Press

Beyond Grateful: Houston-Based Travel Agent Finds Her Way Post Hurricane Harvey

September 5, 2017 | Travel Market Report

“It seemed as though Hurricane Harvey came out of nowhere, and truthfully, I wasn’t prepared.” Like many in the greater Houston area, Brownell Travel’s Blaire Kochar wasn’t ready for what Hurricane Harvey was going to bring when it made landfall in her hometown of Houston last week. Read More >>


Luxury Travel Trends for 2018

August 22, 2017 | Independent

Over 5,600 industry experts descended on Las Vegas for the annual Virtuoso Travel Week conference. Ianthe Butt reveals the trends that got tongues wagging. Read More >>


Why take this trip, with these people, now?

August 21, 2017 | Travel Weekly 

When a client wants to take a vacation, one of the most natural questions an agent might address first is the where the client wants to go.But there are aspects of a trip that might be even more important, and Discover More, the travel-planning process developed by Brownell Travel in Birmingham, Ala., is designed to put the emphasis on more than just the “where” of travel. Read More >> 


Kerry Dyer Joins Brownell as Director of Talent Development

May 24, 2017 | Luxury Travel Advisor

Kerry Dyer, a celebrated luxury hotels executive, has joined Brownell Travel as director of talent development. Dyer, most recently director of sales & marketing with Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta and director of travel industry sales (the Americas) with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, will pioneer the role for Brownell. Read More >>


Get the story behind Birmingham’s century-old travel agency

May 18, 2017 | Birmingham Magazine

There are few things in Birmingham older than Brownell Travel.

Vulcan wasn’t sculpted until the 1904 World Fair. The historic Lyric Theatre wasn’t built until 1914, and across the street, the Alabama Theatre wouldn’t be built for another 13 years after. Even Sloss Furnaces, a company largely credited with pioneering the city’s development, only preceded Brownell by seven years. Read More >>


Want family travel to really count? Make a plan

May 22, 2017 | New York Times

When the first of her three children neared age 8, and school events and sports increasingly demanded the family’s time, Tracy Krechevsky, 52, a teacher in Wellesley, Mass., decided they needed a plan to make the most of their vacations. Read More >>


How Kristen Meckem Turned A Childhood Love of Travel Into a Career

March 3, 2017 | Travel Agent Central

Kristen Wile Meckem has no doubt what inspired her interest in travel. “When I was a little girl in the early seventies, my parents took us on a tour of South America in a VW pop top camper. It was so much fun, we repeated the trip through Europe. In those days, my parents had a poster that said, ‘Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true.’ Our family was always close, and those years together really added to it,” she tells Travel Agent. Read More >>


Why travelers are returning to travel agents

November 18, 2016 | USA Today

Sure it was fun, empowering, often money-saving in the early days, when online travel agencies like Expedia and Travelocity became a presence on the Web for price-shopping, and TripAdvisor, CruiseCritic and Hotels.com became fonts of reviews and opinions. Read More >>


Travel Agents Find Ways To Market Brexit

July 13, 2016 | Travel Market Report

Within days of Britain’s historic June 23 vote to exit the European Union, U.K. specialist Ellen LeCompte was emailing her travel partners in England to check into pricing and availability for a hastily arranged garden tour in early September. It’s an unusually short planning window. But LeCompte, an independent affiliate for Brownell Travel based in Richmond, VA, wanted to jump on the great values afforded by a plummeting British pound. Read More >>


Celebrating July 4 — in South America

June 15, 2016 | New York Times

Instead of a stateside getaway for the long July 4 weekend, why not get into a different kind of American spirit by heading to South America? Courtney Regan, a South America specialist at Brownell Travel, an agency in San Francisco, says that in July, the continent offers a variety of trips for every kind of traveler. Read More >>


Britain’s EU exit creates opportunity and uncertainty

June 14, 2016 | Travel Weekly

It’s too early to tell exactly how Britain’s vote to leave the European Union will affect the travel industry over the long term, but right now is a great time for Americans to visit the U.K. because of the plummeting British pound. Following the vote to leave the EU, the pound plunged to a 31-year low, falling about 10% in a span of a few hours. Read More >>


5 Droolworthy Summer Travel Destinations

April 13, 2016 | Style Blueprint

We just put away our spring break suitcases and we’re back to the daily grind, but that doesn’t mean we also have to pack up our travel dreams. Plus, a world-class vacation calls for world-class planning, which means you should start brainstorming your next great adventure now! Our local leaders in travel planning, Brownell Travel, share five stellar summer travel destinations, as well as their insider tips for getting the most out of each destination. Read More >>


A Lofty View

March 2016 | Virtuoso Advisor Insight

If you were to imagine a beautiful villa with sweeping sea views, just steps away from vibrant nightlife with top entertainment or a magnificent spa, you would only just begin to describe Royal Caribbean’s bi-level Oasis-class suites. Read More >>


An Odd Couple? Traditional Agent Finds Success Online

February 16, 2016 | Travel Market Report

Attracting new customers via the Internet is tough going for many travel agents. Converting online prospects into loyal revenue-generating clients is tougher still. Not so for travel consultant Jessica Ourisman of Ourisman Travel, an independent affiliate of Brownell Travel. Fully 90% of Ourisman Travel’s clients first come to the agency via the Internet. Read More >>


Anthem of the Seas review

December 2015 | Virtuoso Traveler

Claiming a host of first-at-sea features, Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class ships are as innovative as their name implies. As the line prepares to launch its third Quantum Class vessel, Ovation of the Seas, in spring 2016, we asked a Virtuoso Travel advisor to share her insights on its sister ship, Anthem of the Seas. Read More >>


OK, you’re an expert. But are you a designer of life?

August 24, 2015 | Travel Weekly

It wasn’t like a scene out of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”; it was breakfast at Tiffany’s. At 8:15 a.m., Linda Allen of Harrison, Ark., was standing in front of a display case filled with glittering bijoux of every shade, cut and clarity, surrounded by people sipping champagne and nibbling on passed plates topped with caviar and gold leaf. Read More >>


Offbeat Ways to Make Travel Affordable

Five Great-Value Cruises from U.S. Ports This Spring

March 19, 2014 | Conde Nast Traveler

These April and May voyages set sail from U.S. ports—which means many of you can drive to the ship. Here are my top picks when it comes to that hard-to-find combo of good itinerary and good price. Even better than the unusual cruise values for this summer are a few cruise deals that have popped up this spring. Read More >>


Found: Your Great-Value Summer Vacation

March 17, 2014 | Conde Nast Traveler

Dear fellow parents: Now that we’ve made it through planning spring break, we can turn our attention to summer vacation. One option to consider—since it will offer particular value for your dollar this summer—is a family cruise. Read More >>


Guilt Trip? Ease the Pain of Separation

January 2014 | The Costco Connection

For the parent who travels for business, nothing feeds guilt like a long goodbye with a sobbing child wrapped around his or her leg. Traveling away from the comforts and relative predictability of home can be stressful enough, but factor in a child’s anxiety and life “up in the air” can seem downright painful. Read More >>


Margret Propper Named Godmother of UN-CRUISE Vessel

May 2013 | Seattle PI

Unveiling UN-CRUISE Adventures for its combined fleet of upscale yachts and expedition vessels, InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises inaugurated two boats in time for a full summer of adventures in Southeast Alaska. Read More >>


America’s oldest agency is one of its most progressive

The owners of Brownell Travel of Birmingham, Ala., the oldest leisure travel agency in the U.S., have done something remarkable: They have created a cutting-edge service methodology and a model corporate culture, either of which could be featured at a TED conference or as a case study for the Harvard Business Review. Yet Brownell still embraces its 125-year-old principles, traditions and history. Read More>>


Biz hub Panama hopes to lock into leisure market, too

September 15, 2011 | Travel Weekly

Panama, for all its charms, is perhaps best known to U.S. travelers as a place to pass through on their way to somewhere else, whether via its famed, century-old canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans or the much newer Tocumen Airport, now Central America’s busiest transit air hub. Read More >>


imagesBrownell Travel

July 31, 2011 | Luxury Travel Advisor

Today’s face of Brownell Travel would be somewhat unfamiliar to its founder, Walter T. Brownell, who set up the company in 1887. The new headquarters, which opened this year, sits in one of the poshest retail districts of BirminghamAL, rubbing elbows with Brooks Brothers and Saks Fifth Avenue. Read More >>


Finding cruise deals in a recovering economy

February 18, 2010 | CNN

The jaw-dropping cruise deals of 2009 have all but dried up. This year travelers will have to work harder to find a way to save on floating escapes. Read More >>


Charting a New Path, Brownell Shifts Focus in Changing Travel Industry

December 8, 2006 | Birmingham Business Journal

Brownell may be one of the oldest travel agencies around, but it is by no means stuck in the past. Founded in 1887, the company has changed with the times, and as the evolution of online travel planning has absorbed business from standard full-service agencies, Brownell is thriving as a specialty operation catering to leisure travelers with a taste for far-flung adventure and upscale amenities. Read More >>


Brownell Travel Consultants Tapped to Sell the Ultimate Vacation – A Trip to Space

December 2006

Troy Haas, CEO of Birmingham-based Brownell Travel, and Vicki Upchurch, a Brownell Travel Consultant, have been chosen amid a select group of travel consultants in the country authorized to sell the next hot travel destination – Outer Space. Read More >>


OLD, BUT NOT OLD-FASHIONED

October 2, 2006 | Travel Weekly
After nearly 120 years in business, Brownell Travel, one of the country’s oldest travel agencies, has quietly unveiled a new name and logo. The intent is to more effectively convey the image of an upscale, service-oriented company, said Troy Haas, president of the Birmingham, Ala.-based agency. Read More >>


The luxury of a niche agency

February 14, 2005 | Travel Weekly

Customers looking for standard cruises wont find what theyre looking for at Leslie Fambrinis travel agency. And she wouldnt have it any other way — because Fambrini focuses on one sector of the cruise industry and one sector only: luxury. Read More >>


Making custom a custom

September 30, 2002 | Travel Weekly

Going ashore has many meanings. To a number of agents, it means customized excursions that yield additional earnings for the agency while providing more trip satisfaction to cruise customers. The concept is not exactly new. Ask Meg McGriff North, executive vice president of Brownell Travel in Birmingham, Ala., who said any “true consultant” with experience and connections has long been offering special land arrangements to discerning travelers. Read More >>


Home Away From Home, the offices of Brownell Travel

My Turnstone Blog

It’s rare that I come across a commercial office space that feels just like home. Sure there are elements that bring in a “homey” type vibe like your favorite colors from home or a piece of furniture. A lot of times when someone wants to bring in the feeling of home they do so in a not so aesthetically pleasing way. An entire office space that feels like home(and is stylish too), however is a bit more rare. Here is an inside view of the Brownell Travel, my favorite home away from home office space. Read More >>


Motivational Travel, The most Rewarding Perk

Business Alabama

In ever-tightening economic times, CEOs  must ask: Are corporate re­treats worth the expense?  Mary Pat Kaufmann,  Vice President of Brownell Motivation travel agency in Birmingham, says, “Even as budgets  are cut and expenditures decrease, many companies  continue holding corporate  retreats. “With a well-planned program, employees feel as though they’ve been treated to a luxurious, yet purposeful, vacation. A dull one might as well be another day at the office. Read More >>


Worldly Success, Brownell Independent Advisor Sam McClure

Travel Agent Central

For sheer audacity, it’s hard to beat Sam McClure’s niche: round-the-world travel for families. A year-long, 30-country trip, with small groups of friends and relatives occasionally join­ ing the core family for part of the trip, isn’t some­ thing you’ll find in any brochure. Read More >>