Local Women: Mary Schultz

Traveling has always been a pleasure for this retired elementary school teacher, but it has also proved to be a successful and rewarding business. Mary Schultz’s award–winning, East Lansing–based travel business offers everything from bus rides to Tigers games to tours of major US cities and landmarks. Q: HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH LET’S GO! TRAVEL? A: I first realized my passion for traveling when I spent a summer in Europe as a high school exchange student. The experience changed my way of viewing the world and I’ve had this drive in me ever since. When I began teaching I wanted to give my students the same opportunity to visit the places they were learning about. I started by taking my third–grade social studies class to Toronto, and the trip was so successful that I continued traveling to new locations with my students for the next 32 years. About 16 years into doing these trips the teachers approached me about going places without the kids, so that’s when I began planning adult trips and established Let’s Go! Travel. I didn’t always plan on owning a travel company, but it evolved from everyone having so much fun. Q: WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? A: There are a lot of travel agencies out there, but I’m a small, “mom and pop” business offering these trips to local residents. The touring companies plan the trips and I pick which ones I want to sell based on what I think my customers will enjoy. I choose about 15 different trips each year, including local and national bus tours as well as international trips. Regardless of where they’re going, my customers get to sit back and relax while I make all the arrangements. The prices are very reasonable and friendly tour guides are provided. I’ve had customers say that they’ve had more fun on these short, stress–free trips than on long, expensive vacations. Q: WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS LINE OF WORK? A: Making people happy. It’s a continuation of what I did with my third graders. Seeing the excitement on the adult customers’ faces when they see places they’ve never been is just as rewarding as it was with my students. When people get off the bus and say they had a wonderful time, that’s more payment than anything, just like parents saying their children loved being in my class. I’m not trying to compare prices or compete with other businesses; I just want to make myself and my customers happy. I want everyone to have the gift of travel.

Tags: Let's Go Travel, Local Women

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