About Travel Made Joyful

Hi there.

Ever since I studied abroad in Santiago, Chile in college, I have loved traveling. Exploring new places, meeting new people, trying new foods and learning about different cultures – travel has shaped who I am and greatly impacted the way I view the world. Since then, I’ve visited almost 30 countries on six continents (and the list continues to grow), learning two new languages along the way!

Now, my husband and I have made it a goal to share as much of the world and its people with our two children. Our hope is that it gives them an understanding that we are all more alike than we are different, and that there are so many ways that life can look.

We’ve been able to travel to five continents with them so far, and have seen the amazing impact that travel has had on their lives already: they are open to new things, adapt to changing circumstances, and are optimistic and welcoming to other ideas and cultures. I truly believe that travel is key to creating a better world, and a brighter future.

I know traveling can be daunting, so no matter where you are in your travel journey, my goal is to help you and your loved ones explore this beautiful world in a way that works for you. If you’ve been dreaming of an international adventure, I want to help you make it come true.

Yours in adventure,

Katie Hensel

Spring Break in Lisbon, Portugal, March 2022

Why Work With Me: My Values

When I work with clients, I plan each adventure with these values in mind. You don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of, or being “sold” anything that we haven’t planned together. Below are the guiding principles that I follow when traveling with my own family, and I promise to do the same when working with you. For more detail on these points, you can download the free pdf below.

  • Immerse yourself in the local culture whenever possible
    • See everyday life, not just a resort or typical tourist sights
  • Support small and locally-owned businesses as much as possible
    • Look for accommodations, restaurants, tour operators, and shops that make and sell local products
  • Stay true to your interests, but also aim to learn something new
    • Don’t like art? Don’t spend all day in an art museum, even if it’s on a “must-see” list. What do you want to get out of this experience?
  • Try new things
    • Always wanted to try a new activity? Now is the time to do it and make some memories! From Cooking classes to kayaking…why not now?
  • Be ethically and environmentally aware
    • Is what you’re doing fair to the people and environment around you?
  • Be a positive representation of the United States
    • Be kind, mind your manners, and listen
  • Spend money where it makes sense or on experiences you value
    • Maximize points, miles, and benefits you might have access to
  • Travel slow(er)
    • Spoiler alert: You’re not going to see everything, so slow down and enjoy where you are.

My Certifications