Our Story
Our Approach

Our name, Avant, in its purest translation derived from its French roots means before (in the sense of time), and forward or in front of (in the sense of space). It is a term perhaps most recognizable in the phrase avant-garde, which basically means forward-thinking people and progressive ideas that are ahead of their time. In the art world, avant-garde refers to those who employ new and unique approaches that challenge traditional, established norms. In the world of travel, we like to think our name describes Avant’s innovative and trendsetting approach to curate one-of-a-kind travel experiences, spawning memories that will last a lifetime. So before you travel, think Avant Travel. We combine a team approach with unparalleled customer service, resulting in a formula that positions us in front of the competition.

Our History


Established in 1987 by four trailblazing women, we have evolved over the years, currently hosting a team that includes several in-house travel advisors, a select few independent travel advisors, support staff, and two of the original four founding partners, both of whom continue to work in a very hands-on capacity as co-owners of the business. Our office is located in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. From 1992 to 2019, we also operated a branch office located inside a large, upscale book store and café called Joseph-Beth Booksellers, an iconic Lexington landmark and popular hangout among locals for many years. This strategic maneuver, believed to be a first in the travel industry, bolstered the strong presence we had established in the community, heightening our exposure to international and leisure travelers.  Groundbreaking and creative approaches such as this helped Avant Travel earn numerous awards early in our tenure, including Lexington’s Small Business of The Year in 1993.  Our award-winning ways have continued over the years. In 2018, we were named Commerce Lexington’s Salute to Small Business Legacy Award winner, an honor recognizing longevity, staying power, company growth, and the ability

to adjust to a changing economic climate.



In late 2019, after serving the Lexington community for 27 years, we decided to close our Joseph-Beth branch office and bring the Avant team together under one roof in our renovated and expanded downtown location. Shortly thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic posed perhaps the biggest threat to our business in its history — indeed, the entire travel industry was shaken and changed indelibly by the pandemic and its after-effects. Many travel businesses did not make it. We adjusted, adapted, survived, and now we are thriving again. Travel demand is up and travel advisors are needed now more than ever. In 2024, Avant won first place in a local publication’s “Best of Lex” voting for Best Travel Services and we were a finalist for Virtuoso’s Highest Annual Growth Specialty Award. We continue to enjoy our partnership with the University of Kentucky and taking care of their travel needs. We have grown over the years, adapting to sweeping changes and challenges in the industry, emerging from our humble beginnings as a small yet nimble travel agency focusing primarily on the needs of our business travelers, into a full-service travel company that is recognized as a leading resource in the high-end, luxury leisure travel market.



We boast a staff comprised of seasoned travel professionals who know the business inside and out. We utilize a team approach that capitalizes on our collective resources and extensive travel experiences. We take pride in providing our clients with unparalleled customer service and a personal touch that sets us apart from the competition.  Our detailed research, planning, and expert advice goes a long way toward ensuring successful travel itineraries. However, if problems or unexpected circumstances arise, as they often do in a post-pandemic world, our clients are reassured in the knowledge that we will be there for them before, during, and after their trip.

Our Virtuoso Connection

We are a member of the Virtuoso network, an invitation-only elite consortium of the world’s best travel companies. Our long-standing partnership with Virtuoso gives us leverage and preferred relationships with the world’s finest hotels and travel suppliers. And that connection gives you, our clients, access to rare experiences, V.I.P. privileges, and exclusive amenities such as free room upgrades, early check-ins/late check-outs, and resort/shipboard credits. Elevate your travel experience with a Virtuoso travel advisor. Simply put, we can secure the best rates, the best experiences, and a much better value than you can find yourself online.