Hunter works to send clients on the vacation of their dreams
NEW MADRID -- As vacation season approaches, most people are dreaming of a memorable, stress-free experience. For Leslie Copeland Hunter, owner of Oakland Travel Agency, her priority is making that dream come true.
"One of my slogans is that without a travel agent, you're basically on your own," Hunter said.
After growing up in New Madrid, Hunter moved away for 30 years and has now returned and opened Oakland Travel Agency on Jan. 1.
Hunter specializes in cruises, all-inclusive resorts, Disney vacations and individual European packages. She recently joined a partnership with Cruises & Tours Unlimited out of Jacksonville, Fla.
"I work for them as an independent contractor," Hunter said. "They have 3,000 agents in the U.S. and through them I can offer discounted rates."
Currently Hunter has an office in her home and she also has a bookable website at www.OaklandTravelAgency.com.
While many people use the internet to book trips, Hunter said it is important to use a travel agent to give those vacationing piece of mind.
"The internet can be a powerful tool, but my clients have to understand where to look and what questions to ask," Hunter said.
According to Hunter, professional travel agents spend time not only booking tickets and searching for affordable prices, but also personalizing their services for individual clients. She said she takes classes, participates in seminars, becomes a destination specialist and joins professional associations in order to ensure she makes each client's travel experience as personalized, convenient and memorable as possible.
"I want to send clients on the vacation of their dreams," Hunter said.