Karen McAlpin CTA

Birmingham, AL United States
McAlpin Travel, an independent affiliate of Brownell Travel
Travel Specialties
  • Beach & Sun
  • Family Travel
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Honeymoons
  • Ocean Cruising

  • United States - All
  • Turks And Caicos Islands
  • Mexico
  • Saint Lucia
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • View More...
Selling Travel Since
  • English

My Background

Karen McAlpin doesn’t just plan trips; she designs them. She works closely with each client to get a feel for their unique needs and expectations for the trip and then matches those with a destination. As the process continues, she tweaks and adjusts the details so that the final itinerary and experience is completely tailored to the client. Karen enjoys forming a relationship with each client during the planning process. She encourages clients to share their likes and dislikes about past trips and uses this information to help them discover what they would like to achieve on their next trip.

With her keen eye for detail and knack for creativity, it comes as no surprise that Karen was an interior designer before joining the Brownell Mentoring Program in 2012. 

Places I Have Traveled

Reviews and Recommendations for Karen McAlpin


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Highly Recommend!

By: Caroline36532

Reviewed on: 12 Mar 2014

Very professional agent. She went out of her way to inform the resort of my birthday so I had balloons waiting for me upon arrival. She was extremely helpful throughout the planning process and I have already recommended her to many friends. I will definitely use her for all our travel needs from here on out! 
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Better than Perfect!

By: Herrington33@gmail.com

Reviewed on: 25 Mar 2014

I am a seasoned traveler and typically book all of my travel. I was having problems finding a great hotel in Rome for a family of 4, so I reached out to Karen. She found the most fabulous hotel that was worthy of a 5 star rating and worth every penny. No matter how seasoned I am, in the future, I will reach out to Karen for assistance!  Thanks Karen, it was perfect!!!!
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Highly Reccomended


Reviewed on: 26 Jun 2014

Karen was so helpful in planning our honeymoon.  She gave us great options in our price range that we could easily see ourselves enjoying.  The place we decided on was booked ( our fault for waiting SO long to decide!), but within a few hours she contacted us with several options that were amazing!  We loved our honeymoon!  Karen was quick to respond to questions and comments and took the stress of planning off our plates.  I rave to our family and friends about how wonderful it was working with her!

Very thorough--great service!

By: Patti

Reviewed on: 04 Jan 2015

Super fun trip -- loved the itinerary, accommodations, service and food on the ship. The excursions that Karen booked were great -- they were on time to pick us up at the ship, gave us what we expected and more! Our family of 10 had a wonderful time -- a trip to remember. We'll have Karen book our next trip when we figure out where and when we want to go!

Karen did a great job!

By: Vanngirl

Reviewed on: 20 Feb 2015

Karen was incredibly helpful throughout the booking and planning process for our recent Disney trip. Not only did she get us booked, she handled all of my (MANY) questions throughout my planning process. She was incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and easy to access. Every time we go to Disney, so many things have changed. Karen made it easy for me to navigate and understand all of those changes. She was very patient with me when I changed our reservations to stay at a different property, which I greatly appreciated. :)

Breathtaking mountain getaway

By: AmyM

Reviewed on: 19 Apr 2015

The Old Edwards Inn exceeded all expectations. Service, the hallmark of true luxury, is sublime! The setting is breathtaking, and made for the best hotel experience I have had in a long time! From the moment my fiance & I arrived on the property till we departed the service of the entire staff was extraordinairy. I am huge on customer service & this staff exceeded all of my expectations beginning with our arrival! Having such a great option for breakfast, daily reception and breathtaking views all made for a memorable and wonderful stay. We felt like royalty when we entered our room each day. The staff does their jobs with efficiency, dignity & smiles. Karen did an outstanding job and was so helpful - making our meal reservations and the amenities that were included by booking with Karen were invaluable...She was prompt in answering my e-mails and even helped with adding an additional night while she was traveling herself. I have already used her for another vacation booking!!

Great Trip Planned by an Expert

By: Hunter45

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2015

We enjoyed our trip immensely. We were able to relax before and during the cruise because Karen McAlpin had taken care of everything. We knew what to expect at every turn and nothing came as a surprise. Traveling to Russia is much more involved than Europe or the Caribbean, with her help we easily navigated all the steps prior to and during the trip.

Fantastic Disney Vacation!

By: Leslie

Reviewed on: 29 Nov 2015

Karen helped us organize a fantastic quick four day trip to Magic Kingdom and Epcot with a stay at the Four Seasons. Karen took care of hotel, restaurant and car service reservations, made recommendations for park plans and made our Fast Pass reservations. She had fast follow up when questions arose. Our trip was a great family adventure and our seven year old had an awesome experience that exceeded expectations. The hotel was an oasis to return to after busy days at the parks. We loved the pool, the lazy river, the Saturday night movie in the pool, outdoor ping pong, and views of fireworks from the roof balcony, The restaurants at the hotel were surprisingly tasty. We appreciated that a preferred partner, Karen's reservations at the hotel gave us extra perks like a breakfast credit that allowed us to treat ourselves to room service every day. We have recommended to all of our friends to work with Karen for their future Disney adventures!

Did a wonderful job

By: Sheldon

Reviewed on: 04 Dec 2015

Karen did a great job setting up our vacation, getting us the best deal and everything went so smoothly. I highly recommend her and will definitely use her services in the future.
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helped tremendously

By: GG

Reviewed on: 09 Mar 2016

Karen used her expertise to plan our Disney trip. Her work not only greatly reduced the stress of planning the trip but maximized our time there. Many times during the trip we were so thankful for all that she had done. Her work made a huge difference in the entire trip. Highly recommend her.
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Awesome vacation!

By: shanfsu

Reviewed on: 07 Mar 2016

We have booked several vacations with Karen and have been impressed by her level of professionalism and expertise with each of the trips that we have taken. The recent trip to Blackberry Farm was no exception. We are frequent visitors to the Farm and always have a warm reception upon arrival and during the entire stay. This trip was a bit somber with a death of the Farm's proprietor. However, Karen communicated with us prior to the trip to ensure us that our stay would be handled in a professional manner. And, of course, she was right! Thank you, Karen, and your team for another wonderful experience. Now, I'm planning where to go next!!
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Fabulous in every way!!!

By: Glissoning Travelor

Reviewed on: 25 Mar 2016

Our trip was just fabulous. Wonderful in every way, from the planning and preparation to the actual experience; we enjoyed every moment.

5 stars for both the Cloister and our travel agent

By: Lglis

Reviewed on: 06 Jun 2016

From start to finish the Cloister did not disappoint. Thanks to our detailed travel agent, not only were all the specifics handled, she even researched with other clients and told us the activities not to miss. With so many options it was wonderful to have suggestions. We loved every minute and can't wait to get back. When we decide to return, like always, our first call will be to Karen. Karen makes planning a trip easy and seeing the world a breeze!

Sand and water like no other!

By: kjholmes

Reviewed on: 02 Jul 2016

Yet again Karen flawlessly planned another great vacation! She set us up with a wonderful hotel in Turks and Caicos that was beautiful! She has always gotten back to us and answered questions very quickly and made sure were all set up. We also appreciate the options that Karen has given us when choosing where to go on vacation. She gives recommendations about each that we take into consideration when choosing where to stay and where to go. We look forward to planning more fun and exciting places to go with her!

Amazing hotel suggestion!

By: Clewis2929

Reviewed on: 03 Jul 2016

Karen recommended the New York Peninsula hotel for a family trip to NYC this summer. I have stayed at some very high end hotels in my lifetime, but what was so fantastic about the peninsula was that it was high-end AND family friendly. Many times, high-end hotels cater to couples, but not to families: the peninsula provided kid-sized bathrobes and welcome gifts for our children upon arrival. We were thrilled with the location of the Peninsula (right in the middle of 5th Avenue shopping) and the included breakfast was a huge Virtuoso amenity perk each morning. Furthermore, I was astounded that the hotel allowed such a late checkout the day of our departure: our flight was an evening flight out of LGA, and we didn't depart the hotel until 9pm. The hotel allowed us to keep our suite until it was time to leave for the airport. Even when an unexpected delay caused us to fear our flight would be cancelled, the hotel staff told us they would let us return to our room for the night.

Exceeded All Expectations

By: lovestotravel74

Reviewed on: 07 Sep 2016

Having travelled to Arizona a number of times in the past, I have to say Sanctuary exceeded all expectations. This is a luxury property through and through. Service is sublime! The setting is breathtaking - thank you Karen and Sanctuary! From the moment my friends and I arrived on the property till we departed the customer service of the entire staff was extraordinary. They anticipated our needs from providing a ride into downtown Scottsdale to water and fanny packs for our hike to Echo Canyon. The restaurant, Elements, was fabulous. We ate with views of Echo Canyon – in fact, the only things better than the breathtaking view was the food! The spa definitely provided a “sanctuary” for us. For a luxury resort, Virtuoso provided amenities such a free breakfast, room upgrade and spa credits. After such lasting impressions, we look forward to visiting in the near future. We are sincerely grateful to Sanctuary and Karen for their incredible service!

Terrific service

By: Brad71

Reviewed on: 12 Sep 2016

I have used Karen and Brownell many times and have had wonderful experience. That being said, the Four Season was the BEST yet. Service, price, upgrade, food and location was prefect. I have told a few people and she should be getting a call soon. I don't have time for many "play" trips so it's soooo important to have a great experience and I did. Thanks Again, Brad

Fairmont Lake Louise

By: Velvet

Reviewed on: 10 Nov 2017

Karen was very helpful.

Secrets Resort Trip

By: Ryan and Lissa

Reviewed on: 20 Mar 2017

I was sceptical about using a travel agent, but Karen really changed my mind. The overall experience was excellent. Karen listened to my needs and desires for the trip and tailored the trip to those needs. It was so nice not having to worry about anything, Karen took care of it all. She even sent some monogrammed storage bags for our luggage when she dropped off our itinerary.

European Vacation

By: C Knight

Reviewed on: 26 Mar 2017

Excellent - she gave great options and great advice on where to stay - tours to book and tickets to prepurchase.

Came through in a pinch in the wee hours

By: Denia 20 Year Anniversary

Reviewed on: 01 Apr 2017

Karen listens but also gently steers you in the right direction. Booking transportation is not her normal gig, but she used her broker connections to make booking our flights and car rental nearly seemless. When we encountered a major glitch with our car rental in Spain, she held our hand (via constant phone connection ) until it was resolved. It was not until a week later, after our return to the States, that I learned it was 3 am central time when we were requesting and getting Karen's assistance.
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Great Trip with Virtuoso!

By: Shannon Flanagan

Reviewed on: 21 Apr 2017

Karen was awesome in making this trip an awesome experience for us. She arranged for the stay and also allowed us to enjoy a few "extras" throughout the trip! She checked in with me the week prior and after we returned back. Thanks Karen for another great experience!


By: Melinda819

Reviewed on: 28 Jul 2017

Karen was amazing!! I I booked our trip to Greece 7 weeks before we went. Like most people, I wanted the "Pinterest dream" hotels in Santorini and Mykonos. Due to the fact we were so late booking, most were sold out or had outrageous costs. Karen quickly found us Vedema and Grace. She was prompt with booking and very easy to work with. We received a welcoming gift at Vedema which was amazing!! Karen also went out of her way to upgrade our room upon arrival to Grace Mykonos. I'd highly recommend her to anyone. We'll be booking with her again in the near future!

Sea island

By: Elizabeth

Reviewed on: 16 Aug 2017

She always makes it so easy and gives you the best options for the money/budget.

Italy Trip

By: Barry

Reviewed on: 28 Sep 2017

Karen is great to work with and the association with Absolute Italy worked out nicely. The suggestions for lodging were perfect. We had a perfect trip!

Great first cruise planned for us!

By: Fairhope friend

Reviewed on: 03 Dec 2017

always great to work with and always quick to respond and help with all our questions

Wonderful to work with Karen

By: Lalynch76

Reviewed on: 02 Mar 2018

Karen was extremely helpful in planning our Disney World vacation. I told her what we wanted to do and what the kids were interested in. She suggested some additional fun things for us to consider and gave input on what she thought the kids would enjoy. Once we had a plan, she snagged our fast passes (so I wouldn't have to get up early on the west coast for it) and made our meal reservations. One of the reservations we wanted was booked, but she kept trying and eventually got it for us. She set up the Disney app for us and provided another app with our itinerary and reservation numbers on it. Her insight and help was invaluable and saved me hours of time and energy!

Excellent service

By: Rick Howton

Reviewed on: 09 Mar 2018

Karen is the best. Willing to make sure that every question one has is answered. Very professional.

Hard Rock Hitel Cancun

By: H R H

Reviewed on: 31 Mar 2018

Karen was attentive and very responsive! She booked our stay with flights that worked around our schedule and got us a great deal! We had an amazing time!

Travel Advisor Extraordinaire

By: DollyR

Reviewed on: 04 Jun 2018

Karen has helped me plan numerous trips, and is professional, knowledgeable, and responsive (via both texts and emails which I appreciate in this digital age). Karen is wonderful with presenting options, and reaching out to her partners to find out more information when needed. I wouldn't hesitate to utilize Karen for your travels needs both domestically and internationally. In fact, I've recommended several friends to Karen, and all have been pleased with her service and the amenities / perks she can offer.

Karen's review

By: Hutch

Reviewed on: 10 Jun 2018

Excellent. Thorough attention to detail and followup made this Alaskan cruise the trip of a lifetime.

Karen always makes the process so easy!

By: jswcoburn5

Reviewed on: 20 Aug 2018

Karen is always so fantastic and friendly when we work with her. She goes the extra mile every time!

New York Trip

By: Chris

Reviewed on: 31 Oct 2018

Working with Karen was incredible. She answered all of our questions quickly and accurately and made this experience far more enjoyable then we anticipated.

The Perfect Trip Advisor for our Group!

By: Michele

Reviewed on: 26 Nov 2018

Working with Karen was perfect! We worked together only via email after our initial conversation. She worked so hard to listen to our wishes for our trip and didnt stop until it was just right. Karen answered emails and questions so quickly and effectively. Her hard work landed us in the most wonderful spot for an amazing 40th bday vacation! Highly recommended!

New York

By: Volladylin

Reviewed on: 02 Jan 2019

Great! We had made some plans and wanted help with others. She was not intimidated that we had done some planning. She got a hotel that met all our particulars and was convenient to everything. She made us some dinner reservation too. We had bought our play and Rockettes tickets and she planned around them. Will come back if we travel again.

Working with Karen McAlpin, you will have access to:

  • - Special perks and extra amenities
  • - An experienced travel guide whom you can rely on before, during, and after the trip
  • - Exclusive luxury resorts and properties
  • - Once in a lifetime experiences

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  • United States - All
  • Turks And Caicos Islands
  • Mexico
  • Saint Lucia
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • United States - Hawaii