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On the Rails

Experiencing the joys of travel by train

“I love my job!” That’s not something you hear every day, but for Kim Huber it’s a certainty. After 20 years in real estate and property management, her two years as a travel agent have been a dream come true.

Driven by her love of travel and extensive experience vacationing in the U.S. and abroad, Kim has taken her passion and transformed it into a successful career with Cruise Planners, a top travel franchiser. As a land and cruise expert, she’s worked with close to 100 clients and guided them through the complex maze of vacation planning.

Train trips are one of the more fascinating ways to see the world, she says, but it takes a savvy planner to help make the experience enjoyable from beginning to end. There’s a lot to consider.

“You can approach it two ways. Some people come to me and say ‘I want to go here, here and here. Piece it together for me. I’m not joining a group tour.’ Then you have people who want to join a tour. They want it all seamlessly taken care of from start to finish.”

Then the planning process moves to the level of experience they want, including seat and food service. “I always recommend people traveling with friends have their own private car. These don’t have to be sleeping cars, just a private car where you can have some privacy.”

According to Kim, a favorite destination is Alaska. “People love seeing the mountains and wildlife from glass-domed train cars. Denali Park is a top attraction.” Taking a train certainly beats being the designated driver and missing the amazing views, she noted. Another favorite excursion is a four-day trip that begins in Arizona with an overnight stay at a historic hotel. “Then you take the train to the Grand Canyon and stay a couple of nights at one of their resorts before returning.”

“I’m so happy with my career. I get to meet so many people and I always want to know the story behind every vacation. Why are they going? Who’s going and what are they celebrating? What’s the purpose behind the trip? What kinds of feelings do you want to have on this vacation?” she explains. “And then I get to help them create that story. Wow! If I can focus in on the story they’re trying to create, they’ll remember it forever. That’s what I enjoy most.”

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