Introducing Ruth Stirling, the owner of Ruth Stirling Travel!
Ruth Stirling Travel is a home-based agency. I have thirty plus years in the industry with the last twenty years dedicated to honeymoons and destination weddings. I became a home-based agent about twelve years ago when I found that traditional 9 AM – 5 PM hours in a storefront agency did not work well for the busy wedding couples. Working from home, I’m available by phone until 10 PM in the evenings and on weekends. I am available to meet clients when and where it is convenient for them. I have a high standard of customer service and include lots of little extra touches that can’t be found in a store-front agency.
How did you get started in this business?
I was a stay-at-home mom about to become a single parent and wanted to find a “fun” job. I attended college and graduated at the top of my class with an Associate’s Degree in Travel and Tourism. As the saying goes, the rest is history.
What differentiates you from other businesses in your field?
Because I am home-based, I am free to meet clients when it suits them, unlike storefront agencies with set hours. I am very customer service oriented, and my goal is to take a client’s dream and their budget and give them a trip with memories to last a lifetime.
I love the challenge each couple gives me. Everyone is different when it comes to expectations, ideas, needs regarding travel time, and budgets. I particularly like working with destination weddings – whether it’s just the couple going alone or traveling with friends and family.
What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a bride and how did you resolve it?
I always make sure a couple knows what documents are needed for an off-shore wedding. I got a call from the resort saying the groom had lost his birth certificate en route to the resort. I was able to convince the WV Bureau of Vital Statistics to send a copy of the groom’s birth certificate via overnight mail to Jamaica. Since that incident, I get documents ahead of the departure and send them to the resort by Certified Mail just in case.
From a vendor’s perspective, what is the best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
I actually have two pieces of advice. If they intend to travel out of the US, get passports immediately. Since the bride will be traveling under her maiden name, she can get her passport changed when she returns by producing her marriage license.
The second advice is to visit your travel agent before you set your wedding date! Check the location you are interested in to see what rates are like at different times of the year and what the weather may be like. You don’t want to spend your honeymoon looking out the window at rain!
I’m motivated by my clients. Each couple is very different, and I need to keep constantly updating and training regarding destinations so that I am able to give the best advice. Your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime trip!
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
I enjoy time spent with family and friends, travel and reading, and I’m always making plans for Christmas!
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I love my kitchen and am a “scratch cook” – nothing out of cans or boxes. I also love paper crafting. I make greeting cards and party favors.
Thank you, Ruth, for answering our questions! You can find out more about Ruth Stirling Travel by visiting www.ruthstirling.com.