Meet This Week’s Mom Boss Monday Featuring: Kariann Iannizzotto of Zotto Travel!
Kariann Iannizzotto is a mama I met through the world of networking & socially as well in our town. I found out she was friends with a friend of mine as well as my cousin. We talk & share business tips, tricks & advice. She has built an exceptional travel business helping so many families take their dream vacations! I can’t wait to share her story with you!
1) Name: Kariann Iannizzotto
2) Where are you from: Originally from NYC, I’m now living in Central New Jersey
3) What is your business name/info? My business name is Zotto Travelfirstname.lastname@example.org
4) How did you get involved with Zotto travel?
I’ve always had a love of travel, seeing new places, and experiencing new cultures and cuisines. After college, I went to Florida to workat Walt Disney World where I was trained in how to create magical experiences for guests at any moment. I also learned how to make the most of your time while in Disney. It was truly a magical experience for me and will always be my second home. From Disney, I went back to NYC and worked in corporate business management and quality assurance.
Once I had children, I learned that travel wasn’t as easy. The airports were especially tricky, and the resorts were not always accommodating for children with different needs – whether it be sensory, dietary or mobility. I thought to myself that travel should be fun and available to people of all abilities. It was at that moment that I knew it was my time to get back into the travel industry.
At first, I worked for another agency to learn the ropes. After a couple of years, not yet feeling fulfilled, I decided to open my own business, Zotto Travel, where I knew I could take things to the next level. At Zotto Travel, we specialize in luxury, family and group travel along with honeymoons, plus we’re certified in autism travel! My agency helps create amazing experiences for our clients and I am so lucky to be able to do what I love!
5) What are the biggest challenges you face in your business?
The biggest challenge is always getting the word out about your business. Referrals are huge, and when my happy clients refer their friends and family to me, I am so grateful.
There is also a misconception out there about travel agencies. Some people think that travel agencies aren’t needed when you can just book online yourself. Yes, some agencies just book a trip, accept payment and send you on your way, but that’s just not how we do things at Zotto Travel. We’re a full-service planning agency that does so much more. We’re here to learn the needs and desires of each client and to get them the best personalized vacation experience and value for their budget.
We’ll design your ideal itinerary, and personalize your trip, using our knowledge, contacts and personal experiences. We anticipate any hurdles that you’ll run into ahead of time and can make special requests on your behalf, as well as including special perks and VIP benefits. We are also certified in autism travel to make travel as comfortable as possible for those families needing a little extra care.
My team works with our clients from the very first meeting, until after travel, with personal service that you cannot get by booking online. We take the stress out of the time-consuming planning process, so you can get started relaxing before you’ve even packed.
We also work very closely with the management of our travel properties throughout the process, and if a problem arises while you’re traveling, you have my team to back you up. When you use the online sites, or book with a property directly, it isn’t always an easy experience and you get what you pay for. When the inevitable problems arise, without the backing of an agency, those sites and properties aren’t going to be the easiest for you to navigate especially if you’re out of the country.
6) How do you manage your time effectively?
When running a business, there’s always action and it can be 24/7 sometimes. For travel, I have the most amazing travel planners and suppliers that assist with ensuring our clients have the most memorable experiences.
For home life, it’s important to carve out time with family as much as possible, even if that means shutting the phone and just stepping away from the computer sometimes. When there are school breaks, I make sure to plan experiences to create special memories for me and my family. Of course, it also helps to delegate when needed – special shout-out to my hubby!
7) Tell us about a challenge you faced & overcame!
You know the saying, “expect the unexpected.” No matter how much a trip is planned, sometimes things just happen. One special set of our clients were stuck during a vacation due to a huge snow storm back home. Many flights were cancelled, and the clients were told by the airline that the earliest they could leave was 3 days later! This was obviously a huge issue because they had to get back to work ASAP! I worked with our clients, and the airlines, and was able to get them onto the next flight out the following day. Those are the kinds of perks that you get from our personalized travel planning services.
8) Who inspires you & why?
My mom inspires me because she always put her family first. The days, weeks, and years fly by and it is so easy to get caught up in the routine of school for the kids, work and chores. My mom taught me to take a step back when things get hectic, be grateful for what we have and to just enjoy life. Go ahead and take those vacations and create special memories with your family away from the stress of everyday life. It’s so worth it because you can’t get the time back.
9) What do you do for fun?
You may have guessed… for fun, I LOVE to travel!! Turks and Caicos, Aruba and Disney are my family favorites and I hope to take my family to Europe soon. When staying local, I love to experience new restaurants, shows and the beaches of the Jersey shore.
10) What makes you a MOM BOSS?
Raising children and running a successful business is no easy task, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It takes time, dedication, hard work, patience… and a little bit of pixie dust ✨
**How can we find you?
Ready to start planning your next amazing vacation experience?! Follow and contact Kariann of Zotto Travel!
Kariann@zottotravel.com – 732-659-9990