Lia Vincent is the owner and manager of Oklahoma City-based travel agency Vincent Vacations. She has over 16 years of experience working in the travel field and founded Vincent Vacations in 2014. Find and follow Vincent Vacations on Facebook or their website at vincentvacations.com.
To read more about the travel needs of empty nesters, read the full discussion article that inspired the interview.
AM: Talk about how you developed a passion for creating memorable trips, vacations and destination weddings and why you created your agency.
LIA: I worked at a corporate travel-focused agency. I decided to branch out and focus only on vacations. There is such a difference working with travel agents who only deal with vacations instead of corporate trips.
I personally specialize in destination weddings. I planned my own in 2010 and learned so much! I enjoy helping brides pick the perfect hotel and make it a stress-free experience. An expert is hard to find, and we are experts in vacation.
AM: What goes into designing the perfect trip or vacation for your clients?
LIA: We are big into visiting the destinations we sell before we sell them. The agents and I travel multiple times a year to tour hotels and see destinations first-hand so we can know exactly what our clients will experience.
Another couple of ways we ensure our customers have the best experience is by networking with sales managers and attending training. Being a great travel agent is all about being a know-it-all and we pride ourselves in being the best of the best.
AM: Have you observed any differences in what different generations need when traveling?
LIA: Millennial and younger generations are into electronic documents, everything in their email or a travel app. Empty Nesters and the almost retired typically like hard copies in their hand while traveling. Of course, we like to ask which they prefer before we plan out the trip.
Another difference is that this age range selects different destinations. This age can typically be gone longer, so they might select a longer cruise like to Panama Canal or the bucket list trip to Europe or Tahiti. Recently, I have had a lot of couples do bucket list trips to celebrate a big wedding anniversary, like their 30th.
AM: How does Vincent Vacations cater to people from every age range, especially the empty nester or almost-retiree?
LIA: Typically, the empty nester loves in-office appointments, so having a retail location where anyone can make an appointment to sit down and make a plan is crucial. We also host information nights, which builds trust. We recently hosted a European river cruise info night to learn more about river cruising, which has become very popular for this age range.
AM: How does a travel brand or travel agency build trust with its customer base?
LIA: We have found being active and transparent on social media is huge for building trust. Empty nesters are on Facebook, so we post specials every week to give travel ideas as well as photos of us personally traveling.
Still curious about what empty nesters need from travel brands or agents? Check out the full discussion article.