Elizabeth Wilks Parry
The Oxford Eagle
Oxford is a popular tourist destination, but now the city has an agency on the Square for residents who need a getaway.
For Travelers Only, a Virtuoso travel agency located right outside Jackson in Ridgeland, has opened a branch in Oxford. Ole Miss alum Vickie Love Greenlee, daughter of owner Vickie Greenlee, moved back to Oxford three years ago and recently decided to open her own office.
“Our Jackson office has been servicing the Oxford community for years, and Oxford does not have a travel advisor,” Vickie Love Greenlee said. “There is a lot of wealth in Oxford, and more and more people are traveling. They want real experiences that can’t be bought on Expedia and Travelocity, and I can help them find something more unique and bespoke.”
Lauren Parry, a For Travelers Only Jackson agent, has expressed strong interest in working between the Jackson and Oxford office.
“Oxford is the quintessential Southern town that offers hospitality, culture and history for students, families, retirees and visitors, so it’s an ideal setting to inspire travel dreams,” Parry said. “My hours in Oxford will be based on my clients’ needs, but I am especially excited to be there in the fall on football weekends.”
Vickie Love Greenlee has been involved in the travel business all her life, but has been specifically working in the industry the past six years.
After years of staying home with her kids, “my mother went back to work in PR and marketing for a family friend’s travel agency,” Vickie Love Greenlee said. “A few months later. She and my father purchased the agency, and my mother began to manage it.”
Working primarily off of referrals and having clients all over the United States, Vickie Love Greenlee is extremely grateful for the connections and opportunities joining the family business has brought to her career.
“My mother is so well respected in our industry and in our community,” Vickie Love Greenlee said. “She has been named Mississippi Business Woman of the Year, as well as served on the board of American Society of Travel Agents and committees of Virtuoso.
“She is a veteran in our industry and knows everyone who is anyone. It takes years to cultivate those relationships, and she introduced me immediately.”
Operating in the travel industry is extremely taxing and requires a lot of time and dedication. Vickie Love Greenlee said she is constantly involved with sales, administrative work, planning and booking. Networking to build relationships is one of the most crucial aspects of working in the travel business.
“I try to get out and see as many destinations and properties as possible, but it’s tough to balance, as I need to be in the office and at home as well,” she said. “I am currently averaging about two trips a month.”
Although the perks of frequent travel are always a highlight when working in the industry, “nothing is more enjoyable than when a client returns from a trip and calls you to thank you for making their dreams come true,” Vickie Love Greenlee said.
“I truly believe travel changes you, and once you travel, you can never be the same,” Parry said. “It is my greatest joy to help people plan a vacation that will forever enrich their lives.”
Being a part of the immensely admired Virtuoso brand has given For Travelers Only one of the highest statuses. It is the only Virtuoso agency in the state of Mississippi, and now there are two locations making easy access for clients in north Mississippi and the Memphis area.
Though For Travelers Only specializes in luxury travel, every client is completely different, and the agents are able to create different types of trips that are all spectacular in varying ways.
“Some [clients] may have the same budget, but not have similar likings,” Vickie Love Greenlee said. “The one underlying factor is that they all want service. My job is to understand how to best facilitate that.”
“I love For Travelers Only because it is a small intimate company,” Parry said. “We all work together as a team for the good of our clients. Vickie and Vickie Love are not only my mentors, they are my dear friends.”
Vickie Love Greenlee waited over nine months to get the perfect location on the Square for her office. Now that the For Travelers Only office is open in Oxford, Vickie Love Greenlee is ready to “continue the legacy, expand and take it to another level.”
“I plan to develop the luxury leisure team of For Travelers Only and run that from the Oxford office,” she said.