Travel Consultant Tuesday: Manny Ayuso
In this edition of #TravelConsultantTuesday, we sat down to chat with Manny. He opened up with us about what it means to be a part of creating lifelong memories for his travelers.
What inspired you to become a travel consultant?
I loved that becoming a Liberty Travel consultant would be about designing extraordinary experiences. I've been in the role for a little over a year now, and it's more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. Helping others explore the world and bring their dreams to life makes it truly fulfilling. From family trips to honeymoons, putting together all of the moving parts for my customers is what it's all about for me.
Where do you specialize in sending customers?
The Caribbean and Mexico tend to be the most highly requested destinations in our Clifton (NJ) location. My specialty is helping to paint the perfect picture of what travelers can expect at the resort we decide best fits their needs. From the beach to restaurants to overall hotel experience, we work together to ensure they know just what to expect when they arrive.
Connecting with my clients after they return from their vacation is important to me. Nothing means more to me than hearing that the reality of their dream getaway exceeded expectations! This past month at our Holiday Open House, I had the opportunity to see clients of mine who had recently returned from an anniversary trip. It came at the perfect time as they had just endured some difficult circumstances and seeing them tear up while telling me about their trip was truly moving.
Were your friends and family surprised to learn you wanted to pursue a career in travel?
Not entirely. Funny enough, I get the best reactions about being a travel consultant from Uber drivers. Every time I hop in a car, we end up chatting travel and I've actually booked a few of my drivers! This past week, I met a driver who vacations approximately every six weeks; she has her sights set on Costa Rica and Machu Picchu this spring, so we have an appointment coming up to chat details. I can't wait to help plan her next adventure!
Which destination(s) will you be crossing off your bucketlist in 2018?
This year, Mexico is at the top of my list. I'd like to do a split stay so that my wife and I can experience both the stunning beach in Cancun as well as the laid back vibes of Riviera Maya. Then, in October, we are going to be exploring Ireland. Plus, if I can do a trip to Walt Disney World® (even for a day!), I'd love to let the kid in me out.
Can you share your favorite travel tip?
Each trip is unique, so I find myself tailoring my travel tips to each particular customer. But in general, I encourage my travelers to avoid getting overwhelmed by online reviews. I prefer to help guide them during our consultations; this way, we can include experiences and restaurant recommendations based on my expertise and an understanding of their preferences. Even if I haven't been somewhere, I'm connected with many consultants within our global company who have visited the destination, so we can always vet recommendations.
Are there any misconceptions about your role as a travel consultant?
There's an assumption that it's always going to be cheaper to book your vacation on your own. But what people often don't realize is that my services are complimentary. Not to mention, when you book with me, you have someone there for you 24/7. My customers have a direct line to me before, during and after they travel.
From a personal level, I think there may be the misconception that we book your trip and that's it. But it goes so much deeper; the joy I experience when booking someone's perfectly tailored vacation makes this so much more than just a job. Knowing that I play a role in helping to create lifelong memories is a confirmation that I have the best career imaginable. I wouldn't trade the opportunity to be a part of my clients' amazing travel experiences for anything.
How can travelers get in touch with you?
If you live in Northern New Jersey, I would love to set up an appointment to chat about your next vacation in-person at our Clifton office. I'm also available for consultations via phone at (973) 470-7109 or email at AyusoM@libertytravel.com. If you prefer reaching out via social media, my Instagram handle is @mrmannyjr. Hope to connect with you soon!