It’s no secret that traveling can be a challenge right now with COVID. A travel pro will help you plan an amazing trip whether you’re planning for the near or far future.
We chatted with Lenea from Island Getaways about the hottest honeymoon destinations and how she’ll help you customize your trip while navigating the current travel precautions. Keep reading to discover HER favorite spots to get away to and her fave beachside beverage.
Q: Let’s get to it, what’s your business’ specialty?
A: We specialize in tropical honeymoons, elopements, and destination weddings! We serve as a concierge service for anyone planning a romantic getaway.
Q: Where can we find you?
A: The best way to follow us for the latest vacation inspiration (other than at The Wedding Guys’ bridal shows!) is on our Facebook and Instagram accounts where we regularly post new and exciting information about the best resorts for your tropical escape! We also are happy to meet with couples virtually or in-person for consultations, too.
Q: Tell us when and how your business began.
A: My husband and I booked our destination wedding through Island Getaways [before we were agents] over 6 years ago in Riviera Maya and we fell in love with the concept of getting married barefoot on a beach so much that we knew we wanted to be on the other side of things and help other couples craft their customized dream day away! Ever since then, it has been my passion and I love helping create, design, and customize every aspect of a couple’s special getaway.
Q: What makes your company unique from others?
A: Our awards and testimonials speak for themselves; we are a “Top 10” agency worldwide for many of the biggest resort names out there including Sandals, Beaches, Couples, and Karisma resorts and we have been voted the “Best of The Best” by The Knot Weddings year after year. Additionally, we have strong relationships with the managers at these resorts as they are personal friends of ours that do everything in their power to make your stay as fabulous as possible! Our recommendations are all based on firsthand experience as we have been to all the resorts we recommend and can share our personal pictures and videos with our clients. Our status, relationships, and experience combined with our utmost level of service to our clients around the clock provide the most seamless wedding or honeymoon planning experience possible!
One more thing…our services are ALWAYS complimentary!
Q: How long have you been in the industry? What do you think has changed the most since then?
A: Island Getaways has been in the travel industry for over 20 years. My husband, “Vacation Guy”, and I have been in the industry for five years now and we love it just as much as the day we started! Things have changed drastically as of late with the pandemic. Now more than ever, people are realizing the value of working with a “real person” who will go to bat for you instead of you having to call a 1-800 number and wait on hold for several hours to try to figure things out on your own.
Q: Walk us through your average day.
A: Oh gosh…in general or in COVID!? How about we do the former, LOL!
Every day is different which is part of what I love about the job. Usually, my day consists of formulating tropical-inspo social media posts, sending out several customized vacation package quotes, discussing various travel components such as flights, excursions, helicopter transfers, wedding locations, and any other special plans they want to arrange for their big trip. We are also on several calls chatting with our clients about which destination/resort is the best fit for them, pulling strings with our vendors behind the scenes (negotiating for our couples!) and on conference calls with wedding coordinators and our engaged couples to go over every little detail for the big day.
Q: What would you want couples searching for your business type to know?
A: I’d say the number one thing that all travel professionals agree on (especially with COVID) is that we urge you to book with a travel professional, no matter who that is. What a lot of people don’t realize is that when you book through an online travel agency (such as Expedia, Hotwire, etc.) or even through the hotel directly, that you are already paying for a travel agent’s services as the cost of a travel agent is already built in. So, you might as well take advantage of our expertise and get a personal travel concierge out of the deal! Lastly, booking with a travel agent is supporting a local business and who doesn’t want to support small businesses after the tough year we’ve all had?
Q: How far in advance should a couple book with you?
A: Ideally, the further in advance the better as you will obtain the best hotel rates and availability this way. However, we have worked with lots of couples who are traveling in 6 months or less. The bonus of working with us is that no matter when you are looking to travel, we work with a multitude of different vendors so we will be able to seek out the best available deal for you!
Q: What’s one wedding trend you’re over?
A: People cancelling their weddings or honeymoons [due to COVID] instead of postponing!
Q: What are the most popular locations for honeymoons and destination weddings right now?
A: Saint Lucia has really grown on people’s radars and has been a big honeymoon hot spot. It’s known as the Hawaii of the Caribbean, so it’s got the best of both worlds for both beach bums and adventure seekers! Jamaica has consistently been a top contender, too, because of its quality of beaches, laid back vibe and accessibility from the Midwest.
Q: What has been your favorite destination to visit so far and why?
A: This is hands down the most popular question we get…and we’re not lying when we say we can’t pick. That would be like asking you to pick your favorite kid! I’ll give you a hint though…Vacation Guy is partial to the land of Red Stripe and jerk chicken, ya mon! Whereas my favorite place truly depends on my mood and usually where I last visited!
Q: Where are you headed to next?
A: We are heading back to the land of 365 beaches, Antigua, in three weeks! Following that, we will be returning to Riviera Maya, Mexico, and Jamaica.
Q: What are your other hobbies and passions when you’re not seeking out the best destinations for couples with Island Getaways?
A: Vacation Guy loves planning our next getaway (when he’s not doing it for a client, he’s doing it for us, lol!), whereas my mental escape is Olympic lifting and cooking the BEST salads in my kitchen (-:
Q: Duck Duck Grey Duck or Duck Duck Goose?
A: Grey Duck, c’mon I’m a born & raised Minnesota girl!
Q: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall Wedding?
A: Winter so you and all your guests can escape the cold to get married barefoot on the beach!
Q: Veil or no veil?
A: Veil…all the glam!
Q: Mountains or Beach?
A: B E A C H
Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?
A: Chocolate mmmmm
Q: Go-to comfort food?
A: Jerk chicken or chips and spicy salsa! Oh, and wine…does wine count? Lol!
Q: Who would you like to sit next to on a plane?
A: My one and only Vacation Guy…He’s a human teddy bear. I always make him pay extra to choose seats next to each other and I’m not ashamed to admit it!
Q: What show are you binging right now?
A: The Bachelor…my not-so-guilty pleasure
Q: Go-to cocktail (or mocktail)?
A: In the Caribbean, mojitos and spicy margs all day every day! Back home, a crisp rosé.
We are definitely in the mood for a tropical getaway! Thanks for letting us get to know you a bit better, Lenea, and be sure to reach out to her at [email protected] to begin your next adventure with Island Getaways.
If you’re considering a destination wedding or want to plan the honeymoon of a lifetime, meet Lenea and other talented travel pros at our Honeymoon and Destination Wedding Showcase.
Photos by Sarani Photography