“Travel is the only thing that you can buy that can make you richer,” says Wendy Taylor of Preferred Travel of Naples, Inc.
That’s a philosophy Taylor puts to work when she works with her clients, many of whom are multigenerational families looking to spend time together.
Taylor is most passionate about arranging travel to Asia, an area she calls culturally fascinating. But her love of the world knows no bounds. “After attending ILTM Africa, my newest passion is Africa, which is truly a life-changing destination,” she adds. “I am talking to clients and plan on returning again and again.”
Taylor got her start in the travel industry through a part-time position as a reservations agent for Delta Air Lines. She later worked at a small AAA office, as well as in the American Express Platinum Call Center, where she was one of the 10 travel counselors chosen to launch the call center for the American Express Centurion Card. After that, she joined Preferred Travel, where she has worked for the past 15 years, recently being appointed the Leisure Division Leader due to her knack for details and ability to act as a resource for the staff. In this role, other advisors can come to Taylor with any client challenges so she can provide feedback and assistance.
“Several years ago, my manager told me that she never worried about my clients, whether I was traveling or not,” says Taylor. “That was a great compliment.”
Taylor attributes a large part of her success to communication. “Listening and talking with the client in regard to their expectations about the trip can make all of the difference,” she says. After that, however, she still takes time to follow up regarding timelines and next steps.
At the same time, Taylor says she works to balance her work and personal life. “Being a balanced person makes me a much better travel agent and person,” she says. “I am happy to say gone are the days when I spent 12 hours at my desk. I take advantage of technology to make my life easier and convenient for my clients.”
Looking ahead, Taylor says she plans to grow her business by continuing to build her destination and supplier knowledge and remaining engaged with suppliers and Signature. She has also served on advisory boards and represented Preferred Travel at meetings and events. Locally, she will continue to work with her client base and seek referrals.
In terms of trips, Taylor recently had a chance to return to China and visit Lhasa with the A&K 100 Club. Next up is a return trip to Italy and Morocco.
When she is not traveling, Taylor enjoys yoga, the beach and cooking, a skill she often puts to use baking treats for the office. She tells Luxury Travel Advisor that the current office favorite is her Cuatro Leches Cake.