Feature: Nasser Omar of Tops ‘n Travel


Owner Nasser Omar knows exactly what it’s like to live out of a suitcase, so you can be certain Tops `n Travel truly understands all elements that go into a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway. Read on to discover how he started his business, what he enjoys most, and what he does as a member of the Carmel community.


How and when did you start your business?

I’ve worked in the retail business sector since 1995. In Santa Rosa, California, I owned several stores, including clothing, luggage and a hat store. Having graduated with a university degree in geography, and being a commercial pilot, my passion for travel puts me in a unique position to sell the finest travel products, from which I derive great satisfaction.

How does your business look different now vs. when you first started?

It takes time for a new business owner to get in touch with the wants and needs of new customers. Over time I’ve moved from selling mid-quality brands to the highest quality as required by Carmel residents. This hasn’t been easy to accomplish, but I now carry full lines of Tumi, Briggs & Riley, Brics, Samsonite, and Delsey luggage, as well as the Eagle Creek brand for outdoor enthusiasts. Tilley, Stetson and other hat makers, plus travel accessory companies like Travelon and Pacsafe round out my current offerings, but I’m always on the lookout for the latest top-quality products.


What has been your greatest success?

I worked hard to meet the strict requirements of the Tumi Luggage company to carry their luggage in Tops n’ Travel. Typically, Tumi is only sold in their own stores, but I am now the only retailer between San Jose and Santa Barbara to do so. 

I also define great success by establishing close relationships with my customers, listening to them when they express their travel needs. I stand behind the products I sell, and I have confidence that by carrying top-of-the-line luggage, travel accessories, and hats that the high standards of Carmel customers are met. I’m happy and proud when a customer returns from a trip and comes into the store to share how well a piece of luggage or travel accessory worked for them.   

Why did you start your own business?

Since childhood I’ve wanted to travel around the world, and being a commercial pilot gave me the opportunity to experience the incredible sights, cultures, and peoples of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Owning my own business gives me more freedom and opportunities to continue indulging my passion for travel.   

What would you change about your business journey if you could go back?

I’m very happy with what I’ve accomplished in my business journey. I believe that if I would have changed anything, I wouldn’t be the person I am now. 

How does your business connect to the Carmel Community?

Through honest friendly service, I aspire to achieve long-term relationships with my Carmel clientele. Many people shy away from shopping online because they want to see and touch products before they buy. I believe that great customer service begins with listening carefully to what a customer is seeking; be it a large, top-of-the-line piece of luggage, a hat to protect their skin from the sun’s rays, or a travel pouch to safely hold their I.D. and passport.  

Throughout the year, I have travel seminars for the community on subjects such as Packing like a Pro, the seminar which just took place on May 20th. I knew that I was providing a welcome service to the community when 40 guests arrived! The seminar was presented by a Briggs & Riley luggage representative who is an experienced world traveler herself. I found satisfaction knowing my customers were learning valuable tips about one of the trickier aspects of travel.

Customers know they can come into Tops n’ Travel and find not only a huge array of travel products, but also get answers to many of their most baffling travel questions; from what size luggage is allowed on domestic and international flights, to what they need in the way of adapters and converters to safely use their electronic devices abroad. 

Another important way I connect with the community is by giving my customers a place to donate their old luggage. In return for doing so, they receive a store credit. I then donate their old luggage to local charity shops, doing my part in A Case for Giving.


Learn more about Tops N Travel.