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What a Trip!

How one couple's jaunt led to an entrepreneurial journey

Most people return from vacation with useless souvenirs and T-shirts, but Daniel and Joan Lupton came back from their 1993 getaway as the owners of a cruise-only travel agency that's turned into a million-dollar business.

When Daniel was laid off after more than 20 years in the technical service field, having traveled all over the United States and moved several times, he was ready to let other people do the journeying. Fortunately, the Luptons found a business that allowed them to work from home and let others enjoy tours of the globe.

While the couple was on their way to visit their daughter in Florida, Daniel ran across a newspaper ad in USA Today for Fort Lauderdale-based CruiseOne and decided to look into it when they arrived. "After a lot of investigating, we agreed to go through their training program while we were there," Daniel recalls. "Then we came home and started the business."

The Luptons put up a $2,300 chunk of Daniel's severance pay, and they have seen their investment grow into a flourishing travel business that "has grown every year," with estimated 2000 sales of $1.5 million.

"It was a risk. I could have lost it all," Daniel says. "The first couple of years we didn't make a lot of money, but I had faith in it, and it worked out fine for us."

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This article was originally published in the December 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: What a Trip!.

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