Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaleigh Kirkpatrick.
Kaleigh, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
For as long as I can remember, Travel has been an integral part of my life. When my daughter was a baby, I always traveled with her, lugging her along as we followed Dad on work trips, tagged along with my Mom and Grandmother on cruises, and then started the treks to Walt Disney World and Disneyland, because what better place to take a child?!
From the first time we went, my daughter was in heaven, from many princess meets and greets to the time she got to ride the teacups solo with Alice (like the Alice in Wonderland!) and there was so much Magic, I knew we had to go back! We purchased annual passes and I realized becoming a Travel Advisor was a career path I might be interested in.
In May of 2016, I started what is now the Shameless Tourist specializing in luxury, seamless family travel. Having traveled extensively around the world as a young adult and now a Mom, I decided to not simply focus on Disney Travel, but all luxury travel as I truly believe our most precious memories with our family and friends are on a well-planned trip.
In the past almost four years I have been so blessed to have so many amazing clients that the business has grown to have another agent, Stephanie Wilson, a travel coordinator, Tara Cress, and a VIP Guest Assistant who is onsite in Orlando, to assist us in making sure our clients all receive the level of service they have come to expect from the Shameless Tourist.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The world of Travel Advisors has certainly grown as my business has grown. When coming into the business, I feel this career path was just waking up out of its sleepy era after the advances in the Internet and booking travel on your own. Competition can be fierce, but being a Virtuoso Member agency and a Select Partner with dozens of the top hotel chains has helped me immensely as it provides my clients with lots of added benefits they can’t get by booking on their own. Often the biggest struggle is communicating value to clients in this ever-evolving world of social media!
I have simply tried to always provide an excellent level of service and responsiveness to my clients, making sure they had the best information to help guide them in choosing what might be ideal for their vacations.
The Shameless Tourist – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Shameless Tourist is an affiliate of Avenue Two Travel, a Virtuoso Member Agency. We specialize in Luxury and Seamless Travel. I always want the trips I plan for my clients to be easy for them– in the planning process and while they are away. Travel, as fun as it may be, can be stressful! I’m here to advise my clients on how to create the most value out of the big investment in your lives, both financially and in regards to memories, for your family or trip!
Although I have experience in planning travel all around the world, one of my specialities is Luxury Disney— don’t want to wait in lines? No problem, I have lots of ways to help families maximize their times in the park on differing budgets. Foodies? I know the best places to dine! Picky about your hotels? So am I.
I am most proud of the repeat clientele and referrals we have received over the years! It simply makes my day to have a repeat or referral client as it speaks volumes to how we run our business.
What sets me apart from others? I have been fortunate enough to experience a lot of the world and this first-hand knowledge has helped me in recommendations for hotels, excursions, activities, etc. From knowing the pacing I personally like from a trip to my favorite hotels, I try to share this knowledge with my clients. And if I don’t know the answer, I have a wealth of connections around the world who do. Also, with my affiliation with Avenue Two Travel, I am able to offer my clients so much more than they can get by booking on their own or even with many other Travel Agencies.
From a Disney Travel perspective, the experience with my personal travels and the experience of planning travel for clients around the world helps me in knowing what discerning clients like best. I also take my business very seriously and when I am traveling, it is always a mix of travel and work. Last month I went to New York City and was on the ground less than 48 hours. At that time, I managed to see 13 of the top hotels in the city and hit up several local hot spots, ensuring my time away was invaluable to my business.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Being featured in the Scout Guide and having been names Fort Worth Woman of the Month (February 2020) would probably be my top two moments of my career. It’s so amazing that local and national publications have taken notice of my small business and dream and I just can’t contain myself with pride!
- Walt Disney World or Disneyland Planning come with a $250 fee for custom itinerary design
- Customized Itinerary Planning for most any destination around the world is a $250 itinerary design fee
- Domestic Long Weekend Trips with Custom Itinerary Design is a $150 fee
- Hotel Only Bookings are provided on a complimentary basis
- Website: www.theshamelesstourist.com
- Phone: 817.929.0446
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @shamelesstourist
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/shamelesstourist
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/c/KaleighKirkpatrickTravel
For the Personal Photo: Brooke Casillas Photography
For the Photo of my daughter and I in Ho Chi Minh City (Yellow Background): Peggy in Saigon with Flytographer
For the Photo in London of Stephanie and I: Rajesh in London with Flytographer