outside agents. Well, after about four weeks of training, I was already booking trips. The owner wanted to know who I was and where I came from. She went on to say that she had never taught someone that picked up on the business so fast.
So my intention was just to help out friends and family, as I was still working full time as a police officer. As time went on my business grew, by word of mouth and my friends were telling their friends, who told their friends and family. I realized this had potential. At the time, most people still trusted the police and identity theft was a hot topic in the news. So most of my clients thought “If I can’t trust a police officer, who can I trust?”
By 2013 my business was doing great. I had planned on retiring from the police department in 2015. Many of my local vendor representatives told me I should look in to opening my own business. They said I was booking more than some of their store front locations! At the time this was the farthest thing from my mind.
So I started looking into it and contacted three different franchises to gather more information. In September 2013, I purchased my Dream Vacations franchise. My clientele had grown and I was servicing clients in numerous states around the country. I was also about to garner the trust of a NASCAR driver and plan his “Fan Club Trip.”
In 2017 I was awarded the top sales agent out of over 1,000 franchises in CruiseOne/Dream Vacations. The award was for selling the most from The Mark Travel Corporation family of brands including Southwest Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Blue Sky Tours and United Vacations. My business continues to grow every year, and this would not be possible without my wife Mary Lou. She handles all of the back office duties including accounting, payment reminders and posting payments. Together we make it work and a lot of our clients we now consider family.