Travel Consultant Tuesday: Christina Cabral
In this edition of Travel Consultant Tuesday, we caught up with Christina Cabral of Liberty Travel River Edge to discover how an 11-day European tour sparked her lifelong love of travel and her desire to help others see the world.
What inspired you to become a Liberty Travel consultant?
I originally fell in love with travel when I was 15-years old. I went on an 11-day Globus tour that visited France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Holland and Germany. It inspired me to continue planning vacations and when I learned that I could do it professionally, I knew it would be the perfect fit for me.
My friends and family weren’t too surprised that I decided to pursue this career path. I love traveling the world myself, but my favorite thing is planning a trip for someone else. I live vicariously through my clients when I book them on these amazing trips, which is a huge reason why I never get bored of my role as a travel consultant.
What are the advantages to booking with you versus online?
We're real people that are extremely knowledgeable because we’ve actually visited these destinations. We're not salespeople, we're travel consultants. We help guide you and give advice tailored to the experience you’re looking for in your upcoming vacation. It’s important to realize that when you use an online provider, you don’t have that personalized touch. For instance, an online booking engine isn’t going to tell you that a destination is in the hurricane belt or that you could go to a property with amenities better suited to you a lower cost. When you book with a travel consultant, you have an expert that acts as your advocate throughout the booking and travel process.
What do you think people would be most surprised to learn about your role as a travel consultant?
Oftentimes clients walk in assuming that we charge a service fee. This is not the case. Liberty Travel provides complimentary vacation planning services. You get to work with a travel consultant and take advantage of our expertise free of charge.
While we do put together entire vacation packages – including flights, transfers, hotels, excursions and travel protection – we can assist with almost any aspect of an itinerary. People also are surprised to learn that we offer just flights, tours, or cruises outside of a complete package.
You just mentioned excursions. How can doing a tour while traveling, like visiting Chichen Itza in Mexico, help travelers return home with special memories?
When you go to a destination and explore a bit, you have a whole new perspective on the place you’ve just vacationed. For instance, a day trip to Chichen Itza includes a side trip to a cenote and a stop at some authentic Mayan shops along the way. You get to learn more about the history and see how the destination looks and feels beyond the beautiful resorts.
What do you specialize in?
I specialize in sending clients to the Caribbean and Mexico. I have a lot of experience making personalized recommendations for trips to the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia and Aruba. Additionally, having been on so many guided tours, I’m able to give first-hand advice on escorted tours. These are often great when visiting Europe, just like my first trip back when I was fifteen years old.
Tell us your most interesting travel story.
One of my best travel experiences was when I was in Paris with my family. We visited the Sacré-Cœur, which is a basilica that has a bunch of steps outside that looks down onto Paris. I recommend anyone that visits Paris makes a trip up here, because the views are absolutely stunning. It was a sunny day in May with a really nice breeze so there were dozens of people sitting on the steps. All of a sudden, a man with a guitar started playing "Lean On Me." I swear everyone in France must know this song because every single person in that area started singing along with this man! It was the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced because there was this amazing feeling of unity amongst all of these people of different backgrounds. Travel makes you realize that we are more similar than we think.