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Meet Shabbi Morim of Not So Shabbi Travels in Woodland Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shabbi Morim.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Shabbi. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In 2010, I caught the travel bug. While I was studying at UCLA for my undergrad, I decided to study abroad in the beautiful city of Paris. While there, my teachers encouraged us to travel more by lowering our course load and giving us the opportunity to explore our surroundings for almost five months. This experience was a monumental moment for my life, I was able to visit countless cities and countries, eat amazing food, and experience new cultures. When I returned to the US and shared my journeys with friends, everyone seemed interested but I wasn’t expecting the outcome it would have.

Friends of friends started asking me for advice or help to plan their own trips throughout Europe and I was happy to help. As social media became more integrated into society, I continued my travels and shared them on my personal Instagram. It wasn’t until 2019 that the amount of requests for advice became overwhelming, so I decided to turn it into an opportunity to start a service I haven’t seen available. I created Not So Shabbi Travels where I provide comprehensive trip planning including a daily itinerary tailored for each client.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This whole process has not been smooth and I had a lot of struggles along the way. Transitioning from planning a trip for myself to others took some getting used to. I had to learn which questions to ask in order to properly gauge the kind of trip my client wants. I needed to move away from planning what I would prefer to learning what others would enjoy doing instead. Until I fully narrowed this down it would take a lot of my valuable time creating plans, but now I am able to use up my time wisely in a way that benefits both parties.

Additionally, at the beginning of the year, I was excited to have seven clients to plan trips for with the inclusion of a few of my own trips to feature. I started my business Instagram page in January and was excited to show how I stay true to my word. Unfortunately, once the pandemic happened the travel industry took a dive. I felt it was only fair to refund all my clients and am now waiting for the time when we can get back to traveling. I’ve had to pivot the service a little to stay relevant and fresh in people’s minds. Most travelers are not professional photographers and we all need a little assistance to help our friends see what we saw on our adventures, so I started up a fun additional service to help clients who are looking to level up their travel photos. These preset filters are created by me and available through my Etsy shop (NotSoShabbiPresets) because I know how frustrating it can be to see a magical place without being able to capture it. I also now offer local day, weekend trip planning, and road trips for those who want to have fun but still stay safe during this uneasy time.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Not So Shabbi Travels – what should we know?
Not So Shabbi Travels provides comprehensive trip planning, working closely with clients to create their unique dream vacations and the best part? I stay within a budget! Travel is no longer for the elite, anyone can (and should!) go anywhere. A trip doesn’t have to be expensive in order to create memories that will last a lifetime. There are tons of websites that offer temporary deals and packages, I bookmark and follow as many as I can, and relay this to whoever wants to listen.

Planning the perfect vacation is complicated with so many moving parts and countless components to research that can take up valuable time, causing most people to go the spontaneous route and wing their plans. Understandably when planning a vacation travelers want to get the most value out of it that they can so usually the first concern I receive is “I’m already spending so much on the vacation, is working with you going to be a large additional cost?” However, those concerns are quickly alleviated since I specialize in very affordable travel and my fee is negligible compared to the value of the trip.

I specialize in creating unique extensive itineraries based on the client’s vision and hours of in-depth research. My itineraries have more than just activities for what to do that day, they include what to pack, what you can buy there, how to get around with local transportation, what you need to bring with you on a daily basis, how much cash to have, the exchange rate, common phrases to know if going in the languages of the countries visiting, which souvenirs might be ideal and from what locations, and every booking confirmation.

I think what sets me apart is my time management skills and my eye for picking out preferred travel experiences. I can create trips that look and feel luxurious with the added benefit of maximizing a client’s time. Implementing time management skills into travel is an art that takes time and experience to craft and is essential to achieve a balanced vacation…

What I get most excited about is being inspired by my client’s visions of a dream vacation and that I now have the opportunity to research all these stunning countries, many of which I have not yet traveled to. Each time I create a new vacation plan, I learn something new about traveling. Everyone has such a unique perspective and I feel that I get to grow through others. I am also proud that I can help adventurers fulfill their dreams and break down the notion that you need to be in the 1% to successfully explore the world.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Staying true to what my clients desire while being realistic with them has been extremely important to my success. I cannot count the amount of times I have read a blog and expected to see something when I arrived only to be disappointed and nothing like what was described to me. Most travel bloggers Photoshop and give false information, while others don’t go into full detail what it entails to get to a certain place. I don’t lie to my customers and I temper their expectations which many clients have thanked me for after their vacations. Staying true and honest is a component I value immensely.

Another important aspect of my success has been my relationship with my clients. After a trip ends, I reach out and ask a series of questions that allow me to gauge how successful the trip was and note what to change for the future… Having this added customer service and open line of communication really exhibits my dedication and makes it an easy choice for customers to return.

If people value realistic expectations for their travels as much as I do, then my Instagram page is @NotSoShabbiTravels is for them. It is meant to help those who are not sure where they want to travel to yet they can follow for some daily inspirations!

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