Read Local: Travel Bug Bookstore

"On Paseo de Peralta is an entire store devoted to the wanderlust living in all of our hearts"

Date January 17, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Publication SantaFe.com

Categories Authors & Literature Community

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Whether you are planning a day trip or an around-the-world cruise, make Travel Bug your first stop. This unique bookstore exists to make your travel dreams come true. Specialty booksellers are fast becoming popular alternatives to consumers looking for a specific type of book. Remember when there was a section in your local bookstore for travel and maps? On Paseo de Peralta is an entire store devoted to the wanderlust living in all of our hearts. Since 1999, Travel Bug in Santa Fe has been the definitive place to go before planning any trip.

Stop in Before Your Next Travel Adventure

Customer driven, Travel Bug was far ahead of the curve when it came to focusing its business and going narrow and deep into the travel market. This unique bookseller has done very well incorporating travel books, travel gear, amazing cappuccinos and popular weekly events. These events allow customers to share their travel experiences through photos and lectures with friends and neighbors. Travel Bug events are legendary among those in the know in Santa Fe who love to see new places. The right travel information can make any trip more rewarding and less costly.

Map Your Journey

The one thing everyone needs when planning an adventure is a map. Travel Bug can provide you with a map of your trip done just for you with state of the art software. This one-stop travel book store has the ability to make a map of any destination in the United States. Travel Bug uses geographic information systems (GIS) software to make a relevant map specifically for a customer’s journey. Start with a personalized memento of your trip before you even leave home. The extensive map making department at Travel Bug is worth the trip just to see how maps are made and talk to owner Greg
Ohlsen about your plans. Thinking of visiting a foreign country? Stop in for phrase books, dictionaries and even lessons in the language of the country you are planning to visit

Coffee Bagels and Suitcases

In 2001, Travel Bug began carrying retail items related to travel. They carry hard-to-find, one-of-a-kind, eclectic items for the savvy traveler. You can find everything you need for your trip, from field glasses, compasses and umbrellas to quick dry socks and underwear. Travel Bug has done well, along with other independent booksellers in Santa Fe. This store is not only surviving but thriving, when the big box bookstores have closed their doors. While you are looking for your ultimate travel book, enjoy a latte or frozen fruit smoothie and a delicious snack.

Santafe.com visited this locally owned bookstore and spoke with Greg Ohlsen about his forward-thinking business module for Travel Bug.

SFDC: How long have you been in the business of selling books?

OHLSEN: I came to Santa Fe from Eugene, Oregon 34 years ago. My first bookstore was Garcia Street Books. It was a more traditional bookselling business. I sold that store in 1999. By then, I had already opened Travel Bug. Looking at market trends, I felt the need to focus my business on one aspect of selling books.

SFDC: What made you go into retail and refreshments?

OHLSEN: The retail end of the business was started in 2001. I wanted Travel Bug to be a full-service travel store where my customers could find all the items they needed. I research personally all the additions to the inventory. I think we have a great selection and if we don’t have it, we are certainly customer-driven so we'll try and find it. The coffee menu…well who wouldn’t want to enjoy a great latte and browse books on any country you fancy?

SFDC: I see you carry a few non-travel related books.

OHLSEN: I do. I have small sampling of fiction and nonfiction. These books are mostly travel inspired in some way. I chose the books for this part of the inventory personally. Publishers used to send reps to bookstores to let owners know what was new in the market, but this is no longer done. Santa Fe is an exception. All the independents are surviving. I also have a small space for travel-related used books.

SFDC: I know you personally put in a lot of hours. What about employees?

OHLSEN: I have five employees, all part time, but this in itself is an achievement in a business that is just now stabilizing itself during these market changes in publishing and bookselling.

After a delicious cappuccino and a tour of the store there is no doubt about Travel Bug being the first stop on any travel itinerary, whether you are going by train, plane or automobile.

 

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