LEISURE TRAVEL

with Going Places

Photo by Philip Jahn

We make dreams and cement lifelong memories by offering truly unique and once in a lifetime travel experiences.

Our world-wide reach and in-country contacts allow our travel advisors to custom tailor your vacation experiences to anywhere you wish to go. We are proud to have been to every corner of the world with all of our agents combined!

You can find a travel advisor in the area of your interest to work with you step-by-step to make sure your trip is exactly what you are looking for.

Where would you like to go next?

Meet our Leisure Travel team
Photo of Ken Darrow from Going Places Travel.
Ken Darrow

La Jolla Branch Manager, Sr Travel Advisor

I'm a modern day hybrid in the travel business — ready to help corporate clients and individuals alike. Having lived and traveled all over the globe I truly understand how the travel world works.

I've spent decades developing the skills to make corporate travel efficient and comfortable, and to make your leisure travel comfortable and flawless. I can help you take the perfect trip and have all of your travel needs met.

I've traveled extensively having incredible experiences all over Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the South Pacific and Mexico. In fact, I'm a certified specialist in many of these destinations.

Most recently, I've taken trips to Turkey, South Africa, Honolulu, Dominican Republic, Singapore, Vietnam, Cancun, Cabo, and Puerto Vallarta.

I earned a Bachelor's degree in History at San Diego State University (Go Aztecs!) and I've had the good fortune to have called Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, and Scotland home at some point in my life.

Favorite destinations: All 7 Continents and the Islands In between...

Travel specialty: Corporate & Leisure Travel, International Air, Land & Sea Travel Profile Manager

Additional languages: Português / Español

Photo of Tulle Watson from Going Places Travel.
Tulle Watson

Senior Travel Advisor

I've been a trusted Berkeley travel agent for the last thirty-five years. It's been a wonderful experience to help neighbors and strangers alike to create unforgettable experiences without a hitch.

Raised in a small town in Northern Norway, I've lived all over the world including New Zealand, Brazil, Austria, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom. I've traveled extensively in India, China, Southeast Asia, South America, Europe, Africa, and Eastern Europe with my family.

Nothing makes me happier than drawing on my vast experience to arrange unforgettable vacations and adventures for my clients.

Whether it's for a once in a lifetime cruise, to explore ancient cultures, roam the great cities of Europe, experience the wonders of an African Safari, or even to escape on a romantic beach getaway — I'm always thrilled to help get you there.

Favorite destinations: I've been everywhere, so it would be impossible to choose!

Travel specialty: Leisure Travel — all sorts

Additional languages: Norsk

A picture of Laura Leipzig
Laura Leipzig

Senior Travel Advisor

I've spent 34 years in hospitality, and I still feel passion and enthusiasm for the travel industry. My years as a travel agent have trained me well in many areas, including luxury vacations, cruises and destination events, group programs, and everything in between.

I’ve worked in the Travel Department at NBC Burbank Studios arranging news crews on assignment in the field, and for entertainers as guests on the Tonight Show when Jay Leno was the host.

Continuing to work in the entertainment industry, I arranged travel for famous musicians on concert tours.

My experience has taken me both on the client side working on corporate travel, like Oracle Corporation’s VIP desk, and on the agency side, working with leisure travel clients. So I fully understand what works best for both leisure and business clients.

Born and raised in NYC, I lived in Israel and Los Angeles before making my way to the Bay Area where I’ve made Berkeley my home base for the last 28 years. My travel experience runs the gamut: by backpack/tent through Europe and staying in a bedouin tent in the Negev to luxury trips such as in  Rarotonga, Cook Islands, and five of the Hawaiian islands.

The world is a big place waiting for us to explore and I’m happy to support people’s desires and needs to travel.

Favorite destinations: Cuba, Jamaica, Israel, and Rarotonga

Travel specialty: Jamaica packages and wherever you would like to go next!

A picture of Pat.
Pat Plumb

Senior Travel Advisor

After several years of working in a government job, as well as in the legal field,I decided it was time to do something that I had a real passion for. After being bitten by the travel bug, I knew exactly what I wanted to do!

I began my travel career in late 2000. The next year proved to be a challenge, with the horrific attack that brought our country to its knees. Still believing in what I was meant to do, I focused on building my customer base, and now I am happy to say that I have clients who have been with me through the years, and reach out for every trip they make. It’s wonderful to have clients who have become friends along the way.

I especially enjoy creating once-in-a-lifetime dream trips, and infusing your journey with unique experiences that you might not have thought about. I also enjoy giving a gentle nudge to my clients to try going a little bit outside of their comfort zone—which can bring so many pleasant surprises and enrich life so much.

It's hard to say which is my favorite destination, as I always return home with a newly discovered sense of how diverse and interesting the world is.

I invite you to call or come by the office, so we can chat about where you'd like to go next. Let's see how we can create a wonderful adventure for you and make that dream a reality!

Favorite destinations: Italy, France, Greece, Kenya and European River cruises

Travel specialty: Leisure travel around the world

A picture of Carolyn.
Carolyn Banks

Travel Advisor

I have been working in the travel industry for over 25 years. During college I strapped on a backpack and headed to Europe and my love of travel was born. After college I moved myself to Mexico to enroll in a language school and immerse myself in the culture, and later spent 3 months traveling around the country. My passion for immersive, unique and experiential travel remains strong until this day.

Some of my most cherished travel experiences include hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, trekking the jungles of the Amazon, exploring the amazing diversity of wildlife in the Galapagos and getting an up close and personal look at Cuba, the people and its history. I have traveled much of Europe, Mexico. Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica and Panama. I have also traveled to Caribbean and Asia. I strive to keep my thumb on the pulse of what’s the next up-and-coming travel destinations and sharing those with my clients.

I enjoy working with individuals and families but also have extensive experience with groups, helping to create itineraries that are well thought out and seamlessly flow to accommodate all groups dynamics. I take great care in planning all my client’s travel as if I were traveling myself. Whether it’s a trip for two or 200, it’s not just a trip but a memory of a lifetime.

I take pride in my customer service and responsiveness. Let me take the guesswork and hassle out of planning your next travel adventure to create a tried and true travel experience!

Favorite destinations: Italy, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Galapagos

Travel specialty: Group Travel, Experiential Travel

Photo of Ed Klingel from Going Places Travel.
Ed Klingel

Senior Travel Advisor

I bring you over 3 decades of travel advisor experience, and my number one priority is my customers! I always look out for my clients' best interest, making sure all of their travel details meet expectations — going above & beyond to ensure all of my clients are happy travelers.

I have long standing relationships with various hotels & resorts around the world, allowing me to provide you with exceptional value and exclusive amenities not found on-line.

My corporate travel experience includes arranging small to large size groups, both domestic & internationally. Negotiating group airfares, and group hotel contracts offering you special discounted rates & amenities you won't find on-line.

I have extensive group experience with many universities, including campus & athletic travel. Team athletic travel included negotiating airline & hotel group contracts, finding private charter flights, bus charters etc. Other corporate group experience includes, Aerospace and all types of incentive travel, over-looking all of the details before & during each trip.

I take great pride in my work & really look over all of the travel details. Rest assured, all of your plans will be handled with great care!

Favorite destinations: Mexico, Hawaii, Caribbean, France, Italy, Spain, Greece

Travel specialty: Ocean & River Cruises

Photo og Francie
Francie Tomacci

Senior Travel Advisor

Love and travel go hand and hand and I fall in love with travel over and over again with each new destination and trip!  I truly fell head over heels when I spent a month traveling through Europe in 1982. I was enamored with the new surroundings and developed my wanderlust plus a mission to see, taste and experience as much of the world as possible. That's  when I knew I wanted to be a travel counselor.

My most treasured trips are the ocean and river cruises I've taken, such as the Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Athens, with stops in Croatia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Greece. I also cherished the river cruises on the Rhine. I also loved the river cruises all across the United States—including Alaska and the fabulous Hawaiian Islands.

One of my favorite things about being a travel agent is that I get to live vicariously through my clients as I plan their trips and rejoice hearing about their adventures all over the world!

I am also quite good at researching, organizing, and understanding people, plus skillful at creating memorable experiences that last a lifetime. I now specialize in small group luxury travel, especially US and European river cruises.  With careful planning I make trips seamless and enjoyable down to every tiny detail so my clients can make the most of their time away without any stress.

Favorite destinations: France, Croatia, Italy, IrelandAlaska, Canada, Hawaian Islands and South Pacific

Travel specialty: Destination Specialist for Hawaii, Alaska and Europe

Photo of Melissa Durkee
Melissa Durkee

Travel Advisor

My love for travel started at a young age as both my parents worked for Trans World Airlines (TWA). We often took quick trips, flying via the "stand-by" benefit of their work, to visit Hawaii, Arizona, Albuquerque, and Missouri.

Fast forward to my college years, where I enjoyed exploring and living in England for 3 months and while there, enjoyed visiting France, Spain, and Portugal.

Over the course of my adulthood, I have held many different jobs before landing my career as a travel advisor: public school teacher, project manager, personal assistant, and bookkeeper at a travel agency; where I quickly learned the trade and started assisting with travel planning. I realized that my passion and excitement for travel and my attention to detail would easily translate into becoming a travel advisor—my favorite role of all.

Whether you are ready to travel now or in the future, I’m available to offer travel advising, custom event travel, and booking services. I have many years of both event and travel planning experience and I’m committed to completing your vision of the perfect event or dream vacation for you and/or your family!

Favorite destinations: Thailand, Italy, Japan, Hawaii, Costa Rica

Travel specialty: Family, Multi-Generation, Group and All Types of Leisure Travel

Photo of Kellee Gray from Going Places Travel.
Kellee Gray

Senior Travel Advisor

I have been a travel advisor for 20+ years. Although I specialize in certain areas, I am trained in all aspects of corporate and leisure travel.

I love working with my corporate accounts and saving them time and money for all of their needs with air, cars and hotels. But I really love setting up the perfect tour, luxury cruise, or honeymoon! I specialize in customer service and tailor each trip to my clients needs.

Some of my favorite trips have been the ones with the most unique experiences. I've walked in the cave where the apostle John wrote the book of revelations and walked in the footsteps of Cleopatra & Caesar. I once got a hickey from a large stingray that stuck onto my side while snorkeling in Belize. I've walked through lava tubes on the Big Island of Hawaii and drove into a volcano in St. Lucia.

It's my wish to make travel magical for you and your family. Let me help take the stress out of the planning and maybe even suggest things you might not have thought of. You deserve to travel the world and I look forward to getting to know you!

Favorite destinations: Hawaii, Mexico, CaribbeanTravel

Specialty: Honeymoons, Luxury cruises, Island Travel, Beach destinations

Certifications/Awards: Uncruise Specialist, Outrigger Specialist, Riu Hotels Specialist, Club Med Specialist, Cayman Islands specialist, Hyatt resorts specialist, Marriott Specialist, and many more!

A photo of Briny
Briny Joseph

Travel Advisor

I have been a travel advisor for 10+ years. What I truly enjoy is sharing knowledge with travelers and helping them create their own travel experiences.

What inspires me the most in traveling is the cultures, the food, and the experience of interacting with people from all over the world.

My career really started when I started planning trips for my friends and family, eventually I wanted to be fully immersed in the industry and became a professional to help people travel the way they desire.

As a travel advisor, I have helped my clients experience major cruise lines, take in the culture in Europe, and book customized land/air packages—along with inclusive resorts in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

Personally, Hawaii is my absolute favorite destination in the world—hands down! India (the place I grew up with an amazing culture and heritage) and Dubai are close seconds. One of the best road trips I’ve taken is driving on the Hana Highway in Maui, Hawaii.

Where would you like to go? Let’s explore some options together!

Favorite destinations: India, Hawaii, Dubai, Mexico, Bahamas

Travel Specialty: Leisure Travel, All- Inclusive Packages , Honeymoons, Luxury cruises, Island Travel

Additional Languages: Hindi, Malayalam, Punjabi

Photo of Janine Serpe
Janine Serpe

Senior Travel Advisor

Travel is in my blood. In fact, as a Sagittarius, I have the astrological sign known as “the traveler.”  I got my first taste of travel at ten years old and started what would lead to a life-long passion. My parents took me to Italy to meet my relatives and then onto Greece. I still remember every detail of that trip... down to how the linen sheets felt!

I am enthusiastic about every aspect of the travel experience for my clients. If I recommend a hotel to you, I have been to that hotel and inspected every feature firsthand—maybe even the room you are staying in. I have a great love for Italy and my knowledge of this beautiful country extends from the smallest hill towns to Mama Netti's tiny restaurant in Ravello.

I've traveled all around the world and find joy in sharing my knowledge. I want to make every experience a memory you will hold close to your heart.

I have countless recommendations for any destination you choose to visit in the regions of Italy, Mexico, and the Caribbean. While I focus on luxury travel, I can also work within any budget you have and make your dreams come true. Additionally, I've spent years in corporate travel and incentive group travel, so I’m no stranger to managing corporate accounts if that’s what you need.

I look forward to sharing my experience with you and creating that perfect journey in your book of memories.

Favorite destinations: Italy is my absolute favorite, it offers so much history and great beaches. I also love Spain, London and Ireland.

Travel Specialty: Luxury & Leisure Travel

"I've been working with the Going Places Travel Team for over five years. They are fantastic with international and domestic trips, and have consistently provided me with an excellent combination of itineraries and reasonable prices. I've used them for family trips and large trips with more than 50 people. They're responsive, pleasant and very informed about travel in other countries."

– Don K, VETS

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How we're keeping you safe

We are diligently monitoring the ever-changing regulations and guidelines for safe traveling during Covid and in the post-Covid world, and we want to assure you that our agents are fully equipped to assist you not only in your trip planning but protecting your vacation investment.

If you have any questions about traveling during Covid, feel free to reach out to us at any time!