Carla Coates

loris, South Carolina Travel Agent

An independent agent with Academy Travel, Inc. in Manahawkin, NJ, a Travel Leaders Network affiliate agency

Myrtle Beach & Walt Disney World Travel Specialist

Feeding Seagulls
Feeding Seagulls

As a teenager I took a trip with a friend and their family across the United States. We traveled  from South Carolina all the way to Colorado and back. The Parks and National Monuments that I got to see inspired me. To be able to see the Grand Canyon, ride the elevator to the top of the Arch in St. Louis, visit Moab, Utah before the Utah raptor was discovered ( can you tell I have a son that's dinosaur crazy ) and so much more is just incredible. Its a trip that most people do not get to do in a lifetime let alone at 16.   Its a trip that to this day I still talk to my children about. I was being directed even back then to be a travel planner, even though I didn't know it.

In high school, I began what started as a part-time job, but soon fell in love helping families vacation in Myrtle Beach.  I grew from part time to full time and then Manager. As time went on the opportunity arose for me to become the owner of that business and as scary as it was, I took it.  Myrtle Beach is not only my passion but my life. Years passed and 3 children later,  I felt that I needed to be closer to my #1 destination. So now Myrtle Beach is not only what I've specialized in for 28 years but also my families home!

My husband had taken me to Walt Disney World before we had children and I was hooked. For many years I had researched how to become a travel agent just to be able to add Disney to my specialties. After many trips and research I began as an Agent for Academy Travel.

Walt Disney World fastly became my families favorite vacation spot. We look forward to making out our "what we didn't get to do last year" list each and every year. This year my older two children already have reserved an archery class and my younger one is riding ponies and we have reserved a private carriage ride to complete the end of our 1st day before the festivities begin. Its always a joy just to see what's around the next corner and to have that special time with our family.

When asked earlier this year if I'd be interested in becoming an around the world agent, no question about it, definitely in! I have thoroughly enjoyed the training and each day I have a client that confronts me for a new destination, so its just been so much fun. To be able to quickly gather 100's of options for cruises or hotels is just fabulous.

With so many years behind me in the travel industry I have grown in knowledge and understanding of what vacationing means. Its not just the destination but our family, who we are with, the memories that we are making. I can look back now and see that each year our family grows closer together and pass on a love for not just travel but for family and that is truly what being a travel agent is all about for me. Helping families find their travel destination with the ones they love.