Whose Got Your Back?
With the world climbing its way out of the Coronavirus hole it was dropped into, slowly but surely life is trying its best to return to some kind of normalcy. This is evident in my travel agency as I’ve actually been booking trips again, not just canceling and rescheduling!
I’m also reminded of this sense of normalcy with football back on TV. With Thursday night’s opening game for the start of the NFL season combined with more time than I’d like to admit watching the Friday Night Lights marathon over the Labor Day weekend made me remember just how important it is to be part of a team.
No matter if it’s a team of fellow football players or just your best friend, going through life together is so much easier than alone. Knowing that someone has got your back no matter what happens gives you the confidence and reassurance that you can do this! How does any of this relate to travel?
Never was it so vital to know someone had your back while traveling than during the Coronavirus crisis. Seemingly overnight the value of using a travel professional shot through the roof.
Because the internet wouldn’t return your phone call! The internet wasn’t calling you in the middle of the night during your trip to Paris telling you to get to the airport to catch the last flight leaving before all flights were shut down. The internet wasn’t there to calm your nerves, reassuring you that everything was being taken care of. The internet didn’t sit on hold for five hours with the airline to be sure your flights got changed. However, for those who had used the services of a travel professional, they had a team behind them.
I share this not to scare or worry you, but to make you really stop and think, who's got my back? When you’re home, sure you’ve got that BFF or awesome family member who you can call in the middle of the night for help. But when you’re traveling in a different city, a different state, even a different country is that BFF or family member really going to be able to help you?
When I work with my clients, designing and organizing their dream vacation they not only have the luxury of having all the work done for them, but they also have the peace of mind knowing that a team of travel professionals is there for them – no matter what day of the week or hour of the night.
Since opening the doors to my travel agency in January of 2013 I have worked tirelessly to be certain that I align myself with a team that is going to provide the best possible experience for my clients, even in a year as crazy as 2020. I work with only the best, and that’s for a reason. My clients are my guests and I strive to treat them as so.
1. My Supplier team -
When you receive your final itinerary from me, there are usually several hotels, transfers from airports, train stations and piers, Sightseeing Tours, Cruise bookings, Airline reservations, Private guides, and goodness knows what else. All of these components are sourced based on my relationships and experience with the Tour Operators and other suppliers with whom I have established a level of trust. This is anywhere from a major international hotel chain like Starwood, to a creek-side cabin in Montana, to the private driver taking you from the airport to your all-inclusive resort in Jamaica.
2. My Network of other Travel Professionals -
I spend lots of time and money every year in professional continuing education and peer-to-peer networking. It’s an interesting industry I work in, one in which some may find unusual. We view our fellow travel professionals not as competition, but rather as colleagues. Never is this more evident than in the various groups I am part of where travel advisors from all over the world work together with one another. For example, if a client comes to me with a request for a custom itinerary exploring the Great Wall of China, or perhaps wants a Bed & Breakfast tour of New Zealand, I may not know the immediate answers but I can be guaranteed that someone in my group specializes in these destinations or has recently traveled there themselves. We have each other's backs and our clients are the ones who reap the benefits!
3. My Team of Past, Present, and Future Clients -
I know it may sound corny, but I’m honest - I really learn as much from YOU as I hope you do from me. Every couple planning their honeymoon, every family planning their annual vacation, every person wanting to check off their bucket list has different hopes, needs, and dreams for their perfect vacation and it is MY job to make sure they are all met. So, if I ask you too many random questions during the planning process or follow up before you have time to get over your jet lag - my apologies. Just know that what I learn from you helps me to better serve more people in the future.
And that’s who has got your back when you choose to book your vacation with me. I hope it is reassuring to know just how many people have your back when you travel as a guest of mine.
Be sure to go ahead and schedule a time to discuss the trip you’ve been thinking about, but maybe have just been unsure if now is the right time to book or not. Kevin offers a complimentary, no-obligation consultation call to talk with you about your dream vacation.