Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why I Travel: It's Part of My Job

Would you trust a doctor who didn’t constantly study up on the latest techniques and medications to treat illnesses? How about an accountant who didn’t keep up with the ever-changing tax laws? Of course you wouldn’t! Why then would you book your travel through someone who isn't consistently traveling and visiting the places they recommend to you?

This thought crossed my mind multiple times as I recently hotel-hopped through Bangkok, Hanoi and Hong Kong. While I constantly hear from friends, family, clients, Facebook acquaintances and Twitter followers how much they enjoy following my travels via the photos and comments I post along the way, I never lose sight of the real reason I am globe-trotting: It’s my job!

As the owner of a luxury travel agency with a growing roster of clients expecting me to know everything about everywhere, how can I possibly call myself an expert in my field if I am not continually experiencing the world firsthand? This is how I look at every trip I take, including the one I just returned from in Asia.

To be frank, I knew next to nothing about the brand new “SO” brand of hotels being launched by Sofitel, and I had not been to Bangkok in more than 15 years. These were two perfectly good reasons for me to allocate the time needed to properly revisit this city while getting to know this new brand.

From the moment I walked into the So Bangkok Hotel, after traveling nearly 20 hours, I was reminded why it is I’d made the trip. The uber-stylish, funky lobby is exactly the unique and different style of hotel many of my clients look for when traveling. And they rely on me to recommend such properties to them. Had I not visited this hote, I'd have no way of knowing each suite is equipped with high-tech, user-friendly Apple TV system that allows you to Skype, Facebook or Tweet from the couch or your bed to the chic, clever bath amenities and sleek design touches throughout.

The trip also included a few days at a Sofitel sister property, The Metropole in Hanoi. I’ve booked this hotel many times since it’s truly the best luxury property in Hanoi. I also had never been to Vietnam. Throughout my stay I made mental notes about clients I know will love the original, traditional wing of the 110-year-old Metropole versus the newer Opera wing with its sleek Prestige suites and Club Level lounge. While participating in the hotel’s Vietnamese cooking class, I jotted down thoughts on my foodie clients who I know will love the food in Hanoi as much as I did.

After Hanoi, I opted to add on a few days in Hong Kong as a stopover on my Cathay Pacific flight. It seemed silly to fly through Hong Kong—another city I hadn’t visited in 15 years—without spending a night or two. I got the chance to see firsthand why The Landmark Mandarin Oriental is the perfect hotel for many of my clients seeking understated luxury, impeccable service and a terrific Central Hong Kong location.

Despite the threat of a level 8 typhoon, I took full advantage of my 48 hours in Hong Kong and dined at Cafe Grey at The Upper House. I book this fabulous hotel for many clients seeking a hip, stylish ambience and wonderful service. I also indulged myself with a few treatments at the Landmark Mandarin’s spa, and came home much more relaxed than when I left 10 days earlier. I attribute this to the treatments but also because I am out there doing what I love to do.

Simply put, getting out there and experiencing the places in the world that I recommend to anyone trusting me with their travel plans is simply a requirement of my job.

This column is adapted from one appearing in the July 2012 issue of Agent@Home magazine. For more information, contact me via email Stacy@elitetravelinternational.com and follow my travels on Twitter @EliteTravelGal.


  1. I agree with walking your talk. That extends for any profession. I wouldn't take advice from a non-traveller about travel.

  2. Great job you got there Stacy. You enjoy the perks and freebies in every hotel you’ve been to. You just go out there and experience different places in the world because that is part of your job and you’re lucky for it. I haven’t gone to art district hotel new orleans , have you tried going to that hotel? How will you rate it as 5 is the highest and 1 is the lowest?

  3. That's got to be one of the most fun jobs in the world. I can only wish I also got paid to go on an alaska cruise or a trip to the tropics.

    1. Nice post dude ,... keep the good work going by continue blogging new and entertaining posts.

  4. Where do I sign up? It'd be a lot of fun to make a living out of things like staying at hotels in victoria, diving in the great barrier reef, or trekking through a safari.

  5. I like the design of the hotel in your background. It looks so sophisticated and refreshing, I could use the idea and the design for the basement finishing in our home.

    1. Nice post, It's really interesting. I will be referring a lot of friends about this. Thank for Sharing.

  6. Great! I'd love to call writing in a magazine website a job as well, however traveling is really my first love. I wanted to see what else is laid for me outside United States, that's why I wander around, got a cam and took notes of the fabulous things I saw firsthand. Who wouldn't be dedicated in a job that you actually see as a avocation, right?

  7. Wow! That’s good news for you then! When I’m still working for some college counseling services, I always say to myself that someday I can also travel around the world for the reason that it’s part of my job, and now I’m really thankful for they let me travel to attend some counselling seminars!

  8. Sounds like an adventurous trip. Reading this makes me so excited for our trip to Thailand, but we're going to Phuket instead. I heard it's like paradise. Time to pack up my camera because I'm sure we're gonna do a major photo shoot while we're there!

  9. Hello Stacy, what a wonderful world you have there. I also dream of traveling the world as part of my job or earning my living through my travels. I don't have the fund to see the world so I'm doing my best to improve my travel blog, hoping someday for sponsors to assist me in my wanderings.

  10. This is a good job Indeed! As an interior designer, I think this kind of job that can also help me improve or create new designs. Imagine the perfect places and hotels you could visit and from your visit there, you could actually gain more ideas in interior design.

  11. Your job looks fun to do; imagine all the places and hotels you can visit. It’s like having a vacation and at the same time doing your work, how I wish I could also experience this kind of work, I want to expose myself from new hotel designs and architectures.

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