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The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Planner Talk Back: Finding Trip Ideas

Select Traveler asked these group travel planners, “What are some of the ways you find new destinations for your group?” Check out their responses.

Shellie Schwanke, director of alumni relations

Eureka College, Eureka, Illinois

“I am a huge fan of travel shows hosted by seasoned travelers like Rudy Maxa and Rick Steves. I also read travel publications and online blogs. I appreciate the personal experiences and insights of those who travel frequently.”

Nancy Jo Nunley, director of First Priority Club

First National Bank and Trust, Okmulgee, Oklahoma

“My preferred way of finding new travel destinations is visiting with my club members. I usually get a lot of ideas on travel destinations from their responses. I take and keep a lot of notes. Then when I need travel ideas, I refer to their suggestions. I prefer to plan trips that some of the members are interested in. After all, the club is for them to enjoy.”

Jim Cuthbert, senior vice president, retired

Cross Keys Bank, Monroe, Louisiana

“Talk to someone who has been there. Often, the company reps are only repeating what they have been told, so seek out those who have traveled before you. The more recent travelers are the best.”

Kate Sanders, Director for alumni programs and alumni group travel

Oregon State University Alumni Association, Corvallis, Oregon

“I love getting feedback from alumni and friends of the university about where they want to go. Talking to our clients directly helps to uncover trends and early preferences for certain destinations. I also pay attention to industry e-newsletters, magazines and nonacademic travel publications. Popular TV series and movies also drive certain locations. A good example is Dubrovnik from the ‘Game of Thrones’ book and TV series.”

Tammy Browning, Emerald Club director

Central Bank, Spirit Lake, Iowa

“We are fortunate enough to partner with a couple of bank club directors in nearby towns. This gives us an opportunity to discuss travel destinations as well as to partner on some of our larger trips. This partnership allows us to get larger numbers of travelers, which helps us keep the trips affordable for our guests.

“I also take some time to utilize the internet for travel ideas. I have come up with some great destinations based on some of this online exploration.”