Hollie Birckhead, of Franklin, has been traveling all over the world since she was a kid. Now, she is helping others discover the beauty of travel as a local franchise owner of Dream Vacations. Dream Vacations is a full-service travel agency. Hollie can plan a customized trip anywhere in the world for anyone. You name it and she can plan it – family trips, individual trips, destination weddings, honeymoons, reunions, company trips and everything in between – Hollie does all the research to make your dream vacation a reality. She is also a Certified Autism Travel Professional and Certified in Special Needs travel, making travel fun and easy for all families.
We asked Hollie how she became a travel expert, her favorite vacation spots and how Dream Vacations can help anyone plan the ultimate vacation.
How did travel become something that you are passionate about?
I grew up in a family that traveled a lot for my dad’s work as a missionary with Young Life. Through his career, we had the opportunity to travel as a family all over the U.S., Europe and even Africa. This gave me the travel bug very early in life and it has only become greater. Now my husband and I and our four kids love getting away from home and making memories together.
Getting away from everyday routines makes it easier to bond as a family. I have seen how amazing it is to get away with our extended family too for vacations. There is something about being on vacation with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents that is so very special. It is a priceless time together of making life long memories and deepening family bonds.
Life is about relationships and vacations and traveling together naturally makes it easier to build relationships with the people you travel and experience new things and new adventures with.
Why did you decide to become a (Vacation Specialist) travel planner?
Our family has dreamed of having a family business for a long time. When we came upon the Dream Vacations Franchise opportunity it was an Ah Ha moment for us!
This is the perfect business for our family because it is something I have always loved doing for my family. It has always brought me great joy. Purchasing a Dream Vacations franchise was an obvious choice because I love helping others and with this business I can help others to plan their dream vacations.
I love that it is our own business but we are not in business by ourselves. We have the backing of the greatest Travel Company, Dream Vacations, and all of their expert support behind us.
Our love for travel and our desire to help others make memories for themselves and with their family and friends are the reason we decided to make owning a Dream Vacations travel agency franchise our family business. What is more fun than that? Working to help everyone have the vacation of their dreams by themselves, as a family, on their honeymoon, in their retirement or as a group of friends and family, is definitely a business we love!
Tell us a little about Dream Vacations – what are the benefits of working with a travel agent versus booking travel on your own?
By working with me, I make planning your vacation fun, simple and easy. I will listen to what you want out of your dream vacation and then I will do the research and present you with wonderful option. I love hearing about what kinds of vacations people dream of and helping them make it happen.
As a franchise owner, I have access to the expertise of Dream Vacations.They book more cruises than anyone else and have relationships with land suppliers all over the world and they are all ready and willing to help Dream Vacations franchise owners make their clients’ dreams come true. The relationships Dream Vacations has in the travel industry is amazing and I can use all of those relationships and expertise to work with you to plan your dream vacation.
What are some of your favorite trips/vacations that you’ve taken?
My all-time favorite vacation that I’ve taken is an African Safari in Kenya. Other favorite trips of mine are Italy, all-inclusive trips to St Lucia and Riviera Maya, Disney World with the family, San Francisco, Washington DC and many many more!
Any predictions on what is going to be some of the “hottest” places to visit in the next few years?
Alaska is huge! I can’t wait to take my family there and want to make sure we take both a cruise and an inland tour of Alaska.
River cruising is also really taken off and such an amazing way to see the world. Train tours are something that has caught our family’s eye. We want to take a National Parks train tour. Adult only and Family All-Inclusive resorts are also an amazing option and it is so easy and fun to have everything included and to not have to worry about how much everything costs during your vacation. Disney, of course, is always huge and they continue to add new attractions.