Amanda Perkins is no stranger to the student travel industry, and has recently joined the ETI family as a Travel Consultant. Along with 22 years of experience in the industry, Amanda brings a deep passion to her work and thrives on connecting students and youth with opportunities for growth through travel. Read on to learn more about her!
What got you interested in travel initially and what makes you passionate today about student travel today?
I had actually been working in banking for around 16 years and just didn't enjoy it. I had a friend of mine who I used to work with come in, so I asked her what she was up to now. She's said, “Oh, I'm working for a student travel company now.” I thought, “Wow, that sounds so interesting!” So, I applied and I got hired in my first travel job.
I’m a firm believer that travel is a huge confidence builder. One of the things I’ve always loved is experiencing new places, especially when I first started traveling alone in my early 20s. When I started working in the travel industry, I loved to see kids who come from lower socioeconomic areas—who had never been out of their hometown—get out and know that there’s more to the world than what’s in their hometown. It’s inspiring to hear stories of students wanting to go to college and excel and succeed in the world after traveling on only one trip.
What are you most looking forward to about your new role with ETI?
I’m really looking forward to working with educators! In my former role, I didn’t get to interact with educators as much, so I’m eager to meet and develop relationships and help educators plan their trips, which undoubtedly have such a massive impact on their students.
What’s your most treasured travel memory, or the best thing you’ve learned while traveling?
I’ve had so many treasured travel memories, especially with my daughter. Because of me being in the industry, she’s traveled more in the first 10 years of her life than I did by the time I was 25. Experiencing travel through her eyes is one of the greatest things I could ask for.
I’ve learned through travel that everyone has a story. Being able to hear those stories and learn about people’s varying cultures, how travel has changed someone, etc. has truly been a real gift for me.
If you were stranded in an airport, what three things would you want with you?
My family, a phone charger and a book!
What’s one thing you would recommend every student group do while traveling?
Put your phone down and just soak in where you are! Everyone has their face in their phone constantly checking texts, emails and social media. It’s crucial to really just be in the moment in the city you're in so you’re able to take in all the new sights, sounds, smells, food … everything.
What destination on your bucket list do you most want to visit?
Italy is on my bucket list, specifically the Amalfi Coast. I’m a big foodie and love Italian food, the Italian culture and the scenery.
What’s your favorite activity while traveling, or something you’ve always wanted to try?
One of my very favorite things to do is trying local food. I won’t necessarily try everything, but I’m willing to get somewhat adventurous!
Please join us in welcoming Amanda to the ETI family!