ABOUT US

After travelling the world for more than 25 years, and working in different areas of the Travel industry, Jake and Damon formed Travelcation, a personal concierge travel service.

Our philosophy is to build genuine relationships that turn customers into friends. We want to pass on our knowledge, experience and share our passion for travel with our friends. That’s why we say…

‘See the world the way we do!”

As our team grew so did our offering now under three distinct brands: Travelcation – Our retail travel concierge, Australia & New Zealand – An inbound tour operator and wholesaler show casting the best of Australia and New Zealand  and Vagaytion – Travel service to our LGBT community. Each of our brands still maintains the same core values of a travel company, which genuinely cares for our friends, and passes on our highly valued knowledge to offer unique travel experience as only a friend could.

Meet the team

Click on the image below learn more about us.

Founder & Managing Director

Jake Chiem

Founder & Managing Director

Damon Low

Travel Expert

Elena Vartazarian

Product Manager

Emma de Vost

Travel Expert

Sascha McRae

Travel Expert

Tahnee Inverno

Travel Expert

Raffaella Gatto

Travel Expert

Treacy Teen

Travel Expert

Tara Sullivan

Travel Expert

Saskia van den Heuvel

Travel Expert

Julie Revett

Travel Expert

Lisa Chew

Founder & Managing Director

Jake Chiem

I started my adventure in the travel industry two decades ago. Over the years my experience in this business ranges from retail and corporate travel booking to wholesale and tour operator. I managed multiple successful travel agencies picking up numerous awards over the years including 2 consecutive years for Best Travel Advisor and 5 awards for Best Travel Manager of the Year and Best National sales manager. Was written up in the Travel Weekly magazine as the 6th most successful travel agent of 2006, more recently an award for best new starter business 2016 and Travel Partners entrepreneurial award 2020.

I’ve stayed in accommodation ranging from a Ger tent in Mongolia to 5 star overwater bungalows in Tahiti. I have firsthand flown on all travel classes from economy to first. Experienced adventures such as cruising across the Mediterranean, learning Tai Chi at the Shaolin Temple in China and Safariing in Africa.

Some of my favourites include seeing broadway shows in New York, sailing down the Nile in Egypt, water festival in Bangkok, cycling through Paris, eating amazing seafood in Nha Trang and scuba diving in the pristine waters of Fiji.

My passion has always been to realise your travel dreams, with my years of experience of the domestic as well as international market, I am here to make your experience of planning a trip as easy as picking up the phone.

 

 

 

Founder & Managing Director

Damon Low

I have been working in marketing for the past 20 years and created the look and feel of The Travelcation Group. It is a job that I love doing!

My first overseas holiday was to Japan, fresh out of school I studied Japanese and my Japanese teacher opened my eyes to a much bigger world than Sydney, Australia by taking me to the bustling streets of Tokyo. That single experience triggered a passion that has seen me travel all over the world. I have climbed the stairs of Notre Dame in Paris, walked through the valley of the kings in Egypt, made rice paper on the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, climbed the great wall of china, explored the streets of Budapest, eaten pizza in Italy, seen the archaeological ruins of Tulum in Mexico and lost way too much money in Las Vegas.

Who would have thought whilst I was meditating with monks in Japan on that first trip over 20 years ago, that I could turn all this experience into a job that allows me to share it with you.

Travel Expert

Elena Vartazarian

Travel for me is more than getting on a plane, checking into a hotel and ticking off the sites from a checklist, it’s about truly experiencing what a destination has to offer with all my senses. It means taking time off from my everyday life to grow as a person by immersing myself in the culture, the language, the smells and tastes of local specialties and feeling the warmth of the locals…

I learnt the joy of travel with my family in my early years, then on a budget in my student years, followed by luxury holidays with my husband and more recently sharing the love of travel with my two little boys. I was born in Iran and grew up in Australia, have visited many countries in South East Asia, South Pacific, Europe, USA, Canada and more recently Armenia and the surrounding regions. Some of my most memorable travel experiences have been cheering the Socceroos at the 2018 World Cup in Sochi, walking the streets of Yerevan with the Armenian locals during the Velvet Revolution and witnessing turtles nesting in Borneo. Having cycled, bused, trained, cruised and driven on my adventures I can recommend the best options for your ideal holiday.

Domestic or international, Asia or Europe, organised tours or self-drive holidays are all trips I can help arrange. After 15 years in the travel industry in leisure and corporate travel, and now specialising in family holidays with kids, I have come to understand that each stage of life demands a different travel style – So tell me your travel dreams and let me find the best imaginable trip for you!

Product Manager

Emma de Vost

I am a passionate tourism professional with a love of words and good communication. My experience in the travel and tourism industry spans many years and I have been lucky to have had many wonderful local and international travel experiences.

As a child, my European mum and grandmother were always taking me to visit someone or something in some far away land and I have continued to enjoy all aspects of travel as an adult.

I have been lucky to visit Sri-Lanka on many occasions, South-East Asia, Europe and America as well as many parts of my gorgeous homeland of Australia.

Travelling on the Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin with my elderly Dad was an absolute highlight.

I am as happy in a swag backpacking through Kakadu National Park as I am staying at the Fairmont Hotel in Monaco and can quickly ascertain what other people might also enjoy.

Next on my bucket list is a trip to Ningaloo Reef to enjoy an incredible stay at Sal Salis, witness the dramatic scenery and experience the unique sea life first-hand.

With well-honed commercial and strategic skills from previous roles in public relations, travel and sales, I am well-placed to identify what in travel is hot and what is not.

Travel Expert

Sascha McRae

I caught the travel bug at a very young age. From my first solo overseas trip from Canada to Australia as a curious 8 year old, to moving to Galway, Ireland as a youth craving adventure at 17, the signs were there – I should have known I would grow up to work in travel!
Growing up in Canada, I moved in my youth to enchanting Galway, studying, working and living a total of five years. The magic of the city has a hold on me with the rugged landscape of the west coast and the intoxicating smell of warm peat fires burning within the thatch cottages dotted along the Connemara Coast.

I enjoyed living in Marbella, soaking the sun, and exploring the region from this base. Spanish Costa del Sol is a magical paradise! An additional stint in the northern Basque country added fuel to the fire for my passion for Spain.

I have had close family living in a village in Morocco for a quarter of a century, providing me a wonderful base for all my Moroccan adventures over the years! It has been astounding to watch the local communities change and grow over that time.
I have holidayed through North America, Europe, North Africa, NZ & the South Pacific, South East Asia & domestically here in Australia.
Living and working here for the past 15 years, I have found my joy and passion in being a travel agent, helping folks discover the food, music, customs and cultures of the world, be it in our backyard or abroad. Whatever adventure you choose to make your own, I am here to design it into a seamless, stress free dream waiting to come true!

Travel Expert

Tahnee Inverno

Hello! I’m Tahnee, a professional travel advisor currently residing in Perth, Western Australia. Since 2009, I’ve dedicated my career to providing exceptional travel experiences. I specialise in tailor made itineraries for solo travellers, couples, families and groups and offer you a unique personalised approach to planning and booking your holiday.

The different cultures, their lifestyles and distinctiveness feed my passion for travel. Europe, Canada, South East Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand, UAE, Hong Kong and Macau are just some of the destinations this passion has taken me to. From beach bungalows to luxury private villas, Shangri las and Ritz Carltons, chateaus and tree houses, I’ve been fortunate enough to have stayed in all types of accommodation and explore many sites that this wondrous world has to offer. I’ve even been lucky enough to celebrate a milestone birthday on a privately-owned island on Lake Maggiore, Italy and cruised from Paris to Normandy on a 5-star luxury river cruise ship. I’ve enjoyed the perks of traveling in its true essence and aspire to help you experience the same with ease and comfort.

My career in travel has also been quite diverse, ranging from managing an award-winning retail travel store for 5 years, to running my own mobile travel agency, as well as working for online agencies in ticketing, corporate travel and customer support.

There’s no doubt that travel has changed and it’s more important than ever to have your holiday booked by an expert. If you’re looking for someone backed by 12+ years’ experience who can ensure a safe, seamless, enjoyable holiday, I’d love to hear from you!

Email:mailto:tahnee@travelcation.com.au

Travel Expert

Raffaella Gatto

Travel is such an infectious industry. To be able to share my love for travel with my clients is what enables me to thrive in my position as a travel consultant.

My passion for travel began at a young age as I grew up in a European family. Living in a family with such great culture drove my passion to discover more. My love for the industry began as young as 15 during high school work experience.

Having kids at a young age, we began to make memories by travelling around Australia. Discovering culture in our own backyard was something that the kids really enjoyed.
As they grew, I no longer needed to live my travelling dreams through my clients itineraries and took the time to travel to parts of the world I had always wished to.
I have been fortunate enough to travel to many destinations which include the USA, Hawaii, Mexico, New Zealand, South Pacific, Bali, Paris, London and Dubai.
I’m eager to add to the list for my own personal and professional experiences.

Working in the industry gives me the chance to plan vacations for people that are sometimes out of this world! I love that I’m helping create their memories that will last a lifetime.
My purpose is to ensure that every one of my clients enjoys a tailor made holiday that not only meets but far exceeds their expectations.

Travel Expert

Treacy Teen

Travel Expert

Tara Sullivan

Back in high school, my best friend and I had a plan to travel around Australia in a converted old school bus.  While that never happened, all the dreaming and possibilities fuelled my enthusiasm and passion for travel, so after finishing a pretty useless Arts Degree, I found myself drawn to the travel industry.

For me travel isn’t about the list of places I’ve been or jobs I’ve done. It’s about the experiences; the memories; the anticipation in the planning; the freedom; the friendships made; the food shared; the energy of a place – be it a bustling city or a deserted landscape.

One of the best things about travel is the anticipation; the dreaming, planning, imagining and creating.  The excitement starts from the moment you decide to go somewhere and it’s an absolute joy to be able to be a part of this for others!

We are so fortunate to live in such a spectacularly beautiful country – our magnificent coastline; wild interiors; a rich and ancient Indigenous culture, so connected and integrated with the land; a world-class food and wine scene; fabulous cities; iconic sights and just across the Pacific our equally stunning neighbour New Zealand to explore

Recently I hiked the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory, sleeping in a swag under the stars.  The sky so vast and expansive, the stars so numerous and bright.  You’d think you’d feel small and insignificant but it was just the opposite, I felt so connected and so part of the universe, an overwhelming gratitude flooded me, how lucky are we that we get to have these experiences and use our knowledge and passions to create them for others.

Travel Expert

Saskia van den Heuvel

Ever since I can remember I have always been obsessed with travelling, different cultures and languages. As a little girl, my favourite thing to do was to sit on the couch with my dad and study the world map. I tried to memorize the countries and their capitals and I would picture myself being there one day. I made it a goal to visit every single country in the world.

All of this led me to my choice of studies; International Tourism Management.

Being born in the Netherlands I had the privilege to travel all over Europe and now that I obtained my bachelors degree I thought it was time for a new adventure. I packed my things and moved to Australia to chase love and explore a different part of the world; I absolutely love it.

My favourite part of working as a travel expert for Travelcation is that I get to share my passion, my knowledge and the things that excite me with like-minded people and to turn their dreams into reality.

Some of my favourite destinations are South Africa, Cuba and of course my home country of the Netherlands. If you need any insider’s tips on where to eat, sleep, explore in these countries and many more you know where to find me!

Due to COVID-19, family and friends back home have motivated me to move back to the Netherlands but still work remotely and continue to share my passion, knowledge and excitement, turning traveller’s holiday dreams into reality.

Travel Expert

Julie Revett

Booking your holiday can be quite involved, daunting & costly. I am here to find you the best deals, take the stress out of planning your well-deserved break & make your holiday fun!

My love of travel began 20 years ago. I am lucky enough to have travelled widely to destinations such as domestic Australia, Indonesia, Singapore (yes, 22 times!) Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, China, Hong Kong, Jamaica (having been married on Onassis’ yacht!) Mauritius, Fiji, New Zealand (both North and South Island) Paris, England and Scotland, USA and Canada. I have even sailed a few cruises!
My clients book with me because they know I listen to their needs. I have the experience and first-hand knowledge to give recommendations which are tailored to your requirements and more importantly I can save you time and money. Satisfaction is the number one element for me as a professional travel planner. Most of my clients will come by me, from recommendations from one of their friends, colleagues or family letting them know about their fantastic holiday experiences.

So, next time you are looking for the perfect holiday please call me. I guarantee to provide you with the highest possible level of personal service coupled with enthusiasm, reliability and most importantly my own extensive travel history.

Travel is indeed my passion not just my job.

Travel Expert

Lisa Chew

Travel has always been a big part of my life. I should have known when I was planning the itinerary for our big family holiday to the USA when I was 13 that becoming a travel agent was inevitable. From picking the hotels and how many nights in each city, to the route for the drive and what we would do once we got there, I loved piecing it all together.

Fast forward to today and the only thing that’s changed is that I’m now sharing that excitement, passion and experience with others. Planning to eat your way around Spain? Sail around the Greek Islands? How about a yoga retreat in Thailand? Or shop ‘til you drop in New York? Whether you’re travelling for the first time, or the 100th time, there’s always something new to discover, and I’m here to help.

Travelcation Group

Travelcation is part of The Travelcation Group, a collective of the following brands:


Travelcation is a ATAS accredited travel agency that focuses on the personal needs of our travellers. Based in NSW, Victoria and WA.

Australia & New Zealand is an innovative inbound tour operator, wholesaler and destination management company.

A wholesaler focusing on the Pacific Islands. We have some of the best Fiji holiday packages and deals on the market.

Plant a Tree Program

More people than ever are travelling and seeing this amazing world. The Travelcation Group is taking responsibility to promote ecotourism and minimise the carbon footprint of our travellers. In partnership with Carbon Neutral, we are committed to planting one tree for every booking we make. Together we can leave the earth in a better place than we found it.