This Week’s Meet a Mom features Jolie Goldring, the travel and lifestyle consultant extraordinaire who runs Journeys by Jolie! Jolie shares with us all about her family’s love for travel, she started out her career working with her Mom’s travel business, how she best helps clients plan their perfect vacations, and she debunks some of the common misconceptions about how travel consultants work! Journeys by Jolie is a luxury travel and lifestyle consultancy – offering one-of-a-kind experiences and specialized services to a discerning clientele. Jolie’s destination knowledge is vast and she prides herself on relationships with hoteliers, ensuring her clients’ experiences and expectations are surpassed. Jolie’s attention to detail and knowledge of travel and logistics means that nothing gets overlooked in the planning process.
Please tell us a bit about your family and life in Greenwich (names/ages of kids, where you live, etc), what do you like to do as a family?
We moved here in 2012 and never looked back! I have two teens: Paige is 17 and will be a Senior at GHS so we have been busy with the college process and Grant is 14 and will be a Freshman at GHS and he is busy with freshman football!
Our favorite thing to do as a family is – TRAVEL! We love exploring new areas! Beaches, charming towns and going out for special meals. We are foodies!
What do you love about Greenwich and your neighborhood?
I love the sense of community Greenwich provides. I reside on the west side of town and it has sidewalks so I love the “neighborhood” aspect of safely walking to get lunch, run a few errands or to food shop etc. I also love how close I am to Byram Shore which is never crowded and super peaceful. Raising kids here has been so positive and they have each met kids from all over town through their various sports and activities.
For anyone who isn’t familiar, how would you describe Journeys by Jolie?
I oversee all aspects of the vacation planning process with the sole intent of making memories one vacation at a time. I handle flights, hotel bookings, logistics, activities and dining – so a full-service itinerary for luxury destinations. It really takes the guess work out of planning any vacation and my knowledge of and relationships with the luxury destinations and hotels benefit the client!
Can you please share about your professional background and what led you to launch Journeys by Jolie ?
I started 20 years ago learning and assisting my mom who is also a travel consultant. She pretty much taught me the ropes and after I had my 2nd child in 2008 I went out on my own. Networking at my kids’ nursery school or the gym and word of mouth referrals is what grew my business!
What differentiates your company from others in the travel industry?
Journeys by Jolie is an affiliate of In the Know Experiences. We are part of a large successful travel management firm that allows access to incredible hotel programs and our volume (over 70K agents) enables me to make things happen even when the client may be told NO.
What would you say are the biggest benefits from working with a travel consultancy?
The list is endless! But the key points are:
- Saves you time researching and weeding out the information overload you may get from Google
- Hotels don’t bump or cancel reservations when made through a reputed travel advisor. Our bookings will ALWAYS be prioritized over an Expedia or other OTA (online travel agency). We have preferred status with most hotel companies (Four Seasons, Rosewood, Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental to name just a few.) so your booking is the first to be considered for that upgrade
- Our relationships with the hotels and unique hotel programs offer special amenities for each booking such as complimentary breakfast, hotel or spa credits and upgrades
- We add VALUE! In addition to the above amenities and valuable time you save we are often able to offer some type of discount or free night packages
- I am a logistics fiend! Traveling anywhere but especially abroad can be overwhelming so I ensure all is handled re. transfers, guides and airport greeters. While the client may not know where to begin to handle these services, I have a huge database of English speaking vendors in each country
- The biggest priority is always protecting the client so when flights are cancelled or something goes wrong at the hotel I step in! We have a 24-hour air desk to help with airline issues (which have been so prevalent this year!)
Can you tell us about your favorite trip you have planned?
I just wrapped up a 2 ½ week trip to Italy for special clients celebrating their retirement! Their trip will include 6 hotels beginning from Lake Como down to the Amalfi Coast, at least 4 flights, high speed trains, drivers & private guides where needed, chartering boats for day trips to special beaches and restaurants! All the planning and details have been handled.
What is the best feedback you have received about a trip from a client?
It’s simple: We wouldn’t have been able to do this without you.
What is your “working mom mantra” or anything that gets you through busy times as a working mom?
Well after surviving the Pandemic and being in travel I learned that there are good times and bad times. Demand for travel is over the top right now so it’s about having perspective that things will be OK even with the challenges in the hospitality industry and at the airports.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I think there is a lot of misunderstanding around how travel consultants work and how they can be invaluable! We charge the client a planning fee based on the scope of work which is usually a small percentage of the total spend; fees vary but they pay off when you realize the value and time saving an agent can provide. Free breakfast alone for a family of 4 adds a huge value! Most of my clients are happy to pay these minimal fees as they are receiving high touch, personalized service and a custom itinerary based on their wishes which includes handling of flights, hotels, and all logistics to make your trip memorable. Travel consultants main income is commission from the hotels or vendors we work with, not the client!
We love to support local businesses. What are your fave places locally to:
Grab coffee: CFCF
Workout: The Greenwich Water Club
Go on a date night: Le Penguin
Go out for a girls night: Hinoki
Go out to dinner as a family: Mediterraneo
Get your hair done: Salan H and Warren Tricomi
Get your nails done: Posh
Have fun as a family: Tods Point
Contact Jolie at Jolie@itkexp.com| (917) 693-8814