The travel industry is one where perfectionism and the ability to “go with the flow” converge. Our tour consultants and tour designers know better than anyone what it means to work hard and play hard, especially Yampu’s Vice President and Co-founder, Monica Irauzqui. Monica works hard to create perfect experiences for Yampu clients, building life-long relationships and instilling confidence in the company’s ability to make travel dreams come true. Like much of Yampu’s team, she has vast amounts of first-hand knowledge of our destinations because she has been there, doing thousands of hotel inspections and finding the highest quality, most authentic experiences. At the end of a hard day’s work, she will be the first one to make sure everyone is rewarding themselves with a piece of Vermont’s delicious Laughing Moon chocolate or her special Pisco Sours.
Learn more about Monica below or meet her in person at booth #343 at The New York Times Travel Show from January 28-29.
Name: Monica Irauzqui
Title: Vice President and Co-founder
Hometown: Nashville, IN
Time at Yampu: Since the beginning!
Q: How do you balance your career at Yampu Tours and family?
A: I have been working at Yampu Tours for 19 years, and I plan all my trips around when the kids are out of school. I have taken them on the trips with me. They have even gone on thousands of hotel inspections with me. Even though these trips were work for us, the bonding time was magnificent. I used to have story characters and wherever in the world we were traveling, I would tell a story with these characters and include many funny adventures, they loved it. It made long car or train rides a happy time for them.
Q: What advice do you have for prospective travelers?
A: The best advice I have is to plan your trip early so you get the best flight prices and the pick of accommodations and experiences. Then you should tell your travel consultant as many details about how you like to travel. The more they know about you the better they can tailor make the tour to suit your tastes. Also If you have the ability to travel yearly at least, don’t try to squeeze too many countries into one itinerary, most of the countries we sell have so much to see and do, it is a shame to spend all your time and money on transportation between countries. That said Yampu is the best company to help you combine countries, we have all the creative ways to get from one country to the other.
Q: How do you define success?
A: To have 100% happy employees and clients
Q: Do you have a motto or personal mantra? What is it?
A: I treat every client like a client for life. I don’t want people to travel with us only once. I do everything I can to make them happy in the planning, traveling and when they return. This requires everyone involved ( It takes at least 7 people to make a Yampu Tour run!) to be as thorough and detail oriented as humanly possible. I have a rule, all our tour designers and consultants must imagine the trip is their own. I think the clients if they read this will say “ yes, I can see that!” . Another rule is answer every question a client asks. I find if travelers know what to expect they are much happier and better traveler. When I am not traveling, I am traveling vicariously through our clients!
Q: Where is your favorite place to eat?
A: Any ethnic food.
Q: You’re happiest when?
A: Traveling with my husband