Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials Enjoying the Same Place
by Alicia Wanek
“Creating memories that last a lifetime.” What better way to make family memories than while on a trip to a new destination? For TravelStore’s Master Travel Consultant, Wendy Sandridge, AKA “Travel Mom Wendy,” setting the stage for those lifelong memories is her primary goal with every client, but she has a special affinity for working with families to help them plan a trip that everyone from Grandma and Grandpa to the youngest grandchild will enjoy. Wendy herself looks back fondly at the cruises she went on with her own family, including her grandparents, their three children, spouses, and all six grandchildren. Her years of experience in the hotel and travel business have allowed her to create those experiences for her clients, too.
“For families with different ages and interests, all-inclusive trips and cruises are usually best,” Wendy says. “There is something for everybody. When you all get together at a family member’s home, someone has to do all the work. On these trips, everyone is relaxed.” Tracy Bell of Dallas and her family just completed their 16th family trip to an all-inclusive destination over Thanksgiving, and they love the opportunities they had to participate in activities together. This year their family had 15 family members, representing 3 generations. Together with her mother, brother, and sister, with their spouses plus seven grandchildren (and one girlfriend) ages 8 to 29, the family traveled to Club Med Ixtapa. They are an active family, and the resort offered options for everyone. “We always play a family beach volleyball game, boys against girls, charades one night, another traditional family game called ‘Happy Family’…… and an assortment of other games each evening. Some people went on a horseback riding excursion, some did the trapeze and archery, some played tennis. Many went snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and jet skiing. Several people had massages on the beach, too,” Tracy reports.
The key to a great vacation – from the property to the amenities to the destination itself – is finding someone to help you coordinate the trip. In Wendy’s case, she’s already traveled to many of the places herself and, more importantly, she has personal connections that can make your trip even more special. She’s so much more than a travel agent.
As a Master Travel Consultant, Wendy works to customize your trip to make it an experience you won’t forget. She arranges extra perks like complimentary breakfast, early check-in or late check-out, resort credits, and personal VIP treatment at the property. “I bend over backwards to take care of my clients,” she says. Tracy agrees wholeheartedly, stating, “She goes the extra mile to make everything perfect!” With Wendy’s access to more than 700 travel professionals just within TravelStore, she has like-minded professionals across the globe at her fingertips to ensure she meets the needs of discerning travelers wherever they want to go. If she has not been there yet, she will find someone who has so she can provide ‘insider information’ on every last detail.
Tom Ericson can’t say enough good things about working with Wendy. His family took a once-in-a-lifetime 11-night cruise to Greece, Turkey, and Italy this summer for his youngest daughter’s high school graduation, sailing in and out of Rome, Italy. Their group consisted of Tom’s mother-in-law, he and his wife, and their two daughters. Of Wendy he says, “She was fabulous throughout the whole process. Having been to most of the destinations we were going to she was able to tell us firsthand what to do and what not to do. Wendy was meticulous in her care for us. She arranged every detail from transportation to lodging before and after the cruise as well as the cruise itself. She managed to secure several additional perks even after we booked the trip – clearly going above and beyond!”
When Tom looks back at his trip, he remembers great food, beautiful sites, and fun experiences, but he says, “To see their faces and experience it all together was my biggest reward!” No matter where your family travels, that’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it? To have those shared experiences that you’ll be talking about for years to come. Saint Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” Is your family ready to turn the page?
Meet the memory maker: TravelStore’s Wendy Sandridge makes multi-generational travel fun for all
Editor’s Note: Some of Wendy’s favorite destinations are shown in The Ultimate Travel Guide beginning on page 31. You can reach Wendy Sandridge at TravelMomWendy@verizon.net or 972.491.1560.