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Karen Gurley

Laurel, Maryland Travel Agent

An independent agent with Athena Travel, Inc. in Laurel, MD, a Travel Leaders Network affiliate agency

Luxury Travel Consultant

It all goes back to more than 20 years ago when I thought about how much I enjoyed travel and recognized how much fun it would be to help others enjoy it too. I created my boutique travel agency, Athena Travel Inc., and have been delivering amazing vacations ever since. 

It is important to me to get to know my clients so I can plan the best vacation for them. I look at their vacation through their eyes to plan and customize. My clients relax knowing that my attention to detail ensures their arrangements are exactly what they want.  

 I participate in frequent training to stay fresh and knowledgeable. My passion for travel keeps me traveling to experience other cultures and destinations. I am fascinated to learn more about what life is like for people in other parts of the world. I've traveled to Mexico and the Caribbean many times. Jamaica is like another home after vacationing there at least 17 times. 

Some of my Destination Specialist designations include: 

  • Aruba
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Hawaii
  • Jamaica
  • Scandinavia
  • St. Lucia (my favorite Caribbean island!

I also have many resort certifications such as: 

  • AM Resorts Master Agent (Secrets, Dreams, etc.)
  • Certified Sandals & Beaches Specialist
  • Couples Specialist
  • Riu Specialist
  • Disney Specialist
  • Travel Impressions Sol Melia Hotels

I am an Accredited Cruise Counselor, a Niche Cruise Specialist, a Luxury Cruise Specialist and Viking River Cruise specialist. I love the way cruises give easy access to so many interesting destinations. One cruise that I enjoyed the most sailed from Venice to  the Greek Islands.  I will never forget the gorgeous view looking down at the sea from high up on the cliff in Thira, Santorini!

In addition to incentive travel groups, I organize & plan family and friend group vacations. I arranged a group cruise for the employees and spouses of an accounting firm to celebrate a 45 year business anniversary. 

Honeymoons, what can I say!  Whether a Destination Wedding or Honeymoon, I make it special.  I make Destination Weddings easy for the engaged couple by working with the wedding planner and organizing the travel for them, their family and friends.

When people travel they want the trip of a lifetime.  One couple comes to me to plan a "trip of a lifetime" every year. They will never forget holding a panda bear on their vacation to China or experiencing Carnival in Rio.  Another couple wanted to spend a month in Italy. The vacation I organized began with an escorted tour in the south before traveling by train and car in Northern Italy. For the final part they stayed in a Tuscan countryside villa where they could experience living, cooking, and dining like an Italian. That was their "trip of a lifetime."
 

I love Art and Architecture!

Captivating Venice!
Captivating Venice!

When studying for my degree in Interior Design I had many courses in Art and Architecture. I will never forget the excitement of seeing Michelangelo’s magnificent Sistine Chapel in the Vatican when visiting Rome or the Parthenon in Athens. It was a thrilling experience to walk through the amazing Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia, while enjoying the artwork of the Masters on a Scandinavia & Russia cruise. 

For many years Photography has been my hobby. Looking at some of my photos brings me right back to the memorable moments of my vacation whether it be swimming with the stingrays in Grand Cayman or photographing all the gorgeous orchids at Orchid World in Barbados.

The world is amazing and I cannot wait to get out and see more of it!

My Reviews

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

Always finding the best trip!

Reviewed By Sharon - Maryland | Traveled to
We, my husband and I, have been with Karen for over 15 years. We come back every year for her excellent service her expertise and attention to detail. She has been to our interested areas and knows the lay of the land. She knows the when, where and hows of the destinations she advertises. I have recommended her to friends and they thank me for introducing her to them. We have NEVER had a bad trip. We comfort in the fact that she has planned everything we need on vacation. If Karen is booking your trip, say what we say....No Worries!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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