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Briarcliff Teen Runs Successful Travel Business

Robert Karp, a 16-year-old Briarcliff resident, runs his own travel company.
Robert Karp, a 16-year-old Briarcliff resident, runs his own travel company. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Robert Karp

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Most put a good deal of time and energy looking to get the best value for their vacation. A 16-year-old Briarcliff resident might have the answer.

Robert Karp founded Karp Enterprises in November 2012. The travel consultancy firm specializes in affordable luxury travel by helping travelers get the most out of their reward points.

Karp has 80 clients and has turned a profit. His business is affiliated with nine travel consortiums and various cruise and tour operators.

Karp does all of this while still attending classes at Briarcliff High School.

Eighteen months ago, Karp's dad asked him to help plan a family trip to Israel and find a business class fare for the same price as economy class.

"I did some research and found we could fly to Israel with a stopover in Paris all on our business class points for free," Karp said. "That sparked something in me. If I could help out my family, I could help out other people."

Karp said he has been booking cheap tickets for his family since he was young.

"I have passion for the industry and a good understanding of it," Karp said. "I see it as a math equation. I'm putting together solutions."

Karp does the work himself and builds his client base through referrals, none of whom have a problem with his age.

"I give them full disclosure that I am 16," Karp said. "They are happy to work me. Everyone is really nice and appreciates the work I can for them."

Karp said and he books anything from elaborate safaris and trips to Cambodia to flights to Florida.

"I am looking for ways to maximize points," Karp said. "My motto is luxury travel made affordable."

Karp said he puts in 2 to 3 hours a day into his business while balancing schoolwork.

"It's a lot," Karp said. "But it's something I enjoy. It's not easy, but I put together a school for myself."

Karp said he is busiest in the summer when there is a lot of last minute travel and often books people for travel over December and February school breaks.

"I see miles and points as currency," Karp said. "I am developing an optimal portfolio so you get the most value."

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