Leisure travel company inspires busy families to break from routines
Memories of family vacations are some of fondest recollections for Lori Spoelstra, owner of Adventures by Lori. It was actually a bad travel agent experience, however, that inspired her to start her career in travel planning.
“I thought, I can do this much better, so I began my journey in 2005 with one goal in mind — be the best!” said Spoelstra, who founded the company based in Lowell, Michigan. “Our main accounts are leisure travel; vacation planning is our wheelhouse. We love helping people take time away from the routine of life and travel together in adventures ranging from all-inclusive resorts to group cruises or theme park vacations. We have friends and tour operators all over the world who offer assistance in destinations that we are less familiar with.”
Q. What sets Adventures by Lori apart from other tour planners?
A. We have been in business for over 15 years, and I think the thing that sets us apart is our attentiveness to detail as well as our relationships with our clients. We like to turn friends into clients, and clients into friends — and I think we have done a very good job of that over the years. The best part of my job is when people come back and tell me, “This was the best vacation of our lives!”
Q. What advice would you give someone who wants to begin a career as a travel advisor?
A. I think we are at the cusp of a travel boom, and those trained and ready will benefit. Research and find a good host agency with that has good training and TRAVEL! Clients come to you for travel advice. If you have not traveled, you should not be giving advice.
Q. The COVID-19 crisis had a lasting impact on travel. How have client requests changed since before the pandemic?
A. Requests have changed as destinations are opening up more and more. Initially clients were planning driving vacations and requested hotels along the way. We have never done so many home rentals in Florida or tours to the national parks as we have done this past year. Domestic U.S. travel was never a big seller for us, but it is now! Mexico and Caribbean all-inclusive vacations returned and now, Africa, Costa Rica and Belize are open, and clients have more destination options.
Q. What do you see as an opportunity that will come out of the crisis?
A. Although the travel industry is still suffering, we are resilient. Those that can make it through this crisis will be the best of the best. As for opportunities, I think that travelers who previously booked through a dotcom will be seeking out a true travel professional for their next vacation investments. Travelers now know the value that a travel professional brings to each individual booking and the service that we provide.
Q. Tell me about a favorite tour you have planned or gone on and what made it special?
A. I think one of my favorite trips that we put together was for a church group to Israel and Jordan. We explored all around Israel from Masada and the Sea of Galilee, into Jerusalem and then crossed the Jordan River into Jordan, down to Petra and Wadi Rum. That was super fun to plan, and we got to go along with them as well. Not only was the destination amazing, but the group we went with was such a fun group — lots of laughs and memories were made!
Q. Tell me three words that describe why we should travel.
A. Memories, Rejuvenate, Discover.