Passionate about travel, Lori Whitehouse retired from her teaching career 5 years ago to embark on an adventure as a travel agent. She opened Whitehouse Wanderer Travel, LLC, a full-service travel agency that plans trips to the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Disney World and everywhere in between.
Whitehouse offers trips for couples, groups, multi-generational families, and more. She is proud of her efforts to meet many requests.
“When someone contacts us, they receive a travel planning questionnaire by email,” Whitehouse said. “On the form, they can indicate where they want to go, their interests and their budget. Once this form is completed, I will set up a conference call to discuss the options and send them several itineraries.
Once she completes the booking process, customers receive timely travel advice and reminders.
“We are there for our customers before, during and after their trip,” she said. “Some clients haven’t traveled much, and we’re there for them every step of the way.”
The inspiration for the agency dates back to Whitehouse’s childhood when her grandparents ventured to Europe and brought her a doll from every country they visited. These dolls inspired Whitehouse to see the destinations herself, often giving her children trips for Christmas instead of “gifts that were opened and soon forgotten.”
She knew life after retirement would consist of travel, but she wasn’t sure. She and her husband booked a European river cruise through a good friend who owned a travel company and was looking to hire independent contractors.
“Immediately I knew what I was going to do for my ‘next chapter,'” Whitehouse said. “I knew traveling was a big part of this chapter, but I also wanted to do something productive and help others.”
Whitehouse recently launched a women’s travel group called Wander Woman Travel Club. More than 300 women have signed up for the club – with trips to New York, Ireland and Cape Cod already planned for 2023.
“The goal is to provide meaningful, fun and safe travel experiences for women who want to travel but don’t have a travel companion for whatever reason,” she said. “Maybe they’re widowed, divorced, single or have a spouse who doesn’t like to travel.”
Whitehouse Wanderer is affiliated with Uniglobe Travel Center (UTC), which offers annual conferences, training, supplier contacts and professional development opportunities.
Whitehouse participated in the Select Travel Advisor recognition program in Ft. Lauderdale in 2019 and is a member of the American Society of Travel Agents. She said she attends several travel conferences every year to keep up to date with travel trends and provide her clients with the latest travel information. Membership in these agencies allows her to lean on resources and colleagues when she is not as familiar with a client’s desired destination.
To learn more about Whitehouse Wanderer and Wander Woman Travel, look for them on Facebook and Instagram or contact directly at [email protected].
Whitehouse said her husband Richard was her number one travel partner and they most enjoyed offering Mass in multiple countries with different languages. She enjoys traveling with her family, friends and girlfriends and can’t wait for her grandson to be old enough to join her travels.
His to-do list always includes the African Safari and Machu Picchu in Peru, Australia and New Zealand.