What has happened since last week’s musings all several different topics. Not a whole lot really, in my daily life. I am back to my routine with the store, my teaching English class and my clients getting all excited about travel, those already in travel, right now in France and Italy and yes, some enjoyed Rosa’s guiding experience of her beloved Roma. I have others that will follow in the next several weeks to Ireland, Scotland, Croatia, Germany and beyond. It seems that the world is getting back to something that is normal which is good, but we should still be cognizant of the world around us and while I don’t glue myself to the news, I still must keep my eyes open to what is going on, be it internationally or domestically and unfortunately, the latest domestic tragedy happened, not the count on the Covid related deaths number, which is tragic, but what happened in Buffalo, NY this past weekend. Of course, I am always keeping my eyes and ears open to what is happening around the world as it directly impacts what I do.
I heard there were new variants in South Africa, and I heard numbers were up, but I also heard that the deaths and hospitalizations are down, so the vaccines do what they are supposed to do. However, the numbers are up domestically in some parts of the country and holding steady in others. The problem with all this information is that they are broad strokes about the subject and all this information is either going on deaf ears or people are simply tired beyond belief and want to move on. I also read that some of the vaccine options don’t hold up against the latest variants as long, but no, we are not going to have to get boosted every few months. In the end, the scientists will have to find options that last longer, so we can move forward. Has the US border opened with that negative Covid test requirement to return or enter? No, not yet, so with each client I send overseas, I add in the information in the last destination they will be where they can access the test. Being a travel advisor for nearly 25 years now is an amazing experience, but it has it challenges, and I am up for all of them, as most of my colleagues are in this ever-changing environment.
One thing I do want to express to those who do not understand what we do, and the news perpetuates this idea is that the travel advisor (or travel agent, if you prefer and I do not), will find you the cheapest fare or the best deal. Neither cheap, nor deal is in my vocabulary. I am here to arrange, plan, advise and educate my clientele in the nuances of travel and the value I bring to the table is my experience, my connections, and the accessibility I have in the industry. Travel advisors are here to stay, and we bring our passion to the profession. We are here with client’s best interest in mind and that does not mean the cheapest trip or the deal of the day and at the end of the day, we are here as your advocate in case there is an issue. We balance the cost of the trip with the experiences you will have during your time in destination, but also, before hand and afterwards in the follow – up. That is the value we bring.
Of course, we try to be realistic with our clientele, even if their budgets are not and we try to work within it, but we are not there to get the cheapest cost, because in the end, we listen to our clients to find the best fit for them based on our conversations with them. We are not order takers and not asking if you want to supersize the trip. We consider it a partnership between ourselves, the clients, and the suppliers with whom we work to find the best options, so the clients have an amazing time. At least I do this, and I am sure, my colleagues as well. We go to trainings, seminars, tradeshows, meet with locals to find new options to share. When we are traveling for ourselves, we are also looking at this from a business perspective. Will this work for a certain client and does this supplier fit the type of company I will trust? If I can’t answer yes on this, then I am not going to commit my valued client’s hard-earned dollars to that company’s options. Who is there if something were to go wrong on the trip? We are there to address and facilitate the issues to a resolution in a reasonable amount of time. We are there for our valued clients from beginning to end, so I would appreciate if the news media would stop perpetuating this idea that we find the cheapest deal. However, we do find the best value and they should share that, since most people really don’t know how we work. Do you?
As always, I am interested in your thoughts, comments, questions and adding to the discourse is always appreciated be in on the site itself or on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you read this. Thank you for your support of this small business and it is truly appreciated!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin