We had the good fortune of connecting with Albert Andrew Valera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Albert, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
There is no greater reward than being your own boss and looking back to see what you’ve built over the years. While Everything Travel Guy is my personal brand, it was important for me to align myself with SmartFlyer, a Virtuoso Agency, as an Independent Travel Advisor due to the global reach, relationships and wealth of knowledge that other independent agents contributed. I am a strong believer that you should always have people on your team whose strengths are greater than yours, especially in areas that you lack so that collectively you become the very best in the industry. The best advice I can give someone is don’t hesitate to bring on a partner or align yourself to grow.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As you can tell by my company name “Everything Travel Guy” we specialize in all things travel (Hotels, Flights, Villas, Crusies, Jets, Yachts etc) worldwide. We are also a Virtuoso Agency with our affiliation trough Smartflyer so we are able to get perks such as complimentary nights, breakfast included, resort credits, complimentary upgrades etc for our clients. I actually launched Everything Travel Guy in 2020 during the pandemic – what a crazy time to start a travel concierge company right? Well, I realized clients couldn’t get a hold of hotels or restaurants, airlines had 60-90 minute wait times and worse, when you arrived to a property, no one knew who you were and half of the resort amenities were non operational. We solved the issue for many travelers who were focused more on service, rather than saving $10 by booking on an online travel website. With Everything Travel Guy, we handle your trips, big or small from A to Z. Service is the key word in this business. Most of our clients just want to show up and know that everything is handled and should something go wrong, they have someone that will resolve things for them while they continue to enjoy their trip.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite gems in Miami is the Faena. Not only is Pao, by Top Chef winner Paul Qui the best restaurant in the city, it also offers impeccable views of the ocean and art lovers will appreciate the Damien Hirst golden unicorn in the center of the room. After dinner, head down to the Faena Theater where you can usually find curated shows that interact with all your senses. Fun fact, Baz Luhrmann who directed the Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge designed the interiors of the hotel alongside owner Alan Faena. After the theater, head over to the living room for a night cap and the best live music in the city.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
One of my favorite business books is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I wasn’t the most studious person growing up and while naturally introverted, when it came to business, I became more of an extrovert. Dale’s book reminds you the basics laws of dealing with people. If you can deal with people and be an effective communicator, you’ll naturally succeed in life. I also want to thank Michael Holtz & Erina Pindar of Smartflyer who gave me the opportunity to join the Smartie family and align my personal brand with such a fantastic group of Virtuoso Luxury Travel Advisors.