Peg: You’re a professional mover by now, aren’t you?
Steph: Oh my, yes we are! We have moved 6 times in 10 years! Josh and I met in Los Angeles in 2009 and started moving around in 2010. Our first move together was to Memphis, TN, then to Naples, Chicago and Seattle twice.
The Sixth Move
Peg: What did you think, be honest, when you heard that you were moving to CLE?
Steph: HA! Ok… well, when I first got the call I said NO WAY! It really didn’t have much to do with Cleveland itself, although I’m not looking forward to the winters, but it was because I loved Seattle so much I didn’t want to leave. I had only been to Cleveland before on business so didn’t know much about it other than harsh winters. You have to remember, I am a Southern California girl so I don’t do well in the cold
Peg: Tell us about your look-see trips prior to your move and working with Executive Arrangements (EA).
Steph: After a couple of visits with EA, I started to feel a little more comfortable with the idea of living in Cleveland. They did a really wonderful job of showing me the different parts of town and narrowing down the areas I would like based on our personalities and lifestyle.
Landing in Cleveland
Peg: Then March 2020 hit with beginning of the pandemic, your move was scheduled and what happened?
Steph: Everything started to shut down and Josh was grounded from traveling so he was “stuck” in Seattle with us while the job was in Cleveland. I know that it was stressful, but I sure was glad he was stuck with us and not somewhere else! We weren’t even sure if the movers were going to come. The moving company couldn’t say for sure because at that time everything was changing everyday. It was literally day to day, but when the movers arrived on March 25th we sure were relieved!
Peg: Arriving in CLE during a pandemic, what?!
Steph: We arrived and were just relieved to have our feet on the ground in Cleveland and that the hotel was still open since our house wasn’t ready yet. It was eerily quiet at the hotel with minimal occupancy. The breakfast was shut down, the bar was shut down and there was no housekeeping…basically all the fun of staying in a hotel was SHUT DOWN…the six of us (Josh, our 2 boys, 2 dogs and myself) crammed ourselves into a small 2 bedroom accommodation. With nowhere to go and the weather not cooperating…it made for some very LONG days. I have 2 very active little boys (5 and 4 years old) that need to burn some of that energy so when the days were nice we would go down to the basketball court at the hotel and run laps, do jumping jacks, anything to get our blood pumping! We also would take a field trip in the car to come look at our house everyday to follow the progress of the work being done. That helped break up the days.
Moving as a Small Business Owner
Peg: And, not only were you moving your family across the country but your business too.
Steph: I have a luxury travel business that I started in 2016, Bagshaw Travel. We specialize in high touch, tailor made travel and my work is mostly done remotely so I am lucky enough to keep my contacts and clients from Seattle. There are benefits to meeting clients in person, but not necessary. I am looking forward to building a Cleveland client base.
Peg: Tell us about how luxury travel and travel in general has changed, what do you see for 2020-2021?
Steph: I’ll tell you what…you will never see a cleaner plane like you will today! Ha! Seriously… Well….Everything came to a scary screeching halt for us in the travel business. But as things start to open up and there is consumer confidence, we will see folks starting to travel. Domestic travel is going to be predominately what we will see in 2020. There is quite a bit of pent of demand and we are even seeing places sell out their occupancy. As for international, I believe you will see some of that in the later part of the year for those that are really itching, but really more into 2021. Working with a travel advisor versus booking online will be more important now than ever. We are the ones staying up to date on all the openings, restrictions, talking to all the hotels and suppliers daily. We know the ins and outs of destinations and resorts to be sure they are set up for social distancing etc. We are also readily available via phone or email should any issues occur. I can’t tell you how many nightmare stories of people trying to cancel or change their plans and not being able to get through to anyone. We also include additional perks at our luxury partner properties such as complimentary breakfast, upgrades, resort credits and more.
Peg: Do you have a favorite family travel destination or one as a couple?
Steph: Since 2020 is the year of domestic travel, I would say the luxury dude ranches out West with lots of activities for the entire family would be my favorite families and Hawaii! For couples, I would say wine country in California or a stay on Little Palm Island, an amazing adults only private island resort in the keys.
Peg: How do we connect with Bagshaw Travel, any driving trips from CLE you might be imagining or researching now that you are in Ohio?
Steph: Our website is www.bagshawtravel.com or email me at [email protected] or follow my Instagram handle @bagshaw_travel. Oh yes, definitely! There a few dreamy properties drivable from Ohio including in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, upstate New York and down into South Carolina!
The Job’s in CLE!
Peg: What one nugget, piece of advice might you share with someone hearing that the job is in Cleveland and we are moving?
Steph: Don’t worry! The people in the Midwest are the nicest 😊