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Check Out Michelle Smiley’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Smiley.

Hi Michelle, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Life is an incredible journey! I am a native Houstonian. Houston is a great city – I love it! I moved back after getting my Mechanical Engineering degree at Texas A&M. I went to work in the energy industry and pursued an MBA at The University of Houston.. My husband and I both enjoyed very focused corporate careers for 10-15 years. Then we had our two daughters…and discovered that our earlier routines and systems were unsustainable…so we had to retool our life plan a bit!

I came into travel through a love of both research and exploring new places. I noticed over the years that, when traveling with a group, I was always the one who scrutinized everything about our destination and made all the plans – and I enjoyed doing it. I had a friend once tell me, “We love traveling with you – all we have to do is show up and have a good time!”

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
We feel incredibly fortunate. While our family has had struggles and losses along the way, I don’t think the challenges we have faced were out of the norm. The cycle of life is both stoic and ruthless in its zero-sum accounting!

Building a family and refining the balance of time needed for faith, family, community, work, school, extra-extracurriculars and technology is an ongoing challenge for all parents (and maybe all people). We are no different and this is a daily struggle for us too!

In the past year and half, the pandemic had a doozie of an effect on our travel business. The entire industry shut down with the worldwide lockdowns and quarantine/shelter-in-place orders. New business ground to halt for many months and our booked clients were worried about their plans and wanted to know what the future held – we could help navigate the former but we did not have a crystal ball for the latter! Even now, the travel industry is still changing week to week as people and places refine their best operational and health practices.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Adventure by MJ is all about the joy of travel! I adore travelling and completely geek out on destination research! And who doesn’t want to go on a vacation? This has got to be the best thing to talk to clients about!

Each person’s dream vacation is not the same. You get to see a wonderful diversity of people in travel. Some want to enjoy a luxury tour of new locale (Egypt, Galapagos, Montana and more), some like to relax and enjoy the beach all day, and others are adventure seekers looking to climb, ride, raft and/or ski. And of course, if you have kids (or own up to being the big kid we all are) you’ve got to visit Walt Disney World and Universal Studios! I want to make the entire vacation planning process – from a destination being a glimmer in their eye to arriving on site to check in – easier for my clients.

I specialize in family trips and multi-generational travel to a wide variety of locations on land and sea. I believe that each trip should meet the desires of that client. I maintain certifications with all key suppliers/providers that my client base uses and I evolve my product knowledge to match the needs of my clients. Being in family travel, of course, I am certified by the College of Disney Knowledge and Universal Studios among others. And being near the Port of Galveston, I keep a close eye on all cruise activity coming through the port.

I am affiliated with a wonderful Disney Platinum Earmarked Agency, The Magic For Less Travel. They share my philosophy that my clients always come first. They take good care of me so that I can take good care of you.

The top 5 reasons to plan your trip with me:

1. Personalized Concierge Services: Remove the stress and confusion of vacation planning. Because we work with you to plan a vacation that meets YOUR needs.

2. Knowledgeable and Professional: I am a graduate of supplier and destination trainings for all major suppliers I work with. My extended team includes CLIA Accredited Associate Cruise Counselors and Master Cruise Counselors, Certified Travel Associates (CTA) and Certified Travel Counselors (CTC). My team has been to all the theme parks, eaten at all the restaurants and stayed at all the Disney and Universal Resorts. Put our first-hand experience to work for you.

3. We’ve got your back: If you run into an issue while you are away, just give me call and I will help you sort it out.

4. Perks: I love my clients and get them access to as much special treatment as possible. I have exclusive specials and promotions for my clients – many can also be combined with published discounts to help you save even more.

5. Best Pricing & Discount Checking: I check both published and non-published discounts to ensure that you get the best price for your vacation. I also continue to monitor all discounts after you book and will automatically apply discounts to your existing reservation.

What makes you happy?
It is challenging in today’s world to get a large group trip planned. It is hard enough to coordinate lunch plans with a single friend or colleague, and here are people trying to coordinate the schedules of 12 to 30 people or families with work, school and extracurriculars to all be in the same place at the same time for multiple days. That is a tough endeavor. I get such a feeling of happiness when I am able to take most of the load off of these lovely people and help make their family or group trip happen. The connection families and friend get on these trips – the memories – any contribution I can make towards that is well worth it and brings so much joy to both them and myself.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Michelle Smiley
The Magic For Less Travel

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