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- Elisabeth Brown has been in the luxury travel industry for a decade helping clients plan trips.
- Her job involves booking five-star hotels and catering personalized experiences for clients.
- She mostly works from home, but often travels herself to try experiences before her clients do.
Whether it’s sitting in an even row on a plane instead of an odd one, or staying in a hotel room with plenty of natural light, Brown is able to guarantee a level of comfort and luxury that only the ultra wealthy can expect when traveling.
Brown, 34, researches and books travel and experiences for guests. In simple terms, she’s a travel agent. But the requests of Brown’s clientele — and the service she provides — are often far from basic.
“I’ve had a client ask me about getting tickets to an opera singer’s concert when he was going to be in the area,” Brown told Insider. “I said, ‘Well actually, why don’t you consider this event that the singer hosts every summer at his home?'”
Her client didn’t know that was an option.
Knightsbridge Circle says it makes “the impossible possible.” Managing Director Peter Anderson told Insider much of that has to do with the detailed nature of its service.
The annual fee for members is $50,000, he said.
“What’s included in our fee is the servicing, and that servicing is seven days a week,” Anderson said. “We work very hard for our fees.”
Brown, along with her colleagues, has as many as five clients, and is able to customize their itineraries with suggestions.
She spends about 30% of her time traveling to ensure the experiences she suggests are exceptional.
Brown has been in the luxury travel industry for a decade and joined Knightsbridge Circle about two years ago. The London agency opened a North America office in 2021.
Brown gave Insider some insight into what an average day could look like for her.
Brown starts her day early and is already on her phone.
But she’s not scrolling social media or browsing the news. Instead, she’s making sure there’s nothing urgent to attend to for work.
Most times, she’s expecting a message coming from a different time zone. Often it’s not something she needs to jump into action for immediately though she does have to be ready for anything.
“Sometimes I wake up to a message from a client saying, ‘Hey, I had a last-minute business meeting. I’m on a plane and landing in Singapore in 12 hours. Can you make sure that a car is there?'” she said.
She’s able to work from her home in Brooklyn most days, though that doesn’t mean her days are laid back.
“I aspire to have a morning routine in place these days that doesn’t necessarily involve my phone and emails,” she said. “But the reality of it at this stage is once I’m up, I am in work mode.”
During the summer especially, Brown is swamped with inquiries about travel.
Because of the busy mornings, breakfast needs to be fast. Usually it’s a quick scramble of eggs or some oatmeal that she’s prepped for the week in a slow cooker.
“I’m not a big chef, so my skills definitely are limited to breakfast and that’s it,” she said.
Her work in the morning is usually based around attending to clients’ trips that are already underway. That means sending emails back and forth with partners — like hotels and airlines — and then providing updates to her clients.
After attending to emails and calls in the morning, Brown stays ready for urgent demands that come regularly.
“When you have heads of industry, they often can’t confirm their schedules until the last minute,” she said. “So then just naturally things happen at the last minute.”
One minute she’s sending emails, and the next she’s building an itinerary to send someone to Iceland the following week, getting a car service set up, or making sure a client’s favorite hotel room is available.
Brown sometimes runs errands to ensure all of her clients’ needs are met, including a time when she had to get a new laptop for someone on a six-week trip through Europe.
“The trickiest part with that was picking it and getting it to FedEx so it would meet them at the appropriate location because they were also traveling throughout the UK and Europe,” she said. “We didn’t want the laptop to arrive in Paris just after they had left.”
“It was a lot of puzzle pieces in terms of ensuring that it would get to the right place at the right time, which is why I personally did it myself,” she said.
As for a lunch, Brown says she’s a “grazer” and snacks on carrots or pretzels throughout the day.
In the afternoon, Brown will often take a break and stroll around her neighborhood.
She’ll make calls to colleagues or friends in the industry to catch up and maybe get some trusted recommendations. Or she’ll take 20 minutes to listen to music and “recalibrate and recenter.”
“I think it’s important for everyone’s brains to do that,” she said. “There are certainly days where it doesn’t happen, but I always try to make it happen.”
After her break, she will tend to her clients on the West Coast and try to ensure everyone is departing or arriving when they’re supposed to.
Brown said she’s always available to her clients for urgent requests, though normally her day ends around 7 p.m. That’s unless she has an evening event to attend — like a hotel group chartering a boat and inviting her to spend a couple of hours on board.
When she’s traveling outside New York, Brown might go to Paris for a week to scout hotels or to London to check out experiences like fine dining or hiking trails.
“That’s a whole other ballgame,” she said, referring to her scouting trips. “I’ve done anywhere from three to five hotel visits per day.”
There’s no better way to find out how nice a hotel is than by staying there herself. Although, it’s still work. Brown will take notes and share them with her colleagues upon her return.
When she’s home, she looks for ways to release stress after work. That might mean popping into a dance class with friends. She grew up dancing and was on the dance team at New York University.
For dinner, she’ll often eat out with her husband or meet up with friends at Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan or Saraghina Pizzeria in Brooklyn.
“It’s a good day if I’m in bed by midnight,” Brown said.