One of Us: Maria Poole


Maria Poole (@PonteVedraTravelGal) is a luxury travel advisor based in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Can you please briefly tell us about your background?

I am a Florida native, passionate travel planner and specialist in the art of travel. I have a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts. Even though I am a designer by trade, I am a traveler at heart. When I’m not traveling the globe, I reside in Ponte Vedra Beach with my husband, Mike, and my three wonderful children. I’m a mom, wander-lusting foodie, wine lover, an adventurer, travel advisor and a joyful purveyor of travel.

How did you grow to become so passionate about travel?

From an early age, I knew I was meant to travel the world. My first experience was living abroad in Spain. The sights, the sounds, the food … I got the travel bug. I’ve traveled extensively to over 25 countries, bringing back experiences and the knowledge of the destinations to friends and family. I wanted to have a career that brought the two different aspects of my life together; so, I started Maria Poole Travel. To be able to create memories for someone is wonderful.

Where is your favorite place that you've traveled to?

That is a tough question to answer! I’ve experienced so many amazing places. Italy is always at the top of my list; however, I am addicted to adventure travel and would have to say the Galapagos Islands. I just returned from a spectacular 10-day expedition trip with National Geographic. It was a life-changing journey.

What's your best advice for someone planning an upcoming trip?

Plan as early as you can. It is never too early to plan a trip. As a travel advisor, I creatively help you find where to go and what to do. Just as you might use a financial advisor, an interior designer or a personal shopper, it makes sense to trust your most valuable asset — your time — with an experienced travel advisor. I spend a lot of time on the road, scouting out the best hotels, the best tour guides and the best restaurants. Visit for more assistance with your upcoming travel plans.

Which places are most popular to travel to right now?

Where next? That is a big question. Vacation Ideas for 2019 point your compass towards Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, Greece and Croatia.

What do you enjoy most about living in Ponte Vedra?

I love the warm, small-town feeling and the beautiful beaches.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love having a bunch of plane tickets in my pocket; however, when I am home in Ponte Vedra Beach, I love to be with my friends, play tennis, ride bikes with my family and enjoy long walks on the beach with my new puppy, Finn.