Simply Magical Vacations re-opens travel business

Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce recently helped Amy Shewmake of Hardin Valley re-open her home-based Simply Magical Vacations by Amy travel agency with a Chamber-sponsored ribbon cutting at the FWKCC office Tuesday, May 4.

Shewmake first opened her business in 2014. However, while she technically remained in business to help clients cancel reservations due to COVID-19, “the travel world closed” last year, she said.

Now, however, Shewmake, is “re-opening” to promote “that travel is opening back up,” having personal relationships with the Disney company, Universal, Sandals, Beaches and Royal Caribbean cruise lines.

“We’re seeing things looking up,” Shewmake added, referring to travel restrictions lifting and cruises restarting while the European Union is preparing to allow visitors to return.

“They just announced with cruising that it looks like mid-July,” she said. “Disney opened up last summer, but they just re-opened Disneyland because California just recently opened up.

“(Disney in) Europe hasn’t given us an official date yet, but it’s more that things are getting into a place (where) they can open. They just have to get some steps in place first,” Shewmake added.

Besides theme park packages, she can book cruises and other packages. However, she said, “I do try to focus on those big packages that could cause a lot of stress for (clients).”

Using her connections with travel providers, “I can reach out to them if I need something, which is great for my clients because then, when we have a pandemic and things start shutting down, I can call (a representative) instead of a 1-800 number to get help for my client,” Shewmake said.

“Who likes waiting on (a telephone line) for eight hours for a person who may or may not be able to help you?” she added, also noting with a laugh, “I have connections. I know people.”

While providing concierge service, Shewmake said she saves clients time, money and helps them relieve stress.

“I’m booking everything for them, making sure that they know about all the regulations that are out there – and there’s quite a few, and they change all the time,” she said. “I’m the one who’s just making sure that everything’s taking care of so they can just show up.

“They don’t have to stress about the whole vacation,” Shewmake added. “Vacations are an investment now, and you want to make sure you’re spending your time and your money to get what you want out of that investment.”

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