Twenty-five years ago, Gail Pastor was a founding agent of Dream Vacations, a CruiseOne company. Since then, she has been a champion and mentor to other agents, and has “exemplified the key traits of what we look for in a travel agent and a person,” according to Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president of Dream Vacations. Those traits include integrity, passion, creativity and ingenuity, Fiorino says.
In 2011, Dream Vacations was named CruiseOne’s Franchise of the Year; Pastor has also been among Dream Vacations’ Circle of Excellence of Top-Producing Agents since the same year. Last year, Pastor had a sales volume of $1.1 million — all of which came from leisure travel.
One of the top trips that she has planned included helping a husband take his entire family — adult children and their spouses, and in-laws — to Paris where he surprised his wife with a vow renewal at the Eiffel Tower. Pastor coordinated for a special song to play at the tower when the wife saw her family. To keep the surprise going, she booked the family in different hotels and had them depart from different airports. The ceremony included a dinner on the Eiffel Tower and a riverboat down the Seine. The family enjoyed a week in Paris and London, where they had a champagne toast atop the London Eye.
Pastor tells us the reason why her clients keep returning to her is because she treats each trip as if it were her own. “People work hard, and when it comes to spending their precious time off, I want to ensure their vacation is perfect,” she says.
And a word of advice to home-based agents: Set specific hours to stay in your office or at your desk and actually treat it like a job. “Now that our agency is busy…the hard part is walking away from the desk at a decent hour,” Pastor says.