Travel Consultant Tuesday: Sam Urbanski
In this very special edition of #TravelConsultantTuesday, we sat down to chat with Sam. Check out the video and blog below to learn more about her role with Liberty Travel.
Just moments into meeting Sam, you immediately know that you're in good hands. Her warm personality, extensive destination knowledge and fresh approach to what it means to be a travel consultant made our team feel at home in the Liberty Travel Madison location, much the way her customers feel when working with her. Our sit down covered everything from her love of New York to trends she's seeing across the industry.
Watch our full interview with Sam here:
What inspired you to become a travel consultant?
Travel was always a part of my upbringing. Every summer, my dad and I would visit a new destination, which put the idea in my head that you should go somewhere different at least once a year. Then, in high school I took part in a student ambassador program that brought me to England, Ireland and Whales; the experience was truly impactful and made it clear that travel was going to be a big part of my adult life.
Prior to being a travel consultant, I was writing for a magazine in Delaware. I had launched their travel column and really fell in love with hunting for vacation deals to feature in the publication. When I saw the listing to work for Liberty Travel in Manhattan, I knew it was time to take a leap and pursue working in the travel industry.
What is your favorite aspect of living in NY?
I love living in the city because there’s always something new to do. Whether it’s trying a new restaurant with friends or checking out a Broadway show, I’m always able to find exciting ways to stay busy.
Are you seeing any major trends in travel right now?
People really want to do something different nowadays; they want to see the Northern Lights in Iceland or experience a safari in Africa so that they can come home and tell their friends and family all about it. For example, I just booked an around-the-world honeymoon for clients who were seeking a serious adventure. They're headed from New York to Los Angeles before jetting from Cambodia to Italy. Talk about the ultimate itinerary!
Are there any misconceptions about being a travel consultant?
I think people can be intimidated by the logistics of partnering with a travel consultant. They may think that they would have to take a large chunk of time out of their day to come in and sit down with me – which we can do! – but it’s often easier to communicate via phone and email. Particularly in New York where everyone is on-the-go, chatting over email helps me craft the ultimate itinerary according to their preferences as we go through the planning process together.
Where do you specialize in sending customers?
My niche is definitely Europe. It can be very overwhelming if you’re trying to piece together different cities, so I really enjoy creating customized itineraries. We chat about what types of hotels they are envisioning, the sights they want to see and how active they would like their days to be. Then, I'm able to present them with some options that include things like VIP skip-the-line tours so that they are able to maximize their precious time.
What’s the most surprising thing about your role as a travel consultant?
I think people would be surprised to learn that I’m sort of a therapist, too. There might be a nervous traveler or a couple who can’t agree on anything, so I step in as a mediator of sorts and get down to business! Going through everything together helps wary travelers to take the guesswork out of the equation and ease any worries my travelers may feel.
Tell us your favorite travel tip.
I recommend that my clients pack their passport first. Always keep it in the same place throughout your trip, too, so there aren’t any of those panic-stricken moments. Nearly everything else is replaceable, but you’re not going anywhere out of the country without your passport.
What’s the most rewarding part of this career?
The best part for me is getting to send people on their dream trip and hearing all about it when they return. The bonds I've formed with customers go way beyond just booking their vacation. Nothing feels more rewarding than getting to know them and help plan another adventure for loyal customers!
How can travelers get in touch with you?
If you live or work in Manhattan, stop by to see me in at our New York Travel Center on Madison Avenue. I'm also available via phone at (212) 689-5600 or email at UrbanskiS@libertytravel.com. If you prefer reaching out on Instagram, my handle is @frametheshot. I can't wait to chat with you about your next getaway!