About Us

Riverside Travel and Cruises is a multi-million dollar travel management company, comprised of the best and brightest travel consultants and managers in the travel industry.

Riverside Travel has been serving the traveling public since 1980. After 20 years in Arlington Texas, we are excited to announce the move of our Corporate headquarters and Vacation Travel Gallery to Grapevine, Texas, just minutes from DFW airport and in the center of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. The senior management team of Riverside Travel has been working together for 18 years and each member has more than 20 years experience in the travel industry.

In a national competition, Riverside Travel received "Travel Agency of the Year Award" from the renowned, Travel Weekly Magazine, and continues to receive honors from American Airlines and other vendors for outstanding production and customer support.

Corporations and individuals around the world enjoy the many benefits of choosing the select departments of Riverside Travel to manage their distinctive needs. We offer the following services:

  • Corporate Travel
    • Commercial
    • Incentive
    • Association
    • Meeting
  • Leisure Travel
    • Vacation
    • Honeymoon
    • Cruise
    • Adventure
    • Scuba Diving
    • Luxury
  • Group Travel
    • Travel
    • Family Reunion
    • Incentive Group
    • Conventions

Meet our Management Team


Valarie Jolly, General Manager

  • Operations Manager, Financial Manager, Select Account Management

    Valarie Gerlach Jolly has been in the travel industry since 1980. She started her career in Association, Professional Sports Team, and Sports Newscaster travel. After focusing on Corporate travel , and managing agencies in Texas, she opened her first full service travel agency, with partner Michele Mckechnie, in 1986. Valarie has an intensive background in accounting and cost management systems. She is a past President of the Fort Worth travel agency owners association, and served on the American Airlines Travel Advisory Board. Valarie is a prominent public speaker on travel and "Road Warrior" issues at national conventions. She is an active member of the community and in her church. Valarie enjoys a passion for scuba diving, and has her Advanced Open Water SCUBA certification. She is a London, Paris, Club Med and South Pacific specialist.



Michele McKechnie, Special Accounts Manager

  • Corporate Account Manager, Luxury Travel Manager, President of Women's Travel Club

    Michele McKechnie started her travel career in 1981 as an intern to Margaret Scott, a pioneer in the airline and travel field. After establishing a substantial and devoted clientele, she became a co-owner and manager of Riverside Travel and Cruises. Michele has served as an officer in the Tarrant County Travel Forum, on the American Airlines Travel Advisory Board and has received national recognition from Travel Agent Magazine. Michele works to create a comfortable relaxed atmosphere for her clients and specializes in planning personalized vacations throughout Europe as well as luxury cruises. Using her 26 years of corporate experience,she has established commercial accounts across the United States and Europe.

    In 2003, Michele took a year off and underwent treatment for breast cancer. After recooperation and several surgeries, she returned to work, revitalized and ready to enjoy life. She often encourages clients to book that "I’ve always wanted to go to" dream vacation. Michele is a Europe, Luxury Travel, Cruise and Spa Specialist.

    Born in Hagerstown Indiana, Michele has one daughter and two dogs. She is also part-owner of Red Shed Antiques in Grapevine.




Cindy Grimm, Corporate and Group Manager

  • Corporate Group, Competitive Sport, Church Travel Group Manager

    Cindy started her travel career in 1985, working for the airlines in Indiana. She married and moved to Texas in 1987 and has been in travel management since that time. Cindy worked for and managed GSW Travel in Arlington for 17 years, before joining the Riverside Travel team. Cindy is a fanatic sports fan, and is a sport team travel specialist, as well as corporate travel manager. She also arranges vacations for all her corporate clients. Cindy has a wonderful sense of humor and great attention to detail. She travels as much as she can with a 16 and 11 year old at home.

    Certified Sandals Specialist Disney Specialist



Laura Bussell, Travel & Group Specialist

  • Leisure, Honeymoon, Church Travel Group Manager

    Laura Solcher Bussell's love of travel began at age 6 when her family was transferred to Swansea, Wales. As a child, she visited much of England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland as well as over 10 countries in continental Europe. Her love of different cultures, cuisines, peoples, and places is amplified by her love for language. Her basic French and Spanish served her well as she traveled through rural France and Spain. She is in her fourth year of weekly conversational Spanish classes and is studying Italian as well. After many years as a computer analyst-programmer and managing her own software consulting business, Laura began a career as a tour operator and travel consultant with Riverside Travel in 2007. She jumped right in and took 21 women to Barcelona and on a Mediterranean Cruise. She feels that many women are single, widowed, or have husbands that don't want to travel. Her mission is to provide safe travel for women. "I want to show people places and help them have experiences that I've had or about which they've only just fantasized," she says. "I want to help people realize their travel dreams." Laura is an active member of White's Chapel United Methodist Church and is rearing two high school-aged daughters. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, and languages. She volunteers at schools and her church. Laura is a Spain, Europe, Asia, South Pacific, and Groups specialist. She also guides tours several times a year./p>

    Certified Sandals Specialist Disney Specialist



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