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Megan O'Connor

LocationBeacon

Megan believes that exposure to other cultures firsthand is one of the most formative experiences someone can have.

While studying the History of Art and Architecture at Brown University and at NYU’s campus in Florence, Megan fell in love with exploring the out of the way local spots she came across on her travels. This love of other cultures spurred further travel and a career teaching English as a second language as she settled down and started a family.

Now, her natural passion for travel, meticulous attention to detail, and intuition for clients’ preferences serve her well as a travel advisor. She loves being able to use her expertise and resources to optimize her clients’ trips and make planning as stress-free as possible. She also finds getting to know the travelers she works with on a personal level to be a truly enjoyable part of the process.

Megan especially loves meeting locals and trying to experience the rhythm of everyday life in the places she visits. A perfect vacation day for her involves a leisurely local breakfast followed by lots of aimless walking with spontaneous stops along the way. Although she makes time for visiting the big-name hot spots in a new place, she loves discovering hidden gems and local favorites even more.

What inspired you to become a travel agent?

I’m a planner by nature, and I’ve always loved putting together the details of a trip- to the point that I would sometimes thoroughly plan a dream vacation I couldn’t actually go on. That said, I was often overwhelmed and frustrated by the myriad of information available on the internet. I realized that as a travel advisor, I could turn that pastime into a career, and help others make their planning process so much more efficient and enjoyable.

Which destinations do you go back to again and again? Why?

I can never get enough of Florence. It’s a small city, but with so much life and personality. Though it sees millions of tourists every year, there’s a vibrant local culture that thrives behind the scenes. The food is superb, and the Florentines are unfailingly friendly and welcoming. I could plan a visit full of greatest hits or have no agenda at all and still have a glorious time there. The gelato shops on every block don’t hurt, either!

Favorite Travel Tip

Research has found that travelers experience a boost in happiness just from the anticipation of a trip. Involving everyone who's traveling (including kids!) in the planning only heightens the enjoyment!