We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
After working in the travel industry for 13 years and getting the opportunity to see first hand how travel can change people’s lives, I knew that travel design was what I wanted to do. I was working for a good company but not all of our management team shared my vision. I felt that we could dig deeper and deliver more rewarding experiences to our travelers. I’ve always been of the mind that customer satisfaction is the key to long-term success, while they were more concerned with maximizing profits. I made the decision that the best way for me to serve my travelers and deliver the experiences I wanted, was to go into business for myself.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’d say our concierge level of service and our attention to every detail is primarily what sets TRAVEL AT WILL apart from our competitors. We also strive to deliver luxury experiences at a considerable cost savings to our clients. I’m most proud of our traveler feedback. Travel design is much like any other creative endeavor. When you create something for another person you never really know if there going to enjoy it as much as you hope they do. In our case, the stakes can be extremely high. A honeymoon is a once in a lifetime experience. When honeymooners book with us they are putting their trust in us to make the experience special for them. Even if we plan everything perfectly, there is still room for error everywhere. Everyone has had some kind of bad travel experience where your luggage got lost, you missed a flight or you got sick off some bad food. Obviously most of those factors are beyond our control, but they do impact traveler feedback. So while we have had to deal with those issues and more, I’m proud of the fact that our travelers have all loved our response to every challenge. Their words of appreciation, online reviews, text messages and thank you cards all let us know that they are as happy as we hoped they be. Now after 3 years in business, we’re seeing lots of repeat travelers and more referral travelers. It definitely hasn’t been an easy journey. Last year in particular came with a whole set of obstacles for us to overcome. Even during the height of the pandemic we were able to deliver some life changing experiences by utilizing private plane and yacht charters to get travelers to their desired destination. The research and leg work that we had to do find untapped resources has made our ability to serve travelers even stronger. I’m now confidant that TRAVEL AT WILL can handle any travel scenario. The one thing that the world should know about TRAVEL AT WILL is that anyone can book travel, but only a select few can curate a life changing experience. We turn travel dreams into reality.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a great question. I love Houston so much! People often underestimate how much there is to see and do here. If I had a week to try to squeeze in as many of my favorite places to go, it would go something like this. For starters we’d have to go to Breakfast Klub for chicken & waffles Monday morning. From there we would have to head to the Museum of Fine Arts to check out the latest exhibit. After taking a quick roll down the hill in Herman Park, we would stop for lunch at Monarch. We’d then continue on to the Holocaust Museum after lunch and then catch Happy Hour at Flying Saucer. We’d close out Day 1 with dinner at Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse. I’d start off Day 2 with breakfast at Tiny Boxwoods and then head to the Galleria for some retail therapy. Grab lunch at Grand Lux Cafe before catching a matinee at IPIC. After the movie we’d have to hit my favorite Tuesday night tradition, Steak & Blues Night at the Hideaway. On Wednesday we would head south to explore the Space Center and enjoy lunch by the water at the Aquarium in Kemah. Once we get back to town, we’d catch a performance at the Hobby Center and then grab a late-night bite at Mai’s Restaurant. Day 4 will feature a trip to the Menil in the morning, lunch at Empire Cafe and an evening of food and laughter at the Improv. On Friday, we’ll get up early to visit the Graffiti Park and then we’ll have breakfast at Harry’s. After breakfast, we’ll check out the Buffalo Soldier Museum and the Art Car Museum. Next, we’d hit up happy hour at Max’s Wine Dive for wine and wings. After dark, we would head over to Fuego’s Saloon for a few hours and then finish the night strong at Lincoln Bar. Not forgetting to grab some tacos from Velvet on the way home. Saturday would start off with kolaches from Kraftsmen, followed by a stroll through the Historic Heights District. We’d have lunch at Gatlin’s BBQ and then visit Eleanor Tinsley Park to walk it off along the bayou. With the walk sure to work a thirst, we’ll head over Karbach Brewery to refresh on the patio. At night, we’ll have dinner at El Tiempo Cantina before heading to 77 Degrees for a night of rooftop dancing. To close out our week the next day, we’d have brunch at A’Bouzy and then “Sunday Funday” the afternoon away at 8th Wonder and Truck Yard.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at today without the lessons I learned and the experiences I had working for Singapore Airlines. Working there for 10 years gave me the opportunity to travel in style, make connections and build friendships all over the world. It wasn’t all a pleasure cruise either, the airline industry is very competitive and runs around the clock nonstop. As a Regional Account Executive, I learned to utilize software tools to identify potential clients. I also gained invaluable insight on how to build a brand and develop a marketing strategy around its core values. I worked with a lot of incredible colleagues and managers during my tenure with SQ but Ronald Kwee and Yik Chuan Teh were the two that had the greatest influences on my development. Without their guidance, there’s no way I could have achieved what I have accomplished in my career. I could never thank them enough. I also want to thank my childhood friend and Co-Founder, Larry Mosley, for being the first person to jump in and support my vision. A lot of people say that you shouldn’t do business with friends. We’re proof that it can work if you have the right friends.
Other: Personal instagram- www.instagram.com/mr_at_will