ARLINGTON — Those looking for Arlington Travel can now find it under Travel Time, which purchased Arlington Travel at the start of the year and took on some of its most experienced employees.
“I worked at Arlington Travel back in 1981, not long after they first opened in the late 1970s,” said Penny Clark, owner of Travel Time. “We took on Marilyn Gilbertson from Arlington Travel, and she came to us with close to 30 years of experience as a travel agent.”
Penny Clark touted fellow Travel Time agents Linda Krusman and Susan Babich as likewise boasting more than 30 years of experience each in the field, although she noted that her daughter-in-law, Stacy Clark, is a bit more of a novice. Penny nonetheless credited Stacy with bringing an innovative marketing approach to her business, which she acknowledged can be easy to overlook, since its offices are located in a miniature cottage behind her home at 7309 Newport Dr. in Arlington.
“Everybody here has traveled around the world, and Travel Time will have been around 25 years next year,” Penny Clark said.
Travel Time’s office hours run from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, but because her business is literally as close as her back porch, she routinely schedules appointments with clients after hours.
“I’ve had people relaxing on my deck, booking their cruises,” Clark said.
Although trip booking sites are common online, Clark sees travel agents as providing services that you simply can’t get from a computer screen.
“The Internet offers an overwhelming number of choices,” Clark said. “Plus, if there’s a problem, who do you contact for help? As travel agents, we’ve been to a lot of the places that we’re recommending, and we’ve called our clients after their trips to get their feedback on the hotels, the restaurants and the like. The Internet is so impersonal, and then you’re being asked to trust your credit card numbers to it, but we provide a personal touch and the accountability of a licensed, bonded, locally owned and operated business.”
In addition to fostering a sense of trust, the Travel Time agents’ face-to-face connections with their clients allow them to answer questions about which trips require passports, birth certificates or any number of other documents.
“If you’re planning your honeymoon, you’ll still want to sit down and talk to an actual person, rather than just booking it online,” Clark said.
For more information, call 855-444-5118.