You cram your luggage in your car, throw on some shades, and stare into the bright blue sky with an even brighter smile because you’re taking a vacation. Or maybe you have a big business trip with a promotion on the line, and the last thing you want to worry about is travelling. But what did you have to do before this point?
You had to research. Plan. Book. And re-plan. That translates to hours of stress, while shuffling through websites, blogs and articles.
LouAnne Rainey and her travel agency Master Travel ease travelers’ worries and take a load off the planning stage by booking and coordinating trips for no extra cost.
“[People] are overwhelmed by the information that’s out there and want somebody that can give them personal experience or tell them what other people that we have sent on vacations have experienced,” Rainey said. Master Travel’s goal, she said, is to make travel as worry free as possible.
Having travelled to every continent except Antarctica, Rainey first got into travel planning for others by simply planning trips for her family.
“I started working part time for an agency when my kids were in high school and I ended up buying the agency,” she said. She purchased Master Travel, which has offices in Longview and Austin, in 2001. “I wanted to have my own business.”
Because companies in the tourism industry pay travel agencies to get all the information right and gather the correct documents, clients either pay the same amount as if they had done the research themselves or get better deals because travel agencies know how to search for different criteria. The only fee may come from airplane tickets (approximately $20-$50 per ticket at Master Travel) because airlines don’t pay travel agencies.
Client Mike Sinclair, president of STS Consulting Services in Longview, supports Master Travel and said he receives a great value for the services they provide.
“We have used used Master Travel for over 10 years and [Rainey] and her staff help us optimize our domestic and international travel time and costs,” Sinclair said. “They are an experienced team of professionals that are knowledgeable, attentive and caring.”
Master Travel coordinates both corporate business travel and leisure travel for individuals and families, researching hotels, flights, destinations, sights, deals, weather conditions and more. Rainey said that leisure trips can be based on historical, cultural, or art interests, or even just “go-hang-out-at-the-beach” interests.
“We are able to help choose what fits, what [clients] really want to do,” she said. “People want to get more involved in the culture of the places they visit, want the kids to learn a little something while they’re there. We can help with all of that.”
If something goes wrong (as things often will) you and your hard earned plans can be set adrift in a sea of confusion, frustration, and despair. Master Travel helps fix such problems.
“Call us or come by and give us a chance to help you. Some people are hesitant to call just because they don’t know what we do or how we work,” Rainey said. “Just give us a chance to give it a shot.”