With a passion for traveling, Lori Whitehouse retired from her career in education 5 years ago to embark on a journey as a travel agent. She opened Whitehouse Wanderer Travel, LLC, a full-service travel agency planning trips to the Caribbeans, Europe, Hawaii, Disney World, and everywhere in between.
Whitehouse offers trips for couples, groups, multigenerational families, and more. She takes pride in her efforts to accommodate several requests.
“When someone contacts us, they receive a travel planning questionnaire via email,” Whitehouse said. “On the form, they can indicate where they want to go, their interests, and their budget. Once this form is completed, I will set up a conference call to discuss options and send them several itineraries.”
Once she completes the booking process, clients get timely travel tips and reminders.
“We are here for our clients before, during, and after they travel,” she said. “Some clients have not traveled very much, and we are there for them every step of the way.”
Inspiration for the agency dates back to Whitehouse’s childhood when her grandparents ventured to Europe and brought her a doll from every country they visited. Those dolls inspired Whitehouse to see the destinations herself, often gifting her children with travel for Christmas instead of “gifts that were opened and soon forgotten.”
She knew that life after retirement would consist of travel, but she was uncertain of the capacity. She and her husband booked a European river cruise through a good friend who owned a travel agency, and who was looking to hire some independent contractors.
“Immediately, I knew what I was going to do for my ‘next chapter,’” Whitehouse said. “I knew traveling to be a big part of that chapter, but I also wanted to do something that was productive and helped others.”
Whitehouse recently launched a women’s travel group called Wander Woman Travel Club. More than 300 women have signed up for the club — with trips to New York, Ireland, and Cape Cod already planned for 2023.
“The goal is to offer enriching, fun, and safe travel experiences for women who want to travel but don’t have a traveling companion for whatever reason,” she said. “Maybe they’re widowed, divorced, single, or have a spouse who doesn’t like to travel.”
Whitehouse Wanderer is affiliated with Uniglobe Travel Center (UTC), which provides annual conferences, training, connections with suppliers, and professional development opportunities.
Whitehouse participated in Select Travel Advisor Recognition Program in Ft. Lauderdale in 2019 and belongs to the American Society of Travel Agents. She said she attends several travel conferences yearly to stay current with travel trends and provide her clients with the most up-to-date travel information. Membership with these agencies allows her to lean on resources and colleagues when she is not as familiar with a client’s desired destination.
To learn more about Whitehouse Wanderer and Wander Woman Travel, search for them on Facebook and Instagram or reach out directly at [email protected].
Whitehouse said her husband Richard is her number one traveling partner, and they most enjoy offering Mass in several countries with varying languages. She enjoys traveling with family, friends, and girlfriends and can’t wait until her grandson is old enough to join in on her journeys.
Her bucket list still includes the African Safari and Machu Picchu in Peru, Australia, and New Zealand.