Hey y'all, and Happy August! I miss adventure. I miss the anticipation of our next big trip. If you do as well, don't miss this interview with Fort Worth Mothers of Multiples’ Silver Sponsor, Whitney Crawford of The Vacationeer.
Whitney is authentic, hard working, and knowledgeable - which are all important attributes I want in my travel agent. It’s no secret that travel agents are always learning and exploring and Whitney is no exception. In fact, she just returned from experiencing a little Disney magic with her family recently. If you are ready to plan a family trip to a Disney destination or really plan a trip anywhere, read along to brush up on COVID-19 travel need-to-knows, and learn some fun tips along the way. The members of FWMoM are absolutely blessed to have so many hard-working, loyal, and passionate sponsors (shout out to you Whitney), so let's get going.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, Whitney. Hi, everyone! I have a 4 year old daughter and twin boys that just turned two years old. My husband and I have been together for nine years and married for six years. For those MoMs who know me well, I stay very busy (just the way I like it) between being a mom, wife, entrepreneur, and training for my first Disney Princess Marathon challenge. I have been planning travel for friends and family since I can remember and it is truly my passion. I love to help others plan their vacation of a lifetime or simply a small weekend getaway.
2. Whitney, what trip is on your bucket list? Oh wow—bucket list trip, hmmmm, I would say Fiji or Greece...what the heck, let’s go with both! My husband’s family is Greek, so visiting Greece is definitely somewhere in my future. As for Fiji, that is a place my husband and I both have dreamed about visiting. We wanted to visit for our honeymoon but it didn’t work out at that time.
3. What has been your favorite trip to help a family/couple plan? Hands down DISNEY WORLD! Disney World is my happy place, and if my husband would allow it, we would spend every vacation there. Disney World has many parts and pieces that go into planning so it can be very overwhelming for those who are not 100% familiar with that type of vacation. I love being able to help families experience everything Disney has to offer. For me, it doesn’t matter if it is a family’s first visit or their 100th visit; every Disney vacation is different and magical.
4. How did you hear about FWMoM? I found out about them from a Facebook group; likely through Jenna B.
5. Can you spill the beans on best kept secret trips you love to help people plan? I would say any all-inclusive resorts. These are my family’s favorite vacations, because we pay for everything upfront, so you don’t have to do anything but relax and enjoy your vacation. An all-inclusive would be my husband’s pick for every vacation. I also work with many honeymooners and big anniversaries, and I love being able to help them plan a romantic and relaxing beach getaway.
6. Please share your recent wins in the travel industry. COVID-19 hit us very hard and will take a long time for the travel industry to recover from, but people are still traveling and things are beginning to look up. A positive takeaway COVID-19 brought is that people have begun to understand the importance of utilizing a travel agent for vacation. I spent (and am still spending) countless hours on hold with different vendors getting refunds or rescheduling vacations for all of my clients. Most people don’t realize that we only get paid by the vendor after travel is completed, so vacations that agents worked on for months and were canceled, we are not paid for. Our industry is an amazing one but there is a lot of work that goes into planning vacations.
7. What are challenges COVID presented to you this year, and how can the members of FWMoM help? The biggest challenge is that people are not traveling like they were. The best way to help is to use an agent to book your travel. Even if just a couple of days at a hotel, we can book all of that for you. My agency has a fundraising opportunity for FWMoM-- anyone who mentions FWMoM when booking (they do not have to be a member), my agency gives 25% of the commission back to FWMOM (after travel is complete). So if you stay in Dallas for two nights and spend $400, then 25% of the commission will be sent directly to FWMoM. It is a very easy way to give back to such a great organization!
8. Disney World has reopened - any recommendations on making plans to book a trip there with The Vacationeer? Disney World has officially been open for a little over a month now, and I just returned from a (birthday) trip for myself. It was wonderful being back “home” and getting to experience the “new” Disney World firsthand. I learned so much that I am thankful I can pass on to my clients who are getting ready to start traveling again very soon. I have been visiting Walt Disney World since I was fifteen (with a 6 month stint as a college program cast member) and have been back every chance I could get. This was the first time I have visited with smaller crowds and it felt like I had the parks to myself. I can honestly say, this will probably not be something we will ever have the chance to experience again.
If you have been to Walt Disney World and are familiar with the attractions then I would recommend you go now, while these crowds are so little (literally walk on to rides all day), however, I would not recommend sending a family for the first time. There is still so much that is not present (although the magic is very much alive, just different), I would be afraid they might feel they really miss out (lots of stores still closed, dining still closed and even snack carts closed). This is especially true for those families who want to make this their once-in-a-lifetime vacation. First timers, if you are ready to plan your Disney vacation, please reach out to me as I will share all of the knowledge I gained to help you absolutely LOVE your vacation!
One thing is for sure, if you are thinking that a Disney vacation is in your future, I highly recommend getting your vacation on the books (or at least starting the planning process). The great thing about current Disney vacation packages is that they only require a $200 deposit (refundable if you choose to cancel before 30 days of travel), you can make payments on your balance, and should you need to reschedule (no matter the reason), there are no penalties (as long as your vacation is not paid in full and you are outside the 30 days of travel window).
Fort Worth MoMs, what questions do you have for Whitney? Leave a comment or question below and share your opinion! I can't wait to hear from you.
Wendy Lee, mother of three boys and one spunky daughter, including twins, Aspen and Jax, met her husband of 13 years through their black lab and German Shepard while apartment living. She has worked in the nonprofit arena for over 21 years raising awareness and funds for various organizations and currently serves as the Major Gifts Officer for Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains. Wendy loves Sour Patch kids, pumpkin spice coffee, hiking in the Colorado mountains, the Grateful Dead, and a good margarita.