July 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Elle Bee Puts the Fun Back Into Travel

Teaneck—Everyone enjoys a vacation from time to time, but for many people, the hassle of actually planning and scheduling the trip can be a deterrent. For Teaneck-raised Lauren Cooper, founder of Elle Bee & Co, the planning and scheduling is a thrill. Having worked in television and film production since college, Cooper often scheduled and booked travel plans for the talent and crew. She always enjoyed it, but did not think of it as anything more than part of the job. Then, when planning her own vacations, Cooper focused on scheduling her vacations “to the minute,” as she referred to it, going so far as to map walking directions between different points to know exactly how long she should plan to spend on each activity.

When Cooper’s parents were considering a vacation of their own, they approached her and made her an offer to pay her as a vacation planner. She threw herself into it with enthusiasm, booking unique experiences, dinners, shows and other activities catered perfectly to their tastes. When they returned, they told Cooper that they were able to enjoy their trip, not just as a trip, but as a real vacation. They suggested she consider making a business out of her interest.

Though Cooper has been helping friends and family plan their vacations for over a year, she spent the past summer turning this passion into a business, putting together a website and social presence, and advertising in the Jewish Link. Almost immediately after she started advertising, phone calls started coming in from people who want to have a vacation they can enjoy, without the hassle of tedious research.

For Cooper, much of the enjoyment goes into the research behind the trip. “I enjoy planning trips to places I have traveled to. I know the area, I know what’s available,” Cooper said. “But,” she continued, “I love finding out about places I have never traveled to, and doing the extensive research required for such vacations.”

Cooper had worked with travel agents in the past, when booking for the production teams, but found that they often fell short of a customized experience that really speaks to the individual. For herself, she knows the necessity of kosher options and walking distance to shuls, and brings that to her clients as well. She can personalize it for anyone’s unique needs—family vacation with kids, no kids, a mix of both activities—any of those can be planned.

Clients fill out a questionnaire on her website which allows her to get a feel for the interests of the family. She has planned trips from the standard all the way to the “we want to experience it as if we live there, and not as if we are tourists” request. Cooper sends an activity list, where the client then ranks the activities in terms of interest, an itinerary can be reworked as many times as a client needs, with as many back-and-forth interactions as needed, “until my client is satisfied,” explained Cooper. In addition, the price determined at the beginning of planning has no hidden costs, so once the contract is signed, clients should feel confident in knowing that the fee is set.

Cooper makes sure that the vacation is not only fun, but safe as well. “Especially in this day and age, I take safety and security very seriously.” Cooper not only wants her clients to be safe, she wants them to feel safe with whatever itinerary she has planned.

With a variety of destinations to choose from, Cooper looks forward to the unique opportunity each vacation offers to her clients. As she said, “I can, so that they can enjoy their vacation, and it can truly be a vacation for them.”

Find Elle Bee & Co on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ellebeeandcotravel or https://ellebeeandco.com/travel-planning/.

By Jenny Gans

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