Lauren Parry’s passion for travel began when she spent a summer studying abroad in Italy. Her experience studying overseas was one of the most defining times in her life, which began her love affair with travel and seeing the world. Her love and enthusiasm for travel makes her role as a luxury travel advisor with For Travelers Only in Ridgeland, Mississippi, the perfect job to offer her clients unparalleled service to plan their honeymoon or anniversary trip of a lifetime. Lauren is connected to a global network of luxury travel insiders through For Travelers Only, a Virtuoso agency, which enable her to offer her clients the experiences, destinations, amenities they most importantly value.
Premier Bride of Mississippi and Premier Wedding of Mobile Bay writer, Jenny Cox Holman, interviewed Lauren to gather some valuable travel tips for planning your honeymoon, anniversary or next couple’s getaway trip! Enjoy Lauren’s helpful travel advice and happy travel!
- Lauren, can you tell our readers about your expertise and experience in the travel industry?
I have been planning detailed itineraries for my own travel for the past 30 years, but 2 years ago I had the opportunity to join For Travelers Only, a Virtuoso agency as a luxury travel advisor. I can honestly say that I absolutely love my job! Everyday I have the pleasure of designing vacations to dream destinations for my clients.
- What are some of the hottest honeymoon/anniversary spots in the United States and abroad?
Italy, the Caribbean and Hawaii are my most requested destinations for honeymoons and anniversary celebrations. I think that Italy is a destination that almost everyone dreams of going to one day. It has a rich history, culture, amazing food and wine, and is very romantic. Italy is very diverse and has something to offer for everyone’s travel style. Venice has the intrigue of the canals with gondolas and is one of the most unique cities in the world. Florence and Rome are both enriched with art and history. Italy’s coastal areas are magnificent from Cinque Terre to Puglia to the Amalfi Coast. Tuscany produces some of the world’s finest wine and olive oil and is certainly not to be missed. If you have the budget for it, you could even hire a private jet from somewhere like Jettly for that added honeymoon wow factor. Nothing screams romance more than getting to your destination in style!
The Caribbean boasts many islands that have their own individual styles. Some are lush and some are arid, some are remote and rustic while others are luxurious and chic. The Caribbean is best known for beautiful water, gorgeous beaches, relaxed pace and romantic sunsets. Hawaii is a multi-island destination where each island has it’s own character. The Hawaiian Islands are famous for deep blue waters, black and white sandy and rocky beaches, rain forests and volcanoes. Pearl Harbor is a must see for those who love and appreciate war history and the surfing is world class.
- What are the best trips for those who love the beach? Mountains? Sightseeing?
The Caribbean is very easily reached from the US and has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I would also suggest the Maldives, Tahiti , the Seychelles, Thailand and Fiji for the more adventurous traveler.
The United States has mountains to the east and to the west; both offer all-season activities making them year round destinations. The Canadian Rockies are majestic and still very close and easy to access. For the traveler who wants to venture farther I would suggest Patagonia in South America or Switzerland in Europe.
Sightseeing encompasses a wide range of travel options. Cities such as New York, San Francisco, Charleston and Savannah have a lot of choices to offer those who appreciate architecture, history, and nature. For those who want to get a stamp on their passport, I might suggest Quebec, London, Paris, Rome and Barcelona or beyond.
- Would you recommend new clients scheduling a consultation to meet with you to get their preferences for their trip? How far in advance from the wedding day should this appointment be scheduled?
Once you set the date for the wedding, it is time to meet with me to start planning the honeymoon. Meeting with the couple face to face is of utmost importance when planning any travel. When we sit down together and talk, I get to know what each person likes and does not like. I can see the reaction on their faces to suggestions/ideas. This interaction is invaluable to me when I am designing their perfect travel experience.
- What information should a couple bring to their meeting with you?
The most important things to bring to the meeting are a passport, a driver’s license, a credit card, a list of places that you have traveled and photos/information of places that appeal to you.
- What advice would you offer to a couple when trying to decide and plan their honeymoon or anniversary trip with you?
I think that setting a budget that they both agree upon is key for planning a honeymoon. I like to work with couples to create a “travel portfolio” for anniversary and bucket list vacations. I recommend that the couple works with a financial advisor and includes travel as a part of their long term savings plan.
- Do you have advice when planning travel in regards to weather/seasons during the couple’s travel time?
Weather is always a factor when planning travel , so we try to make sensible choices regarding the destination and the season. Hurricane season for the Caribbean is from June-November; travel at this time can be a bit of a gamble. Weather is completely unpredictable all the time; therefore, I advise to always purchase travel insurance.
- What are travel planning mistakes that should be avoided when planning and booking honeymoon/anniversary trips?
The biggest mistake when planning a trip is not adding travel insurance. Try to avoid last minute planning because availability is limited and rates are higher.
- Do you have any additional advice that you would like to offer for travel planning?
My best advice is to work with a travel advisor. Travel professionals know the business, the destinations and most importantly the contacts. The affiliations and relationships that I have within the travel industry grant me access to some of the most exclusive travel experiences throughout the world. This global network allows me to take your vacation from ordinary to extraordinary.
For more information on exciting honeymoon and anniversary trips, Lauren H. Parry, Luxury Travel Advisor with For Travelers Only, can be reached at 601-605-5422 or [email protected] or on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laurenparryluxurytravel
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