The Bloom Living Podcast

Travel for Life | Monica Irauzqui SE05 - EP12

November 26, 2020 Thomas DeSchutter / Monica Irauzqui Season 5 Episode 12
The Bloom Living Podcast
Travel for Life | Monica Irauzqui SE05 - EP12
Show Notes Transcript

Monica Irauzqui is the Vice President and co-founder of Yampu Tours and YampGo. She started the company with her husband  22 years ago. Her travel experience comes from the firsthand knowledge that she has gained from multiple trips taken with her husband and two kids (so naturally, she is an expert in family travel).

Her eye for detail, a knack for knowing what clients will like and won’t like (even if she just met you), and her impeccable memory for remembering even the smallest bit of information, has made her one of the most trusted and skilled people in the Travel Industry.

Monica has been instrumental in creating a “client first” culture at Yampu Tours, https://www.yampu.com/.  She teaches classes to her staff on gaining and keeping trust.

The Mantra of Monica and her team at Yampu is to create lifetime relationships with their clients.  Yampu tours are private and authentic—no ‘cookie cutter’ experiences here!  Tours are one hundred percent customizable to your desires and wishes. Yampu thrives to stand behind you to ensure that everything goes according to plan – your plan.

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Thomas DeSchutter:

Hey there, welcome to the bloom living football? international football announcers were in a announced? than that. I decided to cut it short. Today we have a fantastic bout today, we're talking about ravel in the world of travel. otal rearrangement of the ravel industry and what can nto the holiday season, I can't elp but think that several nability to travel and that reaks my heart. with Monica, hings to focus on. And an nteresting piece that we talked ids as part of travel. And hat's something that my wife nd it's great for the kids. ome of my fondest memories of ey Monica Turetsky is the Vice resident and co founder of go with her husband. Her travel xperience comes from firsthand ith her husband and two kids. o naturally, she is an expert nowing what clients want, has ade Monica one of the very best w are you toda

Monica Irauzqui:

I'm fine. Thomas, how are you?

Thomas DeSchutter:

I'm very well. And where are you located? not very pleasant outside.

Monica Irauzqui:

Oh, I'm in Los Angeles. It's really beautiful.

Thomas DeSchutter:

Nice. Nice, nice, nice. I was excited when I does all of the bookings and etc. And the reason I was been doing this for over 20 years. And of course with COVID. And so I'm curious, like, I don't I don't want to drill down you want to say about the travel industry right now from your the focus might be going forward?

Monica Irauzqui:

Well, first of all, if you have any friends or with a hug. Because it's really I mean, I've never experienced started the company, um, you know, just a couple years later, then there was 2008, and we truck through that, you know, so business life. Basically, we sell international travel, and devastating. So what we did, because we've always been busy, hot. We never have that slow season that many businesses get. know, Winter is coming. You know, we're This is our slow to there's tons of countries that we were selling, that we all of those we've added probably 12 countries. We've States. The format just didn't really work with our, our these great national parks. These wonderful itineraries animals safaris, you can do an animal Safari in Yellowstone. So and the United States. So we've been really busy adding new eight people who want to get in the travel business, but don't have a lot of students right now, because I can't promise the air time when, you know, it takes six months to learn. So And so that's what we've been doing is this using this as a person I know, says, Get me out of here as soon as I can go. As

Unknown:

So you're pretty much expecting that there's going to dodge.

Monica Irauzqui:

Yes, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Um, I was talking to selling like crazy right now. So I think people still have money,

Thomas DeSchutter:

Mm hmm. So some of the terminology you use. kind of Greek to me, in the travel world, I've usually country, or we've added a property, from your perspective, just like, Oh, well now go here, or are you adding contacts there

Monica Irauzqui:

So we've added the trip details to the website, hotels, the drivers, the guides, any kind of special experiences, So all of this kind of details, all the entrance fees, sometimes all of this is goes into what we call an itinerary. And the our clients, we they come to us and they'll say, Monica, I want together the itinerary with everything, they don't even have just say here's I'm Monica, Monica, I want to go to Kenya, there's 10 of us put something together. So and then I just do to like 20 different websites and booking you know, different you know, maybe you're booking a tour all a cart, that so yummy wholesale rates that you can't buy, because we're a wholesale okay, so we put put together these private tours, so they're us. Imagine a nice car with a your own driver and guide. In countries, it will be a driver guide. And they'll pick you up you're spending as a more on the front end, you're not pulling and shopping,

Thomas DeSchutter:

right? So you're really you're really individual but really like from what I sort of saw on your taking that and just saying we're gonna you know, you tell offer, and then you're going to put together everything for and show up.

Monica Irauzqui:

Yeah, well read the documents. People don't read

Thomas DeSchutter:

Okay, so I'm cutting it down just a little person is not going to be responsible to, you know, land get transportation to their first

Monica Irauzqui:

job. Everything is taken care of that for them. process than others. Some people know me so well. They Big, just it up for them. And it's very few changes some clients is a planning. And I like that I, every single itinerary will be websites is basically an idea to spark your imagination.

Thomas DeSchutter:

Right? Right. So you get the interest, and that's gonna sort of fit what they've told you how important I'm sure longtime clients, you know a lot more about them, how important is it for you to kind of get a sense of who

Monica Irauzqui:

they are. It's really important. You know, Bahamas, which is not my specialty, because Bahamas itineraries tend to move a lot more and have a lot more as I started researching and finding all the prices, I found So I need to know that client well, so that I'm not just she would like,

Thomas DeSchutter:

right. So you have to kind of remove yourself great. is not

Monica Irauzqui:

the issue here. Exactly. Is that I mean, most appreciate my tastes and my, my vetting process. But yes, you morning and use the full day some clients don't like to leave person I'm talking I'm talking with and I'm working with. Some own. Others like to have every moment planned. I like to know a hike to them five miles, you know, things like this, do they kind of physical problems that I need to know about when it and up balloon over the Masai Mara, for example, in Africa, You know, if it's a child, I need to know if it's a balancing have a hike in Peru Kawan up when I wouldn't let my my son go he was little he would have probably bounced right off into bouncy boy that we need to like, put on a wider trail, you know. details about my family, and my couples and people that I work

Thomas DeSchutter:

Right. Good? And how like, how involved are there's sometimes issues with people's passports? like is this Yeah,

Monica Irauzqui:

I need to know every detail. So what we do is sure they have enough time on their passport. And that's as much. And so a client had a problem. So then after that we has been learning by sometimes, you know, something comes up and so you have to learn from your mistakes. So now we check every anything is not right on their passport, we highlight it and a new one. We don't actually do visas for people that we can put information. So they know they need the visa. You know, they we're going to give them a point by point document when they book trip and then we also sell trip insurance which can help if ever had And, you know, so that would be a big thing. So we have that say something happens when they're on their way to the their all the stuff that they kept canceled it, you know, that because that's what drives a lot of people crazy that try to work little details. And if you get one detail wrong, is like

Unknown:

Domino's. Right? It could be a cascading challenge,

Monica Irauzqui:

Yeah. If you don't catch that their passport they can't get on the plane, and then they miss their Galapagos issues. So you really have to, we're really sticklers For over everything. And we have actually, it's kind of like single itinerary that gets booked. Right, so that those

Thomas DeSchutter:

Yeah. So there's there's double, triple

Monica Irauzqui:

the idea is to make sure that we've got problems. So the kind of problems I want to be responding whole city is shut down. That's something that I couldn't experienced to hop in and like, change everything, and manage, missing each other because of the problem. Yeah, so that's ever have to solve problems that we could have caught before.

Thomas DeSchutter:

Right? You want to be managing the controlled off the top.

Monica Irauzqui:

Exactly, exactly. So if you look on our because that's kind of our efos, our EPA says, you know, we don't costs of getting a client for the first time and then them clients come back every year. Right? You know, and in order to know, every trip that we do needs to be their best trip

Thomas DeSchutter:

right. And so, on that note, could you work with somebody up in Canada? Or do you just strictly work

Monica Irauzqui:

No, absolutely. We have clients in Canada, we East, we have clients all over the world. That's a great thing when, you know, Google click were like a new thing. And yeah,

Thomas DeSchutter:

Plus, when Google click was a new thing, stuff was it, and it's kind of it's amazing now. So just like a top three things that come up for people that you've you've you've dealt with that kind of like the top three nature?

Monica Irauzqui:

Well, the top three emergency calls I get are, one's nothing we could have prevented. It's the airlines, hardest to deal with another first experience a client has. out of your control. So when we can book the clients that at and to reroute things, and to and to be notified. So they may the flight is canceled, we'll get a notification and we call reorganize, you know. So that's the biggest thing that happens Like we've had typhoons. We've had earthquakes much slides. So third. The second is probably civil unrest.

Unknown:

Okay,

Monica Irauzqui:

so I have a group of guys that I work with, take these great adventure tours. And the first day they And I think there were even smoke bombs being flown around have my cell phone number. So they were all texting me and you know, get them up really early in the morning and take them out into the Patagonia which before they were going. So third is natural disasters. But as far as the clients making you know, so like, if you needed something, if you were supposed to the airport, and that's when you're reading your documents. all clients do that. Just Just Just a few that I come to mind.

Unknown:

Just a few that don't read the fine print.

Monica Irauzqui:

Yeah. On the way to the airport, like I need break within a month ago.

Thomas DeSchutter:

That's funny. That's funny. What is now with things? Like is there is is going to other countries right around booking? Or is it just perceived? Like my I guess my nobody wants anybody to come to their country, and trying to get hassle. Would you say that is the experience right now? Or is

Monica Irauzqui:

So it was that way for a while for a long while didn't feel safe, even leaving their house and we weren't where we're learning to manage, you know, we started by going to gloves. And, you know, Trader Joe's washes down the cart for house. And then it was where we put a restaurant outside. Then domestically, because we're putting all this us trips going and getting on a plane, seeing that the airport to People when you stand in line to go through customs, they're show this, the guy is security, put it back on. And there's you flights. So the next thing I'm going to feel safe doing is Mexico. I haven't been international yet. But a lot of nobody traveling and everyone staying home, everyone's It's It's terrible. And a lot of the countries that we sell, they we're getting, you know, for furloughed so these people need open up peruser opening in October, Ecuador is already Ecuador. A Tahiti is open Africa i think is a great trip. When get there, you're attentive camps, no elevators, no crowds. see wildlife. You know when you do a walking Safari, Jeep excited about Africa. Costa Rica, Mexico is open. I'm so And to me, that's really great. So what I would suggest to responding in your own state, then maybe go to another state. Utah, in the last few months, and I'm starting to feel really and the biggest danger to her was herself, because she doesn't here. It doesn't work anyway. Right. Yes, yeah. Yeah. So, um, yourself now. Right? If you wear your mask, and you stand six doing that you want turn around and walk the other way away from basically, right now. Stay away from crowds, stay outside, go to

Thomas DeSchutter:

Yeah. Yeah, outdoors. I'm fortunate I live the great outdoors every morning, you know, Africa 2019, that my brother in law and my sister in law live in Kenya with spent, you know, three plus weeks. And we had them as our places on the Indian Ocean. And just have a great time we did a traveling I've done that I've done that has been an absolute were just talking about this literally a couple of days ago favorite part was the safaris and being in the vehicle with middle of the bush. Yeah, like taught like it was and the the don't you know, all of your luggage is like, nobody lets you great experience. And the reason I bring that up is because you idea of homeschooling your kids, as travel experiences with with share, you know what you think that could look like for right on the ground of going places.

Monica Irauzqui:

So I noticed this when I i've always traveled Costa Rica, and we were going up on a hike. And the kids stopped, scorpion, which was 1000 times more weight than one little ant off. And they just thought that was the neatest thing. And if and you need to teach them science and you need some know, that one school that my daughter went to a new york they and they incorporated her writing and reading and her think is just great for the right family is to go to Ecuador places that is offering us a great deal is Hacienda zoo. leta the United States. So this is a beautiful old home used to be lives there and they'll still come down and have a meal with so the each family has its own section. And they're giving a condors. And this is really neat. There's a guy there. He's them. So you can send your kids up there to learn about saving what are the problems that they're facing? So you learn go and make cheese, they can go learn to weave, they have high also do your home schooling. And then you have all these studying the condors, and making cheese. And so that's one thing weeks, you get this half price, great deal. And then another cloud forest lodge That is amazing. And the cloud for So So and the cloud forests has amazing birds that you can study there. I have a great picture of me standing with a leaf and the plants just go crazy in this area. And then what I would do you could study all of these. So my daughter when when she was Galapagos and there was something happening, and I from us. So it was my daughter that said, Mom, that bird is looked, and that's that was happening and then right. So York setting about birds. And then she noticed is how great it life happening. And then an albatross comes down and tries mouth. And so this within it was just like this burn crazy war the kids they learn to their learning by being there and their classroom, you know, you know, but when you're out really So that's one idea that I have for a family that has a month and then how to lose great real life experiences that teach

Thomas DeSchutter:

Yeah, we're speaking about travel with idea of kids. And we've done a little bit of that. So I'll homeschooled for a number of years. And so when we moved, we of moving into our new house, we had some renovations done, we beaches of France. And we ended up studying at this point, the happened is my my wife had read The Diary of Anne Frank with the because they were so enthralled with the story. So it actually of jealous because I know, I learned about all that stuff in it's so different to be on the ground. And to go to one of the as a family, you know, we all had tears running in our like, my kids will always have been impacted by that level of Another thing to be there and actually see it and take in the

Monica Irauzqui:

I'm so happy you did that. That that's an remember forever.

Thomas DeSchutter:

Yeah, it that and, and then the other thing is went to New York as well. And we went to the Museum of Modern all of the Campbell Soup collections. And we get back to girls are going to one of those four cats art classes that they picture on an overhead projector of one of the Campbell's soup Warhol collection of the Campbell's soup cans. And my I at this time. And they they're like, yeah, we were actually

Unknown:

it was kind of funny. Yes,

Thomas DeSchutter:

yeah. But it was a, it was so cool that that art class. And that was part of the conversation, right? And so and of artwork from a different level. And I feel so blessed

Monica Irauzqui:

makes you like a rock star two, because you put they're they think my parents really know, do know what, what, through, I don't know if they've, your kids have reached through their education. Occasionally, they'll come back mom.

Thomas DeSchutter:

Yeah, it's funny. Not that we got on a call myself, right, how I am at the stage now where they question it's funny, because it's exactly what they're thinking and there as well. So I fully expected and I'm like, yeah, of anything. And then you'll realize one day we actually move

Monica Irauzqui:

Well, they'll they'll look back on all these into their adulthood. You know, and I think that travel is a that to different cultures, and that there's nice people in hmm.

Thomas DeSchutter:

Yeah, well, and it's inclusivity. Right, the the thought process of inclusivity. Yes, we are his blue dot, you know, like, this, is it like, yeah, this is care of it. And we need to take care of each other in order to

Monica Irauzqui:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I mean, the people are know, people being kind to them, and they don't grow up with hate

Thomas DeSchutter:

Yeah, you know, that's a great point, I came across people that had far less than what we have over Yeah, I wish that they could drink water from and the smiles many people that I've met in my life over here that just think beauty of life. And that was a huge lesson to see firsthand.

Monica Irauzqui:

Yeah, I agree with you, I, I did a volunteer. 12. And we went to volunteer to school and build a little balls of water and sandwiches and hand just handing out the beautiful spot that looks like I gave him an iPad or something. too. You know, we've taken them to our homes in the Andes where, one room from this little black stove. And, and, and my kids, York and you know, they were they were really young, maybe pigs running all around the house and it was really good for too because they get to know us, we get to know them. And we're some of the happiest people, this is another story where my we were driving through this area, there's just trees, you my son again, we were coming from New York at the time. And shoes, no shirt, riding a bike, and there was like a mule, and a thought that was so beautiful. And it really is, you know, some the moment. They're living really simple lives. But they're no llamas, and no guinea pigs. And they're happy. And, we're all learning here in our modern society that needs to

Thomas DeSchutter:

absolutely. Gratitude, right? Yeah. I'm what was the you know what this made you guys decide? You wanted

Monica Irauzqui:

So my husband and I traveled to Machu Picchu. did Machu Picchu was one of them. I think it was the first companies selling tours to Machu Picchu at the time. The they had then. And but I had wrote about I really wanted to go. So we couple of ideas. One was to start a shoe business because family for five years. And we were in New York. And the other what we did with other people, and do and help them do it. And to rent a store in the Lower, lower east side, which was an up lease, because they wanted him to, to sign a personal or didn't want to sign the lease. So then we just started the lease changed her life. Because since then, so we added Peru every year, we added two to five new countries. And so we would details, get all the contacts and come back and design that's how we we now sell 60 countries.

Unknown:

Wow.

Monica Irauzqui:

What does a beautiful life and I appreciate

Thomas DeSchutter:

Yeah, it sounds like you know, you just going to just alter your life and you know, a life changing you still friends with this lawyer?

Monica Irauzqui:

I don't know. I don't think so. Okay, it's

Thomas DeSchutter:

just one of those. That's awesome.

Unknown:

Yeah. Yeah.

Monica Irauzqui:

He hired, you know, to help them read this,

Thomas DeSchutter:

It's awesome. What does yangpu Stanford,

Monica Irauzqui:

so originally, our name was kontiki, after the Peru, and establishing that these two civilizations are that grows around lakes in the high Andes. And the raft was flow line, I mean, the raft is called yopu, and the cash flow Europe that does young people towards at the time, and So we needed to get a more unique name to differentiate because it kind of keeps the theme of continued And it's

Thomas DeSchutter:

Yeah, that's awesome. Maybe this is a Monica, can get in touch with you and how they can find you in order. looking at level looking at vacation, or if there's somebody people find you? How can people reach out to you?

Monica Irauzqui:

Oh, sure. So, um,

Unknown:

first, our

Monica Irauzqui:

company name is y A, and like Mary p u yopu. And there's email, there's a form you can fill out, whatever you right on our website. And I am Monica Rouse key experiences, I And that's where I put I put all my personal adventures that I personal photos there. Yahoo also has an Instagram page, and me just Google my name, you'll find me and, and then I also travel, I'll have you put the link there is kind of long, in do what I do. And you can run the trips through our company, everything. But I'll just teach you how to plan it and market

Thomas DeSchutter:

Awesome. And it's yangpu.com. And so you said trips that you're that you that you promote? Have you done all so one of the advantages, or one of the, I guess one of the great experience these things, these events, and then come back and other people. So you've in a lot of cases, you've gone on these

Monica Irauzqui:

Yeah, I prefer to sell the places that I've and unique properties of small properties. I love working with will I love to travel and love to experience all that and share about it. Mm hmm.

Thomas DeSchutter:

Awesome. We have been speaking with Monica

Unknown:

That's correct.

Thomas DeSchutter:

Yeah. And is it yahoo.com or Yahoo tours? we'll put everything in the show notes. Is there anything you'd capture everything? Um,

Monica Irauzqui:

just, you know, thank you for listening. And I it, you know, just be safe, wear your mask, stay six feet apart. beautiful things to see and beautiful people to me. Awesome. to ask you

Thomas DeSchutter:

travel with flights right now? Are they more finding that pricing is pretty much normal as it was before?

Monica Irauzqui:

It depends on your dates. If you're going at the airlines are have fewer flights. So you might come up And so and like I was just looking for Christmas, actually Vermont, and I found pretty decent prices for us right now. awesome. It really depends on where you're going. When and the airline that services that like some airlines may have gone then they might go the prices might go up. I noticed some of clients like I check my favorite Hotel in Mexico like 20 $100 a not slashing prices.

Unknown:

They're not they're not

Thomas DeSchutter:

discounting. Right. Yeah. Awesome. Well, it.

Unknown:

You're welcome.

Monica Irauzqui:

Thank you really great house and I really

Thomas DeSchutter:

And thanks so much to you for joining in and hope you have yourself an amazing day. We look forward to of our previous episodes. And if you're so inclined, give us a really appreciate that. All the best. Stay blessed. Namaste.