I don’t know about y’all but I miss travel – it’s definitely one of my most favorite hobbies! I miss dreaming, planning, researching, and most importantly, going on my getaway. Whether it's a cruise, or a family or romantic getaway, it takes attention to detail, bargaining, and research to determine where I want to go next and how to score the best deal. Although my family has not yet been to Disney, that is next on our list and Kaleigh Kirkpatrick is an expert on that subject. That is exactly why I am thrilled to share my fun interview with Kaleigh, founder of the Shameless Tourist, with you all today.
Travel has always been an integral part of Kaleigh Kirkpatrick’s life. The desire to see the world and experience it firsthand is something that is ingrained in her and these firsthand experiences are something she loves to share with her clients. From her first solo international flight at age twelve, to her first trip alone with her three-year-old daughter, to traveling in groups of more than twenty, Kaleigh has experienced trips of all shapes, sizes and to countless destinations. A “type-A” personality at heart, Kaleigh was always the family planner of all events, leaving little to chance, and their travel was no exception. Kaleigh truly loves helping individuals, couples, groups, and families plan their travel. Sharing her tips, tricks, money saving tactics, and reviews of destinations around the world, she is confident that she can plan a superb vacation. So, let us dive in – and get to know Kaleigh better in addition to what makes her individualized, personalized service so special.
- Kaleigh, can you share with us your current bucket list trip?
I am supposed to be in Africa right now so that bucket list has been placed on hold until next summer. We were booked to see the Great Migration in Tanzania, then a few days at the beach in Mozambique before rounding out the trip and seeing Cape Town. Other bucket list trips for me include Antarctica, The Arctic Circle, Bhutan, and Peru.
- What has been your favorite trip to help a family or couple plan?
Gosh, what a hard question! I love helping families plan their first Disney trip because it’s usually such a special trip for the parents—I know I dreamed of taking my daughter to Disney before she was born, so it was such an exciting time when I was planning her first trip. I also love planning first international trips for families or couples for the same reason; it’s so exciting and I love being able to add value and take away the stress for my clients.
- How did you hear about FWMoM?
Tyler Wright was a client of mine years ago and I believe she placed me in contact with the group. Shout out to Tyler!
- Any best kept secret trips you love to help people plan?
I love to send clients away for a romantic getaway at a resort that is not at the beach. There are so many amazing resorts in the US that are all about getting outdoors, having an amazing culinary experience, and truly experiencing rest and relaxation that most people only associate with a beach.
- I would love to hear about a recent win you experienced in the travel industry.
Less the crazy circumstances we have found ourselves in lately, 2020 has been a great year for recognition of my business. I was Fort Worth Woman of the Month in February and was also recognized in Voyage Dallas earlier this year. This summer, I was also on the founding team to launch TripAdvisor’s new platform, Reco, which is a website that helps match consumers with a Travel Advisor.
- Disney is reopening this month, I believe. Do you have recommendations on making plans with your agency to book a trip in the future?
Disney reopens July 11! Yes, now it is more important than ever to book early. Disney is requiring park reservations to even enter the parks and these reservations are made as soon as you book your hotel; so, book early to guarantee your entrance to the parks. Right now, we are booking January 1-September 26, 2021; with other dates in 2020 and later in 2021 coming later this summer.
- What are challenges COVID presented to you this year, and how can the members of FWMoM help?
This has been a challenging year (to put it mildly) in the Travel Industry. In case you are not aware, usually about 90% or more of the money Travel Advisors make is paid after the client travels. Because of this, most Travel Advisors have lost at least a year of income, if not maybe more—plus we have been busy cancelling and postponing trips for clients who were booked prior to the pandemic; all basically for free. I hope moms remember that Travel Advisors are all a part of our small business community and they have been hurt just as badly, if not worse than your favorite boutiques, restaurants, etc. If you think of traveling soon, whether you want to rent a home, visit a hotel—near or far, reach out! We have lots of great relationships that can help you find the perfect place for your next getaway.
Well I do not know about y’all, but my travel bug and dream vacation inspiration has increased tenfold since getting to know Kaleigh better. I am positive we need to get our family to the beach and now I know that Kaleigh can help us find a beautiful beach home on 30A. Contact Kaleigh today at www.theshamelesstourist.com to learn how she can help you make your dream vacation a reality on a budget!