Misty King Lives Her Travel Business Dream at Corridor 55.
Misty King founded her company “Go! Travel… Getaways” in August 2015 to pursue a lifelong dream of running a travel agency. “I’ve always loved to travel. I took flying lessons when I was 12 years old,” says Misty, who grew up in Arkansas, Illinois, and Missouri, and now lives in Imperial. “Since then I’ve traveled all over the United States and Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. I am fascinated with different cultures!”
While in her 20s, Misty worked with a company that charged people for plane rides up and down California’s Pacific coast in vintage World War II aircraft. “We worked out of different airports along the coast and lived in hotels – it was awesome!” Now 35, she worked full-time in the criminal justice and foster care system for years. Then she accepted a part-time position with St. John’s Lutheran School in Arnold. This gave Misty the opportunity to open her travel agency.
She initially operated the agency from her home. “Starting any business always means there’s a lot to do, and you need to be available almost any time,” she says. “I’m a very ‘hands-on’ person – I was working from home, putting in a lot of time, often around my family,” says Misty, who is married to a City of St. Louis police detective. They have one son, age 7, and also care for a young nephew.
When Misty discovered the low-cost office amenities and professional conveniences of being a Member at Corridor 55, the City of Arnold’s coworking space for independent professionals, Go! Travel… Getaways acquired a Membership. Her business has been booming ever since.
“Corridor 55 is very affordable for small businesses like mine, and I benefit from everything Corridor 55 has to offer,” she says.
Misty’s Member status at Corridor 55 means she can use its secure internet and wifi service, along with unlimited kitchenette privileges, printing, mail services, plus discount access to a modern conference room and classroom.
She especially likes the secure, 24/7 access to Corridor 55 “because I can get in and work whenever I need to,” she says. And she appreciates the free parking outside her door. “Having a business mailing address at Corridor 55 is better than using my home address or a PO box – it’s more professional,” she adds.
“I’d say the biggest challenge of running my business is educating the public about the benefits of using a travel professional to book their vacations or other trips,” says Misty. “The main benefit for people is that most of our services are free. Generally speaking, there is no additional cost to use our services. (In the travel business, booking commissions are typically paid to travel agents by hotels, cruise lines, and resorts.) “Other benefits for our clients include less stress, less time ‘doing it yourself’ and constant support from us.”
When starting her business, Misty became a member of KHM Travel Group, which provides education, training, marketing support, and administrative services to thousands of independent travel agents across the US. She also is a member of The American Society of Travel Agents.
KHM has relationships with travel suppliers and vendors such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Disney, Expedia, Fun Jet, and many more. This means that Misty stays abreast of preferred trip promotions and great travel deals. She works with her agency associate travel veteran Tim Whittler, whom she describes as “a vacation designer, Disney, and cruise specialist.”
Misty says her clients’ favorite vacations typically include visits to Caribbean resorts, and that “all-inclusive trips are extremely popular.” Her own favorite destination? “Belize,” she says. “In a word, it is beautiful.”
Go! Travel…Getaways recently moved into an office at Corridor 55 and is open by appointment only. Misty is planning to expand her team and hire a travel agency pro who specializes in European travel destinations soon. “I really am living a dream because I love what we do and everything is going very well,” says Misty.