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Navigating New Horizons: Celebrating Nurses-Turned-Travel Advisors for Nurses Appreciation Week!

Amidst the celebration of Nurses Appreciation Week, we're delighted to shine a spotlight on those whose caregiving extends beyond hospital walls into the realm of adventure and exploration. Meet Sarah, a seasoned pediatric nurse turned travel advisor, and Lauren, a Labor & Delivery nurse and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner who found her calling in travel planning.


Read more as we dive into the stories of Sarah and Lauren, exploring how their nursing backgrounds have influenced their travel style, career choices, and family adventures. From navigating complex medical needs to discovering new destinations with their loved ones, these nurses-turned-travel advisors exemplify the spirit of adventure and compassion that defines both nursing and travel.


Sarah and Max (disney character)

Meet Sarah!

Sarah's nursing journey has taken her through various specialties, from pediatrics to critical care, geriatrics, and even academia. Now leveraging her clinical expertise in a corporate role, Sarah reflects on how nursing has shaped her travel style, transforming her from a meticulously organized planner to a more relaxed, adventurous explorer. With over two decades of nursing experience under her belt, Sarah seamlessly blends her healthcare knowledge with travel planning, ensuring clients with unique medical needs enjoy seamless vacations.


1. What was/is your specialization? 

I worked several years as a pediatric nurse and over the years moved around between critical care/post-anesthesia, geriatrics, and complex care management. I was also previously a Nursing Professor for both my alma maters. I am currently using my clinical expertise in a corporate role.


2. How has working as a nurse impacted your travel style?

Nurses by nature are generally Type A, so I have always been extremely organized. In my younger years, there were many color-coded spreadsheets and binders of notes and to-dos for each and every vacation. I have learned to relax with age, and I am sure my family appreciates this less intense version.


3. How long were you/have you been a nurse? 

I have been an RN for 21 years. Time flies!


4. What led you to your role as a travel advisor alongside nursing or after? Tell us your

story! 

Nursing requires a ton of expertise and critical thinking but doesn’t allow for

much creativity. Travel planning has given me the outlet that I need to flex a different

part of my brain. I think the skillset I have built in both careers has made me extremely

versatile and well-rounded. I have some clients with unique medical situations, and I am

able to help them navigate their vacations efficiently and effectively by applying my knowledge of both their specific needs as well as the destination.


5. How has traveling changed from when your kids were little to now that they are

older?

My husband and I are parents to an only child who is 20. We are enjoying this

new phase of life that includes traveling with our grown kiddo once or twice a year but

also traveling much more frequently just the two of us. It’s amazing how much more

flexibility we have now that we aren’t juggling school and sports schedules. Cruising

has become our new favorite way to explore the world.


6. What is one place you have not traveled to that you dream of going to? Why? 

Top of my list is a European river cruise. There are lots of great options to pick from and

hopefully we’ll be getting this added to the calendar soon!


7. Do you have any travel traditions?

We always travel over Christmas. We found ourselves overwhelmed by the holidays years ago – just running from place to place. Prepping tons of food. Spending ridiculous amounts of money on things that nobody needed. So, we told our family and friends to stop all the gifting and we did as well. Now we travel. And I have not regretted a single year since. We typically do Walt Disney World, but this year we will be sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. I don’t know how much longer we will be able to pull this off as our son gets older and establishes his own family, career, and traditions, but I am enjoying it for as long as possible.


Quick Tips 

#1 travel tip you give your clients:

Relax. There was NEVER a vacation in the history of vacations that was ruined due to not being able to get a dining reservation, see a show, or ride an attraction.


Tips on traveling with kids (infant, toddler, middle aged, and teenagers):

  • Infant – enjoy this phase! It may honestly be the easiest. Get a comfy stroller, some portable fans, and enjoy a relaxed pace. If you know you will be traveling, try to condition your baby to sleeping in noisy places, even if you have to make some artificial noise at home.

  • Toddler – this age thrives on consistency and routine, so be ready for anything. If your kiddo needs two naps at home, don’t try to push them through a day with no naps. They will melt down on you. Bring along their favorites to keep them as happy as possible - snacks, drinks, blankets, toys - whatever they cling to for comfort.

  • School Aged – include them during the planning phase. The internet has opened the door for endless videos and information. Let them weigh in on the itinerary. This will keep them engaged and excited. And will also help get them to do things they may not normally be interested in if they know the thing they planned is coming up next!

  • Tweens and Teens – it’s hard to do but give them some space. These kiddos

may not want to do everything on your list. And that’s ok. If you feel comfortable, let them sleep in and go do your thing. Then come back for them later or designate a meet up time and place.


Lauren headshot

Meet Lauren!

Lauren's nursing career took her from Labor & Delivery to Women's Health before she decided to stay at home with her kids. As her children grew, so did her passion for travel planning. Transitioning from stay-at-home mom to travel advisor, Lauren found fulfillment in crafting unforgettable experiences for families like hers. From long weekends squeezed between nursing shifts to planning epic cruises with her family, Lauren's journey showcases the transformative power of travel at every stage of life.


  1. What was/is your specialization? 

I was a Labor & Delivery nurse and then went to graduate school and worked as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner prior to being a TA.


2. How has working as a nurse impacted your travel style? 

I worked 3 12-hour shifts each week, so I was able to do long weekend trips without using up vacation time. 


3. How long were you/have you been a nurse?  

I was a Labor & Delivery nurse for 5 years and a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner for 4 years. 


4. What led you to your role as a travel advisor alongside nursing or after? Tell us your story! 

I took a break from nursing to stay at home with my kids when they were young.  As the kids got older, we started traveling a lot more.  I really loved planning our trips and learning about all different sorts of travel destinations.  Becoming a travel agent allowed me to work from home while still doing something I was passionate about.  Michelle McKnight was actually my travel agent prior to me becoming one and was pivotal in helping me transition to the role. 


5. How has traveling changed from when your kids were little to now that they are

older? 

Travel changes a lot from the time the kids are little!  I used to always check to make sure pack 'n plays were available and that there were kid friendly restaurants and activities at our travel destinations.  Now that the kids are older, our travel destinations have expanded quite a bit.  I still have picky eaters, but they are branching out and we can usually find them something to eat. They can entertain themselves on the longer flights now.  For the most part, it has gotten a lot easier.  I do miss seeing their toddler faces in awe the first time they saw fireworks or Mickey at Disney World. But I love our family trips now and hearing their perspectives and thoughts on what we did that day.  I think as a parent of older kids, you hold onto those family trips a little more because you know how fast time goes and you cherish it. 


6. What is one place you have not traveled to that you dream of going to? Why?

I have been dreaming of a Northern Europe cruise because I loved our Alaska cruise so much!  It's a very different type of cruise than the Caribbean and the landscape is beautiful. We are actually booked on a Norway/Iceland cruise this summer and I can't wait!


7. Do you have any travel traditions? 

We try to do as many sit down dinners as possible as a family while traveling.  This is a great time for everyone to take a minute to catch up on the day and check in with each other.  We have made a lot of great memories at these dinners, especially on cruises when everyone might be off doing their own thing during the day.  The kids often say our family dinners are the best part of our trips. 


Quick Tips 

#1 travel tip you give your clients:

My #1 tip for clients is to remember your vacation is about making memories with loved ones.  Not everything is going to go perfectly.  Focus on having fun and enjoying your family time.  Your kids will follow your lead.


Tips on traveling with kids (infant, toddler, middle aged, and teenagers):

  • Infants:  I know it's a lot of extra stuff to pack, but infants are usually so busy checking out the new surroundings they are actually easy to travel with.  They might not remember the trip, but you will. 

  • Toddler: Bring lots of snacks.  Coloring sheets, crayons, sticker books go a long way.  Take a lot of videos the first time they see something new, like fireworks or a character.  Those memories are gold. 

  • Middle Aged: Try to find a book for them to read about your destination.  My kids love reading about different places and cultures we see on our travels. 

  • Teens: Try to involve them with some of the planning so they have something to look forward to.  I usually ask about an excursion preference or a dining preference ahead of time. 


Happy Nurses Appreciation Week to all the extraordinary caregivers out there, including those who bring healing and adventure to the world!

 

Ready to embark on your next adventure? Our travel advisors are here to craft your unforgettable getaway!





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