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Authentic Vacations offers a unique brand of client support that is unmatched by any of the competition.  To be a member of the Authentic team, one must possess a love of travel, an understanding of the needs of the traveler and a desire to offer first class assistance that extends beyond the planning stage.   With offices in both Dublin and the US, Authentic Vacations is able to provide a team of travel experts available round the clock to assist with itinerary changes and offer travel advice throughout your trip.  You’re never left to fend for yourself when you book with Authentic Vacations.  Read testimonials from happy Authentic clients.

Amanda A.

Destination Expert - California

From Hiking through the South Pacific to sailing through the Mediterranean, Amanda loves a great balance between adventure and luxury, bringing her personal travel experience to Authentic Vacations. Her love of food, wine, and art makes Europe one of her favorite places to indulge her curiosity and appreciation for travel. Amanda’s favorite part about working at Authentic Vacations is she gets to go on a different vacation everyday vicariously through her clients. That being said, she guarantees an amazing and seamless experience customized just for you!

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Con

Destination Expert - California

Con spent over 4 decades traveling 5 Continents, served in the Army, holds a degree in Business, and earned Destination Specialist certifications for Alaska, Australia, Hawai’i, Ancient Rome, Ireland, England, Scotland, and Iceland. He’s hiked Hadrian’s Wall in summer, the Wicklow Way in winter, crossed the North Sea bed to Holy Island in the footsteps of Saint Cuthbert, drank warming wee drams in Orkney, and sea-kayaked in the Shetlands. From Castles to B&Bs, Cornwall to Kirkwall, London to Liverpool, Ireland to Iceland: want assistance from an adventurer who’s been there? Con’s your man! Read his blog at https://www.authenticireland.com/blog/category/travel-experts/concorner/

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Heather

Destination Expert - California

Heather has worked in the tourism industry since 2006. She is a Certified Tour Director and received her certification from the International Tour Management Institute in San Francisco. She has always been fascinated with travel and lived in London in 2005 where she studied British life and culture. She has also traveled throughout the UK, Ireland, and Italy. She has spent most of her life living in the beautiful wine country region of Sonoma County.

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Jocoya

Destination Expert - California

Jocoya has traveled extensively to historical hotspots in Europe, Middle East, and Northern Africa. Her career background, as a travel researcher offered cultural and educational exchanges through exploring diverse locations. Jocoya's wanderlust also cascaded into her education. She received her History M.A. from Sonoma State University with a concentration in tourism, art history, and European studies. From Dublin's urban art scene to Morocco's dye pits (and hiking trails to Germany's ancient ruins), if you are looking for an adventure in the history and art arenas, Jocoya has you covered.

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Lauren

Destination Expert - California

Lauren resides in the wine region of Sonoma County, California, and has always had a great passion for traveling. Whether it be US cities or two of her favorite European cities, Paris and Amsterdam, she understands the needs of the traveler and is always happy to help clients design itineraries tailor made for them. With a certificate in Hospitality Management, she specializes in all accommodations ranging from B&B’s to luxury resorts. Her keen attention to detail and scope of Irish knowledge leave clients in very capable hands!

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Lonna

Destination Expert - California

Lonna finds planning to be one of her favorite things here at Authentic Ireland, whether it be her creative drive or the rewarding feeling she gets putting together a great itinerary for a client. Lonna will always strive to create the perfect vacation for you both in terms of itinerary and budget! She constantly researches new locations, beautiful lodgings and sightseeing options, so her clients have as many opportunities as they wish while on vacation.

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Maggie

Destination Expert - California

Maggie has been part of the Authentic Ireland team for nearly five years. The love of British pop music has made Maggie identify as an Anglophile since she was in her teens. Maggie has a soft-spot in her heart for the Turbo Coaster at Brighton Pier in the UK as well as her experience horseback riding through Connemara in Ireland. And don’t forget to ask her about the time she caught a glimpse of Nessie at Loch Ness in Scotland!

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Jordan

Senior Destinations Expert - California

Jordan loves Ireland, but might be in love with Scotland, having just returned from both has cemented this for her. After living in Chicago for over a decade now she in California where she was born and is happily raising her family back home, introducing them to the area one experience at a time. An expert traveler and avid researcher make her a natural fit at Authentic Vacations. She enjoys special requests and sending her clients to unusual and unique locations both in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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Cindy

Destination Expert - Arizona

Cindy has had the opportunity to travel extensively - enjoying Europe, Asia & the Middle East. She spent 5 years living in Dubai and traveling the surrounding areas, making her an expert on that part of the Middle East. There is such a wonderful world out there for you to explore and she would love to utilize her experience and expertise in assisting you in planning your travels. Cindy is ready to put together your unique itinerary and send you off to explore the world!

Donna

Destination Expert - Arizona

Donna, an Arizona native, found her love of travel while visiting military bases all over the country. From the cold chill of Alaska to the warm beaches in Hawaii she became hooked and her desire for travel continues to grow. Combine her love of travel with her passion for creating memorable experiences and Donna is ready to create your experience of a lifetime.

Emily H.

Destination Expert - Arizona

Emily, originally from Connecticut, relocated to the West Coast to immerse herself in new cultures, scenery, and lifestyles. Growing up, her parents influenced her desire to explore by taking family trips throughout the United States, Caribbean, and Canada. Her love and appreciation for nature grew immensely, as National Parks, Heritage Sites, and conservation areas were usually on the itinerary.
Emily also found a passion for travel and tourism from working the past 7 years for events and festivals throughout New England. While doing this, she met people from all around the world. Emily only hopes to fulfill her travel dreams by seeing more of the world, and guiding others to do so as well!

Josi

Destination Expert - Arizona

Josi’s passion for travel began early in life with many long road trips crisscrossing the US. She loves the fast-paced city life and will jet off to New York, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles at a moment’s notice. Whether she is indulging in the culinary delights of Italy or reposing on the pristine white beaches of Aruba, she is at ease in any locale. Always eager to immerse herself fully in new cultures, she has rambled over the Romanian countryside, shopped in St. Martin, marveled at the majestic Angel Falls in South America, snorkeled in Mexico and Hawaii, and raced through the surf on horseback in Turks and Caicos. An avid travel researcher, much of her free time is spent poring over an atlas and digging up information about various locales, especially little-known island gems.

Kelly

Destination Expert - Arizona

Kelly was born in a small mountain town in Oregon. He started Scuba diving when he was 16 years old and with his family, he began going to the Caribbean the following year for scuba trips. Kelly did this for about 12 years in a row, visiting Costa Rica, Belize, Little Cayman, Grand Cayman, Bonaire, San Salvador, Walker’s Cay and Curacao, some of the locations two or three times. He is a Certified Rescue Diver. Kelly has been to Mexico, Canada and traveled around the US as well. He has family in England and has been over to visit 3 times including visits to France and Dublin. Kelly is excited to be a part of the Authentic team!

Kerry

Destination Expert - Arizona

Kerry, originally from Montreal, Quebec, relocated to Arizona shortly after a visit to Phoenix on her many travels falling in love with the sunshine. Working in the Scottsdale area resorts as a Massage Therapist for over 20 years she met interesting travelers from all over the world. After retirement from that field, she started working in the travel industry immersing herself into fulfilling others dream destinations, feeling blessed to find a second career that she was just as passionate about. Her favorite destinations would be from the beaches of Cabo San Lucas all the way North to Washington State to the Gulf Coast of Florida. Out of the 50 states she has 5 left to complete her bucket list Hawaii, Montana, North and South Dakota and Alaska.

Kim

Destination Expert - Arizona

Kim discovered her love for travel on her very first trip to Europe after graduating college. After that initial 3-week excursion eating croissants in Paris and exploring the ruins of Ancient Rome, her desire to experience new cultures skyrocketed and has never come down since. To date, she has traveled all over Europe, Australia, Asia, and South America (next up, Africa!). She wants nothing more than to share her love of traveling with others, so rest assured that she will put 100% into each and every itinerary she creates and will send you on the trip of a lifetime!

Lainie

Destination Expert - Arizona

Lainie's wanderlust has taken her on some amazing adventures. Whether it be exploring her beloved Arizona, strolling the streets of London or Dublin, sipping wine poolside at her favorite Gite in France, or experiencing eco adventure tours in Mexico, she loves it all. You can be assured that wherever your travels take you, Lainie will help you plan the vacation of a lifetime, full of unique memories and adventures!

Lisa L.

Destination Expert - Arizona

Born and raised in Santa Clara CA, Lisa has always had a passion to help others explore sights that are memorable, culturally inclined, and entertaining. Lisa went to school at Arizona State University and graduated with a degree in Tourism and Event Management. Along with her degree, she has an extensive background in event management, hotels, resorts, Bed & Breakfasts, and travel planning. So far, Lisa has had the opportunity to travel to Southeast Asia - to visit family - and Mexico for a good ole’ road trip. Her absolute favorite travel destination is San Francisco - for the museums and sports teams!

Michael

Destination Expert - Arizona

Michael has been traveling in one way or another since his parents first took him on a five-hour driving odyssey from the east side of Michigan to the glorious city of Rensselaer, Indiana. Since then, he's moved onto more exotic locations with fewer cornfields. Michael was lucky enough to see both Canada and Mexico and in high school, took the trip of a lifetime to Europe. It consisted of a week in Rome followed by a 12-day cruise in the Mediterranean (hitting Naples, Greece's mainland, a couple of islands as well as Istanbul and Ephesus in Turkey) and ended with a week in London. Following that was a spring-break cruise through the Gulf of Mexico with a couple of stops in Mexico as well as a port of call in Jamaica. His next trip led him to Taiwan in which he returned to after graduating university. Seven years later, Michael finally moved back to the United States to start a career in travel.

Tam

Destination Expert - Arizona

From Ireland to Egypt and Australia to Ecuador, Tam caught the travel bug at an early age and to date has traveled to over 18 countries around our beloved planet. Whether cruising the Nile, enjoying luxury travel or hiking through the Andes, Tam has had the chance to create some incredible memories. She loves to help guide people on their next adventure so they can enjoy the same. While her own personal vacations include seeing ancient ruins, sacred sites and finding the best restaurants in town, she says her favorite reason to travel is all about meeting the country’s locals. “My best travel stories aren’t about the Pyramids or the Cliffs of Moher”, Tam says, “it’s about the great conversation I had with someone while I was there. It makes the Nile come alive and the Cliffs glow!” She is from Seattle … so she truly “gets” the coffee craze, knows what to pack for those rainy travel days and loves to find those hidden gems in every city that aren’t in every guide book.

Tim

Destination Expert & Team Leader - Arizona

A native of Northern California, Tim relocated to Phoenix nine years ago. He started working in travel soon thereafter and feels he has found his niche. Prior to that Tim worked as a project estimator for a Bay Area construction company and has some experience working in education. He received his BA in European History from the University of California Santa Cruz, where he also worked on his MA in Education. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and various North American destinations – but considers Ireland to be his favorite. His passion for travel shines through as he creates amazing trips for his clients and shares his firsthand travel experiences. In addition to his passion for travel, Tim is an avid reader, film buff and loves spending time with his pit bull Mr. Wazoo

Alisha

Digital Designer

After having visited South Korea and Cambodia, Alisha realized her love for travel. She enjoys hiking, road trips to the beach, and finding new places to explore. She also enjoys art, gaming, tea, cats, music, and food. Alisha grew up and studied in Sonoma County for a degree in Multimedia and Design.

Pauline

Graphic Designer

Having grown up in Africa and living in France for much of her professional career before moving to California, Pauline is passionate about food, graphic design, scuba diving and travel. She lived in and/or visited 25 countries so far, and fell deeply in love with Thailand, where she discovered the underwater world and had special experiences like diving with whale sharks. Despite her many travels, she never stops dreaming about new destinations to visit.

Tony

Head of Information Technology, Content Coordinator

Tony is a designer, jazz junkie, and coffee fiend with significant depth to both his creative and technical skillset. Ever since receiving his first copy of Photoshop at age 13, Tony has become entranced in the world of design, with a focus on UI/UX. When he isn't pushing pixels, Tony is most likely conversing with his cat or exploring the world with his camera in hand.

Emily D.

Admin Support

While new to both the West Coast and to Authentic Vacations, Emily is no stranger to travel and has been lucky enough to scale Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, swim in the Roman baths, watch the Changing of the Guard from inside the gates of Buckingham Palace, speed through the streets of Mumbai, and take in the grandeur of the Colosseum. A lover of strong tea, whiskey, and men in kilts, she is beyond excited to begin her newest journey.

Fabiola

Assistant Accountant

Fabiola is originally from Mexico City and now lives in the beautiful county of Sonoma, previously living in San Jose, CA. She's always liked to travel and explore different places along the way. Fabiola is passionate about tasting food from different countries, loves walking, hiking, and the challenge of learning new skills. She calls herself a lucky person and is very proud to be part of Authentic Vacations, a trusted company that really cares about people.

Jackie

General Manager

As an Arizona native and dog lover, Jackie has worked in the Tourism Industry for over 30 years. While her first love is River cruising, she loves all things Travel. She has traveled all over Europe - with Spain, Italy and Germany holding a special place in her heart. She has also visited Mexico and numerous US destinations. Jackie loves planning dream vacations for others and cannot wait to add more International destinations to her resume!

Amanda M.

Sales Manager

Amanda was born and raised in beautiful Sonoma County. She lived in several different places in the last 15 years and has settled back down in her home town to raise her family. She has worked in the travel industry since 2008 and is passionate about all things travel. She specialized in Hotel Hospitality and understands the needs of the traveler. She loves to create unique and exciting itineraries for each of her clients. Amanda loves being a part of the Authentic Vacations team and can’t wait to help you plan your trip of a lifetime.

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Leslie

Head of Digital Marketing and MarTech

Leslie’s marketing career began at the dawn of the millennium in the entertainment industry and has evolved over the years to include eCommerce and now Tourism. Leslie is thrilled to be a part of the Authentic Vacations team and is favorably biased towards Bath, London, Tollymore Forest Park, County Clare and cats.

Aisling

Chief Operations

Aisling has over 10 years’ experience planning custom travel to Ireland. As a native of County Clare, she has traveled extensively around Ireland, and experienced everything from 5-Star luxury castles to cozy B&Bs. She has firsthand knowledge of Ireland’s most well-known highlights, as well as more remote, less-travelled areas. Aisling is exceptionally passionate about her homeland, and very eager to share the best of Ireland with you. She is on-hand to listen to your specific interests and wishes, to assist you plan a most memorable trip, tailor-made just for you.

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Michelle G.

PR & Corporate Accounts

Michelle Gysberts a ‘Kiwi’, New Zealander has been based in the USA since 2003. Before moving to New York the first 7 years were spent in Los Angeles as VP of Americas for Tourism Australia, the national tourism office responsible for inspiring North Americans to travel to Australia. As a communications and marketing director with extensive experience in hospitality, tourism, and media entertainment her achievements have included development and implementation of integrated multi-media promotional campaigns, strategic joint venture and partnership programs, stakeholder relations, communications, and large-scale event management. Her role with Authentic Vacations is to support strategic growth, communications and partnership development. Fun fact one of Michelle’s television production roles involved working for the current president on a little show called 'The Apprentice'.

Michelle B.

Executive Director of Business Development

Michelle graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in Liberal Studies and a History. She has held roles as a BDM for Air New Zealand, Event Manager for Tahiti Tourism, and a Western BDM for GOGO Vacations. She is excited to be a part of the unique team at Authentic Vacations as the Executive Director of Business Development. Her favorite part of the job is traveling the country, meeting with accounts and interacting with the agents, many who have become dear friends, she can’t imagine doing anything else. Michelle is an avid sports fan and on warm sunny weekends, you will most likely find her on the beach enjoying a good book and of course, she travels as often as she can!

Allegra

President

Co-Founder and travel entrepreneur, Allegra began her tourism career creating consumer travel websites for people looking for unique and Authentic experiences in new destinations. Over the last 17 years, she has successfully combined her skills in website design and programming with her experience in digital marketing and product development to provide authentic travel experiences to thousands of travelers worldwide. She believes everyone should have access to local inside knowledge and 5-star customer service whenever they visit a new destination and promises Authentic Vacations will deliver this to all clients.

Paul

CEO

Paul is the CEO of Tour Partner Group, the holding company for Hotels & More, Trans Nordic Tours, Irish Welcome Tours and Authentic Vacations. His last position was at STA Travel, the world’s largest student and youth travel agency, where for the last four years he was Chief Commercial Officer for the Group, with responsibilities including global partnerships, product development and subsidiaries. Prior to STA Travel he worked for several companies, including eight years at Delta Air Lines in various international commercial roles.

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