​Meet the Life is Better Traveling Team

Mary Yohannan, CTA  //  Owner and European Vacation Planning Specialist

Favorite city in the world...Budapest, Hungary

Mary has been in the travel industry for many years and believes that a customized travel experience is the best way to travel.  She built her business on her own personal travel experiences, including having traveled to over 20 countries on 4 continents.

Mary started Life is Better Traveling as a travel agency built on authenticity, love, and integrity.  Mary likes to get to know her client’s travel preferences so when they travel they the travel experience that will create memories of a lifetime.  Mary’s customizes vacations for Europe, Disney, Universal Studios Orlando, the Florida Keys, the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, United States, and the French Polynesia.

Mary is a Certified Travel Associate (CTA) with the Travel Institutes and believe in staying up to date in her industry with continuing education and travel.  She also has several other training’s with Disney, Universal Studios Florida, CIE tours, AmaWaterways, Royal Caribbean, and many more.

Mary is also a contributor to the Pittsburgh Moms Blog(SM).  She loves to write articles about her travels and giving advice on how to travel with kids!  CLICK HERE..to see some of her articles. 

#1 RATED Travel Agent in the Pittsburgh area on Travel Leaders.  

​See what Mary's Clients say about her….CLICK HERE

Kathie Murray //  Disney, Disney Cruise, Caribbean, and Mexico Vacation Planning Specialist

​Favorite Place in the World...Disney or Cancun

Kathie is a true Disney fanatic and she is passionate about all things Disney.  Kathie has visited Walt Disney world so many times, she has lost count.  She has even become a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass Holder so that she can experience the magic even more often.  During her numerous visits, she has stayed at a variety of Disney resorts, including value, moderate and deluxe.  Her favorite so far has been Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge but Pop Century Resort is a close runner-up.

Kathie is self-proclaimed “foodie” and is knowledgeable about the various dining options at Disney.  She has a degree in Culinary Arts and works full time as a pastry arts instructor and she definitely knows where to find the best meals and treats while visiting Disney. Whether you’re looking for sushi followed by fireworks at California Grille or dining with princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table, Kathie can help guide you in determining what Disney Dining Plan is best for you or what reservations you need to score.

While Kathie loves to visit Walt Disney World, she also loves to relax on the beach while sipping a margarita.  She has traveled to Cancun and Mexico’s Rivera Maya numerous times with her husband and family and has stayed at a variety of all-inclusive resorts including Riu Palace Resorts, Secrets Resorts, El Dorado Resorts, Now Resorts and Ocean Coral and Turquesa.  She loves the ability to grab an early flight from the East coast to Cancun and have lunch on the beach before noon.  Her firsthand knowledge of the various resorts, dining, activities and excursions in this area make her a top-notch agent to work with. 

Looking to plan an upcoming vacation and feeling overwhelmed with all the choices or you don’t know where to even begin? Let Kathie Murray help take the guess work out of it while saving you time, money and stress. 

Don’t delay in contacting Kathie to get your VACATION QUOTE TODAY!  Fill out the form below and you will be hearing from Kathie!

As a graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge, Kathie is recognized as an individual who has attained a special knowledge of Disney Destinations (not an agent, affiliate or employee of Disney).

Sonja Hester  // European and Caribbean Vacation Planning Specialist

​Favorite ​Place in the World...Blue Grotto in Italy

Sonja​ has a true passion for traveling which she has turned ​into a career​ helping clients customize their vacation experience and help make memories that last a lifetime. 

Sonja is Italian through and through.  She has family members who live in Italy, so any chance she get to go over to visit​ them in Salerno.  Sonja speaks some Italian, but her strength come in knowing how to get her client’s around this beautiful country with ease. 

Sonja is also a certified as a Hawaii travel specialist! If you are thinking of taking that family vacation to Hawaii, she is the person to help you plan an amazing adventure. 

Sonja is always loves a challenge and the opportunity to help you travel from Italy to Hawaii and everywhere between.

There are so many ways to live a life. Let Sonja help you see them all!

​Specialist Certifications:  Hawaiian Destination Specialist

Melissa Snyder  //  Disney Destination Vacation Planning

​Favorite Place in the World...Walt Disney World

​Melissa is 100% certain that she has pixie-dust running through ​her VEINS!

​She has a genuine love and appreciation for Disney that has spanned a lifetime having traveled 22+ times, including 7 times in the last 8 years. She has stayed on property, at Budget, Moderate and Deluxe, resorts, and ​also ​off-property. ​​She has traveled with multiple children, as young as 10 weeks old (I have tips for nursing moms!), and has traveled ​as a multi-generational family (including seniors), larger, extended family groups. ​

Melissa loves PLANNING and troubleshooting ​all-things Disney.   Her clients say she is very knowledgeable and patient with the amount of questions they ask her.  ​Whether you are thinking of taking a day trip, ​a 7-day getaway ​, or ​a split between Disney and Universal Orlando, Melissa would love to help make sure that your planning is stress-free.   ​She wants to make sure that the BEST souvenirs ​you take home from ​your Disney Destination vacation are heavy doses of Disney magic AND many, MANY priceless memories!

As a graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge, ​Melissa is recognized as an individual who has attained a special knowledge of Disney Destinations (not an agent, affiliate or employee of Disney).

Heather Joyce
 //  ​Disney and Disney and Royal Caribbean Cruise Vacation Planning Specialist

​Favorite Place in the World....Florida Beaches

Heather is an absolute Disney enthusiast!! She has been to Disney so many times she has lost count.  To her, every trip to Disney is a unique experience, and hold new and exciting memories.  Heather truly believes that Disney is a place for all ages, as she has traveled with younger pirates and princesses to swash-buckling teenagers.  Each time she was able to plan a magical vacation that was stress-free. 

Heather has stayed in each category of resorts on property, and knows exactly where the best rooms are on several properties.  She also has extensive knowledge of the various restaurants on Disney property as she and her family have dined in almost every restaurant.  Heather also has a good understanding of which meal plan will work best for your family’s needs, and some helpful tips in understanding if a Park-Hopper ticket is the way to go.

Heather loves to share her tips, tricks, and hacks for traveling with children to Disney.  She would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation so it can be a magical vacation that creates memories of a lifetime. 

I can’t wait to talk Disney details with you!

As a graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge, Heather is recognized as an individual who has attained a special knowledge of Disney Destinations (not an agent, affiliate or employee of Disney).  

Heather is a Certified Sandals/Beaches Specialist.  She is able to perfectly plan that all-inclusive romantic couple getaway or family Caribbean getaway for you and your family.  Make sure to ask Heather about why you NEED butler service on your next Sandals or Beaches vacation.  The answer will surprise you.

​Alicia Graves  
//  ​Disney and Disney Cruise Vacation Planning Specialist

​Favorite Place in the World....​Disney

On Alicia’s list of favorite things to do, travel is right up at the top! Disney being the destination of choice. She has been visiting Disney since a young child and now takes her own family to Disney.

Alicia loves to share how each Disney trip is one to create new experiences and memories. As a planner at heart she would love to take that part off your plate to help plan your next trip. She has traveled to Disney with various age ranges and willing to help you figure out what plan would fit you for your next trip!

Alicia can’t wait to help you with all your Disney needs!

​As a graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge, Alicia is recognized as an individual who has attained a special knowledge of Disney Destinations (not an agent, affiliate or employee of Disney).

​​Amanda Stocker
//  ​​USA and ​European Vacation Planning Specialist

​Favorite Place in the World....​​San Francisco, CA

Amanda has been in the Travel and Hospitality industry for almost ten years.  She started out with getting her education in Hospitality Management, and Travel and Tourism.   After she earned her degrees she worked for Disney Corporation on the Walt Disney World property in Orlando Florida.  She also worked on a cruise ship that cruised around the Hawaiian Island.  Traveling across the country was one of her favorite things that she did it twice!  Her travels have allowed her to travel to over 30 different cities in the United States and throughout Europe. 

Amanda’s interests include learning about the history of various places so she can get a good understanding of the land and culture of every destination she visits.  This passion for history makes her great at being able to design vacations for her clients so they get the most out of their experiences.  Whether she is planning a historical trip to Williamsburg, Virginia or the a river cruise from Paris to Normandy, she loves making that connection for her clients. 

Amanda believes that the best gift you give to anybody is the gift of travel and enjoys giving those unique gifts to her clients.

​​​Rebecca Tucker
//  ​​​Disney and Universal Vacation Planning, Hilton Head Island Vacation Planning

​Favorite Place in the World....​​​Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and Hilton Head

Rebecca’s favorite time of year is family vacation time.  She has vacationed with her family each year since birth!  Now having a family of her own, she understands the importance of getting away from day-to-day life and unwinding.  Her passion in creating memories and sharing experiences with loved ones makes her easy to work with when planning your own family vacation.

Rebecca is a true traveler.  Taking once-in-a-lifetime trips to El Salvador in Central America, eating her way through Paris, France, and trekking around India, she has embraced the culture and understanding of what makes these places great.  When here in the States, she enjoys multiple vacations to Hilton Head Island and trips to Atlanta, Georgia each year.  The beach is calming to her, but the food and arts in Atlanta are not to be missed! 

In addition to her love of the ocean and world travel, Rebecca’s kid-at-heart demeanor had her falling in love all over again Walt Disney World and Universal Studios as an adult.  After honeymooning at these two Orlando parks and returning a year later for their anniversary trip, she knew just how truly magical these places were.  Believing in that magic, she wanted to help others experience it, too, and knew vacation planning was how she could share it. 

​Let Rebecca help you plan something magical today!

As a graduate of the College of Disney Knowledge, ​Rebecca is recognized as an individual who has attained a special knowledge of Disney Destinations (not an agent, affiliate or employee of Disney).

Remember, when you book with a team member from Life is Better Traveling you are supporting a family.  Supporting local families puts money back into our communities.  

Thank you to everyone who supports each member of our team!