Ask an expert - Business profile - Elysian Travel

Sisters and Hinsdale residents Trish Injaychock and Courtney McCarthy understand the elements of an unforgettable vacation, and their clients trust them to deliver.

As the owners and founders of Hinsdale-based Elysian Travel, an upscale boutique agency, Injaychock and McCarthy draw on their backgrounds as a large-scale event planner and global brand manager for a hotelier, respectively, to plan "exclusive experiences" for people.

"There's nothing better than when a client gives you feedback that it was the trip of a lifetime," McCarthy said.

"And those that say,'You've been with us for some of our best family moments. You organized them, you made it happen,' " Injaychock added.

The two traversed much of the world in their prior jobs - even living abroad for several years - setting the stage to unite their skill sets by launching Elysian nearly six years ago.

"We've been everywhere, so that's nice - personally and professionally," McCarthy said.

"It was just a lifestyle choice of - knowing we were the best at what we do - getting together and synergizing our strengths and our backgrounds," Injaychock said.

The venture took off, and luxury chains such as Four Seasons, One & Only and The Peninsula took notice of the top-producing firm, providing advances on new projects.

"We have the information before it's even happening," Injaychock said, "and when not to put people there because there's a renovation going on next door."

They make it their mission to cover every detail, including the preferred pillow type. Sometimes they steer people away from a stated place to an alternative destination they are sure will be more compatible.

"You really get to know your clients and you're able to have a heightened level of service to ensure perfection," Injaychock said.

McCarthy said the agency has enjoyed double-digit growth annually thanks to loyal customers and their referrals. They employ several agents, and a member of the team is trotting the globe two weeks of every month visiting hotel properties.

"And that's the only way to ensure that we are the best at what we're doing," McCarthy said.

When everybody was forced to lock down in March of last year due to the pandemic, Elysian scrambled to book clients on return international flights before the U.S. border closed.

"Those were long days," Injaychock said, adding that they spent several months working with hotels and airlines to either reschedule trips or issue refunds.

Clients appreciated their relentless advocacy on their behalf, and their business has rebounded as a result now that the world is reopening.

"We are back to 2019 numbers in terms of the level of business that we are doing," McCarthy said.

The inability to travel has inspired many to target exotic locales now that the world has opened back up, Injaychock related.

"They say, 'Life is precious, and I've always wanted to go to the Maldives or St. Barts,' " she said.

Multi-generational trips and celebration travel are also on the rise. And Injaychock and McCarthy are delighted to play an integral role in marking those milestones.

"It all becomes one big family, and it's just so energizing and exciting," McCarthy said.

- by Ken Knutson

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean