TravelPlex's own Donna Oliver was one of 12 travel professionals selected by THOR Inc., an international travel services company, to contribute to the 'Travel Agent Talk' segment of their THOR Advantage publication. Each agent provided answers to a set of 15 travel-related questions. Following is the feature dedicated to Donna.
In the past year, how many vacations have you taken outside of the country?
Over the past year I’ve been on four vacations. I have gone to Cancun, Mexico; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Costa Rica; Vietnam and Cambodia.
What’s the one food you could never bring yourself to eat?
Have you ever visited a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
I have visited many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most recent was Angkor Wat. Others I have been to include Petra, Venice; St. Petersburg, Russia; Notre Dame de Paris; the Pyramids of Giza; Chichen Itza, Mexico; Machu Picchu, Peru; Acropolis of Athens, Greece; Palace of Versailles, France; City of Hue, Vietnam; Yosemite National Park, California; Panama City, Panama; Tower of London, and the Redwood National and State Parks in California.
Which celebrity chef would you most like to fix you a meal?
What is the best travel perk you’ve received from a loyalty program?
Money is the best travel perk I’ve received. That way I can buy more travel!
While on vacation, what is the most ‘extreme’ thing that you have done?
I try to do the most I can on vacation, including zip lining, rock climbing, repelling, and climbing to the top of every pyramid that I can. I have also taken a hot air balloon over the Maasai Mara in Kenya.
Which individual would you most want to meet in person: Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey or Bill Gates?
Richard Branson, definitely!
Which is your favorite travel app on your mobile phone?
The Pocket Travel Guides app provided by Signature Travel Network is awesome. I also like the apps you can get for our national parks.
What lobby feature has been your favorite so far?
I love the open-air lobbies in Mexico and the Caribbean because you are at the beach before you even check in. The best smell in the world was at the Shinta Mani Club in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It smells of Jasmine and Lotus flowers.
If you could travel back in time, what year would you travel to?
I would travel to 2500 BC in Egypt.
If you could go to any city in the world to experience the history, people and culture, where would you go?
I have been to most of the cities on my bucket list, but I would like to see Hong Kong in depth.
Would you rather win an Olympic medal, an Academy Award or the Nobel Peace Prize?
Nobel Peace Prize, hands down.
What one packing tip would you share with clients?
Put out all the clothes you want to take with you and then put half of them back in the closet. You don’t need all that stuff!
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from a trip?
The first thing I do is take a shower and freshen up.
If you could shop for free at one store, which one would you choose?