The Blog

Episode 88: Independent Travel Consultant: Kimberly Croft of Carefree Vacations

Episode 88: Independent Travel Consultant: Kimberly Croft of Carefree Vacations

Episode Description:
Today Brad speaks with Kimberly Croft, a travel advisor for Carefree Vacations, a San Diego-based retail travel agency established in 1963. The company currently has retail stores throughout San Diego County and in Palm Desert, California.
She looks back on a career spanning over three decades, reflecting on how she discovered a love for travel when she entered her LAX for the first time as a child, and how she later volunteered to intern for free at a local travel agency as a college student just to be able to get her feet wet in the industry as soon as possible.
Listen in as Kimberly shares the advantages of having a travel agent and gives her perspective on “budget” travel versus spending a little more for extra-special experiences. She then gives the pros and cons of timeshares, the primary effects that COVID has had on the travel industry, crucial facts about travel insurance today, and how to work around higher prices and change fees when traveling. Finally, Kimberly talks about credit cards and travel and destinations that she considers to be hidden gems.
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Topics Discussed:
[03:22] How Kimberly got started in travel
[06:23] The advantages of having a travel agent in today’s travel industry
[10:36] How Kimberly charges for group travels
[12:49] How to find a good travel agent
[13:41] What travel agents can help you with
[17:11] How travel agents are able to find solutions to emergencies or last-minute issues
[23:30] Deals that reputable travel agencies can get that you never could by yourself
[24:54] Are there pros to buying a timeshare?
[31:20] How COVID has changed travel and what to expect in the next several months
[37:54] Navigating higher prices and change fees when travelling
[42:10] The best days and times to travel
[47:25] Which credit cards and reward systems are best for travel?
[54:18] Tips for traveling in Europe
[56:44] Underrated destinations
[01:02:39] What’s next for Kimberly?
Connect with Kimberly Croft:
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Key Quotes from Episode:
Generally, there are no disadvantages to using a travel agent.
Most agents worth their salt are going to give you a 30-minute consultation where you just talk about what you’re thinking and decide whether the agent is a good fit for you.
A lot of clients tell me they want a good deal. Well, everyone wants a good deal. I tell them, “Do you want a good deal, or do you want the experience that you really, really planned and hoped for?”
Most agencies have contracts with hotels that you don’t have, and that’s all over the world. That’s another great advantage of using a reputable travel agency. They have the ability to get you something that you may not be able to get on your own.
Use the credit card that gives you back what you use the most.
I suggest taking your ATM card when you travel internationally and not taking the currency of the country you’re going to because you’re going to pay a hefty fee on the front end. You just have to go to the ATM and get the bank rate.


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