Traveling Tribes Podcast

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Traveling Tribes Episode 21: Clayton Whitehead from Sports Leisure Vacations

Clayton joins our Traveling Tribes podcast this week from Sacramento, California with over 40 years of touring experience and currently working with Sports Leisure Vacations.

This episode features Clayton’s career adventures, the challenges planning travel can be in the current market, Sports Leisure Vacations orientations and outlook for travel, and what Clayton is excited about in the travel industry.

At Sports Leisure Vacations, the tours are more than just sports games, with high end senior leisure tours and action with education components added in. Clayton himself doesn’t just book rooms, he is the tour escort, he goes to the destination, and all of their leaders operate this way to improve their next trip with groups.

Explore your city or your world with Sports Leisure Vacations. Making travel dreams come true for over 30 years!

Traveling Tribes Episode 20: Jen Halboth from Riverside Luxury Cruises

Jen Halboth joins former colleague Jeff Gayduk to discuss her new role as Chief Executive Officer of Riverside Luxury Cruises, with personalized service, serene spaces with impeccable design and sumptuous cuisine. Their fleet of all-suite river ships let travelers experience the culture and enchanting landscapes of Europe while delighting in the amenities and comforts provided in luxury hotels the world over.

Listen to this episode to hear about Jen’s professional journey, the growth of the luxury travel market, exciting ship developments within Riverside Luxury Cruises, redefining Riverside’s brand outreach both to customers and travel advisors, Jen’s adventures within the company, and her plans for reaching customers through technology.

“This is kind of an opportunity for me to use all my brains and to help craft the brand’s story, help introduce to American travelers and travel advisors…you don’t get those chances often in life and I’m very grateful to take the leap…” – Jen Halboth

Riverside Luxury Cruises is about to become your new favorite way to travel. The Riverside Mozart sets the standard for beauty and design on the river and now she is joined by two ships that set the bar in luxury river cruising.

Traveling Tribes Episode 19: Michael Lundquist from Mayflower Cruises & Tours

A new year with a new Traveling Tribes podcast guest, we welcome Michael Lundquist from Mayflower Cruises & Tours. With more than a decade of group travel industry experience, hear how Michael has kept up with the need for education around group travel. Groups make up 90% of the business at Mayflower, and Michael spends much of his time promoting the benefits of group travel with Mayflower.

Michael’s own cruise excursions on an Emerald Cruise to learn about the amenities and inclusions on the ship showed him how Mayflower delivers a river cruise concept on the ocean, and that’s how the River Cruise Azura was built for up to 100 passengers with 73 crew members, personal cabin attendants and a free spa. With less people, more crew, and a luxury setting, the ship is the next step in the marketplace, creating a river cruise experience that rivals the cruise ship crush.

With Mayflower’s flexible services, you can learn how to inspire a group into traveling together.

Although times are tough, Mayflower was able to weather it because the connectivity of their network. The tours are designed for travelers looking for the fullest travel experience at a great value. Offering over 100 itineraries annually, travelers can choose from tours on six continents, utilizing many different travel styles, including river cruising, special event departures, national parks adventures, seasonal excursions, domestic and international guided holidays. Look forward to new trip announcements, diverse trip packages for any sized group, and expertise from a group travel expert in this episode of Traveling Tribes.

Mayflower Cruises & Tours, LLC, is a division of the Scenic Group, located in Lisle, IL. Celebrating 40 years of business in 2019, Mayflower’s mission is to create Life Enriching Experiences and give travelers the trip of a life-time at each and every destination. Since 1979, the team at Mayflower has been providing individual and group guided cruise and tour arrangements within the United States and around the World.

Traveling Tribes Episode 18: Diane Petras from The Travel Institute

If you haven’t heard of them, The Travel Institute is a non-profit, independent organization that collaborates with industry leaders to create and deliver relevant, meaningful and rigorous coursework and travel professional education. In this episode of Traveling Tribes, Jeff Gayduk is joined by their president, Diane Petras, as they discuss the Travel Institutes dedication to educating future travel agents, the current market for travel agents, and how the market continues to evolve for the better.

The Travel Institute itself has continuously evolved over its 50+ year history to maintain its role as the global leader in travel industry education and certification while staying true to their mission: dedicated solely to advancing professionalism in support of individual and industry success.

Using exclusive proctored, closed-book testing to maintain the integrity of the credentials and the standards they represent, The Travel Institute has certified more than 27,000 Certified Travel Associate (CTA®), Certified Travel Counselor (CTC®), and Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE®) graduates and requires continued education to maintain certifications. Certification program graduates utilize our digital credentials search platform as a validation process  and marketing tool to substantiate their expertise with clients and stakeholders. The Travel Institute also administers the Travel Agent Proficiency, or TAP℠, exam. The TAP exam is used widely by industry organizations to confirm students new to the industry demonstrate a mastery of travel industry basics.

A trusted partner to industry organizations and educational institutions alike, The Travel Institute has also provided continuing education to hundreds of thousands of agents through specialist and business management courses, webinars, and in its online learning Lounge for premium members. The industry benchmark for educational excellence, The Travel Institute is credited by many successful agents and high-profile industry leaders for their success.

Traveling Tribes Episode 17: Louis Bookoff from Busie

This week, explore a new technology setup for any kind of bus charter company to use for sales, quoting, and making payments easier with the Co-founder and CEO of Busie. Dive into new innovations for travel companies, as Busie strives to support operators in any way possible making transitions, building more sustainable processes and using technology to become smarter and better businesses in the future. Learn how the bus charter business fares amid inflation and post-pandemic. Busie is not only a domestic but an international business opportunity, as bus companies around the world can struggle with adopting an automated process through technology. Busie is dedicated to building smart solutions for operators and organizers to facilitate the online booking and management of trips, events and other services. 

Want to save over 50% of time spent quoting charter trips and reach more customers directly through a website? 

Learn more on the website or by reaching out via email.

Traveling Tribes Episode 16: Stacy Barry from Sharin’ The South Tours

Explore your one stop shop in group travel to the South with Chief Marketing Officer Stacy Barry. Sharin’ The South is a family-run business that plans full itineraries to handle motor coach, accommodations, and all meals, tours and attractions. Visit their website to learn more or email Stacy at

In this episode, Jeff and Stacy talk about the expansive opportunities groups have with Sharin’ The South, the complications they have overcome after Covid decreased travel demand, how they work around student groups, Stacy’s marketing techniques, how she handles her own travel plans with kids, and her personal favorite places to visit in Nashville.

Traveling Tribes Episode 15: Alexa Berube from Reposite

Join us this week to hear from Alexa Berube, Co-founder of Reposite.

The two co-owners Alexa and Heather started in technology and sales, and came up with the idea to launch a vintage car tour company in New York with Nowaday. They did launch this business right before the pandemic, but they were able to break into the group travel industry.

There are a lot of great things about the group travel industry, but it is hard to connect to people within the industry. It seems that the best way in is to manually join associations or go to trade shows. In order to streamline this process, they pivoted their business to a two sided marketplace aimed at solving the pains of group travel between planners and suppliers.

For group planners, Reposite expands the amount of people that planners can plan trips for. It is a workspace and workflow tool, with tracking, uploading clients and documents, marketplaces, price comparisons, invoices, commission tracking, and networking. For suppliers, they can manage their information, get access to all the different planners on Reposite, and provide lead gens and prospects in one place.


Traveling Tribes Episode 14: Luke Ennis from WeTravel

Luke Ennis is the head of US and International Sales at WeTravel, and provides a detailed look into how travelers and destinations alike can take advantage of WeTravel to set up an easy system of payment for trips. Founded in 2016, WeTravel provides a complete booking and payment solution for multi-day and group travel companies of all sizes. They give clients an easy booking experience while also helping manage financials, payments to partners or bank, registration information, and client communication all in one place. Headquartered in San Francisco, with their second hub in Amsterdam, their team is driven to continuously improve their technology; ensuring that clients always have the best possible solutions at their fingertips. WeTravel is proud to work with thousands of multi-day travel companies on five continents, helping them convert their bookings faster and grow their business. With hundreds of millions in payments processed throughout our platform every year, let WeTravel be the right payment solution for your multi-day travel company.

Traveling Tribes Episode 13: Arden Joy from Her Adventures

A special guest joins us this week, Arden Joy is the Founder and Executive Director of Her Adventures, a women travel community looking to make a change in the way women travel. Tune in to learn how Her Adventures developed as an interwoven community of volunteers, writers, editors and travel enthusiasts that have a passion for making it safer and easier for women to travel. They are also a travel tribe that is focused on sustainable travel that supports the local community and the environment. If this Traveling Tribe sounds like the perfect fit for you or you would like to reach out to Arden Joy herself, visit the Her Adventures website and join the Facebook group.

Traveling Tribes Episode 12: Tom Ranieri from Pacuare Outdoor Center in Costa Rica

Presenting live from Costa Rica, the founder and owner of Pacuare Outdoor Center Tom Ranieri. Listen to how an outdoor travel expert expanded through a padnemic, develops custom tours for groups from 6th grade to adults, and encourages outdoor adventure and cultural immersion in Costa Rica. Established in 2003, Pacuare Outdoor Center is the #1 adventure company offering rafting, ziplining, mountain biking, and SupSurfing. Paired with ecolodges and Caribbean treehouse, they offer complete adventure vacation packages from two to eight days. Pacuare Outdoor Center is locally owned and operated, with guides who are locals and speak both English and Spanish. They are based out of Turrialba, the adventure capital of Costa Rica and just two hours from San Jose. To book your next adventure in Costa Rica or explore the outdoor center, follow this link to their website.


Traveling Tribes Episode 11: Jim Marini from Railbookers Group

Railbookers Group is the home of Amtrak VacationsRailbookers, and Yankee Holidays that travelers can utilize to build their ultimate rail vacation with choices of destinations, hotels, rental cars, dining and activities customized to your liking. Jim Marini is the Director of Sales and an industry expert that knows how to utilize train travel for vacations, and has a long history in the business. A worldwide rail operator, there are options from the United States to Canada, Europe and around the world. With rising gas and airline prices, train travel is the new trend. Jim Marini also talks business recovery for train travel, discussing recent awards, the company’s switch-over to virtual and the reaches into the travel industry that are now opening up for rail vacations. 

Traveling Tribes Episode 10: Mitch Bach from TripSchool

The CEO of TripSchool, Mitch Bach, presents his personal take on how to develop from being interested in travel to working as a tour guide. Earn insider knowledge on how you can develop your guide skills. Not only does Mitch cover essential tips for anyone starting out or curious about travel guide work, but expands on the industry travel trends everyone is looking forward to. 

You can find out more about TripSchool on their website.

Read about the Pathways Project that TripSchool sponsors.

Traveling Tribes Episode 9: Vicki Varela from Utah Office of Tourism

Vicki Varela is the Managing Director of the Utah Office of Tourism, and presents the many ways Utah kept its tourism numbers steady through the recent hardships many have been experiencing. She provides tips on where to go in Utah, as well as the ways groups can experience Utah and it’s many National Parks. With the international market looking to travel and experience America’s natural landscape, Utah is the place to go. Learn all about the ways Utah has expanded its welcome to all who wish to visit. 

Contact Vicki Varela

801-538-1369 |

Utah Website

Traveling Tribes Episode 8: Jonathan Elkoubi

Jonathan Elkoubi has been involved in the tourism marketing industry for over a decade, developing his expertise and strategy for predicting the upcoming trends in the travel market. With so many challenges and unexpected factors added on to travel, many travelers have turned to experts like Jonathan in order to know how to prepare themselves for travel. Along with travel trends, learn how AI and technology is shaping the travel industry, hear stories of Jonathan’s recent travels in New York and glean some tips for marketing your destination for travelers to feel safe and have a good time. You can find Jonathan Elkoubi on his LinkedIn profile.

Traveling Tribes Episode 7: Mike Marchev

Mike is one of America’s most refreshing and down-to-earth motivational speakers who owes his success to his ability to “connect” with his audiences. A sought-after convention speaker, corporate facilitator and personal business coach, Mike has been asked to share his views and feelings with audiences in 18 countries on five continents. He has been called on to re-energize employees in a variety of industries, including: telecommunications, real estate, investment banking, healthcare, import/export, automotive, manufacturers, scientific research labs, and various governmental agencies.

Contact Info:
Mike Marchev, CTC
Michael Marchev Associates
Phone: 848-702-1009

Traveling Tribes Episode 6: Mary Collins from Blue Fern Travel

Specializing in making the world a smaller place Mary connects people to community through stories, culture and of course food. After traveling all over the world, Mary realized the beauty of connecting to the local community and the importance of giving back. Combining these passions, Mary creates unique experiences and tours for individual guests, parties and private events, inviting people to learn more about their cities, their neighborhoods and their neighbors, all while giving back through a one-for-one food tour program.

Blue Fern Travel, formerly Carpe DC Food Tours is part of the Official Cherry Blossom Festival Washington, DC tour provider, Georgetown, U Street, 14th Street and DC food tour that helps feed local residents in need.

Follow this link for more information:

Traveling Tribes Episode 5: David Naczycz & Andy Maunder with WeVenture

David Naczycz & Andy Maunder are expert travelers with experience as tour operators and business developers. Their company, WeVenture, seeks to transform the way people experience a place, as either a resident or a visitor, by vastly improving the quality and sustainability of travel and ensuring that guests leave the places they visit better than they found them. WeVenture offers join-in day tours, custom & group tours, and multi day tours around the U.S with operations in 11 cities. The company was launched in 2009 and has since expanded to 10 more cities and served well over 300,000 guests. Follow this link for more information:

Traveling Tribes Episode 4: Sally Davis Berry

Sally Davis Berry is a professional travel industry trainer who specializes in helping tourism entities ramp up their group sales strategies. She’s honed her skills from previous experience at the Corning Museum of Glass, the Finger Lakes regional destination marketing organization and for an inbound receptive operator. Check out her monthly webinar and blog at Tribes listeners can save 15% on any of Sally’s training modules by using code Premier.

Traveling Tribes Episode 3: Peter Pantuso

A special feature at the American Bus Association Marketplace in Grapevine Texas. This special interview with President of ABA Peter Pantuso. With a year off from 2021 Marketplace, 2022 was bustling with business. Peter discusses the exciting opportunities developing for bus tour companies, opening the door in 2022 for group travel.

Traveling Tribes Episode 2: Jack Baumann

Jack Baumann, Founder and CEO of Guidester, is the person that can help you plan a trip to Europe. Jeff and Jack discuss the positives of having a personalized trip, as well as the current travel environment and areas of interest in Europe. Hear personal stories from Jack of his own travels through Europe, and find some inspiration for your next international trip.

Traveling Tribes Episode 1: Bob Cline of U.S. Tours

Jeff Gayduk of Premier Travel Media debuts his podcast, Traveling Tribes. Guest starring Bob Cline of U.S. Tours, they discuss the group travel business and how to succeed amid the rebound of the travel industry following an international pandemic.