There is no better way to do business in travel than to experience the destinations yourself. Cricket Hile, a travel agent and bicyclist who has pedaled her way across her home state of Pennsylvania, sends her clients on our cycling vacations with the miles and memories from going on our trips herself in her toolbox. As a business partner and our guest, we are happy to introduce you to Cricket. Read about her travel experience and favorite vacation spots.
Name: Cricket Hile
Travel Agency: Travel Time Travel
Specialty European Travel
Years in the Business: 32
Tell us a bit about your background. What inspired you to pursue a career as a travel agent?
I started my career as a French teacher which led me to taking students to Europe. Eventually I decided I liked the travel part of it more than the teaching part!
Do you have an especially memorable client or story?
Several years ago four clients asked if they could go with me the next time we went to Paris; and of course, I said yes. We went to Paris as agent and clients. We returned as friends and have taken several trips together since then.
What is your favorite travel destination and what makes it unique?
Paris, France is my favorite destination. Between speaking French and going to Paris frequently I feel very comfortable there. However, I must say I love Italy, too, and I don’t speak Italian.
Based on your agency bookings, what are the three most popular destinations for 2015 and what is the must-do activity you recommend in each location?
Agency top three are …
1. Caribbean – Go snorkeling
2. Cancun – See the ruins
3. Disney World – Act like a child
My top three destinations and must-do activities are…
1. Paris – Have a picnic on the grounds of Versailles
2. Provence – Don’t miss the hill towns. It was Trek that really introduced them to me on the Mt. Ventoux trip. Best way to see them is on a bicycle!
3. Capri – Enjoy a Limoncello on the terrace of the Hotel Quisisana
Which Trek Travel trip is top on your bucket list and why?
That is difficult to answer because I have already done Provence (Mt. Ventoux) and the Classic Climbs of the Alps. However, at this point in my life, Croatia is at the top of my bucket list and I will do that in September. Several years ago my husband and I took a cruise that stopped in Korcula, Croatia. At that point, I said I needed to go back. Later when I saw that Trek offered a trip to Croatia, I decided it was definitely at the top of my list.
What is the most important piece of advice you give travelers before their trip?
I always tell clients to be open to change and expect that something is not going to be exactly as they had planned. The second thing I tell them is to not expect everything to be like it is at home. The third thing, and really the most important, is to smile when they are totally overwhelmed and confused. It will be okay.