Travel Agents Are Vacation Superheroes

Chris Caulfield, Dream Vacations Travel Agent

As a Dream Vacations Franchise Owner during these unprecedented times, our travel agents have never been more proud to be a part of this incredible industry and truly be the advocates and resources their customers need during these difficult times.

As a travel agent, one of the most important services we provide is sharing our expertise and that includes travel safety and precautions whether it be by land, sea or air.

We’re preparing for the pent-up demand for travel agent services when travel restrictions are lifted and people are eagerly booking their vacations for 2021 and beyond. We will be first to know that resorts are opening, that ships are resuming operations and that airlines are back up to full capacity. We will be sharing that with our friends, families, and clients who have been waiting to make their vacation dreams come true.

Now is an excellent time to join Dream Vacations, to build your knowledge and ramp up on training so you are ready to sell when this unprecedented time subsides.

Please read on to learn how our franchise owners are proudly servicing their clients during these times.


Chris Hornick, Dream Vacations Travel AgentI just had a client’s Royal Caribbean cruise canceled for end of April. I was able to handle the cancellation and refund request for them in under 5 minutes and they were so thankful and relieved I could handle this for them so quickly. They are repeat clients and I know they will be back soon to let me help them plan a new getaway when all is right with the world again!”

—Chris Hornick, Pleasant Hill, PA


Carol Nunnery, Dream Vacations Travel Agent“I had clients fly Fort Lauderdale on Friday March 13th.  I had booked a pre-night hotel and flights with United Vacations.  They were to board the Nieuw Amsterdam March 14th. I spent 2 ½ hours on hold with United Vacations (during travel line). The goal was to change their return flights. Once I finally got through, there was no change fee but the price of the return ticket was outrageous. I got creative. I found them seats on a Southwest Flight for $99 each back to STL. They had flown out of Cape Girardeau so we then got them a rental car to drive home. I’ve submitted the extra expenses to Holland for them and I’m waiting to hear if they will assist.  I’ve also requested a credit from United for the return flight. I DO NOT do this for all my clients, but this is an older couple and they don’t do much with technology. They also cruise 2-3 times a year without shopping me. Happy Client = Loyal Client”

— Carol Nunnery, Cape Girardeau, MO


Andrea Joyce, Dream Vacations Travel Agent“I feel that during this challenging time, the best thing we can do is to be available to our clients seven days a week. To keep ourselves informed of what their options are and to be able to explain them to our clients. If we don’t have answers, to use all of our contacts to try to get them. I find that just presenting them with several options and letting them know if they have time to make their decisions gives them some calmness in the midst of the chaos. My clients do appreciate the returned call on Sunday when they didn’t expect to hear from me or that I picked up the phone at 11PM on Friday night and called the cruise line and tried to cancel their cruise for them, even though I could not do it because they had passed the 48-hour deadline date. I am there for them and that’s what they will take away from this.”

— Andrea Joyce, Somers, NY


Chris Caulfield, Dream Vacations Travel Agent

“Several of my clients whose cruises were cancelled have expressed their appreciation of my services. It has been great to see that despite their vacation not working out as planned they understand the guidance I have given both for their cruise and through the pause in cruises.”

—Chris Caulfield, Hudson, NY


Amanda Biggerstaff, Dream Vacations Travel Agent“Clients were booked on a 15-day South American cruise from Santiago to Port Canaveral that was supposed to embark on March 14.  The clients arrived in Chile the morning of March 12 with the intention of enjoying a couple of nights in Santiago before embarking on their cruise.  I received an email from the cruise line the morning of March 13 stating that they had cancelled the sailing.  I immediately went into high gear.  I contacted the client via text and email and left a message at his hotel. The cruise line had only notified guests via email, which my client had not checked.  It was only through my text that the client learned of the cancellation.  The clients were minutes away from meeting their tour guide for a day tour that I had previously arranged.  We were able to touch base and I assured them that I would work on the issue.  The clients were able to enjoy their day tour while I went to work on cancellations.  I immediately cancelled their embarkation and disembarkation airport transfers and contacted the cruise line.  I then began researching return flight options.  Before the day’s end, my clients were able to book a flight back to the United States for March 15 and I arranged a private transfer from their Santiago hotel to the airport.  Without a trusted travel agent, my clients would have spent a day of their already-ruined vacation scurrying to make arrangements back home and on long holds with the cruise line and transportation company in order to request refunds.  We are here to not only help our clients plan perfect trips, but to provide assistance when things don’t go as planned.”

— Amanda Biggerstaff, Germantown, TN


DC Smith, Fontana, CA“As a retired Air Force Veteran and Independent Franchise Black Business Owner, the decision to make Dream Vacations my next adventure in life was a no-brainer. The opportunity to utilize my management and business skills learned during my military career fit perfectly with the vision, moral character and professionalism that World Travel Holdings and Dream Vacations offers. The family-oriented business atmosphere is very evident as experienced first-hand during the world crisis dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the hands-on training provided by headquarters from start-up and on-going throughout the business relationship is outstanding. I highly recommend veterans and anyone seeking work opportunities with a highly culturally diverse organization, or wanting to start and operate a fully supported travel franchise, should consider becoming a family member of Dream Vacations, an equal opportunity company. I consider the professionally designed easy to use in-house vacation reservation system known as Cruise Control invaluable. Headquarters did the work for us by eliminating the need to track, search and locate travel opportunities into a single source to seek the absolute best travel destinations and routes available. The proprietary system coupled with a very user-friendly website designed and maintained by Dream Vacations marketing staff is noteworthy.”

— DC Smith, Fontana, CA


Mara Hargarther, Dream Vacations Travel Agent“I work with my son Corey Hargarther. We had a couple on the Diamond Princess. They were quarantined until the wife had to go to the hospital with a breathing issue, unrelated to Coronavirus.

She was sent by ambulance to a hospital in Japan. Princess had no idea where she was taken. Once we figured out Princess did not know her whereabouts, with the help of our Princess BDM, we got a representative to fly to Japan to assist. We were in touch with the couple almost daily and then with each of them when they were separated. We informed family members of their whereabouts and health status. Corey had to convince the husband to evacuate the ship in Japan and leave his wife, for his own safety. It was a very difficult situation. The husband finally took Corey’s advice and went to Travis Air Force base while his wife was being treated and not able to leave, despite not having the Coronavirus. We continued to stay in touch with them by telephone every day. Thank goodness Corey was able to get the husband to leave the ship because the next day several hundred people were diagnosed with Coronavirus.

We personally called the Japanese Health Ministry, The American Embassy in Japan, the World Health Organization to try to get the wife released from the hospital. We advocated for our clients daily to make sure they received what they needed.

When the wife was finally released, we got her to a hotel in Japan. We helped coordinate the flights with Princess. We stepped in to assist when the wife almost missed her connecting flight in California because of an immigration snafu. We sent a chauffeur to pick them up separately when they arrived at Chicago airport and take them home.

We did what we thought was the right thing to do. We wanted to be there to help them in whatever way we could. They kept going. They stayed strong. They were the heroes. We were just doing the right thing. Corey already has them booked on their next “free” Princess Cruise. They are clients for life and told us we couldn’t do anything to get rid of them. We never gave up and neither did they. They are home resting and taking care of themselves, so this story does have a happy ending.”

— Mara Hargarther, Ponte Vedra, FL


Dawn Beers O'Brien“This has been a very trying time professionally, but I am so thankful to have the support of Dream Vacations headquarters. They have encouraged franchise owners to stay positive and proactive for our clients and the industry in general. We have been provided numerous marketing options to keep ‘top of mind’ to current and future clients, in fun and inspiring ways such as creating social media posts and email blasts for us that engage our readers to participate in ‘daydreaming’ of future travel adventures.

Besides Marketing efforts, headquarters has held Town Halls with the executives of Dream Vacations and World Travel Holdings in which they have been transparent as to what is happening in the industry and what to expect going forward. We have been given immediate updates and shortcuts to make sense of the numerous policy changes provided by all of the vendors on a daily basis.

As if this wasn’t enough, we are now offered ‘Motivational Mondays” in which ‘feel good’ stories are being shared from our network of franchise owners and headquarters leadership team.

In this time of uncertainty, having this support and encouragement is so important. I am eternally grateful to be a member of the Dream Vacations family.”

— Dawn Beers O’Brien, San Jose, CA


Trinita Brown, Washington, D.C.“I have a client who has been with me for years. Her group has traveled to exciting destinations with me four times in the past several years. They were scheduled to travel during the first few weeks of the shutdown in March. The group leader and her group were still very enthusiastic about the trip and wanted to rebook as soon as possible in 2021. This provided us with an opportunity to market to others who had previously expressed interest in the group cruise. I put together a virtual cruise night and we had more than 25 perspective clients attend. There was a good amount of interest. At the virtual cruise night, my presentation focused on cruising in general and had not announced the prices and final details yet. We were building up momentum and had planned to have at least one more session before we announced the pricing and the final details.

About two weeks before our second virtual cruise night, my group leader called me distraught. Because of COVID-19, she believed she would have to close her business permanently and cancel the group cruise. I thought about it and came up with a new idea to market the cruise without having to announce publicly that her business may close. We announced that this cruise would be the last one in this series, thus leaving it open to the possibility of a new series that may or may not happen in the future. My group leader loved my idea! We advertised it as the “must not miss” event! Our second virtual cruise night was even more of a success with over 100 attendees. Presently, we are signing up clients and my group leader is delighted!  COVID-19 has increased my need to think out of the box as I do all that I can to meet my clients’ everchanging needs.”

— Trinita Brown, Washington, D.C.