Although my love of travel is lifelong, my professional involvement began in 1984. In October of that year I first heard about the home-based travel agent opportunity. Two weeks later I had stepped into the business of travel as an independent-contractor affiliate of a well-established Hollywood travel agency.
Formal travel agent training was started at more or less the same time. Later, pushed in the direction by my clients, I did extensive research into cost-cutting strategies. Of course, my own travel experience helped. And, frankly, I quite enjoyed helping my clients travel in the style desired, but at prices others said were impossible. The art of discount travel became my specialty.
Five years, and many travel miles later, I introduced The Art of Discount Travel seminar. Initially, I was the producer, promoter and instructor. Soon, however, my seminar was approved by Los Angeles City College as a non-credit Community Education course. Dozens of other colleges and universities followed. To date, I have taught over 1,000 travel classes.
Recently launched is a series of one-hour Art of Discount Travel webinars. Each webinar addresses a major travel service, providing multiple strategies and resources for reducing the cost of that component of travel.
The Artful Traveler blog is the rebirth of The Artful Traveler newsletter. Published for several years in the 90s, The Artful Traveler newsletter focused primarily on sharing current cost-cutting tips. A secondary purpose was to provide a variety of other up-to-date, consumer-oriented, travel news briefs.
My mission was, and is, to make travel more feasible economically, as well as a generally more interesting, fun and culturally enlightening experience. There is, however, another component of my mission and that is to greatly increase interest in travel. After all, interest precedes activity.