My name is Cali Hersh and I am a Luxury Travel Consultant with my own agency, called Cali Hersh Travel. It’s a very creative name if I do say so myself. I am also on the Board for the NYC Female Hospitality Netwok and wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts and experiences with you.
I am so passionate about my job for so many reasons and I’ll be writing a series of pieces about the future of travel from the Consultant side, which will be very quite different than what you’ll read about from the airlines, corporations, and even travel writers. I’ll discuss the future of cruises, airlines, safety and cleaning at properties, home-sharing, and several other topics. Glad to have you on a part of my journey, and of course if you’re busting at the chops to start traveling again
After several years of floating by in a career that I didn’t particularly care for, I decided to take a huge leap, quit my salaried with benefits job, and start my own business. Many stories I’ve heard of people taking these same steps were met with trepidation from family and friends, but my story was different. Every single person I told that I was going to work in the travel industry started glowing, because they knew that this job could not have been more perfect for
I started traveling internationally in college and have been hooked ever since. I made up my own word, which is that I am a Travelvert: I get my energy from traveling, from talking about travel, and from helping other people travel. I am not just a Travel Agent, but a Travel Consultant, in which I consult with my clients on all things travel, be it the weather, best times to travel, when to see the most animals, the cheapest hotels near big festivals, etc. What sets me apart from my competitors is that I retain clients for life: I plan their honeymoons, then babymoons, then anniversary’s, then family vacations. I get to be a part of some of the best memories’ of my clients lives, and I can’t tell you how many friends who have become clients, and clients who have become friends.
A typical day for me involves waking up to a ton of emails from the Eastern hemisphere. The emails are usually an answer that to an inquiry I made about a tour or activity, or a quote for a hotel or villa, or an answer to a general question about the destination (because I do not actually know everything about everywhere!) I could google the answers to my questions, but having personal relationships with suppliers and Sales Managers from the most luxurious hotels around the world ensures that I will be able to relay quality information to my clients and build the best itineraries. This is a Travel Consultant’s main value-that we have personal relationships with the experts who have the best information as well as the best prices. Why should you spend hours and hours pouring over the internet with unreliable and overwhelming information? Hire someone in my position, and we do the work for you. You could google how to dye your own hair, but why not just use a professional?
The rest of my day I am emailing back and forth with hotels to get the best prices for my clients. I am friendly with many Directors of Sales, and they upgrade my clients and give very special amenities such as welcome cocktails, spa credits, and more. You couldn’t get this by booking on your own. My favorite part of my job is when a client gets to their hotel room, and texts me thanking me for a special note that I leave, their bottle of champagne and fruit platter.
I also email back and forth with my clients, and will revise an itinerary as many times until they are completely satisfied. I take webinars on destinations, and on hotel upgrades, on travel trends, and on everything I can to keep my industry knowledge up to date. And of course, I travel when I can both personally and professionally. I take many trips with my colleagues to visit new hotels, and to experience the best of a destination so that I have firsthand knowledge when building itineraries.
Tune in next week to read about why and how Coronavirus has affected the career I love.