For this week's #TinaTuesday I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeremy Carlson from C&O Travel. Before I tell you about C&O Travel, let me tell you a little about our beloved Jeremy, who has lived in this community all of his life. After graduating from College Park High School here in Pleasant Hill, Jeremy went on to FIDM (the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise), because he knew then that he wanted to travel the world and he thought this route would eventually get him there. And in a way it did. During his first year at FIDM, he took his first trip to Europe with his class and visited London, Paris, Florence and Milan (little did he know at the time that it would be 19 years before he would travel there again). After FIDM, Jeremy decided to go in another direction with his career and became a legal researcher and writer and did this for 15 years until the travel bug bit him again. So, Jeremy left the legal field and went to work at VINO Cruising, fulfilling his ultimate dream of not only traveling himself, but helping others travel as well. You may or may not know that Jeremy is married to Ken Carlson one of Pleasant Hill's amazing City Council Members. Jeremy and Ken were married in 2006 at Grace Cathedral Episcopal Church in San Francisco. And on July 3rd 2008, they were legally married at their annual pre-fourth of July BBQ, just prior to Prop 8 passing here in California (which was then later overturned.)
Fast forward to July of 2017 when he and his longtime friend Traci Olson (who you may know is David Mascaro's daughter), opened their own Dream Vacation/Cruise One Travel franchise, C&O (Carlson & Olson) Travel (candotravelllc.com). They currently have 4 associates working with them, including Jeremy's husband, Ken Carlson (retired police officer of 29 years). Jeremy and Traci wanted to create "niche" travel experiences for certain groups on top of the regular travel market, so they created 3 different travel divisions under C&O Travel.
1. 1010 Travel (1010travel.com) - 1010 Travel is a resource for all travel vacation needs of not only current law enforcement officers and their families, but also retired law enforcement. (BTW, did you know the regional police code "1010" means "off duty and all is well." Pretty cool, right?)
2. Fellowship and Friends Travel (fellowshipandfriendstravel.com) - This group is for the Religious and Ecumenical travelers who would like to travel to locations and experience historical points of interest that can bring their religious history to life.
3. Bay Area LGBT Travel Group (bayarealgbttravelgroup.com) - They started this group, as Jeremy says while pointing to himself..."because, duh!" The Bay Area LGBT Travel Group was established to be a vacation planning company for the LGBTQ Community. "Being a gay owned and operated travel company, we are sensitive to, know, and understand the considerations that sometimes need to be made by the LGBTQ traveler."
One of the other things that is important to Jeremy and Traci is giving back to the community. For every person who travels through one of their 3 travel groups for any vacation, private or a group, they will donate $50 back to a related non-profit of your choice, as a thank you for allowing them to provide you with an excellent travel planning experience. This amount is not passed to the traveler, but is paid directly from their company!
So you may be asking yourself, why use a travel agent (Jeremy or Traci) to book your next vacation? Here are a few reasons why! You Want Expert Advice: By finding a travel agent who is an expert on the region you want to visit, they can book the best flights, hotels, and even make top-notch recommendations of where to eat and sight see. If you have never been to another continent, what looks appealing on the Internet doesn't always work out so well once you arrive and begin to play tourist. Since the agent has already "been there, done that," they can immediately tell you where to go so you can maximize every minute of the trip. Travel Agents Aren't That Much More Expensive: If you want the convenience or simply do not have the time to research your own flights, hotels, and sightseeing itinerary this can be money well-spent. You Have a Complex Trip: If you don't have the time to research or simply can't seem to put all the pieces to the travel puzzle together, don't be afraid to call Jeremy or Traci. After all, it's their job to book these complex fares so that you can have the trip of a lifetime. How often would you regret not going on a complex trip because you were afraid to ask for help?
Oh, and Jeremy would like to pass along a #TinaTuesday discount. If you book a vacation in the next month (no, you don't have to travel in the next month, just "Book 'em Danno" in the next month), Jeremy will give you $50 off of your trip deposit. Thank you Jeremy, for taking the time to sit down with me and fill me in on all that you are and do. You are amazing!
C&O Travel - May 15, 2018
C&O Travel - May 15, 2018