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About Me - David Phelps

Where am I located?

I moved 45 minutes north east of Atlanta, Georgia in the summer of 2012. The six years prior to that I lived in Cancun, Mexico. I loved my time in Cancun for many reasons. One of which was sometimes my clients would want to meet me and I would go hang out with them while on their vacation. That was really cool being able to play volleyball with them, have lunch, hang out on the beach and swap stories at a swim up bar. I moved back to Atlanta because my son, who was 4 years old at the time, was diagnosed with Autism. I only tell you that so you know that I did not move due to safety concerns as many peoples first thought might be. I moved to get my son a better education and it has paid off. I go back to Cancun every summer as my wife and step son are from there and have a lot of family living there.

How I run my business?

The name of this site says it all. I keep it honest. I am going to tell you what I think about each vacation scenario without holding back. Some travel agents will tell you that a 3-star resort is the best place on Earth just to close the sale. I will tell you that the wine they serve at dinner comes in a box if that is the case. My goal is to have your expectations of your vacation on par with the resort you are going to so that you are not disappointed. That way you come back to me year after year.  I found early on in my career that there were some people that did not like my honesty. There have been times where I could have closed a sale if I had just held back a little bit and not provided certain pieces of information. I am glad I lost those sales. If you want a travel agent that is going to sell you something that is not right for you based upon your goals but fits your budget then you should not have a hard time finding that travel agent. If you want someone that is going to tell you the raw truth and give you practical advice then you are in the right place. However, if you come to me knowing what you want then I am not going to try to talk you out of it unless I see a serious flaw in your plan.

What is the advantage to buying from me?

The advantage of buying from a travel agent is personal service. When you book a vacation with me, I am providing the service from start to finish.  When booking on-line you get very little service. If the company has a call center you speak to a different person every time. With me you get me 100% of the time. Some travel agents do this part time. What if you are on vacation and your part time travel agent is at their other part time job. Are they going to be able to help you? Probably not. My office is 10 steps from my bed. If you need me in at 3 am I will be there for you at 3 am.  I might need a nap come 9 am but that is what it is.  What matters is you know that you have a professional there to help you and not some $10 an hour call center person that just started last week.  With me you get the best price all the time.  I check multiple suppliers including some of the on-line guys.  I always quote you the lowest price and if I have to match an on-line guy then so be it.  I can do that and do it a lot.  If you find a better price just let me know.  I will look at it and if it all matches up I will match it for you.

Where do I get my clients from?

100% of my clients are repeat and referral.  I am blessed to have a lot of really good clients that have come back to me year after year and sending me their family and friends.  As of October 2017, I have not done any kind of marketing on this website.  However, I do plan to start soon.

Why did I move to Cancun?

Growing up moving all over the world gave me an itch to live in another foreign country. Before getting into travel I thought about teaching English as a foreign language in Spain. Cancun was an easy choice once I was in the travel industry.  At the time 70% of my clients flew into Cancun airport.  I was pretty fluent in Spanish.  I had a couple of friends there to help me get started.  I met a group of expats that helped show me the ropes.  When I moved there I didn’t have a predetermined amount of time I wanted to stay.  I met my wife 6 months after moving there and ended up staying for 6 years.

What kind of trips can I sell?

I can sell the whole world, but I choose to focus on beach vacations in Mexico, the Caribbean. Costa Rica and Panama.  I do that because if you try to sell the whole world you end up not knowing anything in my opinion.  You will know a couple of places good but there will be times you are selling something and not know what you are talking about.  I respect my customers too much to do something like that.  The products out in what I offer are constantly changing and it requires full focus to stay up on it.  A person’s reason for traveling varies.  I sell everything from someone just trying to get to a beach for a weekend to 50 room wedding groups.  I do all kinds of social groups and school groups.  I do a lot of honeymoons, anniversaries and birthday celebrations.  Basically, if you can think of a reason to be on a tropical beach I can make it happen.

How did I get my start in this business?

Travel is in my blood. I grew up in a military family that moved around a lot. As a kid I lived in Korea, Germany and Pakistan. As an adult I took a couple trips to Europe. When I got back from my last trip to Europe at age 22 I decided that it was time find a career and I wanted something to do with travel.  I found a Travel Agency Operations program at my local community college. The teacher was an agency owner. After begging for a couple of weeks I got an internship at his agency. I worked for free one day a week learning the things he could not teach me in the class room by watching and listening to the agents in his office. Once I finished the certificate program I asked the people that had been teaching me where to find a job. I went on one interview at a place just outside of downtown Atlanta. I worked there for a year. I didn’t do too well there due to three things. One, I was new to the industry and had a lot to learn. Two, every agent in the place was trying to sell the world. One of my first sales was to Istanbul.  That was the only time I have ever sold Istanbul.  Agents were selling anything they could to turn a buck even if they didn’t know what they were talking about. I did not like this business model.  Three, they did not have enough clients for me to make a steady enough flow of money to support myself. That is when my friend who trained me at my internship told me about a family owned host agency that had more clients than they could deal with.  They were in Arizona and they did a lot of on-line marketing.  I worked for them, from home, for 14 years.  I finally went out on my own because I was selling travel at a certain level but not getting the industry perks and recognition that comes with that level of production.  I started my own agency in January of 2017.

How often do I travel?

I travel to the destinations I sell on average 2 or 3 times a year.  I do Cancun every year.  In 2017 I rented an apartment from a friend and stayed 2 months.  The other one or two trips a year are to other destinations.  Those are usually trips where I have an itinerary of what I am to be doing all day every day up until about 9 or 10 pm with only an hour or two during the day to do what I want but that is usually showing erring and getting ready for the dinner event that night.  When I went to Turks and Caicos in 2016 I only wore swimming trunks for 4 hours of the 4-night trip.  The rest was work.  Granted it is better than being in an office but it is work none the less.




My Honest Travel Agent

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