Asia Dunn, a AAA Travel Advisor in Toledo, Ohio, had her first big travel experience at age 19 when she went on a cruise to the Bahamas with her grandparents. “I had the time of my life, and it only increased my curiosity,” she says. “There were so many places I wanted to go, so much I wanted to see. I still feel that way. I want to meet people from other places, to experience their culture and to learn what life is like where they live.”
Asia’s excitement about travel ups the value she brings to her AAA Travel clients. “No matter who is traveling, I really take on the research as if I were going on the trip myself,” she says.
AAA Traveler Worldwise recently chatted with Asia about her career and her tips for travelers.
AAA Traveler Worldwise: How did you get started as a Travel Advisor?
Asia Dunn: I began working at the AAA Toledo Store five years ago as an auto travel specialist. I’ve always had a great relationship with members, and with my passion for travel, I knew I would thrive as a Travel Advisor. So, when a position opened…
AAATW: How did you get your training?
Asia: The training is mostly virtual, with in-depth education on AAA’s travel partners, destinations, and booking procedures. Each travel provider is distinct, so knowing them well helps me better match travelers with them.
And then, of course, it’s not one and done. We keep up to date with the travel industry and with AAA’s travel partners so that we can learn when they are offering a great promotion or new destination.
AAATW: Is traveling part of the training?
Asia: AAA provides Travel Advisors with the opportunity to travel on familiarization tours (FAMs) so we can experience the place and the provider and share our knowledge with clients. My first year as a Travel Advisor, I went on a FAM to Walt Disney World® before the pandemic interrupted travel. Recently, I was on a three-day FAM aboard Holland America’s newest ship, Rotterdam. Of course, I travel a lot personally, too.
AAATW: What unique skills do you bring to your clients?
Asia: I dedicate my time and my research toward meeting each client’s particular travel goals. I think that’s one of my best traits as a Travel Advisor. Whether I get my knowledge through experience, AAA resources, social media, or feedback from other clients, I share that information with my clients to help them make decisions.
ASIA'S TOP PICKS
WALT DISNEY WORLD VACATIONS
“I always stress the value of a Park Hopper® ticket for moving among the parks and avoiding crowds. I’ve also visited every level of resort accommodations: Value, Moderate, and Deluxe, so I can book accommodations at the resort that suits a client best.”
Volcanoes National Park. Photo By Eric Lindberg
FAVORITE NATIONAL PARKS
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island (aka the Big Island)
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
- Zion National Park, Utah
- Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado
“What’s great about Hawaii is the diversity of attractions. One day you might be exploring a tropical mountain environment, and then another, you could be swimming in the Pacific Ocean or relaxing by the resort pool. It’s truly adventure and relaxation all in one.”
B.B. King performance. Photo Courtesy Of Holland America Line
“The ship is very chic and easy to navigate. Without a doubt, the highlight for me was the entertainment on board. The quality and selection are amazing. I especially loved B.B. King’s Blues Club.”