A stress-free vacation with the help of a local travel agent

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By Hannah Curran, Editor-in-Chief

TRUSSVILLE – Vacations are meant to be a time of relaxation and serenity, but vacation planning can be stressful. Clarissa Ojeda-Winchester, Reader’s Choice 2021 Trussville Tribune Favorite Travel Agent, has found a new home base at the Cahaba Building on Main Street in Trussville and helps vacationers whenever she can.

Clarissa Ojeda-Winchester (Photo courtesy of Clarissa Ojeda-Winchester)

Ojeda-Winchester has been an agent since 2016 and has worked at Cruise Planners since 2019. She will now offer a walk-in public agency at the Cahaba Building.

“I bought my own Cruise Planners franchise in the summer of 2020,” Ojeda-Winchester said. “Since then, I have been running my own travel agency during this time.”

Ojeda-Winchester explained that Cruise Planners was founded in 1994 and is a network of 2,500 travel agents, and she stressed that it was not about multi-level marketing (MLM), but a model of franchise.

Don’t let the name fool you as Ojeda-Winchester can help you plan your vacation on land or sea wherever you want.

“We can do cruises, land trips, theme parks, river cruises (domestic and international), ski trips, custom trips and group trips,” Ojeda-Winchester said. “There just isn’t much we can’t do.”

One of his earliest memories is of being on a plane traveling anywhere and everywhere.

However, it wasn’t her love of travel that drove her to become a travel agent, it was her children who she homeschooled. Ojeda-Winchester has been homeschooling her kids for 18 years, and she wanted to share how to travel and homeschool at the same time.

“I created a homeschooling travel resource that has 4,000 Facebook followers,” Ojeda-Winchester said. “We’ve done over 200 field trips from Mexico to the local zoo.”

She wanted to make sure she was providing the best opportunities for homeschooling students. She knew there was no one to advocate home travel, so she applied to a local travel agency to learn the trade. The answer she received shocked her more than she thought.

Along with the Facebook page, she also created a website called fieldtripsrushomeschooling.com and introduced it to the travel agency.

“They were like, ‘Oh my God, you’re already a travel agent, you don’t know that yet,'” Ojeda-Winchester said. “They hired me immediately and I trained there.”

Ojeda-Winchester said that although home travel was not a known niche at the time, it was a much needed niche in the Birmingham area.

Clarissa Ojeda-Winchester (Photo courtesy of Clarissa Ojeda-Winchester)

“I didn’t know how much, so when I started doing these travel groups/events, we had 300 people signing up to go on our group trips to Disney and Universal and our home cruises” , said Ojeda-Winchester. “I had clients, homeschooled parents, who came from Las Vegas and Chicago, and they came from all over.”

From this experience with the homeschool travel group, she began to become a travel agent for anyone who needed it.

Ojeda-Winchester’s favorite part of her job is not the opportunities to travel, but the educational elements that come with travel.

She is also a member of the Trussville Daybreak Rotary and Trussville Chamber and Publicity Chair of Trussville Area Lions, and she participated in the Trussville City Fest. Additionally, she was a travel columnist for The Alabaster Newsletter magazine and a former Disney cast member.

Ojeda-Winchester will host travel parties themed around various travel excursions on the rooftop entertainment area of ​​the Cahaba building for anyone interested in travel.

For more home travel information, visit fieldtripsrushomeschooling.com, and if you’d like to book Ojeda-Winchester to plan your next vacation, visit www.cooltravelmemories.com and call her at 205-873-8621, or drop by visits him at The Cahaba Building in Suite 108.

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