January 2018

Island Travel

Author: Barry Kaufman

There’s an old saying, one whose attribution has been lost to the ages, that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. It makes sense. Cars break down. Electronics become obsolete. But memories—treasured mental Polaroids of grassy African savannahs, black-sand Icelandic beaches or gently meandering Asian rivers—never truly go away. Over time, they appreciate in value, the joy those memories bring bumping up their color and adding a subtle shimmer. They push the soul to greater wanderlust, urging us to get out there and collect more of these sacred memories.

Island Travel understands that, because they have lived it for 34 years. Carlo Hilliard was already well established as a travel expert when she came to Hilton Head Island from Florida. Hanging the Island Travel shingle, she took on two partners, Jim and Martha Buckley. The three of them oversaw an expansion that took Island Travel from one office to three—on Hilton Head Island, in Bluffton and on Lady’s Island, as well as through a network of home-based travel advisors from Atlanta to Charleston.

“We’re also in the process of expanding our Bluffton office to not only serve the growing Bluffton market, but to allow for more education sessions to benefit our customers,” Jim Buckley said.

These sessions not only serve to educate, but to inspire. Being a locally owned affiliate of the massive Virtuoso travel consortium, Island Travel has the ability to offer its customers an entire world of destinations, resorts, cruise lines and more.

“Being part of Virtuoso gives us tremendous clout,” Buckley said, noting that the consortium has membership on five continents and relationships with virtually every place, experience and option you could want for planning that dream getaway.
“We’re there for anything: a night at a Holiday Inn in Atlanta or a flight on Virgin Galactic, whenever they get up and running. We’re there for the business traveler or the leisure traveler,” he said.

And those first two words are vital: We’re there—a key difference between using Island Travel and planning your vacation with a few mouse clicks. If you’ve ever booked a vacation with one of the big sites, you know that once your transaction is finished, you’re on your own. That’s not the case with Island Travel, where seasoned travel experts will see you through every step of your journey. Whatever may happen, they are there.

“For us, it’s more than just being a ticket taker or an order writer,” Buckley said.

“We spend so much of our time helping clients avoid problems, or assisting them when problems do arise.” He points to the recent hurricane season in the Caribbean, when he and the staff at Island Travel spent hours on the phone helping shift their clients’ travel plans around inclement weather, sometimes weaving entire dream vacations on the fly in response to the storms.

It’s the kind of service you won’t get from a website, with even greater access to some of the most alluring names in travel, helping you create new treasured memories.

For more information, visit islandtvl.com.

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