A regular feature highlighting local people and places
Brad: Why did you open a travel agency in 2015?
Peggy: Before kids I worked in corporate HR for over 15 years. I decided to become a stay at home mom after moving to Ridgefield and having my son, then my daughter 3 years later. My husband worked for Swiss Reinsurance and was offered a position in Zurich, Switzerland. We had always traveled extensively and loved Europe so we jumped at the opportunity. While there I planned numerous trips for our family as well as visitors. When we returned to Ridgefield my kids were both in school full time and I felt it was time to consider going back to work. I took a course called ‘Work Like A Mother' at the Wilton YMCA, which is designed to help women re-enter the workforce. It was through that process I determined I wanted to own a business - and that I'd like to focus on travel. I contacted my uncle, Russell Miller, who is a franchise broker. He recommended Cruise Planners because it consistently wins awards for sales, marketing and technology. I decided to move forward and purchased the franchise. I thought when I returned from my training it would take a while to build my clientele, however I was busy from the start!
Brad: What do you like most about being in Ridgefield?
Peggy: The sense of community. Ridgefielders support and help each other. The community has been very supportive of my business - either by giving me their business or giving me referrals.
Brad: What's your funniest customer story?
Peggy: The name of my business, Cruise Planners, is confusing because people assume that means I only plan cruises. However, I plan all things travel. In fact 70% of what I book are land based vacations. Half of those are trips to Europe. So when about the 100th person told me they don't like to cruise I decided to call my business Ridgefield Travel and Cruise Planners.
Brad: What do you like most about what you do?
Peggy: I love helping people to see the world, experience other cultures and make memories of a life time. Travel helps us to grow as individuals and makes families grow closer. Being a part of that is very special.
Brad: What do you like most about being a Ridgefield Chamber member?
Peggy: Again the sense of community. The businesses in this town are very supportive of one another.
Brad: What would you like our readers to know about you?
Peggy: I am passionate about travel and treat every trip as if it were my own. I plan luxury trips as well as value driving vacations. I think its important to customize a trip so its just right for the client. I am also a consultant and my clients see the value I provide which includes sharing my knowledge and experience, making recommendations, managing the booking, providing documentation, and assisting people while they are traveling if necessary. My goals is to provide a stress free, turn key vacation for my clients.
Brad: Do you have any special offers for our readers?
Peggy: Cruise Planners is part of the American Express Consortium. As a result, I have access to great benefits for Amex card holders including room upgrades, late check out, free wifi, resort and cruise on board credit, as well as amenities such as a bottle of wine, free dining and spa credit.
The cruise lines typically offer promotions - some of which are only for Cruise Planners agents. Ridgefielders are lucky because we can sail from Boston or New York. Between the promotions and not having to fly, cruising from these ports is a great way for families to vacation and not break the bank.
Brad: Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?
Peggy: I love what I do!