Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Schultz.
Samantha, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 2002, I decided to go completely out of my comfort zone and leave home for the longest I had ever been gone – six weeks to travel around Europe – alone. I was scared, nervous, excited, but apprehensive as I had never been out of the country before or away from home for that long. I decided to dive in and had no idea where it was going to take me and what was going to hit me. But I was hit hard. The travel bug nearly knocked me out; I was hooked and that trip only left me feeling hungry for so much more. Despite getting a little homesick by the end of the six weeks, I fell in love with traveling. I wanted to experience everything, eat everything and meet everyone. Travel is a huge part of who I’ve become today.
Years later, after utilizing a travel agent for a trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, one that I really wasn’t sure where to begin planning, I found the experience working with that agent to be less than stellar. Overall, it lacked attention to detail, personalization, expertise, ongoing care and support leading up to the trip. From there I realized this was a need that other people were looking for – that coupled with a desire to leave the corporate world, my agency was born in 2016.
There is so much beauty in what I do – I get to work with so many amazing people that are referred to me each day. I get to develop relationships with each one, match them to beautiful destinations, and help them create memorable, life enriching experiences.
Since that first trip in 2002, I’ve traveled to over 60 countries and counting. Anyone that speaks with me usually says they can feel how passionate I am about travel, but when my grandfather was in his final days and he told me “if I could, I would buy you a plane so you could see even more of the world” it made me realize that this is what I’m meant to do. I firmly believe that travel is incredibly life changing, that’s why my mission since day one has always been to inspire people to see the world.
Has it been a smooth road?
Entrepreneurship has been a rollercoaster and no doubt it will continue to be! With any new business, your first year is full of uncertainty and doubt. I wondered during this time if I had made the right decision, but once I pushed through those first-year pains, I knew there was nowhere else I was meant to be.
However, 2020 has been the most challenging year thus far, as it has been in most industries. Covid-19 and the halt of travel completely changed my business from mainly client relationship and trip building to complete crisis management for quite a few months. Getting clients back to the US, cancelling trips, navigating travel insurance claims, reviewing fine print, and how to keep my clients feeling comfortable and confident with thinking about future travel have made this year the biggest struggle, but also the biggest reward.
The amount of professional and personal growth that has come from these challenges has me even more confident that my business will continue to thrive and I will be more than prepared for any future bumpy roads.
Plan Your Perfect Vacation – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Plan Your Perfect Vacation isn’t what you think of when you hear the word travel agency. My clients are exceptional people who value their time and seek expertise when it comes to how they spend their precious free time. They’re looking for life enriching international experiences, many they may not even know exist. This goes beyond the old travel agency days of simply booking a plane ticket and hotel. I cater to clientele that expect more out of their vacations, coupled with a VIP level of service – this is what makes Plan Your Perfect Vacation different.
I specialize in custom international travel itineraries, including Hawaii and Alaska – these are not cookie cutter experiences, but masterpieces to mold. Most clients come to me overwhelmed, exhausted, or frustrated with the travel planning process and want me to plan and create life enriching international experiences that they wouldn’t know how to plan on their own. The sheer volume of information online, that may or may not be credible, is a huge factor in many people realizing their travel investment is too important to take a chance on a review they read online from someone they don’t know.
I understand every client has different levels of travel needs – some have a foundation – they know where they want to go and what they want to do, but need someone to put all the pieces together. Others will have a completely blank slate or maybe have the foundation and structure built but need special details and finishing touches taken care of and suggested. And while every client experience is tailored to them, it always includes these components:
Research and Partnership
Support While Traveling
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
June 2020 is exactly one year since moving to Colorado and without hesitation I can say that living here is absolutely amazing! Living in the Denver area is awesome because while it is a growing and bustling city, the relationships, connections and support from the community make it feel tight-knit where you are a valued member and can contribute to so many important initiatives as it continues to grow. Having lived all across the country including Phoenix, AZ; Seattle, WA; Columbus, OH, and Charlotte, NC. I’ve met amazing people everywhere I’ve lived; however, it hasn’t felt as natural and welcoming as it does in Denver. The people combined with the access to the natural environment, culture, arts, sports, and quality breweries have me ready to settle here forever.
There isn’t much I can say I don’t like about living here – that is the most challenging part. Even on days when I am stuck in traffic, there is so much to be thankful and grateful for about living in Denver compared to other cities, that it really takes the dislike away. There is so much to offer and only so many hours in a day – I’m thrilled to be here now to take advantage of it all.
- Website: www.planyourperfectvacation.com
- Phone: 980-999-0414
- Email: Samantha@PlanYourPerfectVacation.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/planyourperfectvacation
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/planyourperfectvacation
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samanthaamyschultz
Jeremy Schultz Photography