As most of you already know, Alexandria and I have left our jobs at General Motors and Digitas to pursue our own travel business full-time. From the moment we announced that we would be leaving our jobs, home, and life in Detroit, we have received nothing but the utmost support from so many people! This was an incredibly encouraging experience for the both of us.
Leading up to our departure, we have received many questions. So after about three weeks of being on the road in Thailand, we decided to take this opportunity to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. Let's get started!
So what is J.R. Madison?
In short, J.R. Madison is a luxury travel agency that plans vacations for clients all around the world. We can plan as much or as little as you would like, including flights, hotels, car rentals, or any type of experience, like a safari or private vineyard tours. We plan all types of vacations, but our main areas of focus are Adventure, Food & Wine, and Wellness. Think of us as your travel concierge for bespoke experiences anywhere in the world.
What makes you qualified to do this?
When Alex and I decided to create J.R. Madison, we wanted to make sure we were working with the best in the travel industry. Therefore we applied, interviewed, and successfully became members of the largest luxury travel network in the world, Virtuoso. As a member of Virtuoso, we have insider access to the top 5-star hotels, cruise lines, and experience providers in every corner of the world. It's a badge that is recognized industry-wide and gives us the ability to give our clients exclusive offers, extra amenities, and VIP treatment every step of the way.
But why a travel agency?
That's an easy answer. We both eat, sleep, and breathe travel. Not only that, starting a travel agency seemed like the perfect fit. Alex and I wanted to take everything we learned while working for General Motors and Digitas and apply it to something we built from the ground up. With Alex's robust track record of planning Food & Wine festivals and coordinating red carpet events, and my (much more boring!) résumé in customer experience and marketing, it seemed like a natural alignment.
Why did you decide to move and travel full-time?
We decided to pack our bags and travel full-time because we see that as being the best way to adequately serve our clients. We are out exploring new destinations every single day. The thought is that if we are able to visit properties that we are partnered with and discover as many hidden gems out there as possible, your vacation will be that much better. And believe us, we are still working full-time... it's definitely not all play and no work.
Aren't travel agencies a dying business model?
Obviously with the rise of do it yourself online booking and companies like Airbnb, travel agents have slid out of the limelight. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that all of those tools are terrible and you should only use us. Not one bit. I personally still use Airbnb on occasion and we still use other tools to find those sneaky flash deals on flights. But the travel agency niche that is still thriving is the luxury and experiential part of the market.
What a company like J.R. Madison provides is the trust and security that your vacation will go off without a hitch. Customers do not have to waste their time finding the best deals, figuring out the best restaurants, or attempting to set up something as complicated as a safari.
Also, people still enjoy personalized and custom experiences tailored to their every need. The beauty of being connected with our worldwide network is that we can make almost anything happen. Whether that is getting a private tour of the Louvre, a personal cooking lesson from a Michelin star chef, or heli-skiing in the Swiss Alps, anything is possible.
Luxury... sounds like something I can't afford.
That's not the case at all! While we do focus primarily on 5-star hotels and higher end experiences, we still book all types of travel. However, we don't normally like booking resorts that are under 4-stars and there is a simple explanation for that. We would never want to risk you having a poor experience and putting our reputation on the line. By sticking to properties within our network, we are 100% positive that you will have the time of your life and be completely satisfied.
Can you book my next vacation?
This is our favorite question! Of course. We would love to jump on a call, FaceTime, Skype, or whichever you prefer, and start getting some ideas going for your next vacation. We have loved working with our clients so far and would love to hear some of your future travel aspirations.
Let's stay in touch.
In all this has been an amazing journey so far. We are learning so much every day. Please feel free to follow our adventures and never hesitate to reach out and chat! And keep an eye on our social channels for updates. We will be sharing an in depth look at resorts we visit, so stay tuned.