Scouted Travel Professionals You Should Know About

For many people, the possibility of making travel plans that have perhaps been on hold for the past two years might be on the horizon. If you’re ready to plan a getaway, the time has never been better to enlist the services of a seasoned travel expert who can help you navigate any rules or restrictions while also creating the perfect personalized itinerary to the destination of your dreams. Here, our editors across the country introduce the travel professionals in their areas who they trust with their vacation plans. Whether you’re looking for a fun family adventure somewhere domestic or have your sights set on a once-in-a-lifetime excursion farther afield, this group of knowledgeable professionals can help with every detail. Looking for a travel agent in your area? Find one in The Scout Guide Directory.

Photography by Gabriella Santos.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Caroline and Tony Labbe of Labbe Travel
LOCATION: Park City, Utah
WHAT THEY DO: Labbe Travel creates bespoke luxury adventures across the globe for the most discerning of travelers.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Caroline and Tony Labbe are experts in the field of travel and treat their clients like family, often accompanying them on their adventures,” says Suzanne Dildy, editor of The Scout Guide Park City. “Caroline’s extensive background in hospitality and expertise in travel planning along with Tony’s execution of logistics make them the perfect pair for planning the trip of a lifetime.”

Photography by Paul Morse.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Amina Dearmon of Perspectives Travel
LOCATION: New Orleans, Louisiana
WHAT SHE DOES: Amina Dearmon collaborates with clients to create exceptional trips that speak to their passions while taking all the complexity out of the travel process.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Amina is constantly traveling and in touch with other travel professionals from all over, ensuring that her clients enjoy incredible, locally focused experiences during their trips,” says Taylor Morgan, editor of The Scout Guide New Orleans. “Plus, her Instagram is like a virtual vacation.”

Photography by Audrey Snow Owen.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Lee McCarthy of MAD Travel
LOCATION: Naples, Florida
WHAT THEY DO: Dedicated to helping their clients travel better, MAD Travel’s experienced agents are passionate about their industry knowledge and first-hand insights.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “The team at MAD Travel knows all the ins and outs of the industry and various destinations, so you get all the best experiences and the best values you wouldn’t be able to find on your own,” says Jennifer Adams, editor of the The Scout Guide Naples. “They’re helpful, organized, and responsive, and they’ll curate a trip that’s perfect for each client’s preferences.” Locals can read McCarthy’s recommendations for road trip destinations from Naples here.

Photography by Joan Fisher.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Rob Merlin and Betsey Brown of SmartFlyer
LOCATION: Saint Louis, Missouri
WHAT THEY DO: Travel agents Rob and Betsey specialize in curating customized luxurious trips.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “I love working with Rob and Betsey because they always finds resorts that fit my personality and needs,” says Stacey Goltermann, editor of The Scout Guide Saint Louis. “They make travel fun and exciting!” Locals can read Rob and Betsey’s recommendations for summer road trip destinations from Saint Louis here.

Photography by Hana Lê Van. 

TRAVEL EXPERT: Kristen Meckem Travel
LOCATION: Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Bend, Oregon
WHAT SHE DOES: Kristen is a luxe travel agent who provides impeccable service and arranges unforgettable amenities and experiences. 
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Kristen is always on the hunt for the perfect experience for us,” says Jill King, editor of The Scout Guide Jackson Hole. “We have taken many trips with Kristen and she provides an easy-to-use app to house all your reservations, which is amazing.” Learn more about Kristen and read about her recent trip to the Galapagos here.

Photography courtesy of Caroline Wood.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Caroline Wood of Caroline Travel
LOCATION: Bozeman, Montana
WHAT SHE DOES: Caroline is an award-winning Conde Nast Traveler Specialist and a Four Season Preferred Partner specializing in luxury hotels and unique experiences around the world and in the U.S.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Caroline brings luxe quality services to the next level. I’m especially excited about her National Park itineraries,” says Jill King, editor of The Scout Guide Bozeman.

Photography by Victor Sizemore.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Robin Cline of Cline and Co. Travel
LOCATION: Lexington, Kentucky
WHAT THEY DO: Cline and Co. specializes in custom curated travel planning specifically tailored to clients’ interests and preferences. Robin delivers concierge travel plans from start to finish. She is a Four Seasons Preferred Partner and has been featured in the Washington Post.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Robin is detail-oriented and well-traveled. She visits all the places she recommends and has established relationships with local businesses ensuring her clients have safe and worry-free experiences,” says Jennifer Mueller, editor of The Scout Guide Lexington. “Robin stays educated on all the travel requirements and expectations to make certain there are no issues, and she is always a phone call away to assist her clients.” 

Photography courtesy of Kaleigh Kirkpatrick.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Kaleigh Kirkpatrick
LOCATION: Fort Worth, Texas
WHAT SHE DOES: Kaleigh and her team are luxury travel advisors that create the perfectly planned trip of a lifetime and make sure that nothing is left to chance. They have scoured the best experiences in the world for couples and families alike to the beach, mountains, Disney World, and abroad.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Kaleigh is a joy to work with,” says Leigh Brown, editor of The Scout Guide Fort Worth. “She is professional yet fun, and excellent at what she does.”

Photography by Paul Morse.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Philip James of Philip James Travel
LOCATION: New Orleans, Louisiana
WHAT HE DOES: A successful career in sales with Belmond, a premier luxury travel brand, led Philip to see authentic experiences in many countries around the world. Today, he helps sophisticated travelers find their dream authentic experiences through carefully designed escapes.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Prior to becoming a travel agent, Philip spent many years in the hotel industry so he is acquainted with luxury and delivers the same luxury to his clients,” says Taylor Morgan, editor of The Scout Guide New Orleans.

Photography by John Wagner.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Riverdale Travel
LOCATION: Minneapolis, Minnesota
WHAT THEY DO: With a deep knowledge of the perfect travel destinations, as well as constant updates on travel restrictions, Riverdale Travel customizes ideal trips for their clients.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Riverdale Travel puts the fun and excitement back in travel. Traveling during a worldwide pandemic is not for the faint of heart, which is why so many local Minnesotans have relied on the expertise of RT for some 15 years and counting,” says Kerry Ciardelli of The Scout Guide Minneapolis.

Photography courtesy of Trink Luxury Travel.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Jessi Jarvis of Trink Luxury Travel
LOCATION: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
WHAT THEY DO: Trink Travel handles basic travel needs for individuals, groups, and families, such as air and hotel, and offers a personalized option that includes curated itineraries that encompass lodging, air, activities, dining recommendations, and anything else you can dream up. The owner, Jessi, works directly with her clients to create a travel experience that is far from ordinary.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Luxury travel isn’t always about going to the most expensive hotel or resort, but rather about the unique experiences that leave lasting memories,” says Kerry Goldstein, editor of The Scout Guide Oklahoma City. “Trink Travel is a Virtuoso affiliate, so owner Jessi has access to a huge network of unique destinations and experiences all over the world. And what better peace of mind than knowing all is taken care of for your trip so you can focus on creating those great memories and have a relaxing, safe trip?”

Photography by Sélavie Photography.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Kimberly Georgi of Luxury Travel Design by Kimberly
LOCATION: Memphis, Tennessee
WHAT SHE DOES: Kimberly specializes in luxury travel with an emphasis on adventure. She is a unique expert on travel to the African continent.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Kimberly is knowledgeable and trustworthy when it comes to anything and everything travel,” says Stephanie Stephens, editor of The Scout Guide Memphis. “Traveling is not something where you just book a flight and hope all goes well. Working with Kimberly ensures that everything will go as planned, and if issues do arise, it’s reassuring to know you have a trustworthy agent on your side to handle everything so you can get back to enjoying your vacation.”

Photography by White Rabbit Studios.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Marianne Windham of Windham Travel and Leisure
LOCATION: Huntsville, Alabama
WHAT SHE DOES: Marianne specializes in high-touch travel planning. She can manage all of the details for everything from flights to safaris to specialty hotels and villas.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Marianne grew up loving to travel and has that wanderlust herself. She truly listens and connects with her clients and comes up with creative options for travel,” says Dawn Pumpelly, editor of The Scout Guide Huntsville. “Marianne planned my husband’s group 50th birthday trip to Napa where she managed, handled, booked, and rebooked everyone through COVID. I don’t know how I would have handled all of the details without her!” To learn more about Marianne and her travel tips and recommendations, watch Dawn’s interview with her here.

Photography by Caitlin B Photography.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Kristin Diehl
LOCATION: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
WHAT SHE DOES: Kristin specializes in elegantly crafted and personally tailored leisure travel. Operating as an affiliate of Smartflyer, a Virtuoso Agency, Kristin has global relationships that ensure superior value for travelers and full-service luxury experiences.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “The travel industry has been put through the wringer these last two years. I met Kristin during the height of COVID, summer 2020, and her optimistic outlook and commitment to her clients has been inspiring,” says Kaleigh Porcelli, editor of The Scout Guide Baton Rouge. “She took that slow season to gain knowledge and credibility for being up-to-date on the ever-changing rules of travel, and it certainly paid off as 2021 ended up being her strongest year yet as a travel advisor.”

Photography by Fletcher and Co.

TRAVEL EXPERT: Mandy McKaskle of Creosote Journeys
LOCATION: Tucson, Arizona
WHAT THEY DO: Creosote Journeys is a full service luxury travel company creating thoughtfully designed experiences. As an independent affiliate of Embark Beyond, a proud member of Virtuoso, they go beyond expectations and offer extraordinary access that goes beyond a destination.
WHAT OUR EDITOR SAYS: “Mandy’s reputation precedes her in the luxury travel advisor industry. She is a seasoned professional who truly supports and creates travel experiences that will stay with you long after your travel has been completed,” says MaryAnn Wittmann, editor of The Scout Guide Tucson & Southern Arizona. “I personally attest and give Mandy and Embark Beyond affiliates five stars after planning my family’s remarkable and unforgettable Italian holiday.”