Travel Agent Online, Established in Orlando in 1977
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"Luxury TRAVEL has never been more affordable!"

About our look

You probably are wondering why a travel site has such a nostalgic “look”. Well, let me tell you why and how "our look" happened.

Before Travel Agent Online was a reality, we researched thousands of travel sites and discovered that most of the sites we saw conveyed three common feelings; overwhelming cookie cutter coldness and sameness, confusion, and an inability to differentiate reality from hype.  All left us with a deep sense of frustration. We agreed this was not what we wanted Travel Agent Online to convey! We wanted quite the opposite impression for any visitor and potential clients. It was imperative that Travel Agent Online be warm, welcoming and friendly, as well as, a reliable resource for value driven vacations. We wanted to keep the site simple to navigate and for YOU to always feel welcome to communicate with us by phone, e-mail, our blog, facebook, twitter and youtube.  The Internet and travel have made a strange partnership throughout the evolution of the online experience.  The Internet on one hand is a cold, human-less one dimensional medium and travel is none of these at all!  Travel is a kaleidoscope of personal experiences, filled with warm memories of the people you have met and the places you have visited.  These very inconsistencies between the Internet and travel brought us to the starting point for building our site.  With one welcoming look, we wanted our viewers to know that we are approachable, warm, and communicative and the right professional choice to trust for their vacation plans.

Next question, how do we achieve this warm and intimate feeling without words?  It was "the look" that would send the right non-verbal message saying in pictures that we're approachable and we're comfortable to work with. Our final decision; let's use old and familiar pictures and graphics to achieve this feeling. Then, I remembered that I had stashed magazines older than 50 years in a storage room; ones that we had collected from my mother's home after she had passed away.  Once we retrieved them and began to look through them, it was as if the pictures and their stories that had been sealed there for decades waiting for just the right moment to emerge renewed.  New viewers could glimpse a time gone by and for those that remembered them, to have a walk down memory lane.  Wondering if we could use any of the graphics, old ads and old pictures, we did more research and found, after 50 years, that the pictures and graphics were generally in public domain and that we could use them!  

That was my "eureka" moment.  These weren’t just any old magazines either; there were hundreds of real “old” ones from the 20's, 30's, 40's, and 50's.  We were overwhelmed to say the least. Armed with the green light legally and my rediscovery of Mama’s treasure trove of old magazines, the idea hit me like a brick!  I will use these very old graphics from Mama's old magazines, incorporating the warm and friendly pictures, and make this the theme for our site. Before we started the task of building the site, we had one more litmus test.  What do other folks think about these old pictures and graphics?  My decision was confirmed by everyone who looked at the magazines. Regardless of age, each person was fascinated by literally everything in each publication. They eagerly read the articles that harkened back to a simpler time. As each one looked at the ads, you could see that a warm and fuzzy look come over their faces. When those who remembered these publications new, they would gaze upon certain pictures, obviously triggering vivid moments from their past.  Each would have a really faraway look in their eyes, replaying their childhood memories. We could only think at that moment, happy memories from their childhood and youth were releasing a rush of “pleasure endorphins” from their brain sending each person into a world all of their own childhood or that of their parents. That evidence was all I needed. I was convinced, if I could make people, of any age, feel good when they looked at the site for just a split second, maybe they would stay longer and visit the whole site. With this visual hurdle crossed, now we had to convey to visitors that we were honest, trustworthy, knowledgeable and above all professional. We hope we have done this too. I know that my Mama would be happy to know that these pages from her old magazines are giving so many people such great pleasure!

Each person has memories and we hope that just one of these pictures brings back a good one for you. We are not interested in capturing everyone’s attention, only those who respect real value and those who will appreciate our service-based knowledge as their real vacation advantage! 
We want to make your vacation dreams come true.

Harriot Aka Sparkle


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