High School Senior Superlative Comes True More Than 35 Years Later for Dream Vacations Travel Agent
Carmen O’Reilly was destined to one day become a travel agent and her career path has finally come full circle. Her family owned a travel agency on her native St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, she went to travel school and worked for Delta, and now she is living her high school dream of being a travel agent. Carmen shares her story and advice for others who are interested in joining Dream Vacations.
What did you do before opening your franchise?
I currently work full-time as a Research Analyst at Nova Southeastern University in the Advancement and Development Department. I also was previously employed by Delta Airlines and my family owned a retail travel agency on St. Croix, Virgin Islands. I plan on retiring in several years and knew I wanted to get back into the travel industry as my encore career. So, I did my research and it was love at first sight with Dream Vacations. I was impressed with the support, services and relationships offered.
Why did you decide to open a travel agency franchise?
I have always had a passion for travel. In fact, my high school yearbook says that I wanted to become a travel agent after graduation. The timing was right for me to now open a travel agency business. I love that I am able to not only fulfill my teenage fantasy, but also work my business part-time until I am ready to transition into full-time ownership.
How has your business grown over time?
My business is growing because I started to focus on networking, building my database and marketing. I am joining local organizations to get more involved in the community.
What resource at Dream Vacations has contributed most to your growth and why?
The initial travel agent training was beneficial, and the ongoing training opportunities along with Support Services have contributed to my growth. They keep us up to date with all of the latest developments with Dream Vacations. Support Services is informed, knowledgeable and professional. If there is a subject that they may not be familiar with, they go above and beyond to research the matter and get back to you.
What advice do you have for a franchise owner who is looking to grow their business?
If you are looking to grow your business, it is important to develop your social media presence. In addition, network and connect with individuals within organizations in your community. Research your local chambers, BNI’s and non-profits with volunteer opportunities where you can meet people. Also, develop relationships with cruise lines, land and tour vendors, representatives and business development managers.
What is your Dream Vacation?
A Crystal Cruise around the world!