• Spotlight on Amaze Travel!

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  • We sat down with the owner of Amaze Travel, Jim Welch, for a fun Q&A session.

    Biggest challenge in starting your business. 
    The sheer number of steps necessary to take a business idea and have it become an operating business.  It’s daunting All of the things to start a business!  We were careful in making a comprehensive list of everything that needed to happen, and then we put a project plan in place to achieve everything over 6-8 months.  

    Best advice you received before going out on your own.
    Have a specialty that makes you stand out from other travel agents.  Thus, we decided to focus on higher end, luxury travel and creating customized and personalized trips for our clients. 

    Your three favorite travel destinations. 

    1. Tuscany, Italy – The food, the landscape, the well-preserved hill towns, it all adds up to be a special place (and we even named our daughter Siena!) 
    2. Andalucía, Spain – Very interesting and dynamic place given the different cultures that have controlled the area over the centuries. The architecture is some of the finest in the Mediterranean. 
    3. Siesta Key Florida – We have been vacationing here for 30 years, and my parents have spent the past 15 winters there.  The beautiful white sand beach and Gulf of Mexico sunsets make it special place. 

    Your favorite mode(s) of transportation. 
    I enjoy flying, at least when everything goes well!  The anticipation and excitement of being on a plane and headed somewhere is a cool feeling.  For longer overseas flights, being in business class with flat seats makes flying much more enjoyable, plus you show up to your destination refreshed and ready to explore!

    Your clients most requested travel destinations. 
    Italy – Annually our most requested destination, and for great reason with all that it has to offer!  Africa – Going on safari is on so many traveler’s bucket lists, just an incredible experience!  Warm! – Since many of our clients are from the Midwest many want to escape to the Caribbean and Mexico. 

    What tips can you offer for traveling with little ones?
    Plan to see and do A LOT less than you would without your kid.  Gone are the days of lingering over a bottle of wine on a Florence piazza, or shopping aimlessly in boutiques in Paris. 

    Your top three Michigan destinations. 

    1. Frankfort – About 40 minutes west of Traverse City, it’s a little town we’ve been visiting for 20+ years. It is quintessential Pure Michigan with a cute downtown with shops and restaurants.
    2. Ann Arbor – My wife went to MSU, but she can agree that the restaurants and shopping makes it a great place to visit.
    3. Detroit – The resurgence of downtown and the restaurant scene continues to be exciting.