Why Work in Travel?

I love the world and the various cultures that dot the map. Humanities have always fascinated me, and I thrive on learning about new places and their traditions. It is the reason I was drawn to Japan in the first place, and later Taiwan. There is something truly special about the way some traditions can transcend time, technology, innovation, and evolution to keep people close to their roots despite their ever-changing environment. Growing up in the United States, there are many people of different cultural backgrounds but very little to call our own. But in East Asia, these countries have grown with the times while still remaining true to their origins, continuing to honor their ancestors and keep a rich heritage alive. 

For me, selling travel isn’t about giving people lavish vacations or booking resort stays where you never leave the grounds – I want my clients to go out and explore the world around them. Selling travel isn’t what I do, it is a service I offer. My true passion is in exploring and teaching. My blog is my way of expressing my interest in new places and sharing my knowledge with anyone who is willing to listen. And if they want to go see some of these places, great! I am here to help along the way. 

Why Should I Use a Travel Agent?

It’s the question on everyone’s minds when considering if they should use a travel agent to book their trip. For many, with the digital age making plan tickets and hotel bookings readily accessible to everyone, what is the point of booking through someone else? 

But the truth is, especially when it comes to booking hotels, online booking through services like booking.com, Trivago, Hotwire, etc. may offer great deals but it comes at a cost. Travelers through these agencies are flagged as budget travelers, meaning that the service quality provided is minimal. You will not be booked with the best available room, your amenities will be limited to their basic fare, with little care given to your overall experience. 

Booking a hotel through a travel agent signals allows hotels to book rooms for you with additional perks provided by our suppliers. Hotel perks may include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Room upgrades 
  • Hotel Vouchers or credits  
  • Complimentary services 
  • Meals 
  • Early check-in/late check-out 
  • Personalized service 

In addition to getting better service and special perks through hotels, having a travel agent provides security if anything goes wrong. Your travel agent is there for you if your hotel overbooks, you miss your flight, you experience delays, or any other number of things that can turn your relaxing vacation into a stressful nightmare.

If It Doesn't Cost Me More, How Do You Make Money?

Typically, a travel agent makes their money off commissions from hotels, tour companies, and destination management companies. The commission does not meant you pay more, as it has already been calculated as a potential expense into the overall cost. 

That being said, if you want your agent to plan out an itinerary for you, book your plane tickets, make reservations, and create awfully customized experience just for you, most will charge an additional fee for their time. Smaller suppliers, museums, restaurants, and other attractions often do not offer commissions to agents, but putting these plans into your agents hands frees your time that would be spent planning and stressing so you can relax and get ready for your upcoming trip. 

While Airlines used to offer commissions, most no longer offer them to agents on economy tickets. And while it may seem simple, plane tickets can get complicated quickly when it comes to special requests and accommodations and unforeseen events. As a result, most agents will advise booking your own air travel or take on the responsibility for an additional fee. 

What About Travel Points? Can I use Them With a travel Agent?

The short answer is no. However, it really is more complicated than that. If you are using points, your agent will not earn a commission for booking you. If they are already working on other commissionable aspects of your stay, they may be willing to help you book with your points. Most agents will advise that, if you have points to use, you apply them to your air travel. You often get better use of your points through the airlines, and your agent won’t be losing their commission on other bookings. 

What Else Can You Help Me With?

As your agent, I am there to make sure things go as smoothly as possibly for you during your trip. If anything goes wrong, I am available to help. I can negotiate for later arrivals with your hotel, ensure your hotel takes care of you if they overbook, assist with moving plans in case of unforeseen events, and plenty more. I can do everything in my power to ensure your trip runs smoothly.

My favorite part of this job is planning. I can set up an itinerary based on your interest and give you a customized experience that caters to your desires. My goal is create a vacation that is right for you and your family. 

I can help you fit within your budget (within reason). I may work with salespeople every day in my day job, but I am not a salesperson. I work in customer service because I want to make people happy and I want to do so within their limits. As much as I want you to have the perfect vacation, I don’t want you to have to breathe bank to do it. Set realistic budgets that are appropriate for your destination but don’t exceed your means, and I will make sure we stick to it and give you a memorable experience.

Tour Packages in Taiwan

Taiwan is an incredible country with plenty to offer. Exploring on your own can be a great adventure, but it may not be for the less-experienced traveler. That is why tours are an immensely popular option for those who want to see what Taiwan has to offer, without having to struggle so much against language barriers and zero guidance. 

Tour activities vary slightly, but largely follow a similar itinerary. you will get the opportunity to make scallion pancakes in Yilan, explore the history of Taiwan at the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and Gardens, cruise across Sun Moon Lake, and hike through  Taroko National Park.


For those looking for a more personalized or off-the-beaten-path experience, private tours are also available.

Tour Packages in Japan

Japan has a diverse cultural landscape, from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s ever-busy streets to the serene, traditional atmosphere of Kyoto. The country has plenty to offer, and particularly in recent years they have been making an effort to improve accessibility for English tourist. English signs are being implemented more and more, and most popular tourist areas have English-speaking staff to help guide you. 

But even as Japan strives to make navigating the country simpler for foreign visitors, there are elements of Japan that are still difficult to master. 

For example, Tokyo is not built with a grid system in mind. Furthermore, addresses work differently in Japan and many streets do not have formal names. This significantly complicates things four tourists visiting on their own when trying to find a specific restaurant or shop. 

Working with a tour group can help eliminate some of these pain point as you will be working with locals who know the lay of the land. 


Tour packages in Japan vary greatly in length, type, and size. There are seemingly endless options for both private and group tours.

Tours can range from a standard location-based tours to themed tours. Food and agriculture tours are popular options. 


Looking for more travel Advice?

I also have travel guides published on Fora! 

A Culture-Lover's Guide to Taipei

When my husband first took me to his home in Taipei, it immediately became my home away from home. Taiwan has been inhabited by several different countries throughout history, which gives them a uniquely eclectic culture all their own.

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Sample of an 11-Day Intrepid Tour

Days 1-2: Taipei City

Take the first day to relax and unwind after your travels before joining your group for dinner. After a good night’s sleep, enjoy learning about Taiwan’s love of sweet potatoes at Sweet Potato Mama for some spud-filled activities. Check out Shilin Night Market to enjoy Taipei’s variable food culture.

Days 2-3: Hualien

Enjoy nature at Danong Dafu Forest Park before spending the evening enjoying even more street food at the local night markets (you may have noticed a trend). Visit Qingshui cliff before venturing off to the famous Taroko Gorge.

Day 5: Yilan

Visit one of Yilan’s well-known onion farms to learn about the agriculture behind them before learning to make a Taiwanese favorite: scallion pancakes!

Day 6: Turtle Island and Jiufen

Set out on a 3-hour cruise around Turtle Island before travelling off to Jiufen, famed by Hayao Miyazaki as the inspiration for Spirited Away. You will be able to explore Old Street on your own. My suggestion: Eat everything ,try lots of samples, and make time for tea at the famous Teahouse.

Days 7-8: Sun Moon Lake

You’ll get to hike from the base of the mountainous area through the trails that snake up the mountain. You can then climb the Pagoda which marks the end of your trek for some incredible views. The next day you will get to explore the Chung Tai Chan Monastery for a unique, cross-cultural experience.

Day 9: Taichung

Visit Taiwan’s “Breadbasket”, where you can go oyster picking, bird watching, and exploring the water-life of the area. Try some incredible seafood and maybe even go out after returning to you accommodations near — Oh look, it’s near another night market!

Days 10-11: Taipei

Visit the Rainbow Village before heading back to the city you started in. You’ll get to see the massive collection of traditional art and artifacts contained within the National Palace Museum before taking the evening for yourself. After breakfast in the morning,  Your tour will end.

11 Day Back roads of Japan Tour with Project Expedition

***Note: meals are largely excluded on this tour and are the responsibility of tour members***

Days 1-2: Tokyo

There is no itinerary upon arrival until the welcome meeting which will take place in the evening. The first day will consist of learning more about your tour and meeting your guides. Day two is a walking tour of the fashion district of Harajuku. This eclectic district is popular for its eccentric fashion and youth culture. In the afternoon you will get a chance to visit Sensoji Temple, Meiji Shrine, and the surrounding attractions. 

Day 3: Nagano

You will take Japan’s famed bullet train to Nagano before checking into your accommodations. The highlight of this trip is the Jigokudani Monkey Park, where you will get to observe Japan’s bathing snow monkeys enjoying a bath in the natural hot springs.

Day 4: Matsumoto/Nagano

Enjoy a day trip to visit one of Japan’s most beloved castles: Matsumoto Castle. Afterwards, return to Nagano to venture off to Zenkoji Temple, one of Japan’s last standing pilgrimage sties. 

Day 5: Ōtsu 

Travel in the morning to Ōtsu for some stunning views of Japan’s largest lake: Lake Biwa. Top off the night with a delicious ramen dinner. 

Day 6-7: Hagi

Enjoy a quick breakfast before an extended drive to Hagi. You will then check into your local homestay. Pack for two nights as your remaining luggage will be sent to the next destination by your tour company. Make sure you pack comfortably for outdoor activities. This is a chance to experience life like a local as you meet your host family and take part in a welcome ceremony and dinner. 

Day two is an active day as you take a guided cycle tour around Hagi Castle. Afterward, you will have time to participate in seasonal activities with the locals. You will enjoy a homecooked dinner with your host family.

Day 8-9: Tottori

After breakfast with your host family, take a scenic trip by train on your way to Mihomisumi. There, enjoy learning the art of Washi paper making before hopping on another train to Tottori. 

In the morning, explore the unusual Tottori Sand Dunes along the Sea of Japan’s coastline. After that, make your way to the local fish market for some fantastic seafood lunch options. End the day with a trip to Kyoto to check in to your accommodations. 

Days 10-11: Kyoto

Take a morning trip to the well-known Fushimi Inari-Taisha, one of Kyoto’s many beautiful local shrines. This is where you will find the mystical  trail of torii gates along its trails. After this, you will have free time to explore what Kyoto has to offer. Recommended sites include a walk through the geisha district of Gion, exploration of Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion, and a visit to Kiyomizu Temple. 

The next day marks the end of the tour. Public transit is available to the airport, or you can speak to your guide to help find accommodations if you wish to extend your stay.