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New Travel Expert Network™ Connects Travelers with Certified Travel Experts for Bucket-List Trip Planning

Travel Expert Network

Hosted by Travel Beyond The Obvious

Post-COVID Travelers Seek Trips Tailored to Their Individual Needs, New Network Delivers Extraordinary Travel Experts For Free

With the launch of the Travel Expert Network travelers can choose from among our many Certified Travel Experts, for free, and know that they will get a fantastic trip every time.”
— Madeline Jhawar

MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, January 17, 2023 / -- Travel Beyond The Obvious (TBO), the leader in fee-based travel planning training and certification, today announced the launch of the Travel Expert Network (TEN), the only online directory of travel experts, where savvy travelers can find exceptional travel experts for free.

No one wants to waste money and time on a bad trip. Before the Internet, travelers relied on travel agents armed with brochures to help them choose when to go, where to stay and what to do. Then-new websites like Trip Advisor put oceans of detailed travel information at travelers’ fingertips leading to a surge in DIY trip planning with mixed results.

Founder Madeline Jhawar identified a consumer travel market need to curate the overwhelming flood of travel advice. In 2008 Jhawar launched Italy Beyond The Obvious to deliver bucket-list travel itineraries to savvy travelers. Unlike most travel planners Jhawar adopted a fee-based business model that didn’t rely on commissions. She developed her own 5-Step Planning Process™, and over the following decade built Italy Beyond The Obvious into a six-figure business.

In 2018 Jhawar joined forces with Devin McKinney, a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur with successes like GO Corporation and SoftBook Press, to launch Travel Beyond The Obvious. Together they turned Jhawar’s home-grown process into a certification program to train, assess and authorize travel planners as Certified Travel Experts™ (CTEs). Applicants must demonstrate deep area knowledge and have a business plan that aligns with Madeline’s proven fee-based business model offering custom trips with no hidden fees. Candidates must also pass a series of rigorous assessments including two hours of video interviews. The result? CTEs deliver consistently superior trips.

Industry experts have taken notice as well. Jhawar has been chosen to present her methodology for building a fee-for-service travel planning business at Host Agency Reviews (HAR) Host Week 2023. Steph Lee, President of HAR, said “Host Week is all about connecting advisors to fantastic resources that will help them succeed. Charging fees is something that has proven to increase an advisor’s income and we’re excited to have Madeline share how she has successfully implemented a fee-for-service travel business.”

With today’s launch of the Travel Expert Network, Travel Beyond The Obvious is seamlessly connecting travelers with Certified Travel Experts to plan their next bucket-list trip. According to Josh Lieberman, frequent traveler and repeat customer of TBO-certified travel experts, “After Madeline created an amazing trip to Italy for me I turned to the Travel Expert Network to find a planner for my next bucket list trip, to Greece. I found Carol Papaletsos, another in-network CTE. I told Carol I wanted ‘Greece Beyond The Obvious’ and she gave me a fantastic trip.”

Travel Expert Network (TEN) Services
● TEN Directory and interactive map gives travelers direct access to CTEs for free
● Each CTE has a profile page on the site plus TEN badge to display on their own site for TBO network inclusion and promotion
● CTEs pay $499 annual fee for TEN listing, certification, badge and community membership services

Travel Beyond The Obvious - Services
● Founder Essentials Bundle ($2,499) – Travel Expert Training Program, Silver Certification, Community Membership, Network Membership
● Builder Essentials Bundle ($499) - Gold Certification, Community Membership, Network Membership

The Travel Expert Network is actively seeking new travel experts to expand their coverage and their community.

About Travel Beyond The Obvious
Travel Beyond The Obvious ( offers training and certification programs for new and estabished travel experts.

About the Travel Expert Network
The Travel Expert Network ( is the first free online directory of Certified Travel Experts for travelers.

About Host Agency Reviews
Host Agency Reviews is an independent website connecting travel agents to industry resources. Founded by Steph Lee, HAR is the largest B2B travel industry directory on the web. Host Week 2023 is a weeklong event that starts 1/23/23 to celebrate hosted travel advisors and the industry that supports them.

Devin McKinney
Travel Beyond The Obvious
+1 360-334-2008
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