Many people believe the rich and famous have it made when they travel. They imagine a life full of first class, 5 star hotels, gourmet dining and living the high life. Maybe if more knew the ins and outs of what they really goes on, they wouldn’t think it was all it’s cracked up to be. Every rag-mag I see while I am grocery shopping shows some star photographed at the airport, on a plane, at the beach, or on vacation. When I see this I just wonder how, why, who is giving them this info.
I handle travel for some of these rock stars, and a few actors as well. Some bands are just starting out, some are on the verge of making their name, and others have already hit the big time being featured in Billboard or the big screen. To me, how big or how small means nothing–everyone gets the same personalized service.
My rockers would probably not agree that travelling is any fun. Last minute flights, massive amounts of equipment, instruments having to get checked as luggage are only the tip of the hassle iceberg. Throw in tour buses that have most likely seen better days, securing English speaking drivers for foreign gigs, dealing with the TSA & airlines when travelling under a pseudo-name and the unrelenting paparazzi stalking you at most major airports. There is something to be said for seclusion.
My job entails being on call for these clients 24/7. While I am not traveling with them, they need to worry about being anonymous so they aren’t attacked by crazed fans or groupies at every turn. And to make their life easier, I need to worry about setting up airport lounges, working with tour schedules, shipping equipment, finding the instruments they need for the gig that the airlines lost. It’s all in a day’s work for me. I don’t escort them to the gates, but if asked, it would fall on me as well.
For today’s rockstar or celebrity, finding someone they completely trust is one of the most important tasks. They trust me with all of their personal information—names (real and assumed), family contacts, itineraries, business contacts, and more. My worst fear is having one of my clients being featured in a not so flattering way on TMZ.com. Thankfully no one has, and I pride myself on that!
I love what I do and I take my job seriously. Is my job for everyone? Not at all! Do I have and super secret fan-girl moments? Of course! But I would rather have my walls adorned with personalized autographed photos or concert tickets than lose their respect. I treat them like people, not like rock stars—and that is the difference. Everyone deserves privacy and a way to travel without being front page news.
Lisa Rapavi is a Corporate Travel Agent for The Leaders Group based in Montvale NJ. She is a home based working from her home in PA. She has been an agent for over 18 years, working in all facets of travel, but focus’ her travel skills in the corporate travel arena. Lisa can be contacted at L.Rapavi@tlgtravel.com