Jamie Leahy, founder of ReadyJetGo (an affiliate of Elli Travel), is an independent luxury travel advisor in Westchester County. She shares with us some of her go-to local spots and favorite family friendly travel destinations so if you’re thinking about planning your next trip, this is a great place to start!
Please tell us a bit about your family and life in the Sound Shore!
I live in Larchmont, NY with my two boys (Liam & Tate), husband (Taylor) and 2 dogs, Luna & Ravioli. I have lived here for nearly 7 years after relocating from NYC. I’m an avid tennis player who loves being active in my local schools, sports and community programming.
What do you love about living in Larchmont?
Larchmont is an amazing town in Westchester County. Within a week of moving here, I was able to connect with other moms in the neighborhood with similar aged children and interests and since then watch our kids grow in the school system together. This town has an incredible sense of community which can be seen through organizations such as Larchmont Friends of the Family and other outreach programs. I feel lucky to have landed here!
How did you get into the travel industry?
I’ve planned & enjoyed trips around the world with family, friends & even solo, for nearly 20 years. After spending most of my career in the corporate world, most recently working as an Executive at American Express, I re-evaluated my career and channeled in on how to work within one of my passion areas – and then it clicked – travel! I became an independent Travel Advisor, starting my own Travel Business “ReadyJetGo”, and partnering with the top Travel Agency in Westchester, Elli Travel, who has been in business for over a decade and has been awarded “Best of Westchester” winner for the past 3 years. With their backing, I have been able to build a strong & successful travel business here in Westchester. I really enjoy helping others with their ideal curated journeys and anyone that knows me or has worked with me knows I’m a bit obsessive with details! My favorite part of the process is getting an update during or after the trip and knowing I’ve helped create special and unique memories.
What are the benefits of hiring a luxury travel advisor?
There are many benefits of working with a luxury travel advisor, including:
-Complimentary Benefits. Think – Room upgrades (if available), spa credits, breakfast, experiences and more…
-Same Hotel/Resort Rates as you find online yourself, with added assistance/assurance…
-Personal Relationships at Top 4 & 5 hotels worldwide – You can’t VIP yourself …
-Extensive Personal Travel Experience – I can help you determine the right fit for your family…
-Digital Itineraries – Let me manage the details for you…
I enjoy custom designing for each and every client, with requests ranging from romantic weekend getaways, family vacations, adventure, holidays, honeymoons, wedding blocks & even business travel. In addition to selecting the perfect location & accommodations, I pride myself on the details with personal recommendations across travel, transportation, dining & experiences.
Any tips on planning a trip for a family? Ideally, how far in advance should you start planning?
Reach out early! Popular hotels/resorts around the world are booking 9-12 months in advance and offer very flexible change & cancel rates so there is very low risk.
What are some of your favorite family friendly destinations?
This depends on the family and how they like to travel! Domestic vs International. Relaxing at the Beach vs Non-Stop Adventure. If we are to focus in on Family Beach Winter Break Destinations for example, I might say:
-Nevis, West Indies: My tip: Four Seasons properties offer complimentary kids clubs with flexible schedules. Want to play a morning tennis match and also have lunch and beach time as a family? Done.
-Nassau, Bahamas: My tip: The Reef, Atlantis has multi-bedroom accommodations with full kitchens. Mix it up with attractions, like swimming with dolphins, water parks, over 21 restaurants and a top-notch kids club.
-Riviera Maya, Mexico: My tip: Clients love the 5-star all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Maya. A la carte dining, 45 minutes from the airport, curated kids’ activities, and a “Baby Concierge” supplying baby bottle sterilizers, strollers, baby bathtubs, highchairs, etc.
-Puerto Rico: My tip: St Regis Bahia Beach – Nonstop flight and no passport needed. Kid-friendly with an adult vibe.
-Disney: My tip: Enjoy a polished experience at Four Seasons Orlando. Located within Disney World, with exclusive character dining, Disney concierge, luxury shuttle to parks, and an award-winning spa, lazy river, splash pad, and rooms looking out to the Magic Kingdom fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle.
*Don’t forget about Parent’s Getting Away. DM me for my top Parents Only Over-Night destinations…after the grind of school and work, take time to re-charge with your spouse! I can help you find an easy destination for 1-2 nights from Westchester – Anniversary, birthdays or “just-because” trips are the perfect motivation.
What has been your favorite destination to travel to?
This is such a hard question…I guess it depends. For my honeymoon, we went on a South African safari which included everything from sightseeing in Capetown, a trip to wine country, multiple safari locations and a relaxing end at the beach. Other memorable trips: Babymooning in Majorca, Spain; Eating my way through Portugal; Girls’ trip to Sedona, AZ; Beach trips to St Barth’s & Mexico; Family ski trips to Park City & Deer Valley; Jungle trekking in Costa Rica & a milestone celebration at a dude ranch in Montana….
Any advice you’d like to offer to busy moms trying to balance it all?
Well, I know it’s impossible to balance it ALL, as hard as we might try. I attempt to take it day by day. After the kids are at school, I think about the main things I need/want to accomplish that day. Challenges may come up (Hi Nurse, ohh he has a fever again, let me rush over and grab him!) But trying to do the best you can on priorities for each day is how I tend to approach it!
What are some of your favorite spots in the Sound Shore for:
Date night: Encore Bistro in Larchmont
Family dinners out: Larchmont Tavern in Larchmont
Coffee shop: Sunshine Coffee Roasters in Larchmont
Get your hair done: John Christopher Salon in Rye (Ask for Lindita)
Shopping for yourself: Palmer & Purchase in Larchmont & Rye
Shopping for your kids: Pixie Lane @pixielanejamieleahy for great quality kids clothing