Iowa Traveler Won’t Let COVID Stop Him From Making Memories

July 17, 2020 Mark Dauner

Tom Stork didn’t travel much before he retired. He and his wife were busy raising their children and working; plus, Stork traveled across Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri for work. He’s done his best to reverse that trend in recent years and continues to travel now.


Is it safe to travel now? Stork says yes.

“People ask me, ‘is it safe to travel now?’ and I say that I think so, as long as you do it safely,” Stork says. “We flew recently to visit our daughter in Georgia recently and it felt relatively normal. We wore masks and felt safe. The biggest challenge was finding something to eat at the airport as many restaurants were closed.”

While many are hesitant to travel amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Tom Stork and his wife feel confident traveling to visit family and are looking forward to taking an Alaskan cruise next July in celebration of his retirement.

“We were supposed to be going with two other couples this year, but had to reschedule because of the pandemic. It’s a 14- or 15-day cruise with the first half on land. We’re really looking forward to trying some excursions and cruising with friends,” Stork says.


Alaskan Cruise is the Latest Adventure Booked by Travel Advisor Kim Staker

Stork booked his first trip with Travel and Transport travel advisor Kim Staker in 2011. It was a long-delayed honeymoon trip to Hawaii.

“We never really had a honeymoon, and we always wanted to go to Hawaii, so for our thirtieth anniversary, we finally did,” Stork says. “I had never really used a travel advisor before as I had just planned the short trips we took myself, but this time I wanted to see what options a travel advisor could offer us. A friend’s wife worked for Travel and Transport in their Urbandale office so I reached out to her.”

The Storks had such a great experience that they came back for help planning multiple trips to Sandals Resorts across the Caribbean. 

Their first experience working with Staker was planning a trip to Sandals Grande St. Lucia Resort. “She was the Sandals expert so we began working with her and were really pleased with the experience,” Stork says. “We’ve since booked trips to Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, Antigua and the Dominican Republic, but St. Lucia remains our favorite.”


Storks’ Fly to Remote Resort Getaway in St. Lucia

As the Storks journeyed to their remote resort getaway on St. Lucia, they weren’t sure what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised upon arrival. After four days of travel, they relaxed at three Sandals resorts, where they enjoyed an all-inclusive experience.

“We went to the beach and ate at all three locations. I visited more outside the resorts at St. Lucia than I did in other places we’ve visited because there was so much to do,” Stork says. “I hiked one of the two Tetons with a group and visited a lava pit. That was fun.”


Time, Trust are Main Reasons to Use a Travel Advisor

Stork cites time savings as one of the main benefits of using a travel advisor to plan his vacations, but says having someone to call when things come up is a huge plus too. 

“Nothing major has ever happened, but occasionally we will be put in the wrong room or we’ll be missing a meal. Kim is really good about providing a contact for us onsite with a person’s name so we can go to someone she knows,” Stork says. “That’s nice because you’re not dealing with a stranger.”

Stork says Staker has been able to secure the best rates for him, from matching direct offers from Sandals resorts to finding the best airfares to securing perks on every trip. 

“Kim has always been really good to work with. She goes the extra mile, and believe me, I can be challenging at times because I want to save money on flight options and try to pursue perks any way I can that might be available,” Stork says. “Whether it’s a free massage or the lowest fare, she’s always really good with trying to accommodate that. I have no intentions of going elsewhere any time soon because I trust her.” 


Are you ready to make travel plans? Explore your options with a Travel and Transport travel advisor today. We’re confident we can help you plan an amazing adventure.

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