Interview With A Pro - For The Story Vacations

Interview With A Pro - For The Story Vacations

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....

Rachael Rogers Bohan | Owner, For The Story Vacations

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?

For The Story Vacations | Lavendar Fields

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.

For The Story Vacations | Europe

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!

xx
Rachael

Get In Touch With For The Story Today!
Website: forthestory.vacations
Facebook: www.facebook.com/forthestoryvacations
Instagram: @forthestoryvacations

Bridal Gown Shopping Etiquette 101

If you are a first time bride, as many are, congratulations! Your fiancé has popped the question, you have accepted, and you are excited to begin the dress shopping journey. We couldn't be more happy for you, and, we cannot wait to welcome you to the salon.

As a first time bride we understand this may be an exciting, and sometimes confusing time as you figure out exactly what to expect during this wedding planning adventure. You may think binge watching "Say Yes to the Dress" will prepare you for this, but, unfortunately, television does not always accurately reflect the true experience. 

Below are five simple rules of etiquette to consider when you begin your dress shopping journey. Remember, this is can be an extremely emotional time for you and your loved ones, and you want your time to be as positive as possible. So, set yourself up with a solid foundation, and create lasting memories!

1. Make an appointment

Providing the highest possible service is the number one goal of All My Heart Bridal, and, in order to provide the best experience for you we appreciate being able to dedicate the time to help from start to finish. Scheduling an appointment allows us to focus solely on your needs, and locate your dream gown. While it may seem like a good idea to simply "pop" into a store to look, this can take away from another bride's experience, or, pressure a stylist into feeling they need to let you try on gowns, even if they don't have the time. 

It is extremely important to schedule an appointment if you're wanting to come in on a weekend. It is even more important if you are coming in from out of town to set up appointments prior to arriving so you can avoid being turned away if a salon is too busy. It is the respectful thing to do, both for your shopping experience, and, for the salon you want to visit. A lot of salons are requiring appointments so make sure you do your research, and plan appropriately.  

Tip From The Shop: Saturdays are the busiest day of our week, and we constantly fill up with appointments, and, even have to start waitlists. If you walk into our salon with a large group of loved ones expecting us to be able to accommodate you, unfortunately, it just can't happen. And this can cause you to feel irritated or discouraged. We have brides who come from all over the United States to shop with us, and it isn't fair to cut their time short when they took the time to schedule an appointment so we can "squeeze you in." 

2. Don't waste time

There are lots of ways this rule applies to your dress shopping experience, so, we have broken it down into three sections.

Don't wait until the last minute.

It takes between 6-9 months total from the moment you start your shopping experience to the last alteration so don't waste your time. As soon as you get engaged, and you have narrowed down an approximate date for the wedding, start planning. Schedule appointments, look at magazines to get an idea for what you want, and purchase your dress. Not only does waiting too long possibly limit the selection of gowns to choose from, but it will avoid additional expenses such as rush fees, and could save you hundreds of dollars.

Start shopping when you're serious about buying.

There is nothing more disheartening to a stylist than when a bride comes in and immediately says they're here to "look, not buy," especially when you are there on a Saturday. Do not waste the time of the salon, or yours, if you're not seriously on the hunt. If this is the first time you're trying on, and you just want to get an idea of different silhouettes, book an appointment for a weekday when salons are slower, and be up front with the stylist before you arrive. This will allow them to schedule accordingly, and not take away from another bride who is ready to find the one. 

Arrive on time to your appointment. Also, cancel.

Salons schedule appointments in time blocks so each bride gets the perfect amount of dedicated service from their stylist. Keep this in mind when scheduling multiple appointments in one day, give yourself enough travel time, and always arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. If you are running late be courteous, and call the salon to let them know. But, understand, if you arrive late do not expect the salon to extend your appointment. It isn't fair to  take away from the appointment following yours.   

If you booked multiple appointments in one day, and find the dress early on, make sure you call the other salons and let them know so they can open those appointment times for another bride. If something comes up, as happens with life, and you need to cancel your appointment altogether, make sure you provide as much notice as possible. It is the respectful thing to do, and the salon will appreciate the gesture. I promise!

3. Arrive fresh and prepared.

While it seems common sense it is a rule which must be said. Out of respect for your stylist, and the other brides who try on the samples in the salon, make sure you wear proper undergarments. For example, shape ware such as Spanx, underwear, and a bra. Be conscious of your hygiene, and try to wear minimal makeup. You could be stepping into gowns, or, putting them on over your head which can cause makeup or lipstick stains. 

Tip From the Shop: All My Heart Bridal is primarily a special order store which means the gowns on our racks are simply samples, and we will order your gown in from the designer in the correct size, color, and with any changes you want made. It is important we keep our samples as clean as possible since multiple brides can try on the same gown in one day. While we spot clean and treat our samples with care, it is always appreciated when our brides treat them with the same respect.

4. Be 100% honest with your stylist.

Your stylist is going to be your best friend in your dress shopping journey, and they want you to feel beautiful, confident, and sexy. They are not there to set you up for failure, and sometimes encourage you to go outside your comfort zone. However, it is vital for you to be 100% honest with them about what you love or hate when trying on gowns so they can point you in the right direction. No one ever wants you to say yes to a dress you don't love. The more honest you can be the better your appointment will go, and the more likely you are to find the perfect one!

5. Order the correct size.

As a curvy bridal salon we hear lots of brides talk about how they want to tone, lose weight, or adjust their dress size prior to their wedding, and we couldn't be happier! However, we will take your measurements upon ordering, and recommend a size we know will fit you at that time. It is always easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out. Let me repeat this phrase. IT IS ALWAYS EASIER TO TAKE A DRESS IN THAN IT IS TO LET IT OUT. Almost all gowns can come down at least two sizes, and that can be an overall 6-8 inch difference which is a significant amount. By purchasing a dress you know will fit properly you can only look better in it if you tone or lose weight. There is nothing more defeating than ordering a gown smaller than your measurements, and not being able to fit into it when it arrives. Take the advice of the salon, and order the proper size. This will ensure you have a positive experience, and if the gown is too big when it arrives that is a much better feeling!

Want more shopping tips? Visit The Knot for more tips and tricks to set you up for the best shopping experience possible. Ready to book your appointment? Call us at 816-600-0651. We can't wait to meet you!