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Meet Andrew Williams of Travel At Will in North Houston (Spring)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Williams.

Andrew, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve been in the travel industry for over 13 years. I worked my way up from the bottom. I started out working for multiple service providers in the International Terminal at Bush Intercontinental Airport. Eventually, I was hired by Singapore Airlines to supervise check-in and handle customer service. I was attending U of H at the time, just trying to work my way through college and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. In 2009, I took my first trip to Singapore for some work-related training. I extended my stay an extra week to check out the country. From then on, I have been in love with International travel. There’s something immensely rewarding about visiting a foreign country and getting the opportunity to learn about the local culture and way of life. It totally changes your perspective on life and your position in the world as a whole. After a few years at the airport, I transferred to a sales and marketing role. At the end of my ten years tenure with Singapore Airlines, I was overseeing leisure sales and marketing for 13 states across the central US. I was working with dignitaries from all over Europe and Asia and deeply involved with partnerships with the Mayor’s Office and the Greater Houston Partnership.

At that time, several companies were approaching me with job offers. I decided to join the team at Nomad Hill as their Director of Travel Experiences. This gave me the opportunity to start designing and developing products in a less restrictive corporate structure. I learned a lot in a short amount of time there. Even though I already had years of experience being behind the curtain of luxury travel, working with NFL Superstar Larry Fitzgerald and planning exclusive vacations for other celebrities and high profile clients was an eye-opening experience. I had been wanting to start my own company for years but was waiting for the right time. In the Fall of 2018, Nomad was taken over by new management that wanted to move the headquarters to Florida. I took that as a sign from the universe that it was time to branch out on my own. With my company buyout and some financial assistance from my childhood friend Larry Mosley, I launched TRAVEL AT WILL in September of 2018. We hit the ground running and haven’t looked back. Even in the midst of the COVID pandemic, I’m happy to say that we are helping our travelers get to where they need or want to be.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road definitely hasn’t been entirely smooth. I already had clients on the books when I decided to start the company but after the first few months, those clients were booked and on their way overseas. Without any real advertising in the first six months, we struggled to acquire new clients. While social media is great for selling impulse buys like t-shirts or concert tickets, its not a hot pot for travel companies. Especially not luxury travel brands. We had to get creative with our marketing to find ways to connect with our clients. Even after two years in business, it can still be a struggle to find new business. We focus heavily on providing an above and beyond level of service to keep our current customers coming back,

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Travel At Will – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
TRAVEL AT WILL is a concierge-style travel design company. We are not a typical travel agency that just book flights, hotels and cruises. We create tailormade travel experiences. Each of our itineraries is completely unique to each individual client. We don’t have any set packages or tours. The itineraries are designed based on the traveler’s interests, hobbies and desires. Each of us desires or wants to get something different out of life’s experiences. Each of us also finds different types of experiences pleasurable. Our Travel Designers work hand-in-hand with our travelers to plan the travel experiences of their dreams. Our concept derives from the “AT WILL” idiom, meaning “at one’s discretion or pleasure, as one desires”. The client process starts with a complimentary consultation with a Travel Designer. Travelers are free to book as many or as few services from us as they wish. Most usually opt for fully booked itinerary. A full itinerary will typically include flights, accommodations, private transportation and private guided tours or excursions. Need to know where to eat dinner in Paris or where to go shopping in Milan? No problem. We can make dinner reservations for you anywhere in the world and in most cases, arrange for pre-payment of your meal as part of your full vacation package.

In Milan, we can set you up with a personal shopper who can simply take you to a few stores or take you behind the scenes to meet directly with designers. There is no dream that’s too big! We have provided our travelers with everything from game/concert tickets with backstage access to private jets and private yacht charters. What we really specialize in is cultural immersion. Anyone can go sightseeing on their own, being introduced to the local way of life by a local expert is what turns our trips into experiences. You can’t fully connect to a place if you don’t know its history or interact with its people. This is what makes travel transformational. We are most proud of the experiences we have booked. We’ve created thousands of incredible and unforgettable moments for our travelers. Every one of our customers has overwhelming loved their travel experience, especially Honeymooners. They recommend us to friends and family and they always want to plan another getaway. We love every single thank you note, follow up call, shared photo and video that we’ve received.

Seeing the glowing smiles of happy travelers, knowing that you helped to create that moment is the biggest reward There are some other companies out there with a similar concept but our service, attention to detail, connectivity and affordable pricing are what set us apart. No one else will go to the lengths that we go to for our travelers. We fully embrace the concierge mentality. We’re available around the clock and approach every request with urgency. We also provide our travelers with country guides, packing lists and a host of other supporting documents to ensure they are properly prepared before their trip. We offer unparalleled connectivity worldwide. While a lot of companies only focus on particular destinations, we offer our travelers access to the whole world. Best of all, we offer the most affordable pricing in our market. One of our main objectives is to make luxury travel more obtainable. Thanks to our huge network of service providers and our low operating cost, we are able to offer luxury experiences at discounted rates. We also offer flexible payment plans to allow our clients an even wider variety of options.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We have a lot of big plans for the future. I can’t go into specific details about what we’re working on just yet but I can say that we will be very active in the Houston area over the next year plus. We’re going to be launching some exclusive services for our local clients and visitors to Houston next year. We’ve got some events planned that we want to put on for the city once COVID is under control. People who have been following us on social media already know we gave away over $10,000 in prizes and travel vouchers in the last year. We’re also planning several more contests for 2021. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat so you don’t miss an opportunity to win free vacation prizes. Social media is also the best place to find out about any promotional offers we’re currently offering. Check out our YouTube Channel for some clips from our travels. Make sure you hit like and subscribe. More content is on the way.

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