with Kelsie Abrahamson, Travel Only/Kelsie’s Travel, Wetaskiwin, Alta.

Open Jaw

Where were you born? In New Orleans. My mum and dad moved to Canada in 1979.

What was your first job? Waitressing in a Chinese restaurant where I grew up in the small town of Lillooet, BC.

How long have you been in the business? September will mark 6 years. I had been working in a bank and didn’t like the hours as I had 3 kids, when I saw a tiny ad for Travel Only in the back of a local paper. I knew how to travel and not much else but did a ton of research and took the plunge.

What sets you aside from other agents? I was on a Sandals FAM in Jamaica and started writing a story about Princess Kelsie travelling in the lap of luxury with butlers and so on. “Princess Kelsie” is now my marketing thing and I wear tiaras of fams. Suppliers don’t forget the crazy woman and my clients love it too. My logo has a tiara on it too.  

Tell me about your first airplane ride. I flew from Seattle to Jackson Mississippi to spend 2 weeks with my grandmother.

Do you have a specialty? Groups in general, weddings and family reunions, school groups, birthday celebrations, girlfriends getaways. I’m not afraid of the details that are required for groups.

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? What I’m doing. I don’t want to be a BDM and deal with agents! (laughs) I wouldn’t mind owning a company like Travel Only, but I love the interaction with my clients especially when they think I’m a superhero with a cape on.

What was your best fam? I usually take 5 or 6 a year, but the best was an Ama Waterways cruise FAM, that is absolutely the best way to see Europe.

Who do you most admire in the industry? Any agent who has been doing this for 20 or 25 years.

What drives you crazy? Stupid people! (laughs long and loud) There’s a ton of Facebook groups where agents share information and some questions are so stupid that it drives me bonkers!

What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel? Look at the bathroom.

Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale? Not really, I just try to make the assumption that they’ll be booking.

Do you have any time management strategies? I like lists and use them all the time. I’m very organized.

What do you do to keep your clients loyal? I try to connect with them on a personal level. A honeymooner gets back and 18 months later had a baby and I sent them a small gift from another local entrepreneur, and the father referred another honeymoon couple to me. I’ll send clients who give me a referral a little note with a $5 Tim card.

If you had to spend six months in a destination, which one would you pick?  Wow! Somewhere warm, where my husband can come with me. Jamaica? Mexico? Somewhere with a beach, for sure.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? Helping my husband with his lawn care, landscaping and hydroseeding company.

If you or someone you know who is a front line travel agent in Canada would like to be featured in Biting Questions, please contact us

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