This Talented Travel Advisor Takes Her Business’ IG Reels To the Next Level

Just when you
thought you’d seen everything imaginable on Instagram, one woman comes along
and defies all expectations. Ever seen a professional musical theatre actor-turned-travel
advisor? Well, there’s one out there, alright, and she’s attracting plenty of
attention with her cleverly written original lyrics about the world of travel,
which she flawlessly sets to the tune of famous songs.

Owner of Travel With Character, Lauren
Quirk is gaining even more popularity among her peers for her music video
parody reels on social media. In fact, last year she took home a Gold accolade at Travel Weekly
Magellan Awards, winning in the category of ‘Individual Travel Advisor
Marketing – Social Media’.

From the first few
notes of any reel you start with, it’s obvious that Lauren has a highly trained
voice, which led me to wonder about her background and how it might lend itself
to these comical, yet admirably performed, pieces. As it turns out, she studied
Music in Theatre in college (Washington and Lee University) before moving to
New York City to pursue a career in musical theatre. And, she built one, too!
She worked as an off-Broadway actor for 5 years in the Big Apple, performing in
various musicals and workshopping new shows.

Nowadays, she
still treads the boards, but does so as SAG-AFTRA actor in Los Angeles, where
she moved in 2013. There, she studied improvisational comedy with the
world-famous Groundlings theatre troop in Hollywood, and graduated from the
comedy theatre and education center Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB). She also
works as a vocal coach, with several of her students being active in the
entertainment industry.

Of course, that’s
on top of her regular work as a travel advisor, but it all seems to blend
together pretty seamlessly, if her social media presence is any indication. After
watching some of her witty pasquinades online, we at TravelPulse decided that
this fascinating human was someone we needed to meet for ourselves. We sat down
with her to find out how and why she began posting these attention-grabbing
little satirical videos to social media.

TP: Have you
always been into writing your own song lyrics?

LQ: Writing parody
songs comes pretty easily to me. I think my brain just works that way! I hear
a song and often immediately know how I can change the words to be
about… well, travel!

TP: When did you
start using them to supplement your business’ social media reach? 

LQ: The first song
that I created for my travel business was in 2021 when Olivia Rodrigo’s
“Driver’s License” was super popular. My version was “(I forgot
my) Driver’s License” about not getting through TSA security, and also
being ill-prepared in general for a vacation without using an Travel Advisor.
At that time during covid my business was in a lull, so I had some extra time
on my hands and wanted to do something fun. I’m not sure how many people
actually saw that video on my Instagram feed, but I sure did love the
feeling it gave me to combine my passion of travel with music!

Later in 2021 when
cruising was slowly returning, the Celebrity Edge was the first to make a big
return and I did a parody of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory”. I was
thrilled when the Captain of the ship, Kate McCue, reposted my video to her
Instagram Stories! That was the moment when I felt people actually wanted this
type of content and I should create more. 


I started
recording acoustic versions of songs with simple cell phone video in my living
room at my piano. I still love this singer-songwriter vibe, but my mind started
swimming with ideas about fully produced music videos for the tracks.

In December of
2022 I went into the recording studio to lay down a track of “All I want
for Christmas is Batuu”, a spin-off of Mariah’s classic featuring Galaxy’s
Edge at Disneyland. I went the full music video route for that one to put on
YouTube and Facebook. What
was supposed to be a cute link to send our clients, in lieu of a holiday
card, turned into a video that got 4.9k plays on Facebook in just a couple of
days. Later in 2023 I won a Gold Magellan Award from Travel Weekly for
this video project.

TP: Have you
noticed your following growing as a result of the reels? How does that help you
grow your travel advisor business? 

LQ: Of course, the
hope in putting out this content on Instagram and TikTok, etc. is to attract
new viewers and followers. I have definitely seen my audience grow each time I
put out new content. It’s a fun way to attract new people to the feed, where
they then can find more helpful content about the custom vacations that we
design. Many of our guests are in the millennial and elder-millennial
demographic, as we focus on family travel, and they are all on Instagram. I’m
hoping to attract savvy travelers that also have a great sense of humor and
enjoy a luxury vacation that is also Insta-worthy and FUN! 

The main goal with
my content creation is to build a brand that is modern and entertaining, with
two of our agency’s core values being creativity and enthusiasm.
At Travel With Character, we view each vacation as a theatrical
“production” where collaboration is key. Our guests “pitch”
their ideas, we “storyboard” a proposal and then we design the
elements that go into creating the production, all with the traveler as the
protagonist of the show. Our overall brand is very visual. Even if my team of
advisors is not creating musical content like I do, they all have their unique,
creative style of showcasing their work through photography, graphic design,
personal videos, and a bit of comedic flair. 

TP: Which reels
have gotten the most engagement for you and which are some of your personal

LQ: My Disney reels
have definitely gotten the most engagement. I think the Disney affinity crowd
loves a good show-tune paired with some Disney twists! The Disney brand is all
about storytelling and historically has some incredible music. I think that’s
why I’ve enjoyed partnering with them to sell travel. 

I’ve had a few reels that have been especially popular within the Travel
Advisor community. I wrote a song called “Ryan’s Cousin” (to the tune
of “Jessie’s Girl”) about a client that listened to what their brother’s,
uncle’s, friend’s cousin Ryan told them about planning their Disney trip rather
than what their advisor said. I think a lot of folks related to that one. 

My personal favorite was my Carmen Sandiego parody “Where in the World are
we Drinking at Epcot”. My inner 90s kid had been waiting to film that one
for a while, about 2 years after I originally wrote the lyrics. Rockapella’s
lyrics are quite creative and it was a challenge to echo the awesome
plays-on-words of that one. It was also quite fun to film. 

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