For too long, the Regional Kitchener Airport has offered the same all-inclusive vacation options, limiting those in the area to the same yearly destination.
When Diane Cook, a certified and accredited travel professional, noticed the lack of new travel opportunities, she made it her mission to find a destination that would offer a unique experience.
Located in the Southern Caribbean and 30 degrees almost every day, Barbados is the perfect destination. With small ship cruise lines, golfing, catamaran sailing and scuba diving, there are plenty of activities beyond the walls of the resorts.
"By offering this flight from the Kitchener Waterloo area, I'm offering a destination that has not been offered from there before," she said.
"It's something unique, and it's something different,"
The all-inclusive resorts may provide unlimited drinks and a marble bathroom, but they do not provide the traveller with a true sense of the countries culture, Cook said. Now, those flying out of Kitchener have the option of an elevated trip and cultural experience.
"Barbados is the jumping-off point to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which is a boating mecca for all of the boat owners of Southwestern Ontario," Cook said, adding that travellers can charter their own boat or a crewed vessel to explore the area.
There's also a variety of accommodation available in Barbados, ranging from private villas and condos to family-friendly resorts and homes on golf courses.
"There are also some very exclusive resorts and private islands for those wanting to be farther off the beaten path," she added.
Cook is adamant that every part of the trip should be an elevated experience, and the flight is no exception. The private charter carries no more than 92 people, and only two seats of every three-seat row are sold, so clients have more room.
"It's about space, comfort and service," she said, adding that the price of the five-hour direct flight is all-inclusive.
"Your seat, checked bag, meal and beverages onboard, covid insurance and cancellation interruption are all included," she said.
The flight — which leaves every Friday — is also open to Ottawa residents, as the plane starts there before going to Kitchener and onwards to Barbados. Return flights are on Saturday, and clients can choose the length of their stay.
"You can fly out on Friday and come home a month later or come home two weeks later," she said. "As a specialist in Bucket List Travel and curating each client experience, I wanted to offer total flexibility of what their experience will be," she said.
Visit Cook's website to learn more about the Barbados destination and her other off-the-beaten-path travel options.