Two Hats Travel Consultants was conceived through the life-changing experiences of its creators, Ian and Carl. The two are lifelong friends and consider each other family, which made this a fulfilling travel consulting partnership.

IAN MURPHY, Principal
Initially for Ian, his draw to Europe was an early and strong interest in the histories of the U.K and Ireland. Coupled with that was a desire to connect with his heritage, and this search led to an on-site confirmation of his roots. As a result, Ian was able to meet up with relatives in England. Future trips to the UK not only solidified his knowledge and understanding of its culture and geography, but also brought him closer to his family, a relationship he cherishes very much.

Later, after spending his honeymoon in Ireland and Germany, Ian “caught the bug” and since then has continued to build on and expand his knowledge of European history and culture. Subsequent trips to Ireland, Scotland (also with Carl) and again England over the next few years further kindled Ian’s desire to help as many people as possible to experience the magic of travel to Europe. Ian also believes (to quote Rick Steves) that “travel is a political act”, and forces the traveler to expand their perception of the world and those who live in it. This philosophy breaks preconceived notions and stereotypes and allows for a broader worldview, something that is sorely needed in many places.


Top 5 English Locations

  • Avebury Neolithic Complex, Wiltshire
  • Corfe Castle, Dorset
  • York, North Yorkshire
  • Glastonbury Tor, Somerset
  • Keswick, Cumbria
  • Honorable Mention: Hadrian’s Wall

Top 5 Scottish Locations

  • Edinburgh Old Town
  • Glencoe
  • Stirling Castle
  • The Cuillins, Isle of Skye
  • Arthurís Seat, Edinburgh
  • Honorable Mention: Loch Ness

Top 5 Welsh Locations

  • Conwy Medieval Walls and Castle, Conwy
  • Caernarfon Castle, Caernarfon
  • Llandudno
  • Chepstow Castle, Chepstow
  • Tinturn Abbey
  • Honorable Mention: Great Orm

Top 5 Irish Locations

  • Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
  • Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary
  • Dingle Town, County Kerry
  • Carrowmore, County Sligo
  • The Burren, County Clare
  • Honorable Mention: Any rural pub!
2 Hats Travel

CARL ARRIAGA, Consultant
In the summer of 2017, Carl was at a crossroads in his life, and sought a much needed change of scenery. For him, it all started with a short, but very memorable stay in Ireland with Ian. After parting ways in Dublin, Carl continued solo for five weeks through Europe.

He spent introspective time in the UK, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Sicily, and Spain. Even though Carl’s prior experience as a traveler was significant, he was not as familiar with the logistics of European travel. To remedy this, Ian planned the first segment of Carl’s trip, which consisted of Ireland, England, Germany, and Switzerland. Through his knowledge of his great friend’s interests, Ian afforded Carl (a scientist by profession) the opportunity to experience the great Deutsches Museum in Munich, which is the largest science and technology museum in the world. Subsequently, Carl was able to fulfill a lifelong dream by visiting CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland. This portion of the adventure went so well that it prompted Carl to joke to Ian that he “should do this for a living,” since it is so specific to his interests.

After his “Science Week” in Germany and Switzerland, Carl found himself a quick study in “on the fly” travel planning and put together a memorable journey through Italy, Sicily and Spain that led to many memorable adventures. These include (but are not limited to) the famous Cinque Terre, the immortal city of Rome, and ancient Pompeii in Italy. In addition, Carl went to Palermo, Mt. Etna, and Catania in Sicily, and enjoyed a wondrous and life-altering two week journey through Spain.

Carl found himself in Europe and was ready to start a new life when returned back home to America. While in Europe, he encountered several people who had made mistakes in their travel plans and he helped them out wherever he could. These events are partly what motivated Carl to consider starting a travel business. Upon his return, while talking about his trip with Ian, the two of them decided it just might be a good idea to make facilitating smart and customized travel a legit business and thus, Two Hats Travel Consultants was born.