Pamela (Pam) Moore plans faith-based trips for the New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. The church’s travel program started more than 20 years ago. The program reaches over 6,000 members and includes other affiliated church members in the area.
Favorite Bible Verse: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Hometown: Rockmart, Georgia
Favorite Destination: Though Moore cherishes many of the countries she has visited, one of her most memorable destinations is Israel. She describes the country as the only place other than her own residence where she feels home.
Hobbies:Moore loves to read, cook, sing and play with her grandchildren. She was also the pianist at her local church beginning at age 8 and now plays professionally.
Though the historic farming techniques at Jarrell Plantation State Historic Site in Juliette, Georgia, strike many visitors as archaic, to Pam Moore, visiting the site felt like a trip down memory lane.
“I grew up in humble beginnings on a small farm in Rockmart, Georgia,” said Moore, travel planner for the New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. “I grew up with a mule plowing the field, canning what we grew and sometimes getting by without running water. When we tour places like this, some of the other travelers and I get to reminisce.”
Senior citizens in the Fayetteville area love Moore’s trips both near and far. Moore will even contact the local senior citizens center to coordinate trips so that none of her trips conflict with a special event at the center.
Though the core of the group is age 50 or above, Moore relates that an increasing number of younger travelers have been signing up. Members commonly bring their children and grandchildren, so Moore treats each trip as potentially multigenerational.
Though Moore grew up with a farming background, she had traveled extensively with her husband, David, before taking over her church’s travel program. She also worked as a licensed dispensing optician for almost 40 years and managed the Peachtree Law Group, a law firm her husband founded, until she retired in 2016.
“I planned trips for my husband and me for almost 20 years,” said Moore. “We have traveled most of the world. However, traveling planning for a group of senior citizens is a whole new planet. I learned you must have clean accommodations, good food and a potty break every two hours. If you miss out on those things, you are not going to have a good day.”
Moore spends hours researching restaurant and attraction reviews for each trip to determine the average length of stay, the mobility challenges and general ratings. She also sharpened her bargaining skills that she originally started practicing when she bought her wedding ring, which she successfully negotiated down in price.
Moore begins negotiations by calling each company for a price quote. She then calls each company back with the lowest quote to see if they will match. She continues this process until she is sure her members will receive the best deal.
“Honestly, those calls have saved thousands of dollars with motorcoach companies,” said Moore. “Some of our seniors are on fixed incomes. I treat their money like it’s mine.”
Moore will even teach seniors modern app technologies to save money.
“One of the most hilarious things I did on a trip was loading Uber and Lyft apps onto people’s phones,” said Moore. “I wanted us to meet at the airport, and I knew we could save some money with these apps. I didn’t know people’s passwords. It was so funny.”
Moore usually plans several day or overnight trips, with at least one or two larger trips a year. Despite touring the world, Moore still finds wonder in trips across the country and closer to home.
“I planned a trip to Washington, D.C., where we stayed at a wonderful hotel with the best view of the Arlington Cemetery and the Washington Monument,” she said. “We also recently went to Savannah. We ate at Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room and had the best food I’ve ever had in my life.”
With all her travel planning know-how, Moore still believes some of her most important life lessons came from her parents.
“My dad plowed with a mule, was self-educated, had many businesses and played several instruments,” said Moore. “He was the smartest man I’ve ever known. My mother was the strongest woman I’ve ever met. She taught me the value of hard work, integrity and an unswerving faith in God.”
1. Expect the unexpected. You know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men.
2. Remember to smile. Say something kind every chance you get. Make good memories. Love your group and your driver. Enjoy the journey.
3. Take advantage of the wealth of support and information from other travel planners and groups like Going On Faith.