Trips & Ships Luxury Travel

We are revolutionizing the travel industry with our forward-thinking approach and commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience.

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Contact

15795 Turkey Island Circle, Winter Garden FL 34787

Email: sales@tripsandships.com

Our Humble History

1986. Humble Beginnings

Kent Draper was a traveler long before it was cool. As a young man, he worked for Sperry Univac, traveling all over the country to install and maintain computer systems. Even as a child, I was in awe of his exciting, award-winning trips around the world. My earliest elementary school memories include looking through photographs of him at the Eiffel Tower and hip promenade in Nice, France.

But one thing changed everything – meeting June Morris. June was the up-and-coming owner of Morris Travel, expanding the company’s operations to Ogden, Utah. Kent knew he had to join forces with her and left his job at Sperry to work alongside her. My mother, Glenda Draper managed the office.

 

Kent and June quickly built up a thriving corporate travel business out of an office building on Riverdale Road in Ogden. It wasn’t long before they started offering vacation packages and tours, becoming one of the leading travel agencies in northern Utah. They continued to grow their business by staying ahead of the curve, always offering their clients the best possible service. Over time, Kent and June became known as two of the most experienced and trustworthy travel agency owners in town.

“When I was just 14 years old, my father invited me to work at the office. We now joke that there could have been a touch of child labor laws violated back then! He would always take us on amazing vacations to Hawaii, Mexico, California, or New York City.  Travelling in first class, dressed up on the major airlines such as TWA and Delta was a gift.”

Kent and June’s love of travel had become their life’s work, and it was truly infectious.

Angela Hughes learned some of her most important life lessons working side by side him as a young girl.

1986. Evolution

“Working for my dad started with a humble assignment; filing brochures. But as time passed, my role expanded to include tasks such as ticket delivery and office assistance – essentially anything nobody wanted to do. By junior year in high school, I found myself booking charter flights with Morris Air Service, destined for locations like Mexico, Hawaii, and California.

Little did I know, I was working alongside pioneers of the aviation industry and being trained by some of the brightest minds in the field. Morris Air was the aviation upstart of its time, selling low-fares from Salt Lake City, Utah. The airline went on to make history by introducing e-ticket (ticketless) travel, a technological breakthrough suggested by Stuart Thatcher, then an employee of Morris Air.

Morris Air’s innovative spirit caught the attention of Southwest Airlines, who later acquired the company for over $120 million in stock. Today, Morris’ legacy lives on as part of Southwest, and its e-ticketing system remains the standard for modern air travel.

Interestingly, Morris Air’s founder, June Morris, was also a successful entrepreneur who founded Morris Travel in 1970. David Neeleman, co-founder of WestJet and JetBlue, also played a role in Morris Air’s early successes. Neeleman later founded JetBlue Airways after his non-compete agreement with Southwest ended, while Morris served on the board of directors for Southwest Airlines until her retirement in 2006.

“As my interest in the aviation industry grew, I wrote my master’s thesis on the Diffusion of Southwest Airlines in 1994, exploring the company’s emergence as a new player in the industry and its impact on the traditional business model with a focus on the low-cost segment.

During my senior year of high school, I was shipped off to San Francisco to train at the United Airlines school. There, I learned about the new Apollo system, which would later prove to be invaluable knowledge. My father, Kent, was also in the travel industry, and he travelled all over the world with suppliers. I would join him, as my mother suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, preventing her from travelling with him. These trips not only instilled a love for the industry in me, but also built an unbreakable bond between us.”

“One of the things that fascinated me about our travels was the exotic places and interesting cultures we encountered. I would sit for hours dreaming about the day when I could explore the world on my own terms. That dream eventually became a reality, but it wasn’t thanks to fancy travel advisors or extravagant tour groups. It was thanks to the early pioneers of the travel industry, especially my father, who showed me that anyone can see the world if they’re willing to try.”

1987. Corporate Acquistion

Morris Travel’s growth began with the acquisition of five agencies in 1987: Faldmo Tours in Bountiful, Fishburn Travel in Ogden, TourWest in Utah County, Travel Chalet in Logan, and Travel Express in Salt Lake City. The merger with Travel Express, a franchise of the national travel chain Ask Mr. Foster, transformed Morris Travel into Morris/Ask Mr. Foster and marked its first significant sales outside Salt Lake.

During the series of mergers and acquisitions, Draper became Morris Travel’s Vice President of Marketing. Initially, Morris Travel was Utah’s biggest travel agency at the time, but the merger with Travel Express widened its horizons significantly.

Richard Frendt was appointed as Morris’ new president in 1987, and in 1989, Mark Slack took over as president and became CEO and Chairman of the Board in 1990. Despite Morris Travel’s success in the 90s, tragedy struck the travel agency sector as airlines made massive commission cuts, forcing many agencies in the US to shut down or consolidate.

Angela continued working on the leisure side for one of their biggest corporate accounts Wordperfect throughout college and into her graduate school years.  She began teaching as an adjunct professor for Brigham Young University in the geography & travel and tourism program.  She launches out to pursue her interest as a business development manager for Royal Caribbean over the central region and is on her way to interview and close the position when she finds out that she is expecting her first child.

“I was thrilled and crushed at the same time.  I knew I wanted to be a full time mom and at the cross roads of my children’s lives and I was also widely passionate about the cruise industry and the potential I had.   I knew I couldn’t travel and cover the entire central territory which was one fourth of the USA and care for a new baby.  Inflight to the final interview, I decided regardless of what happened I would choose motherhood.”

1995. NEW BEGINNINGS

At the same time, Draper left Morris Travel and started Trips Inc. with Angela Hughes, and the two opened a small independent contractor-based boutique tour and cruise shop. They decided to steer away from airlines and focused on tours and cruising, paving the way for their success.  There we so many challenges from airline commission cuts to the online travel agencies making an appearance.  At this time, over 70% of the retail agencies closed across the country.

Fast forward to today, Draper and Hughes built their boutique luxury agency to meet their clients’ changing needs, and they couldn’t be more thrilled with their success.  Kent, now in his sixties focused primarily on small group business.

 

2000. EARLY SUCCESS

2009. STOCK MARKET CRASH

In 2009, the stock market crash took a massive toll on the travel industry. The impact was felt throughout the sector, from airlines and hotels to resorts and theme parks, resulting in an international plummet in travel.

Angela Hughes, in pursuit of exploration in media and photography, decides to take a well-deserved two-year break. With this hiatus, she looks to gain a deeper understanding of the art of storytelling. exploring her passion and gaining valuable insights that can be applied to her professional life.  Once the economy improved Hughes returns to exclusive travel sells while raising four kids.

She travels to country after country with her children forging industry relationships and slowly building the international travel sector.

Through their family non-profit organization, Color My World, they organized and led numerous humanitarian trips, spanning a decade, to Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, India, Nepal, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. This service of giving back has been deemed a life-changing experience by all the high-schoolers and families who participated and the Hughes family.

2011. RESTRUCTURE

As the economy improves, travel opportunities are expanding and Angela is now fully focused on selling packages to customers embarking on adventures in Asia and Europe. She brings her extensive experience and vast knowledge of each region to help clients plan their perfect journey.  Kent continues to sell in the group space

2015. FINE TUNE

In 2016, Kent faced a decline in both age and health, leaving Angela to take on a more dedicated executive role. This shift marked a pivotal moment in their journey, requiring greater commitment and fortitude to navigate the challenges ahead. This shift in responsibilities demonstrated Angela’s exceptional leadership and commitment to the company.

2020. FRESH DESIGNS

In January 2020, things seemed promising for Trips Inc. as they reincorporated in the state of Florida and rebranded to Trips & Ships Luxury Travel -but two months later, Covid-19 ravaged the travel industry. Undaunted, Angela Hughes set out to rebuild her brand from scratch. Day by day, she tirelessly worked on building her consulting program, Luxury Travel University, through Facebook live videos, and educating people on how to sell luxury space. By August, Hughes finally took her first international trip after months of covid lockdowns upending travel as we knew it. Her stay at the Unico resort in Mexico sparked controversy and travel shaming across the internet, but it didn’t stop her.

In September 2020, Hughes boldly went for the African market to relaunch a covid ravished business. She invited another advisor  and together they travelled to Tanzania to try and sell the African safari experience.

 

 

Remarkably, within six weeks, they had sold their first post covid safari, moving the needle towards profits once again during covid. Between 2020-2022, Hughes travelled to nearly 30 countries, relaunching her brand and elevating her business including seven trips to the African continent.

“I think the Serengeti and Africa will always hold a place in my heart.  It was the silence in the Serengeti watching lions and elephants or in Bwindi watching gorillas play with their young that brought complete peace to my soul during a turbulent time in our lives.”

2023. CURRENT PLANS

We have set our sight on a major expansion of the premium and luxury market. Our lofty goal for the next five years is to partner up with like-minded independent partners who share our vision and passion for providing exquisite luxury experiences to our customers.

Under the leadership of Angela Hughes, Trips & Ships Luxury Travel is a distinguished luxury travel provider attracting national media recognition and top-rated advisors. They are an award-winning team that continuously delivers top-notch travel experiences.

Join us in this journey to reach new heights!

Transformative Experience

At our travel agency, we believe that travel should be a transformative experience that brings people together, regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs. With our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we strive to create a vibrant community of advisors who are passionate about exploring the world and learning from one another. Everything we do is designed to celebrate the rich tapestry of humanity while promoting understanding, empathy, and connection. We invite you to join us on a journey that embraces diversity and celebrates the beauty of our differences.

We also pledge to keep the work environment toxic free.At our workplace, we live and breathe a culture of open-mindedness, respect, and inclusivity. In this spirit, we pledge to keep our work environment free of any and all forms of toxicity. Toxicity can come in many different forms, whether it’s negative attitudes, gossip, or even harassment. We take these issues seriously because they can undermine our productivity, create tension, and make it hard for us to work together effectively. At the same time, we know that creating a healthy work environment isn’t just about avoiding toxicity. It’s also about celebrating diversity, fostering creativity, and empowering each other to achieve our best potential. By staying true to our commitment to be a toxic-free workplace, we can create a better future for ourselves, our colleagues, and our community.

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