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Taking a Vacation Means Helping Others
Marine Corps veteran Jack Knochel and wife, Michelle, have started a vacation planning service that affords travelers the opportunity to give back to others while relaxing.
That time is now. Semper Fi Vacations, part of Cruise Planners, a national travel agent franchise, specializes in both individual and group vacation packages. 10% of every vacation planned goes directly to a military charity or a charity of your choosing.
The veteran-owned business is headed by Marine Corps veteran, Jack Knochel, and wife Michelle Rust-Knochel.
Knochel worked on computers during his time in the Corps form 1987-1992. After being honorably discharged as a Cpl., Knochel began working in the banking industry where he continues today.
“We (he and Michelle) had over 20 years in the banking industry,” Knochel said.
Then as the economy fizzled and corporations began downsizing the couple were faced with a problem. “We were told that we would be losing our jobs.”
The Knochels acted quickly and began looking for businesses that would put them in charge, rather than worrying about being let go and standing in the unemployment line.
Together they started Semper Fi Vacations and will virtually eliminate the hours of time you spend researching a vacation spot.
“We do it all. Flight, hotels, rental cars, excursions, tours, European vacations, and more,” Michelle said. “And it doesn’t cost you anymore. Our service is free.”
Some of the non-profits that Semper Fi Vacations have donated to include Purple Heart Homes, Wounded Warrior Project, Lone Survivor Foundation, and USO North Carolina.
Chip Tanner, owner of CMT Systems, is one of many satisfied customers stating, “We have been incredibly impressed and pleased with the work from Jack and Michelle Knochel with Semper Fi Vacations. They work with us on a special celebration cruise and through their efforts we were able to afford the dream trip that we wanted. With Semper Fi Vacations, we saved close to $10,000 from what the cruise lines wanted as a direct booking.”
Not only did Semper Fi Vacations help with a huge cost savings they also ensured their client was insured.
“Jack and Michelle also helped us to use our American Express points to cover the entire transatlantic air fare to our port city for the cruise. They also went above and beyond in helping to align transfers, hotels while in London during the Olympics (quite the challenging task and they came through in a BIG way), and making sure that our trip was completely protected and covered in the event of an unforeseen circumstance.”
Semper Fi Vacations primary focus is group travel vacations and the opportunity for the group to incorporate the getaway as a fundraising event for a non-profit organization of their choosing.
“We are compelled to help others and give back, especially to non-profit organizations that support our military men and women who serve and sacrifice to ensure our freedom,” said Jack.
The Knochels believe cruises are not only a great way to vacation but they also literally provide a “sea of opportunity.”
The Knochels have also included their two children in the family business freeing up even more time for Jack and Michelle to work on a non-profit organization they started up in Oct. 2007.
REEL time Entertainment Inc., brings movie night to the less fortunate. Jack and Michelle bring an entire movie theater set up to local children’s hospital, veteran’s organizations, assisted living centers, and even to the homeless living in Charlotte.
REEL TIME also hosted the first movie night for the military in Charlotte with the USO of North Carolina.
The Knochels host anywhere from three to five movie nights a month providing those in need with movies, popcorn, and drinks.
“We bring the big screen, projector, popcorn machine, candy and such to provide what we feel is a little ‘Cinema Therapy’ to those we serve,” said Michelle.
For more information or to book travel with Semper Fi Vacations visit semperfivacations.com or contact Jack or Michelle at 704-464-7175.
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