With all the travel search engines available, it’s tempting to plan a vacation all by yourself. Money saved equals more time to travel or more things to do…or does it? Depending on your knowledge of an area, this could be false economy. Using a trained travel agent you’ll likely discover many unexpected benefits from upgrades to unadvertised specials to better tour guides. You don’t take a vacation every week, so you owe it to yourself to at least explore the options with one of Cleveland’s best travel agents.
The Travel Connection
199 S. Chillicothe Road
Aurora, OH 44202
Located in Aurora since its inception, The Travel Connection has been welcoming travelers for over 35 years now. Pat Hollywood and her four office agents serve both corporate and individual customers, booking about equal numbers of international and domestic trips. Affiliated with all the notable travel consortiums, their customer focus and person-to-person style have created a wealth of loyal clients. Awarded “Best Travel Agent Supporting Ireland” by the Irish Travel Board, Pat welcomes the opportunity to share her extensive knowledge of Ireland and the British Isles. They can be reached 24/7 if you need assistance during your trip.
10 E. Washington St.
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
Jensen Travelon, with their 14 experienced consultants, has been serving the Cleveland area for over 50 years and is a member of the elite Virtuoso Network. Owner of the firm since 1975, Shirley Copeland has traveled to over 100 countries and has personally sailed on every major cruise line. European vacations and luxury cruises are two of Jensen’s specialties. While luxury travel for the independent traveler is their forte, they welcome customers with a full range of budgets.
Astro Travel / Travel Leaders
6200 SOM Center Road
Solon, OH 44139
Astro Travel / Travel Leaders opened for business in 1972 and has been owned by Donna Scicolone since 1984. As a Women’s Business Enterprise and minority employer, Astro’s ten employees book about 75% corporate business and 25% leisure travel. Handling travel for professional basketball, hockey and indoor football teams, they really know how to plan for group travel. With extensive experience in travel to Italy, they also specialize in flexible independent travel (FIT) where travel is customized for the individual. Donna’s best advice: travel as lightly as possible, preferably with carry-on luggage only.
Related: Best Holiday Escapes Near Cleveland
1301 E. 9th St.
Cleveland, OH 44114
Located right downtown, Kaufman Travel can be found on the second level of the Atrium at the Galleria and works with many of Cleveland’s Fortune 500 companies. Kaufman Travel has been serving the community since 1979, arranging domestic and international travel to unique destinations. The firm’s mantra, “Just ask us… we’ve been there,” and is validated with first-hand experience in over 113 countries. Under Lisa Sward’s leadership, the firm and its three counselors boasts over 150 years combined experience. Sward recommends always using a reputable travel agent for all your most important travel, so there is someone to assist you if things go awry.
17220 Royalton Road
Cleveland, OH 44136
Formed in 1902, the American Automobile Association (AAA) added their foreign travel department in 1927 and now offers tours and travel packages around the world to AAA members. The Strongsville office is headed up by Vita Schmidt, a professional with 32 years in the business, who leads a team of equally experienced travel counselors. In addition to the group tours AAA is known for, the Strongsville office can handle everything from Disney vacations and cruises to international flexible independent travel. Whether planning an individual trip to Europe or a family reunion at the Magic Kingdom, Vita and her associates have the knowledge and take the time to make it a memorable, fun event.
Doug Bardwell is a freelance writer, traveling the globe in search of unique experiences to share with his readers. He writes about travel, tech and the active life from his base in Cleveland, Ohio. Doug’s work can be found on Examiner.com