Vendor Spotlight: Christine Hardenberger with Modern Travel Professionals
Meet Christine Hardenberger with Modern Travel Professionals! Christine built her business off of experience, recommending places only she or her agents have traveled to. Regardless of your budget or knowledge of travel, she can plan the trip you’ve always dreamt of!
What makes you or your business stand out and why should a couple hire you?
One word – experience. I only recommend and book destinations (resorts, cruise ships, etc.) that I have personally experienced or one of my agents have. This means that I can always match the couple to the PERFECT vacation.
I see so many travel agents who are crowdsourcing information in Facebook groups. “I’ve never been to Jamaica, but I have a honeymoon couple who wants to go. What resorts do you all recommend?” What the heck? How can you entrust what is likely the most important vacation of your clients’ lives to random people on the internet?
I don’t. When guests entrust me with their precious vacation time and money to me, they KNOW they will get everything they expect (and, usually, a lot more!)
What’s a weird/unusual tip you tell your couples?
I don’t know how weird or unusual this tip is, but it’s definitely the most important tip I give couples. Brides who are planning to change their names after they are married need to be SUPER careful about which name they book their trip under. If you are going on your honeymoon within a few weeks after the wedding, you may not have time to get your driver’s license or passport updated. While I know you are so excited about being “Bethany Smith,” they aren’t going to let you on the plane or cruise ship if your ID says “Bethany Johnson.” For couples planning a honeymoon shortly after the wedding, book the trip with the bride’s maiden name.
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
My favorite thing is when I get to offer couples something they never expected could be possible. For instance, I had a couple on a fairly tight budget who still wanted to have an amazing honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort. The bride was pretty resigned to the fact that they wouldn’t get the best, but she was still determined to have fun. After a bit of research, I was able to find her a room at a fabulous Sandals resort with a BUTLER and I still stayed within budget. She was floored. She never thought she could afford to have the honeymoon of her dreams. It made me feel so good to be able to make that happen for her.
What’s something every couple should know before getting married?
Marriage is cyclical. Over the years, you will go from feeling incredibly close to your spouse to distant to “who the heck is this person?” to incredibly close again. Don’t mistake a low in the cycle as the end of your relationship.
What’s your go-to spot to eat in RVA?
Strawberry Street Cafe. It’s an oldie but a goodie. I’ve been going there since college. The Fried Green Tomato BLT is the BEST!
What did you want to be when you were little? Astronaut? Firefighter? Wedding Planner?
When I was little I wanted to be a reporter. I love to write, but the whole journalist thing turned out not to be for me. Now, I fill my creative bug with blog writing and photography.
What was your first job?
I was a lifeguard for 7 summers for the Town of Oyster Bay in New York.
What is your newest Netflix obsession? Or what is your favorite TV show?
My current Netflix obsession is “Narcos.” It’s truly fascinating and horrifying. It’s also helping me to improve my Spanish.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on now?
The coolest thing I am working on right now is a photography course to help me take better travel photos. I have always enjoyed photography but have never really learned how to do it properly. I am excited to be able to take AMAZING pictures for my blog and social media posts.
Learn more about Christine and how she can plan the trip of a lifetime over on her website!