If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to have Duane Penner hosting a Roadtrips event that you attended, you’ll know that he is a great guy to be around. Not only does he know how to find you the best restaurants in Monte Carlo/ the most fun family activities in London/ or how to hook you up with whatever else you’re into wherever you are, but he knows international sporting events inside out. In 2013, Duane Penner was named a Travel + Leisure Magazine A-List Super Agent, and the best in his field, for International Sports Travel Events. We asked Duane a few questions about his life as a Roadtrips team member, and here’s what he had to say.
What makes you so good at what you do?
It’s a combination of things. For one, I’ve been involved in sports travel for a long time so I do know my stuff, part of that is just being this old! Also, we specialize very much in the international sporting events while in North America many of our competitors concentrate on domestic events, which they are very good at. I don’t know any other North American agents that have been to the Monaco Grand Prix as many times as I have [twelve times] or agencies that are as committed to international events as Roadtrips is. These things have both helped me rise to the top in this category. I think the fact that I love these sporting events, and I love to travel, also helps me be good at this.
What is your favorite sporting event to attend?
The Monaco Grand Prix is definitely one of my favourites. I love that part of the world, and because I’ve been so many times I know it so well. I tell people that even if they aren’t auto-racing fans, everyone needs to do that trip once in their life. Monaco is a great travel destination, and being there during the Grand Prix is fantastic because there’s that glamour and history, the beautiful people, the yachts – there are so many things that make it a super cool event.
Will you be in Brazil for the Summer Games next year?
Yes, and I was there last year for 40 days over the World Cup. We recognize that in order to make these events special for people, we have to know our stuff, so we make a commitment to go back and forth between destinations before every event. We hire local hosts too, but sometimes we’ve had staff go six months in advance and live in a destination in order to build relationships and really understand the destination in order to deliver on it.
It sounds like you love what you do.
I’ve worked at Roadtrips for sixteen years, and I do love it. We have a great culture here, and very few people leave. Working here you get to see different parts of the world, sporting events, and other interesting things – there are lots of neat perks.
Have you always loved travel?
Definitely. I spent almost a decade backpacking and working just to travel, hoofing around on nickels. I love sports, but I probably love travel even more. I went to Italy, Austria, and France this summer with my family, we just love traveling, and I went in advance with my middle daughter to Rome to do a cooking school for a few days. Traveling with kids is awesome, and that’s probably some of the best feedback I get in my job, seeing families having a great time at these major events, it is always super rewarding seeing guests’ kids having a blast.
Whatever sporting event is on your bucket-list, our knowledgable staff can help you get there and organize the very best itinerary to meet your travel goals. Contact us to see how we can help you have the trip of a lifetime.