Meet Terry Halverson vacation planner, social mixer
How does someone get started in the travel business?
Terry: “A friend had just started at Carlson Wagonlit Travel and the owner mentioned to her that she was looking to add gay travel to their office. My friend thought of me first thing and the owner gave me a call. I was reluctant to meet because I thought I’d never have enough time to coodinate travel. However we met and discussed being an outside sales agent part-time, which is getting clients through the door for bookings. It was challenging being the only gay agent for several offices. I have to admit the first couple of years were tough—a lot of research, advertising, hosting group tours, talking to tour operators, hotels, restaurants… I learned from it that If you put your mind to doing something and believe it, then you can succeed. The key is don’t give up and believe in yourself.”
Where did you get the name JustTerry?
Terry: “One night Will & Grace was on televison. I was asking friends what to call a website I was having created. Names were zinging when on the TV came the words just Jack. Jason, a dear friend of mine, said, “I have it! What about Justterry?” I called the person creating my website, Rita, and she checked no one had justterry.com.”
Where is your favorite place to go?
Terry: “My all time favorite is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In November 2002 I asked 4 friends of mine if they’d like to join me there for a week. They said sure. I had researched Vallarta and found it to be very gay friendly. We had a blast and have been going back each year. Once we returned my friends said lets do this again next year and invite a few of our friends to join us. We jumped from our original 5 to 56 in 2006. It’s a wonderful place for LGBT people and our straight friends. I also have a couple more favorites: Amsterdam and Waikiki.”
And did anyone special go to Mexico with you this year?
Terry: “It’s kind of funny before 2002 I used to travel by myself. Now I coordinate and Host Group Travel. I would have to say everyone that goes on one of our vacations is special. I’ve made a lot of friends and contacts this way.”
Where might some future destinations be?
Terry: “For 2008 I’m adding gay group cruises where you can travel with your partner, office mate, friend or family. These are cruises with anywhere from 100-500 LGBT people and 1,500 or more straight allies. I’ve been on a couple of these cruises and it works out quite well. For 2009 I’m looking into a 10 day Hawaiian Island.”
Do you just coordinate group travel?
Terry: “Oh no, I can help you with destination weddings, sports events, family runions, individual travel, a Disney cruise, or help you set up your own group travel.”
How do people find www.Justterry.com
Terry: “Actually it’s been a lot of word of mouth from past travelers. I would like to thank all my friends for helping justterry.com make it possible for so many individuals who have not been able to travel comfortably before. I can honestly say I take pride in building life long friendships that have been and will be made on our vacations. Oh, Honestly! I’m getting too wordy. Happy Travels”