Heather Honaker

Hear Me Roar

PY HMR0621

June 2021 Issue
Photography provided by Heather Honaker

Heather Honaker
Profession: Independent Travel Advisor
Current home: St Simons Island
Hometown: Chillicothe, OH

What are your top three “Bucket List” travel destinations?
This is a hard question!  My bucket list grows almost daily, as I’m researching destinations for my clients. If I had to choose three today, I would choose Costa Rica, Disneyland and Japan.

When did you first know you wanted to work in the travel industry?  

I lost my job unexpectedly in 2019, and after taking a short break, I knew I wanted to do something that would give me the opportunity to serve others, but in a fun way.  I had connections in the travel industry who were able to answer some questions in the very beginning, and I can truly say that I have found my passion!

What has been your greatest adventure, so far?

It sounds cliche, but just life in general has been an adventure. I love to gather memories instead of gathering more things, and as we’ve moved to new places and joined new communities, our memory tank has become fuller.

What three words inspire you, and why?

Joy: I always look for the positive side in a situation
Grace: I try to remember that I don’t know what the rep on the phone, or the client that I’m speaking with, has dealt with just before jumping on the phone with me. So giving grace to them in the moments that I have with them is huge for me.
Memories: We can all work more hours and sit in our offices longer. But in the end, how many memories will we create with our families that way? I want to take your travel dreams and help you turn those into memories for your family to share for years to come.

Why did you choose to become a
Certified Autism Travel Professional?
I have epilepsy, so I’m more aware of those who travel with family members who might have all sorts of special needs. This could range anywhere from autism to mobility issues to even sight or hearing. My certification allows me to help these individuals or families find the best destinations, resorts or vendors to work with. I know that traveling will never be “easy,” but if I can take some of the stress out of the planning process for these families, it is a joy to do so.

What brought you to Coastal Georgia?

My husband took a job at FLETC; we moved here in October from North Carolina.

What three things will always be in your overnight bag?

Toothbrush…because, obvious.
Phone charger…I’m always taking photos!
Computer and charger…Even when I go away, I still try to be available to my clients for emergencies.

What is your favorite destination for yourself?

If we’re talking about family vacation, I can’t help it, I’m a Disney girl. There’s just something about it. You hear people talk about the Disney “magic,” and I really feel like it’s a real thing. Once you drive through those gates, the real world stops (or at least for me). There are literally no more worries or stress until you drive back out.
If we’re talking about where I like to go personally to decompress and relax. Just give me a beach chair, a book, some water and sand, and I’m good. So really, any beach will do.
Our theme for this month is #AdventureAwaits.

What does “Adventure” mean to you?

Living life to the fullest—try new things, be kind, make new friends. When you go on vacation somewhere, try the little local restaurants, not the big chains.  
Give us your top three travel tips.
1) Start the passport renewal process at least a year in advance if traveling to a country with strict policies.    
2) Be flexible with your itinerary. If you’re having fun, you’re making memories! Remember those are more important than a rigid schedule.
3) Build in rest and relaxation time!

What was your biggest challenge last year?

Obviously, Covid. March through May were all cancellations. But slowly people started to book small weekend trips away. Trying to stay encouraged while keeping my clients encouraged that this wasn’t a forever thing, and that travel would be back.  

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Cruising is on it’s way back, and that is huge news! I’m excited to see where the travel industry is headed in 2021, and even 2022, as folks are ready to get out!

I’m Roaring about . . .
Adventure is out there, no matter where you live or want to visit, and I love playing a part in helping that adventure happen. Knowing that I am able to help individuals and families turn their travel dreams into memories is better than anything I could have imagined.

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