Interview by Abernathy Cochran intern and Gainesville High student Grady Vardeman
Meet Erica Carr! If you haven’t met Erica yet, you sure are missing out! Erica owns bookitbox TRAVEL, a company that plans and curates travel experiences customized for each client.
Erica is married to Quentin and the couple are Gainesville residents.
She lives by her motto “When in doubt, travel!”
We want to thank Erica for spending time with us recently and telling us more about her life and love of Hall County.
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “Post graduation I was in dental and orthodontic sales, so you could say I’ve moved far from that. I’ve always traveled a lot with my husband since we met and I’ve learned you always have to have a plan, you have to have things pre-reserved and can’t just show up somewhere and have the best experience possible. Our really good friends, the Lovells, bought airfare to Barcelona and I asked them, ‘what are you going to do when you get there?’ They just said they didn’t know and they didn’t have time to plan it. So, finally, I said, “let me plan it for you.” And they did! They gave me their budget and I was able to plan the whole trip for them. There’s was especially fun because I created each day’s activities as a total surprise to Kate and Matt – each evening, they were to open an envelope that included the following day’s itinerary. That’s how bookitbox was born.”
Q: How do you start to plan your trips?
A: “Several destinations I plan client trips to, I’ve already been. When it’s a place I haven’t been, I collaborate with my network of travel partners that are located all across the world. So, for example, I’ve never done a South Africa safari trip, but I have someone from South Africa that has local relationships and partnerships so they’re able to help me build really cool, authentic experiences.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “I love Poor Richards, especially the basement part of the restaurant. I love the hot bacon salad dressing.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “I’ve lived in Hall County for 19 years and Gainesville for six years.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it
be and why?
A: “I want to say everywhere, but that’s almost becoming a problem – I see all these really cool trips I’m working on for clients, so my list keeps growing and growing!”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Life is about experiences, make as many memories as you can.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “I never thought I would want to do an African Safari, but after planning one, I’d say that’s next on my list.”
Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Hall County?
A: “Green’s Grocery, I think it would be hard to find one person in Gainesville that doesn’t know what Green’s is.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Hall County?
A: “We have a golf cart now, so we take that thing everywhere: around the neighborhood or even to the square. We love to be able to do that, also, something I can’t leave out is the number of female entrepreneurs we have in Hall County and how everyone is so supportive, it’s truly amazing.”
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I am actually a respite foster mom, and what that means is that we are a family that takes foster kids that are placed with a full-time foster family. So, when that foster parent needs a break or is going out of town and can’t take the foster kids with them, they come to us…we’re kind of like aunts and uncles of foster kids. We get to spoil them for a weekend then let them go back to their full-time foster parents.”
Q: What three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the
word home?
A: Cozy, comfortable, and safe.”