Welcome back to the Woman of the Week series! This Wednesday we’re talking with Clarice in this Interview with a Travel Advisor. Clarice talks with us about starting her own travel business, balancing work and motherhood with travels, and why she can’t stay away from Mexico.
Thanks, Clarice, for sharing your story and being a part of the Woman of the Week series!
CONNECT WITH CLARICE:
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Current residence: Tampa, FL
Job title: Travel Advisor-owner of Jet Set For Less, LLc
Place you’d visit again: Mexico
Destination on your bucket list: River Cruise from Prague to Paris
Tell Us About Yourself.
My name is Clarice Diaz, I’m a mother of 4, 3 of which are grownups now and a new baby who is about to turn a year. I just had given birth to my son and a week later I was setting everything up and preparing to launch my business. Not do I only have to work my business, but I also work my husband’s Trucking Company. When I tell you I was literally a walking zombie. Things have gotten much better since starting, but the struggle to balancing both businesses, baby. house, and my own wellbeing have been the real challenge.
I have been traveling since the Early 90’s, first around some states, then in ‘99’ I had my first vacation and I was so excited! We went to Cancun Mexico and I was so happy to be there, however when we got to our room it wasn’t great and smelled of oil paint, so the next day we upgraded to their sister Grand Hotel, it was my first peek into a luxury vacation. I’ve had both great and really bad experiences before while traveling, but it was in 2004 when I went to the Rivera Maya and Stood in The Aventura Spa Palace that I got a true taste of luxury and have not gone back to simple vacation since. They aren’t around anymore and it is now the Hardrock Hotel and Resort. I’ve been to other places, but the vibe of the people in Mexico is contagious they go out their way to make sure you are always having a Good time. I’ve been to Mexico 6 times and still find reasons to go back.
I first became an agent in 2005 in NYC, I had done more traveling then selling back then, but with all the traveling, I gained knowledge and I learned where and where not to send clients. Now I sell more than I get to travel, but next year I will be traveling with my little one! I left the travel industry for some years, because I didn’t have a steady pay and I lived on my own. I ended up working at Financial Square in NYC in the accounting department for several years, continued to travel and enjoy life, before moving to Florida to get away from the cold.
2. Explain what you do for work.
When people call in for a vacation, I ask tons of questions, because I want to know what it is they want and need out of their vacation, so my time goes into researching different suppliers, comparing prices and reading reviews. Just because the pictures are pretty and the price cheap does not make it great!
3. How did you get into this job?
My husband is a business owner and always asked me what I wanted to do as far as starting a business. I always knew I wanted to be a business owner. My passion has always been travel. I wasn’t sure and knew I needed time to build clients and become known in the community as well as online. I did some research and found a company and through that company I started the process of relearning everything and working toward becoming a business owner. It was a great investment and they set me up with all the tools I needed.
4. What does a typical day at work look like for you?
I’m up anywhere between 4-5am I check my pricing, work my husband’s reports, feed my son get some chores done, before marketing, searching for the latest deals to put out and advertise.
Research vacations for my clients, write out or check off my to do lists. Without a plan and something to follow you only have a wish. It definitely keeps me on track.
5. Are you able to easily balance work and travel? If so, how do you balance them?
Since having our son, we tend to do more local trips for now. The great thing is I can pretty much work from anywhere.
6. What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from your travels?
Where do I begin? Travel has brought me growth, compassion and understanding it has also taught me to be humble. I have learned some much from my travels in general, walking through history, and even tasting local meals have been a lesson.
We were staying in Tulum when we spotted something huge and black over the entrance to our hotel room, we went out that night had too many drinks and crawled back to the room because we could not stop laughing and there it was the huge black thing over our door! So we went to get security. My friends asked the man in Spanish what was that thing hanging over our door? He said in Spanish Un “Mariposa” when I asked my friend what Mariposa meant she laughed as she turned to me and said, a giant butterfly!
Give yourself some time so if you want a certain kind of trip, you can have it. Lots of people don’t realize they can pay over time. People tend to shy from Luxury Vacations, because they think it’s completely out of there budget, however there are always sales and huge discounts and sometimes coming up a little on budget can get you so much more out of your vacation.
THANKS FOR READING CLARICE’S STORY!
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