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Omaha Magazine

Travel Dreams, By Design

Jul 12, 2016 01:28PM ● By Bev Carlson

There are no tickets required for this travel adventure.

On a busy corner inside The Shops of Legacy, you’ll find a quiet spot to explore, relax, and plan your next vacation. Or not. At Travel Design Lounge, everyone is welcome, not just those who have a destination in mind.

On a chilly and rainy March evening, the bright, comfortable chairs and travel scenes playing across four TV screens invite guests to linger and dream a  while. Artwork encourages visitors to “Get tripsy.” Menu choices are simple but enticing: light appetizers like hummus and lahvosh or a meat and cheese platter. There’s an assortment of chocolates. The treats can be partnered with international beer and/or wine options or a decadent café latte. When the weather is nicer, a large outdoor café area beckons.

Shelby Goodrum has managed the bar at Travel Design Lounge since it opened in October of 2015. She enjoys the vacation stories that are starting to roll in.

Travel-Design-Lounge2“We had a group of ladies who went to London, lots of people who traveled to Mexico and the Caribbean over the winter, and a very excited couple who just came back from Hawaii,” she says. “They are all eager to come back, show their pictures, and tell us how it went!”

Travel and Transport opened Travel Design Lounge to make their experts more accessible to people.

“Some people are just intimidated by a traditional agency,” says Michelle Holmes, general manager of Travel and Transport. “But they may not have the expertise to plan their travel just using online tools. Travel Design Lounge fixes that. Plus, this offers a relaxed atmosphere for friends and family to plan together. ”

Goodrum says travel bloggers have already scheduled meetings at the lounge, and the company is adding theme nights to attract groups of people interested in similar locations.

“Plus, we’ll have advisers here to show them how they can turn the discussion into a terrific vacation!”

There was a time when nearly all travel required a call to a travel agency, or directly to the airlines, to arrange the details. Now, an entire generation cannot conceptualize the idea of leaving a computer screen to order tickets. Once online ticketing became available in 1995, passengers flocked to the convenience of booking their travel at home or the office that way.

Holmes says nothing can replace the experience of having a travel adviser on your side.

“Advisers are your advocate.,” she says. “It doesn’t cost extra, but travel advisers will back you up if you get stuck somewhere, make sure you have a great place to stay, and can send you places with deals you can’t find online. Plus, they’ll customize the search especially for your needs and take care of the planning so you can truly relax and enjoy your trip.”

Who doesn’t dream of getting away from it all, at least for a little while? Holmes certainly does. “Everyone is inspired by travel. What’s so great about Travel Design Lounge is that you don’t have to come in with a plan in mind—or even an agenda. You can just grab a friend or two, have a nice glass of wine, and consider the possibilities." B2B

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l-r Michelle Holmes and Shelby Goodrum

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