It is amazing to think that I have been in the travel business, answering the phone as House of Travel, then morphing into International House of Travel for 40 years.  On January 5, 1976 I was hired with House of Travel after visiting 28 travel agencies in the Spokane, WA area, only to be told I had no experience so come back when I did.

It was years earlier that I knew I just had to get a job in the travel industry because I had been severely bitten by “the travel bug” and this career would be the only antidote that could keep me healthy.  Okay, so maybe I was not really sick but…..looking back at June of 1972 I spent my graduating summer in Europe with a very close girlfriend. I got a chance to visit countries like Germany,(East and West) Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy, Netherlands, England, Denmark, Czechoslovakia (yes, before it split)  my view of life changed.  I knew I just had to have opportunities to return not only to these countries but to many more.

That fall I attended the University of Idaho and after 2 years of struggling with French, Spanish and German classes thinking if I could get a job traveling if I could learn a foreign language – did not happen. I met my future husband in college and we were married in 1975.  I am embarrassed to admit that we DID NOT use a travel agent to help us book our honeymoon to Waikiki.  I am even more embarrassed to admit why!

Cary, my husband, was in San Diego in the Navy handling the trip.  He called me and said the travel agent wanted us to give them a deposit amounting to around $80 for the hotel and we did not know if we should trust her so decided to take our chances and just get a hotel once we got there.  Big mistake! !  Even back in 1975 you do not arrive in Waikiki in June without a hotel reservation.  After hours at the airport and countless calls to hotels we took a taxi to the only one we could find, ans was it ever a dump! ! You see, it is from personal experience that I try to help people by having their trip planned out so that they can “avoid” all the terrible pitfalls that we ended up encountering.

I can honestly say that even though it has been over 40 years of serving the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area with pride and enthusiasm, I still absolutely love working with people to put together and offer the very best value packed vacations that I can. Yes, I have sold the world and have been very fortunate to have traveled extensively to many places too, but our reputation for delivering exceptional value along with friendly advise and continuous support from start to finish on any vacation you may take is what I am most happy about.  Cary still does all of the back end business, the accounting, keeping the computer running, etc while I enjoy chattering to you, my special clients and explore the many fabulous destinations that await you.

A lot has changed in the past 40 years, some for the good, some bad.  I am certainly not a technological genius but I hope to continue to get better and publishing these blogs every other week is one of the ways I am trying to grow in this world of information.  Although I have sold pretty much the entire world, I am going to focus more on my group departures for food and wine tours, river cruises, international cruising and individual bucket list trips.  I would love to hear from you regarding what is on your so called wish list or bucket list and throughout these blogs I hope to open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Please check out my website http://www.internationalhouseoftravel.com and stay tuned for fun and informative posts that I hope you will enjoy.

Val Day

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