Once you meet Rachael Rogers-Bohan, owner for For The Story Vacations, you can't help but have a SUPER BIG girl crush on her! Not only is she spunky, sweet, and all around a ball of fun, but her knowledge and expertise in the vacation planning industry is re-shaping how couples, and people in general, are experiencing travel. We are PUMPED to be showcasing For The Story Vacations in this month's Interview With A Pro segment. Never has travel been more affordable, doable, and downright fun. So, without further ado, let me introduce you Rachael, an awesome world-traveler who is sharing only with our #amhfamily the tips and tricks on how to start your next travel story today....
What sets you apart from other travel planners?
My husband and I both have an incredibly unique situation in that we both work for ourselves and in the Travel industry. When we decided to start traveling full time in 2016, we didn't realize how addicted we would become to this lifestyle. For the last two years, we have moved to a new city within the world every single month. I had a list of cities I've always wanted to live in, but I also selected places off of where people were asking me to plan to. A lot of the time, both lists actually concurred. It's so much easier to create an authentic and unique trip for clients having spent a busy month there researching.
How did you know planning people’s vacations was for you?
It all actually started with my wedding days! That's right I said "days"!) My Irish husband and I had two pretty large weddings seven days apart: one in Missouri, where I’m from; the other in Galway, Ireland, where he is from. It took a LOT of planning and hustling. Not only did we have to get people booked into the perfect hotels and Airbnbs for their price range, we also wanted to ensure all our American guests who flew to Ireland got the full experience and vice versa.
The weird thing was, I actually enjoyed doing it. I loved the euphoria on peoples’ faces. I launched For The Story Vacations 8 months after we returned from our wedding festivities.
Why hire a travel planner with all the technology at our fingertips in 2018? Why is your service is crucial to those of who might not be great at it, don't have the time, or feel overwhelmed by the task?
I love travel planning and I'm naturally a very detail-oriented person. I worked as a wedding planner in Manhattan for a year, and treat my client's vacations with just as much meticulousness- if not more, since it's my own business. I would argue that my service is even crucial for those who ARE good at travel planning. My clients get to have their perfect holiday- whether they're foodies, history buffs, outdoorsy types, or a family who's a mix of everything- all planned, booked, and laid out for them.
They don't need to spend a billion hours online researching after a long day's work, or take a stab in the dark on places they've never been, or worry that they're being fleeced. This is particularly the case with honeymooners. I know from experience, if you can avoid any stress whatsoever during the year you plan your wedding, you should grab it with both hands!
A vacation should be fun, exciting, and affordable. Once you hire me and we go through your loves, likes, pet peeves, bucket list, etc, and then I do all the work and put in the countless hours online until your tailor-made trip of a lifetime is complete. All that's left for you to do is show up and have a ball.
And obviously the fact that I've made a lot of connections in so many cities, it stands my clients' pockets in good stead. Unlike the traditional 'travel agent', I charge one affordable, transparent fee, upfront, and don't make commission from any of the things I book. My aim is to make your Euro go as far as possible, whether you're staying at a hostel or a 5-star. Much more often than not, the amount of money I save my clients more than covers my fee.
What is a doable budget for a honeymoon to Europe?
It's actually WAY cheaper than most people think! I have done a ton of Honeymoons this past year with a 5k budget for 2 weeks in Europe. Planning ahead with an expert is the key. For clients who are more adventurous in accommodation options, I've worked within a 2.5k budget.
How far in advance do you recommend booking flights?
The search can begin 1 year prior to your travel date. I usually start working with clients 6 months-1 year out. The earlier we begin booking, the better the pricing and options I can offer my clients. My goal is to make your money go farther than you thought it could. Travel does not have to be expensive. Lack of planning is what puts a big hole in your wallet.
How far in advance do you recommend booking accommodation and excursions?
I always recommend having accommodation booked at least 6-8 months in advance. The earlier the better. This ensures the best options, in the coolest neighborhoods, at the most affordable rate.
What is the best form of transport for Europe?
Planes, trains, automobiles, buses- you have every option available to you once you land in Europe. I aim for a balance of convenience and expense when getting clients from point A to point B. The cheapest option, while often the best, is not always the smartest. Travel doesn't need to be nearly as exhausting as many people make it. When necessary, I recommend to spend a little extra to save yourselves time and stress. If you get there three hours quicker, say, it's probably worth shelling out another 30 euro.
What has been your favorite destination over the last 2 years of full time travel in Europe?
Santorini was incredibly magical and a lot more affordable than what people make it out to be. You can experience luxury without dropping a ton of cash. From our sunset catamaran cruise to our wine and food tour around the Island- the entire trip was a dream.
I also adored our time in Provence and the Cote D'Azur. You have the very best of everything at your fingertips: affordable wine, loads of sunshine, incredible views, the ocean, and beautiful villages along the way. Whats not to love?
Biggest piece of advice for Brides planning their big day?
Ask for help when you need it. There is only one of you, so don't spread yourself too thin. Your time being engaged should be special and not filled with a TON of stress. I also recommend sharing in a bottle of nice wine while planning anything with your Fiancé- it takes away a bit of stress and adds some fun!
Congrats to all the new Brides! I wish you unlimited years of happiness, joy, and amazing adventures!
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