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HUTTONSVILLE – a recently retired celebrity band manager who has led students on several school band trips to different areas – is now providing local area excursions for all ages.

Jeff Caplinger was ready to ramp up travel with his company, All About Destinations, before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country in 2020.

“I first started All About Destinations in 2016,” He told The Inter-Mountain. “I originally started as a group travel company, where groups came to me and we arranged their trips together. We still do. When I found out I was going back to West Virginia, talking to some people at CVB in Elkins, and also knowing that excursions from the area were needed The company has taken on a new side.

“We were all ready and ready to go in late 2019 and then the pandemic and that was the case. Our doors were closed for about two and a half years,” He said.

The onset of the pandemic made expeditions temporarily impossible.

“My last trip to New York was with a group from George Washington High School in Charleston,” Caplinger said. “Once we got there, that was when they shut down NYC. Once we got out of New York, they pretty much closed the door behind us, and the COVID pandemic was rampant.

“Now we’re relaunching the service, and we’re still doing group tours, but we’re also doing excursions outside of this area as well,” He said.

An Elkins native, Caplinger retired this summer after having been a teacher since 1988, and served as a band manager at several area schools, including Tygart Valley High/Middle School, where he led the band through the 2021-22 school year.

“I’ve been taking my bands on group tours for years,” He said. “I taught at Philip Barbour, and we were always on the go. At Elkins High, we actually did bigger trips every two years. We want New York, we went to Disney a few times. The last trip I did was at Elkins High we went to Montreal.”

Caplinger has worked in the travel industry for more than 15 years, in both West Virginia and South Carolina, and believes the time is right to introduce excursions locally.

“The cost of travel has gone up significantly since the start of the pandemic,” He said. “If you want to take your family on a trip, going there is very expensive. An expedition is still the cheapest way to go somewhere. And it can be a lot of fun.”

All About Destinations has several flights scheduled for the upcoming months, including:

Experience the Ohio Amish on September 24, and again on April 29;

Fallingwater Cruise/Tour 93 Memorial on October 14;

Baltimore Inner Harbor on October 22;

Ark Encounter/Creation Museum November 4-5;

Dickens’ Victorian Village on November 19;

Holiday Magic in Pittsburgh on December 3rd;

Christmas in New York City December 9-10;

And the Discover Italy tour from 15 to 22 April.

Caplinger teams up with a local company to provide those who go on excursions a delicious breakfast.

“We’ve partnered with Great Harvest Bakery in Elkins,” He said. “They serve what we call ‘breakfast and go’ for every flight, because we leave early. Instead of stopping for breakfast along the way and losing an hour, they serve breakfast for the flight.”

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