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Exploring Life & Business with Estee Gubbay of Luxurist Travel Agency

Today we’d like to introduce you to Estee Gubbay.

Hi Estee, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I feel very lucky to have become a luxury travel advisor and owner of Luxurist Travel Agency. During the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent travel bans, I published an Amazon #1 bestselling book, “Your Travel Bucket List: The Ultimate Guide to Enriching Your Life with Great Adventures and Unforgettable Memories”. My background as a self-development workshop planner, retreat planner and mastermind group facilitator made me uniquely qualified to work with my clients on their dream travel plans, where we discover new travel ideas and brainstorm trips that match everyone’s desires and interests.

My first travel business was in college; planning, selling and chaperoning spring break and summer trips. During my 20’s, I traveled through Europe on a shoestring budget. While my husband and I raised our daughters, I was able to work from home on my own business as a group retreat planner and facilitator. I would run many events from my home in Rancho Santa Fe, where I designed my backyard as a retreat and workshop space. We also had a vacation rental at Moonlight beach, in Encinitas, which I managed and used for many retreats. We recently remodeled the beach house and moved in full time and I was looking for other venues to run my retreats. That’s when working in the travel industry came back into the picture. I was thinking I would have a new business model of planning retreats and group trips to fantastic places all over the world with all the wonderful self-development professionals I had met over the years.

As I trained to be a travel professional, I realized I also had a wonderful list of clients from the vacation rental and decided to learn about building a leisure travel business as well. My book “Your Travel Bucket List: The Ultimate Guide to Enrich Your Life with Great Adventures and Unforgettable Memories”. was derived from my workshops, called “Travel Talks”. I facilitate these for various businesses and their clients. In particular, with financial planners, as putting together a travel portfolio goes well with having a financial plan for your future. Your most valuable asset is your leisure time! Now, while promoting my book, I’ve enjoyed being a guest expert on travel for various radio shows, podcasts and tv shows. In July, my husband accepted a job which will enable us to be bi-coastal with a loft in NYC. Perfect for my new goal of becoming a national morning show, on-camera guest/travel expert and eventually having my own show based on taking viewers on their bucket list dream trips.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The travel ban and the months of working to get all my clients refunds for their trips were difficult and bookings didn’t pick up again until October. This was when I focused on my long term goals and wrote my book. When having your own business, there will always be challenges, and I’ve been lucky to be influenced by great mentors in the self-development world that practice a positive, growth mindset, set high goals and see obstacles as necessary steps for success.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Luxurist Travel Agency?
I’m really happy that I was able to combine my workshop and retreat facilitation skills with my passion for travel. This makes me uniquely qualified to coach my travel clients on their lifelong travel dreams and make solid plans for them to achieve them. I also walk the talk. You can see many stories in my book about the trips I have taken and how they have enriched my life and my family’s. I’ve also been fortunate to be able to afford luxury travel experiences, which is actually unique. I have slept in the beds of the best resorts and know what quality is and I can pass that knowledge on to my clients. I am one of a few select Virtuoso Wanderlist Certified Advisors. Wanderlist is a Travel Portfolio Plan to build your bucket list and curate the best trips for families over a few year’s time. Being a Wanderlist Advisor helps me form deeper relationships with my clients where we map out a game plan of favorite places, types of travel and experiences as well as a budget for them and all their extended travel companions. And as a Virtuoso Advisor, I am able to offer my clients unique benefits they can’t get on their own. Typically, my clients receive room upgrades, free breakfasts, resort credits and more.

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
I like taking educated risks. I don’t jump in without doing my research, but I do try to use my intuition and have a strong gut feeling when I need to take things to another level or make a big change. You have to invest time, your commitment and money to grow to the highest levels and that can feel risky but I’ve learned that you can’t do everything yourself and you have to invest in courses or services in order to do some things correctly.

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