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Secrets of Successful Travelers | T+L Family

Livia Corona Secrets of a Successsful Travel Planner

Photo: Livia Corona

The planner James Chung, president of Reach Advisors, a marketing firm. He and his wife, Christine, a law-school professor, have two children: Connor, 6, and Caitlin, 4. Home base Slingerlands, New York

James used to work 70-hour weeks, so he rarely saw Connor awake for the first nine months of his life. Then he launched his own business, devising a four-day-a-week schedule that allows time for family—and travel, his passion. For now, the Chungs focus on U.S. destinations such as Cape Cod, New York City, and ski resorts in Colorado and Vermont. But James has plans for ancestral journeys to Korea and Ireland around the bend.

Before any big trip

I find children’s books and DVD’s relevant to the destination—when we went to Vail, I packed The Snowy Day. For a trip to Crested Butte, I printed out the trail map for Connor. This gets the kids excited about where we’re going.

Always with us

A digital camera. Once we’re home, we organize our photos with Google’s Picasa—it’s free, and so easy to use it practically does the job for you.

Key car accessory

We have a Thule Mountaineer car-top ski box, which we often use to stow luggage. It provides leeway when we’re packing; plus it enables me to see out the back and gives us a little elbow room.

Best time to go

Before Connor started school, we always traveled in the off-season. We’d avoid the tourist crush and get great deals. Every year we rent a house in Wellfleet that we found in the classified section of Harvard’s alumni magazine. We used to get the place for the whole month of September for what it costs to rent for a week in July or August.

Road rules

Now that we have to travel with the pack, I dip into frequent-flier miles for upgrades—it’s great to get off the plane first. On the road, we look for suite hotels so we don’t all have to sleep in the same room—otherwise we might kill each other!


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