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Meet Andrew Tyree of Coast to Costa Travel in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Tyree.

Andrew, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After living in Spain for 4 years in my mid-twenties, I moved back stateside to San Francisco and got a job as a waiter in a high end Spanish tapas restaurant. For years, I would convince groups of friends to travel back to Spain with me, rented houses for us all to stay in and ate at fabulous restaurants and wineries that were contacts of my SF restaurant. Eventually I made friends with the restaurant owners, wine makers and chefs in the Barcelona area and made an amazing itinerary out of it. Having wine with a friend on the balcony of our house (kind of wine drunk to be honest), my friend told me “man, you should do this for a living”…and I’ve been working at it ever since!

We started in Barcelona in September of 2012 and now our trips include Mexico, Peru and Cuba. I was working in a restaurant up until a little over a year ago and now I organize and take people on vacations for a living FULL TIME!!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not always been a smooth road! The first group I did in 2012, I got food poisoning. The second group I ever did had a super last minute cancelation, changing the course of the company for good. I worked full time in a restaurant and full time building the business for a full 5 years and have only been doing my company full time for a year and three months (not like I’m counting or anything!).

It has been very difficult, didn’t make any money at first and full of crazy, unforeseen challenges. Doing what I truly love outweighs all of that, though! Once you find something that you’re truly passionate about, it’s impossible to NOT do that thing. I will come home from a large group trip soooo tired and worn down and as soon as I wake up the next day, I’m checking for our next destination or reading travel magazines or talking with my wife about the next group…it has been the most challenging and most rewarding experience of my life!

Please tell us about Coast to Costa Travel.
Well, we’re a Los Angeles based tour operator specializing in curated group travel experiences. We hire and work with local guides, chefs, hospitality providers (I like to rent out large houses that are operating as bed and breakfasts), wine makers, musicians, art curators, etc. to provide the coolest, most local experience a traveler can have visiting a place for the first time.

With the internet, anyone can go online and book travel. We provide trips that are so much deeper and more connected to the local scene than anyone can book on Kayak.

I am very good at spotting people who do their hospitality job well. I work directly with these people to ensure that they do the best they can at providing a super interesting and beautiful experience every single trip!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Nothing. I feel I’ve learned from trial and error. I like to take each experience and grow from it and hopefully not make the same mistake twice!

OH! I would always have contracts with people who we collaborate with. As SOON as the company started to grow, we had multiple people try to steal from us because I assumed that other people don’t lie and cheat because we don’t. That’s incorrect. Contracts make me be able to stay trusting but watch my own back. Sad but true.

Pricing:

  • Viva Cuba! $3,095 with flights from most major US cities
  • Exploring Peruvian Wonders $3,195 with flights from most major US cities
  • Capturing Cuba photography trip $3,245 with flights from most major US cities

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

@wanna_lala patio, @coasttocosta me w/peru woman, @humminglion group lunch, @lizaqdesign car ride, @theladyhawksworth me with group, @coasttocosta me at rainbow mountain

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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