Cliffs of Moher

Our Story

John Opperman on the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

I feel everyone is passionate about something in life. That one thing you just love doing. Sometimes, you just can’t seem to get enough of it. There’s never enough time in the day to explore it like you want.


With me, that passion is travel. It’s probably why I started working for the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles (remember the Coconut Grove) while I was going to college in the 1970s. By the time I graduated, I was hooked. For 38 years, I worked, in finance positions, for some of the best hospitality companies in the world from the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills to Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.


My 20 years with Disney culminated in working on the Cast Member team that

opened Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.

After spending two years getting the property opened, I decided there were

other adventures in life that I wanted to experience. So in April 2012, shortly

 after turning 60, I retired to start the next chapter in my life - one that would

definitely include (yes, you guessed it) travel.


I started by writing a book titled Crossing Borders: Being Prepared for

International Travel. It’s a 350-page book about how to travel outside of

the USA.


As the months went by, I realized that owning a home and traveling  as much

as I wanted didn’t go hand in hand - at least for me. Both required significant

expenditures. It was in 2014, that I decided to sell my house in SoCal and

begin the life of a nomad - living out of a suitcase while I traveled for months

on end to different destinations around the world - Central & South America,

Southeast Asia, North Africa & Europe. Family and friends told me they were living life vicariously through me. They said they could never give up their home and be a nomad wandering from one destination to the next. When people asked where my home was, I said “wherever I lay my head at night”.


Traveling solo around the world is an enlightening experience - one that brings new challenges all the time, one that can be a lot of fun and sometimes a little scary, one that brings new friendships and definitely new experiences. I learned a lot about myself. I always had to figure things out - how to get from point A to point B, language challenges, safety & security issues.

After several years of extended traveling, I realized I wanted something more from travel. I wanted to create my own travel company. After selling travel through a “host agency” for a few years, I wanted to do something different - to branch out on my own and focus on one destination - which leads me to my current endeavor - Book Ireland Travel.


In all of my travels, there was one destination that piqued my curiosity and hit home with me more than any other. It was the two countries on the Emerald Isle - the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It’s stunningly beautiful there, the people are welcoming and friendly, it’s safe, and there are so many fun things to do. It exceeds my expectations on every visit.


Over the last several years, I have:

  1. Traveled extensively throughout the Emerald Isle (i.e. during my last visit, I rented a car for 3 1/2 weeks and drove over 2,300 miles across the island and then took the bus for another week criss-crossing the island) and

  2. Thoroughly researched traveling in Ireland - getting around, lodging, sites and attractions, where the most scenic spots are, the best restaurants and pubs (and where to find great Irish music).

  3. Developed relationships with all of the key travel suppliers. My goal is to be a leading expert on travel to Ireland and I think I am well on my way.

Throughout my career, especially 20 years with Disney, I learned how to exceed people's expectations. When you engage our services, I will do everything I can to exceed your expectations. We'll be your travel advisor from the day you engage our services until the day you return home from Ireland. Our goal is for every trip you take to the Emerald Isle to be a #tripofalifetime for you!

I will be honored if you consider Book Ireland Travel when you start thinking about your first (or even next) trip to Ireland - both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

I'm here to help you enjoy the Emerald Isle as much as I have. Thanks for visiting our website.

John Opperman


Here are some of my favorite travel memories:

Cusco, Peru
John in Cusco, Peru
Sahara Desert (Morocco)
Sahara Desert (Morocco)

Camel trekking to an overnight desert camp with my favorite travel partner - my daughter. Sunset in the desert is really special. A few years later, I returned to Morocco leading my first tour group. That was a special time.

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Maya Bay, Thailand
Maya Bay, Thailand

Maya Bay in southern Thailand is one of the most beautiful destinations I've ever been to. Made famous by the movie "The Beach", the bay is located among the Phi Phi Islands between Phuket and Krabi. Closed for several years due to over-tourism, the bay reopens in 2022.

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Bia Hoi Corner, Hanoi
Bia Hoi Corner, Hanoi

Bia Hoi Corner is one of my favorite places in Vietnam. It's a corner of two streets merging in Hanoi's OId Town. Locals and tourists sit in small plastic chairs drinking bia hoi ("fresh beer") which is a draught beer that sells for 5,000 Vietnames Dong (about 28 cents) per glass. It's just a really fun atmosphere.

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Sahara Desert (Morocco)
Sahara Desert (Morocco)

Camel trekking to an overnight desert camp with my favorite travel partner - my daughter. Sunset in the desert is really special. A few years later, I returned to Morocco leading my first tour group. That was a special time.

press to zoom