KHM Travel Agent Spotlight: Kristen DeAngelo
Written by: Amanda Bailey on July 31, 2017
KHM Travel Agent Kristen DeAngelo loves checking destinations off her bucket list almost as much as she loves helping others do the same. She was drawn into the world of travel after a college professor handed out flyers for a two-week study abroad program in South Africa.
Something clicked, and she knew she had to go.
“The experience was once in a lifetime, and I realized on that trip that my dream and my goal was to travel the world and I had to figure out how to do it,” says Kristen. “I’m so thankful for the study abroad program to South Africa; it changed my view on the world, on life, other cultures and my career.”
That fall, she landed an internship at a local travel agency and continued to learn everything she could about the travel industry.
For her internship, she was instructed to educate herself on all areas of the industry and found herself overwhelmed. Determined, she took all the materials she was given and learned everything she could.
She gradually figured out how to open up her own travel agency and using her own knowledge, assist and advise clients on planning their perfect vacation.
After being an agent for three years, she joined KHM Travel Group. Her Connecticut-based agency, Dream Excapes, officially opened in February 2014. By 2016, she had reached our Pinnacle Elite level of agents.
Two things set Kristen apart. First, she invests in FAMs and independent trips to the destinations she’s selling, or wants to sell, whenever she can. Traveling is not only her favorite part of her job…it’s also what allows her to earn her clients’ trust!
“Almost everyone asks me what my favorite destination is. The truth is, I can’t say,” Kristen says. “I’ve loved every destination I’ve had the opportunity to visit before and during my travel career. Each trip has been memorable in its own way.”
She’s visited 19 countries, including more exotic destinations like Australia and The Cook Islands, but her focus is on honeymoons, destination weddings, and travel to the Caribbean and in the Cancun region of Mexico. She also plans to start expanding her business to include culinary travel.
Additionally, Kristen’s focus on providing a personal touch allows her to create a memorable experience for her clients before, during and after travel. She meets clients locally where it is convenient for them, or even at their home, if she’s developed a rapport with them.
Aside from having the opportunity to travel more herself, Kristen also feels rewarded by hearing clients’ reactions when they arrive or return from their destinations. She knows she’s developed a client for life when she receives compliments and thank-yous for an unforgettable vacation.
Agents that are striving to reach Pinnacle should make sure to keep their contacts close, Kristen says. Who you know, even outside of the travel industry, could be beneficial to your business or provide you insight into unknown or unpredictable situations.
“Keep a list and keep in touch with your contacts as often as possible!” says Kristen.
Agents also shouldn’t let themselves get discouraged by hurdles or slower periods.
“I had many days where I kept telling myself, ‘This isn’t working’ or ‘I’m not sure if I’ll reach my goal.’ I pushed myself,” she adds. “I do believe you need to find that work and personal life balance but if you’re determined to reach your goal, you’ll do anything it takes.”
Congratulations to Kristen on building a successful travel agency! We appreciate you sharing your story to benefit and inspire your fellow travel agents.
If you’d like to learn more about starting a fun, rewarding travel agent career from home, fill out the form on the right of the screen or call 1-888-611-1220 to gain access to our free Travel Agent Information Guide.