These days, all we can do is dream about laying on a beach. We practice safe social distancing to slow the transmission of the virus, but we’d be lying if we weren’t thinking about the day when we will safely travel off to somewhere sunny.
Travel has always been a way to escape from the mundanity of every day, as we’re compelled to explore new places. But knowing just where to find the perfect white sand beach, or all-inclusive resort isn’t always the easiest process.
Entrepreneur Christine Drinan loves to travel more than anything, and in 2010, she started Galavante to take the guesswork out of vacationing. Created out of a pure passion for travel, Galavante is a curated travel service where members can enjoy the best of the best resorts, restaurants, and experiences all over the world.
Noticing a need for more information
Before creating Galavante, Christine worked in Finance on Wallstreet, but she spent every weekend visiting her husband who worked in Europe. Though she had weekday obligations in New York, every Saturday and Sunday she found herself in new amazing places. She didn’t have the freedom to spend days exploring.
And yet, in cities like Venice and Copenhagen, she still wanted to eat at the best restaurants and see the hot spots. When she looked for suggestions, she found websites that catered to retirees or backpackers, all of whom were able to spend time in villas or on long day trips that she didn’t have time for. When it came to finding new chefs and vetted attractions for her and her husband to enjoy on a Saturday afternoon, there was little online.
Galavante is an exclusive resource for finding the best places to stay all over the world. Those who become members gain access to exquisite resorts and amenities across the globe, as well as concierge services to make booking a breeze, and insights on unique local attractions. Working jet-setters and other younger couples find exactly what they’re looking for, be it a private bungalow in South Africa, or a great budget-friendly hotel that still has the best view of the city skyline.
Authentic, well-researched travel experiences
Galavante has inspiration for every aspect of travel and Christine makes sure that when members come to her, they feel taken care of like family. Galavante works because Christine stops at nothing to put in the work; the places on Galavante’s recommendation lists are thoroughly researched. Wherever she is in the world, she is waking up early and trying all the restaurants, not just the most popular. She talks to locals to find what’s current and incorporates their suggestions with her own insider perspective. She also isn’t out to break her members’ banks; her recommendations may not be the most expensive, but they will be the most authentic.
Even before joining as a member, viewers can learn loads of information on her site about different travel destinations. Her site includes travel-show-inspired videos where she gives everything from expert tips on choosing caviar, to virtual vacations at some of her favorite hotels.
Before booking, guests can peruse the wealth of options in detail, weighing everything from local cuisine to individual resorts’ outdoor baths. She, like most people, loves Anthony Bourdain, but she doesn’t give him too much credit and is sure to note that sometimes he misses the heart of culture.
Galavante never misses. Through a rigorous itinerary that includes recs from celebrities, she finds what makes each place unique and celebrates its heritage, as well as trends in culture. Often when a restaurant gets really famous, chefs from that restaurant open up their own places nearby, which turn into equally unmissable hot spots.
A leap of faith to establish an in-depth database
Although now the owner of Galavante, Christine had to make the hard decision to start her company and leave a top-notch position in finance. At her former company, she realized that her true passion was in travel. Other execs were excited by projects at the firm, and she realized that she would only ever feel that way about traveling.
But she doesn’t regret her journey at all, and she utilized the strategies she learned in finance to build her company strategically. Galavante is a product of careful planning and hours spent running numbers, all of which she put before an advisory board made up of her husband and closest friends. Once she was sure it would be viable, she started to put her plans into action.
If all of the craziness in the world ends, Galavante is the best source for finding anything travel. And if now is the time for a bigger life change, Christine’s path is the perfect example of embracing true passion to build a successful business.
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