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Cathy Brooks-Oliver

Chicago, Illinois Travel Agent

Personalized Trip Planning

Many clients look to me to plan trips that allow them to get up close and personal with locals and gain a deeper understanding of the places they visit. For example, I sent an elderly well-traveled couple to Southeast Asia on a Uniworld Mekong River cruise. They were thrilled to have the chance to eat with families in their villages and see walk through the rice fields with a guide who explained how it is planted and harvested. They couldn’t stop talking about how kind the people were and although they have stayed at the world’s best hotels and frequently dine in Michelin-starred restaurants, they raved about the meals cooked for them by locals.

Of course, everyone’s idea of what is special is different. I’ve had clients say, “send me to someplace warm with a great beach; I don’t care where.” I have to point out that they do care; do they want to go zip-lining on their vacation, see lots of people at their beach, have nightlife, or a true retreat where the stars are the only entertainment at night.

I find that clients often think allowing for spontaneity will be fun, and it is; but that is different than spending your precious vacation time driving around looking for hotels or trying to figure out where to park. When I plan a trip—especially an off the beaten path, I take care of all those little details that can sap the fun out of a trip. I have a photo on my desk of a family standing in front of a geyser with a note saying “Hands down, this was the best experience of our lives”. It’s from a client I sent on a family vacation to New Zealand.When I plan your trip, it’s carefree and it’s filled with the experiences you want. I am very detail-oriented and you’ll receive reminders for everything—packing, shots, visas...

And I don’t just have one favorite hotel in a city. I select hotels based on my client’s interests and fantasies. For example, in Paris, the Bel Ami Hotel is an adorable five star boutique property in the Saint-Germain-Des-Près area; the Plaza Athénée is a grand hotel that plays to the haute couture traveler—they can even have an outfit created specifically for them. And the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris is an Art Deco landmark just off the Champs-Elysees.  

In my seven years leading a team of top-tier clients at American Express, I often have been asked why anyone should book with a travel agent. The answer is: we know what most people don’t even think to ask, and then take care of every detail so you can get the most out of your trip. A case in point: The daughter of a client booked her own hotel in Germany and it turned out to be a nightmare of a place. Her frantic mother called me and I booked her into a great hotel I was familiar with and sent a car to pick her up. At midnight! Her daughter will never travel without me again and tells all her friends the same.

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Reviews

26 of 37 people found this review helpful

Life Saver

Reviewed By AJ - Irvine | Traveled to Orange County ~ California ~ USA
Cathy is a true LIFE SAVER. We were stuck in Colorado this past weekend (all flights canceled), and she got us home on the ONLY flight leaving Montrose when the other passengers were stranded for 2 days. When the airline canceled our original flight, she had already started working to have us re-routed before we even got to the airport. There were 10 of us traveling together, and I'm pretty sure we got the last 10 seats on the plane. My buddy who did NOT use her finally got home 2 days later...and after an 8 hr drive to Denver to catch another plane.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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22 of 34 people found this review helpful

Best Travel Agent Ever!!

Reviewed By Layla - Atlanta, GA | Traveled to Santa Barbara ~ California ~ USA
Cathy has arranged both international and domestic travel for me and my family. She is an experienced world traveler and is always knowledgeable about the latest in travel updates and advisories. Her attention to detail is impeccable and she has always gone above and beyond when planning trips for us. No matter the destination, we won't be planning a trip without Cathy's expertise.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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34 of 58 people found this review helpful

treats you like family

Reviewed By Ry & Bri - Atlanta, Ga | Traveled to Las Vegas ~ Nevada ~ USA
My girlfriend and I reached out to Ms. Brooks-Oliver trying to plan a last minute vacation, her assistance was much needed. We were able to get comfortable flight and hotel accommodations that suited our standards for a really great price . As a diligent agent, she followed up with us to make sure our stay was as intended. I expressed to her  that we were expecting and to our surprise we were greeted with a congratulatory gift and balloons. Ms. Brooks-Oliver goes above and beyond expectations to ensure your get-away is wonderful. Without request, she provided suggestions for day to day sightseeing/excursions. I highly recommend booking your next vacation with this agency and Ms. Brooks-Oliver as your agent; she'll treat you like family and make sure you trip is memorable. Thank you again!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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52 of 94 people found this review helpful

Thank you Cathy!!!

Reviewed By Carly - New York, NY | Traveled to Indonesia ~ East and Southeast Asia
We are so grateful to have had Cathy help us plan our honeymoon! We spent two weeks traveling to 4 different locations across Indonesia. Southeast Asia was completely new territory for us and thanks to Cathy, we were relaxed the entire time knowing our next step was perfectly planned for us. Never underestimate the power of an amazing travel agent like Cathy! From the very start, she was always a couple steps ahead to ensure our trip was perfect. Forever grateful for her :)
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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23 of 37 people found this review helpful

Many trips over the years

Reviewed By No nickname - Miami, Fl. | Traveled to Turks and Caicos Islands ~ Caribbean
Cathy had been booking my trip for years. Cathy always makes herself available to answer all my questions. She is very knowledgeable & gives many options to choose from. She is a pleasure to work with.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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45 of 82 people found this review helpful

A truly memorable vacation!

Reviewed By Desi - Santa Ana, CA | Traveled to St. Barthelemy Island ~ St. Barthelemy ~ Caribbean
She is a true professional who will go the distance to make your travel experience as pleasant as possible.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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24 of 41 people found this review helpful

Our Covid Escape

Reviewed By #1 Cat Momma - Troy, Michigan | Traveled to Maldives ~ Central Asia
Has been wonderful. Cathy is on top of everything and adjusted our trip based on the changes in Covid restrictions
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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47 of 87 people found this review helpful

Anniversary of a Life Time

Reviewed By Ty - Detroit, MI | Traveled to Worldwide
Cathy has made traveling easy. Her recommendations and planning is always superb. Cathy planning is detailed from start to finish. She is clearly an experienced traveler with a vast knowledge of travel locations, options, optimal dates, and programs. She had never let us down. It’s alway the best! Our most recent vacation was a Mediterranean Cruise. It was the best recommendation, anniversary and vacation ever.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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22 of 38 people found this review helpful

The best planned trip ever!

Reviewed By Diva Dove - Ellenwood, GA | Traveled to Brazil ~ South America
Cathy is simply the best! She plans your travel as though it was for her or her family. She doesn’t leave anything to chance. I will only use Cathy for my travel needs!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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8 of 12 people found this review helpful

Amazing Caye Caulker adventure.

Reviewed By Danielle - Houston Texas | Traveled to Belize City ~ Belize ~ Central America
Cathy was very professional extremely attentive to all of my needs facilitated the entire vacation I felt heard and my vacation was literally perfect.
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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7 of 12 people found this review helpful

A honeymoon to remember!

Reviewed By Danielle & Kyle - Charlotte, NC | Traveled to South Africa ~ Africa
My husband and I had an absolutely incredible experience in South Africa and Mauritius. Unfortunately, we had to postpone our trip twice due to the pandemic, however, for 2+ years, Cathy worked diligently with us to plan, replan and finally make our dream honeymoon come true. Our trip was everything we could have hoped for and more, thanks to Cathy and her continued guidance, attention to detail and professionalism. We are very much looking forward to our next trip to Africa!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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21 of 42 people found this review helpful

Saved 10 of us from 2 more days stuck out of town!

Reviewed By CWGE - Newport Beach, CA | Traveled to Orange County ~ California ~ USA
I have been working with Cathy Brooks-Oliver for years now and without question, the most knowledgable, efficient, responsive, reliable travel representative I have ever worked with! Most recently, we were on our way to the airport when we received a text from the airline stating that our flight was cancelled. I called Cathy and she immediately worked on options for 10 of us in our party (there was one other person in our party who did not work with Cathy and his fate was different unfortunately). By the time we arrived to the airport, with chaotic lines and frustrated passengers, all 10 of us were confirmed on the next flight out (which happened to be the only flight out the rest of the day). Our 1 friend who didn't work with Cathy, didn't leave Montross for 2 more days because he couldn't get on a flight!! Cathy saved us all!! I have other stories as well! She's the best of the best!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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40 of 81 people found this review helpful

BEST TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL ALL TIME

Reviewed By Chas - Newport Beach, CA | Traveled to St. Barthelemy ~ Caribbean
I have worked with numerous travel professionals over the years and Cathy is UNMATCHED! I actually first worked with her at another company (she stepped in to help a less experienced agent for an issue I was having). After my initial experience, I requested to have her as my personal concierge. She left that company and fortunately I found her again!! Cathy is accessible, knowledgable, amicable, and responsible!! Her experience is also fantastic in helping me decide on travel destinations and itineraries. She is truly the BEST! I don't want to say too many good things though cause I don't want her to get too busy for me!!!
I would recommend this agent to my family and friends
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