Millsboro agency merges with Bethany Travel

Cindy McCabe only just (in March) opened her Dream Vacations location in Millsboro — and she’s already expanding into the Bethany Beach-Ocean View-Millville area.
Coastal Point • SAM HARVEY: Melinda Johnson, left and Cindy McCabe are combining forces to improve travel options for the community.Coastal Point • SAM HARVEY:
Melinda Johnson, left and Cindy McCabe are combining forces to improve travel options for the community.

She’s about to mesh her operation with Melinda Johnson’s Bethany Travel, which is located right behind the Beebe Medical Center in Millville.

The two ladies have known one another for some time now. McCabe, who’s been in the travel business for about six years, said she used to book her own cruise vacations through Johnson.

Johnson has been in the business for 30 years and has run Bethany Travel for the past nine. Her daughter, Chatham Barnett, works alongside her. (Pets and grandchildren occasionally lend a hand, as well).

Recently, thinking about retirement, Johnson said she’d decided the time had come to pass the torch. Both she and her daughter’s family were planning a move to Vermont — but Johnson didn’t want to hand over Bethany Travel to just anybody.

It had been years since she’d spoken with McCabe but, somewhat serendipitously, right about the time all these things were running through Johnson’s head, Dream Vacations appeared in a local newspaper article.

So, Johnson pitched the business deal to her former client — and McCabe decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

For her part, Johnson got to leave Bethany Travel in good hands.

“This worked out a lot better for the staff, and for the clients,” she said.

McCabe echoed that sentiment, pointing out that the locals were already familiar with Johnson’s staff members, and they were well-liked.

Jill Kelly will remain manager at the Millville location, she added. McCabe plans to continue working out of the Dream Vacations office in Millsboro. “The only thing that’s changing at Bethany Travel is Melinda’s retiring,” she said.

Johnson credited her staff, noting their experience in the travel industry — and the fact that most of them were well-traveled themselves. For her part, she reflected on a lifetime studded with adventures to exotic locales — from Bangkok, Thailand, to Budapest, Hungary, to India and Japan.

McCabe said she favors cruises. She tries to alternate between family vacations and couples-oriented junkets with her husband.

Both agreed going through a travel agent was likely to save time and money. For one thing, Bethany Travel is able to offer consolidation rates, especially for South American cruises, Johnson pointed out.

People seemed to feel more comfortable making ticket purchases with a live human being, too, McCabe added, rather than just punching in numbers on the Internet. And going through an agency typically means there will be contacts (if not full-service tour guides) waiting when travelers reached their destinations.

McCabe said they even offer “home port” cruises, for people who don’t like to fly, with Caribbean-bound ships departing Norfolk, Va., docks, rather than sailing from Florida.

Between the Millsboro and Millville locations, McCabe and her colleagues should have local travel needs covered.

For more information, call Dream Vacations at (302) 933-0955 or Bethany Travel at (302) 537-7188.