What could be better than a job that lets you work with your best friend? And if that best friend loves to see the world (and sell it) as much as you do, a travel business is surely the road to happiness. That’s what Caroline Settle believes, in any case — and the soaring sales that result from her partnership with Merrick Huckin have proven her right.
It’s been eight years since Settle began a successful career as an independent contractor with Century Travel, which was subsequently purchased by Travel Edge. But things are even brighter — and lots more fun — since she teamed up with her best buddy three years ago. Last year, they added another advisor, Allyson Greenfield, and the trio has been setting fire to sales in Texas ever since.
A Texan through and through, Settle was born in Fort Worth, attended the University of Texas in Austin, and resides in Dallas with her husband and two boys. She began her professional career at Neiman Marcus, where she first learned the rules of customer service to which she still adheres today: The customer is always right — and no matter what product you are selling, the real product clients are buying is satisfaction.
An avid reader of the travel magazines that came to the office, she soon found herself planning trips for her friends at Neiman Marcus. She got serious about selling luxury travel in 2010, was trained by Robin Sanders in Fort Worth, and hung up her own shingle the following year. Today her client base includes customers of all different backgrounds, from CEOs and entrepreneurs to movie producers to lawyers and teachers. Most of the trips she plans are “full-service overseas trips with all the details, including hotels, transfers, restaurant planning, and memorable and modern experiences.” In addition to leisure travel, she sometimes plans unique business trips overseas for her clients as well.
She also loves traveling with her own children, whom she has been taking along since they were born. “It has taught them so much about the world, about being adaptable and adventurous,” she says.
With or without her family along, for Caroline, “everything, no matter how big or small, matters.” She listens carefully to each client before making any recommendations, so each trip can be personalized to fit their needs — and she “always goes the extra mile for clients’ requests because a vacation day is priceless.”
In recent months, Caroline has explored Tuscany and fell in love with Monte Verde. She also went to Switzerland and Germany with MJL Select, where she loved the hotels, Badrutt’s Palace, Baur au Lac and the Beau Rivage Palace. She also visited the JL Bar Resort and Spa in Sonora, Texas, with Janine Cifelli Representation; that trip offered incredible dining experiences against the backdrop of beautiful Texas Hill Country sunsets. Next on her agenda is LTM in Cannes and then on to Paris immediately after.
Into the new year, she’ll be posting more on Instagram, “because social media has proven to drive our sales,” and following her other passions, including taking cooking classes in cities around the world and trying new hot spots, as well as playing tennis with her friends at home.
And she still looks forward to the day her favorite read, Condé Nast Traveler, arrives in the mail — just as she did at Neiman Marcus so many years ago.