AAA Traveler - Holiday 2019 - 17

AGENT SPOTLIGHT

Lifelong Traveler
BY KIMBERLY BUTTON

A childhood of wonderful travel memories and a love of exploring the world with family and friends
inspired Hope Martin, AAA Travel Agent in Matthews, North Carolina, to begin helping others with
their destination planning.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY?

I've been a traveler all of my life. My parents drove our family across the country several times to see a
number of national parks and to visit relatives. As a teenager, I had my first opportunity to visit Europe
with classmates. Ever since then I've taken every opportunity I could to see more of the world. By the
time I was 30, I had traveled to all 50 states and visited all of the most notable national parks in the
U.S. Planning travel has always been exciting for me. I've been planning trips for friends, family and
community organizations for many years. I wanted to start using my experience to help others
discover the excitement of travel. That was seven years ago, and with the support of the AAA
career development team, I'm now a travel agent for itineraries all over the world.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVORITE VACATIONS SO FAR?

A river cruise that traveled from Amsterdam all the way to Budapest, Hungary.
This was a great way to see some of the great inland cities of western and central
Europe, while traveling in comfort, and with excellent guidance. Also, a Viking
Ocean cruise along the Dalmatian coast of the Mediterranean, which visited Slovenia,
Croatia, Montenegro and Greece was wonderful. This region has so many historic and
natural treasures and is much less traveled than some of the more well-known European
destinations. The transatlantic adventure sailing I took with Princess Ocean Cruises from
Norway to Iceland and then on to New York was amazing! There were incredible landscapes that
simply can't be seen anywhere else in the world. We had the opportunity to see the northern lights,
and of course, Lady Liberty welcoming us home in New York harbor was spectacular.
WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING TRIP/ITINERARY YOU HAVE BOOKED?

Trips with family and friends have generated some of my best personal travel memories, so I'm
always excited about helping clients who want to coordinate their travel with others. It can be
challenging work, though, because those kinds of trips often bring together people from multiple
locations, and with different levels of travel experience. I've organized trips of this type in Alaska, the
Caribbean, Europe and many other locations for our members. The challenge is in coordinating
flights so that clients from different cities can all meet en route, or arranging transfers so that
everyone stays at the same hotel. It can be tricky to get all the logistics and sightseeing goals to work
together, but it's enormously satisfying to help people realize their travel dreams and share them
with each other.
WHAT ARE YOUR "MUST HAVE" TRAVEL ESSENTIALS?

An open mind and a sense of humor. There's so much to experience, and one of the things travel
does is to help us all understand that people have different approaches to life in other parts of the
world. Expect the unexpected, and more often than not, those will become some of your best
memories. Also, flexible clothing. Weather and circumstances can change quickly on a trip, and the
right layers and color combinations that all work together will keep your luggage lightweight and give
you lots of options during your travel. Finally, a good pair of walking shoes, with soles that can handle all
kinds of surfaces (like cobblestones) is a must.
WHAT'S ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST?

Hope Martin

AAA MATTHEWS, N.C.

My dream trips right now include an African safari; going to South America, including the Galapagos and
Antarctica; and visiting the South Pacific, New Zealand and South Asia in one long itinerary.
TRAVELER HOLIDAY 2019

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AAA Traveler - Holiday 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AAA Traveler - Holiday 2019

Contents
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AAA Traveler - Holiday 2019 - Contents
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