• Kierstin Tonic

Bringing Luxury to Business & Personal - Karissa Littlejohn

Updated: Apr 12

Bali, Dubai, Cape Town, and South Africa. Just a few of the destinations Karissa Littlejohn helps to whisk some very deserving women away too. Nurses Travel Network, based out of Texas, is the “Ultimate Luxury Travel Tribe”s for nurses looking for a one-of-a-kind retreat. Karissa will be speaking this year at our 5th Entrepreneur Expo, May 24-25 in Las Vegas, NV. Her, “Planning a Six-Figure Luxury Retreat” Workshop will educate new and experienced travel professionals, as well as other business owners who want to level up their services.

I spoke with Karissa about how she got into the travel game and her participation in the Expo:

Kierstin: How did you get into your travel business?

Karissa: Oh, gosh. So I actually started out as a travel blogger. It was actually my first introduction to the Expo. I came as a blogger. So, I was blogging about solo travel. I started doing that about almost seven, eight years ago. As I was talking about solo travel and traveling the world by myself, I was meeting so many women who liked the idea of solo travel but didn't necessarily want to get out there and go by themselves. So back in 2018, I started to putting together small group retreats for women who didn't really have anyone to travel with. In 2018, I noticed that we were getting a whole lot of nurses that were coming on these trips. And that's when we decided to launch Nurses Travel Network. So, at Nurses Travel Network, we host luxury retreats for nurses who just need to get away. As you guys know, nurses work really, really hard.

Kierstin: Yes, especially this past year.

Karissa: Yes, especially with this pandemic. And but yeah, so that's how I got started.

Kierstin: That is really awesome. I read on your website, and as you just described, that you offer boutique retreat events. Can you explain to you know, some who aren't well versed in travel exactly what a boutique retreat would actually be?

Karissa: So, boutique as in size. So, our retreats are typically about 20 women that come together in destinations all over the world. So, we host in places like Bali, Dubai, Cape Town, South Africa, Mexico, we also have domestic destinations that we do for our nurses. But yeah, just smaller retreats for women to come together, connect with each other get to know each other, and relax.

Kierstin: Awesome! How frequent are your trips?

Karissa: They're supposed to be every month. So going into 2022, we will have at least one retreat per month. This year, we just got back from St. Lucia in February, we will be headed to Colombia this month in a couple of weeks. So, travel is starting to pick back up a little bit. We're starting to get back out there. And we're hoping to be back on our routine for 2022.

Kierstin: Awesome, that was actually my next question. With the travel industry. How did you navigate COVID?

Karissa: Um, it was a challenge. I will say that it was obviously a challenge not only for being in the travel industry but working with nurses who were just in the thick of it. So, I was able to see the behind-the-scenes type of stuff that the average individual wasn't seeing; most people are getting their information from the news. So just seeing like, “Oh, this is really serious” as it was unfolding. But we pivoted so many times, in 2020 from doing live events to doing virtual events. We would do different things for our nurses, virtually like candle making, we would have chats where they could just come in and decompress and vent and talk about whatever they needed to. And we have a membership group for our nurses. So, we would have just different free events where our members could just come in and chat with each other until travel started picking back up.

Kierstin: That's amazing. And it’s definitely needed. What the nurses went through was horrendous and to be able to have this kind of opportunity to join that kind of group of women is amazing. Your movement is amazing. It's a movement. It's not just you know, just hopping on a plane real quick. You're taking care of some of our most important people… So your participation in the entrepreneur Expo this year, you're going to be doing a workshop correct?

Karissa: Yes.

Kierstin: Okay. And the workshop is called “Planning a Luxury Retreat. Without giving away too much, tell us how about your workshop.

Karissa: So, I will be teaching people how to add a retreat planning aspect to their business. So, planning retreats is a great way to connect with your people. Whether you are currently an entrepreneur, whether you are a blogger whether you are aspiring it’s a good addition to add to anyone's business. And so, I will be breaking it down on how everyone can learn how to host their own luxury retreats.

Kierstin: Now would you say that that would be industry-specific or can any business you know take this on as a service, so to speak?

Karissa: Any business, any business. So, I consult with individuals who want to plan and host their own retreats. And they are anyone from coaches to help professionals. I work with bloggers, podcasters, business owners… The tools that I'm going to give you are transferable to any industry.

Kierstin: That's amazing. Do you have to actually be at your own retreats?

Karissa: Yes, I go to my retreats. My goal for 2020 was to not go to all of them because we do have a lot as we're going into having them monthly. So I have individuals that come along with me to host, who will be taking over that part for me. So, at the beginning, you probably are going to have to go on those with those retreats, just to make sure everything flows. It's like running any kind of business. You want to nurture your baby and make sure that it's being done in the standard that you would like it done before you pass it off to somebody else.

Kierstin: Okay, great! So, for anyone that would be interested in getting into the travel business, what type of capital would they be looking at? I think some people think it might be a little bit more expensive than they realize.

Karissa: So I started out with absolutely nothing. So you do not have to have a whole bunch of capital behind you. And the things that I'm going to be sharing at the workshop is how you can start your retreat planning business with $0. So there's ways to work around, you know, how to come up with the money for deposits, how to negotiate with different venues, and I'll be going over all of that.

Kierstin: Awesome. So basically, what everyone needs to do is go head on over to itsthewrightlife.com and check out all of the information on the expo coming up in May and register… This is definitely a workshop that you want to get in on if you are interested in getting into the luxury travel business… thank you so much for your interview today and taking some time with me. Is there anything else that you have coming up? And can you tell everyone where to find you?

Karissa: Yes, so you can find me at Nurses Travel Network, nurses travel network.com has my contact information on there. I have actually a Retreat Planners retreat that will be happening in July. So for individuals who want to learn how to host their retreats, it will be happening in Orlando, Florida, July 12 through the 15th. So if you're interested in that you can go over to retreatplanning101.com and sign up.

For more on Karissa Littlejohn also visit shefliessolo.com.

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