KK Chronicles: Maggie Jones
Finding a trusted advisor can be tricky and travel is no exception. As the new generation of travel advisors, KKTWW is dedicated to delivering a safe and seamless travel experience while crafting meaningful memories for our clients. How do we do that and how does it set us apart from the rest of the industry? It’s not as simple as offering good service and some added hotel benefits. With visits to over 100 countries (on all 7 continents) and a combined 150 years of valuable industry experience, our talented team of travel professionals offers an unparalleled expertise and a unique ability to exceed expectations through a thoughtful and collaborative approach.
We understand travel planning can be extremely personal, which is why we’ve launched our KK Chronicles series so you can get to know our advisors and get a glimpse into what they’re seeing in the ever-evolving luxury travel industry. Keep reading for our interview with Maggie Jones, one of our top travel advisors based in Atlanta (and check out our previous interview with Christina Dabney, too!)
As a KKTWW travel consultant, what are your specialties?
I’ve had the fortune of planning vacations to six continents and am most well-versed in Western Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, and French Polynesia. I specialize in private aviation and destination weddings, and most of my planned vacations lean toward honeymoons, special celebrations, and family travel.
My three favorite places to plan trips are South Africa, St. Barths, and Italy. Each destination is very different from one another, but they are all perfect for so many kinds of travelers. Without fail, each client returns with excellent feedback regarding our partners and a slew of fantastic memories.
Private aviation is trending at the moment. How did you first develop your expertise in this area?
Before joining KKTWW, I worked in sales for the largest private aircraft operator in the Southeast. Private aviation has become more popular in the past few years, and I think that trend is here to stay. My connections across the private aviation industry allow us to find the most competitive quotes on the right aircraft for your trip. Maybe you need a turboprop to Sea Island to ensure you have enough luggage space for all those golf bags, or, with the fares for international Business Class so high these days, a heavy jet for your summer trip to Europe – we can find the best option for you.
You also studied tourism at the APICIUS International School of Hospitality at Florence University of the Arts— what are the top spots in Italy right now?
The Amalfi Coast in the summer is wildly popular, as always! Positano, Capri, Ravello, Amalfi, and Sorrento are all excellent destinations, albeit a bit crowded in June, July, and August. Rome and Venice have also been popular among my clients this year.
Summer is officially here — what are your favorite destinations to book for clients this season? And do you have any tips for traveling during this crazy time?
I love St. Barths in the summer. Much of the lingering crowd from winter months have thinned out. The island is relaxed, but most restaurants are open, and the constant sea breeze prevents it from being too warm.
Domestically, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and California are excellent spots — especially if you’re living in the South and wanting to escape the heat! The Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City is a heavy client favorite.
My main tips are to practice patience, get to the airport extra early and to carryon if possible. The travel industry is still working out staffing issues and the demand is at an all-time high (especially for the airlines!)!
Summer is also the season for destination weddings. What are your favorite summer wedding spots?
Domestically, I love the northeastern and western US for a wedding – Maine, Nantucket, Cape Cod, Santa Barbara, Deer Valley, Pebble Beach — the list goes on. The lower humidity and cooler temperatures make you feel less guilty about your guests wearing a tuxedo in the middle of July! Internationally, the choice is yours. You want your wedding venue to mean something to you and your spouse; maybe that’s Castello di Casole in Tuscany or Palazzo Avino in Ravello; maybe the Greek Isles or Hopetown, Abaco, Bahamas.
How do you facilitate the perfect trip for your clients on such a high-pressure occasion?
Navigating destination wedding logistics isn’t easy — you’re essentially solving a giant puzzle. We have planned plenty of destination weddings, and KKTWW has fostered relationships with suppliers worldwide, so we can communicate with our clients about their events, the possible challenges we could face, and how to overcome them. They feel comfortable knowing they have experts handling guest travel.
Each wedding we have planned has been memorable for so many reasons and has allowed me to learn invaluable skills to take with me to the next big event. So far, the most amazing wedding I’ve planned would have to be a large destination wedding in St. Barths at the end of 2019. It was a complete buyout of the iconic Eden Rock St. Barths before their reopening for the first time since Hurricane Irma in 2017. We planned for ten months handling travel logistics for the bride and groom, their families, and all guests coordinating flights, private charters (yacht and aviation), ferries, accommodations (hotels and villas), transportation, dining reservations, hair & makeup appointments, etc. We were then on the island for six days welcoming guests, managing changes to previously scheduled services, and handling any logistical concerns (missed connections, delays, early arrivals, etc.) so each guest could make it to the weekend celebration as seamlessly as possible. Seeing all our hard work written up in Harper’s Bazaar was an absolute joy while the bride and groom jetted off to their KKTWW planned honeymoon!
Any advice for couples preparing for their big day?
My main tip for anyone considering a destination wedding is to enlist an expert! No matter how many times you’ve visited a certain destination, there can always be a few surprises – especially in the current travel landscape. Having a team around you to advocate for you and your guests is a must.
Finally, I’m a bit biased, but my mom recently opened a store for all things bridal registry and gift – fête – which is spectacular. It is a one-stop-shop housing anything you might need to begin married life, and its customer service is out of this world. Check them out on Instagram @tresbellefete!
Finally, how does KKTWW elevate the travel experience for its clients?
So many first-time clients are concerned that hiring a travel professional means they won’t be as involved in the planning, which is simply not the case. With our collaborative process, you can be as involved as you want to be! Whether you prefer to plan your vacation day by day or even hour by hour, we will follow your lead and you will still benefit from our behind-the-scenes work to ensure you get that coveted room upgrade and/or $100 resort credit to use at the spa. I can be certain you will not regret it!
Working with a KKTWW advisor allows you to take a complete vacation with zero decision-making. Our most finite resource is time. So, when our clients take time away from home, work, or family, we ensure a stress-free and relaxing experiencing from start to finish. What sets our firm apart from the rest of the industry is our dedication to our clients. Each KKTWW advisor has a passion for creating lifelong memories – we enjoy taking the time to research the best time of day for our client to propose, so the sun hits the Eiffel Tower exactly right for the best photo lighting. Our hard work and diligence behind the scenes serve to ensure every itinerary is completely customized and filled with memories to last a lifetime – and also to ensure that our most ambitious clients don’t come back from their vacation needing a vacation!