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Deck Plans

Ralph Grizzle
Bicycles & Beer, Wine & Chocolate, Myanmar & Much More On AmaWaterways: An Interview With The Founding Couple

In this Avid Cruiser Audio Podcast, I talk with two people who over the past 10 years have become good friends. We’ve cruised together many times, and I love their product. I’m talking about river cruising on AmaWaterways.

At a cruise convention in Miami this past March, I sat down with Kristin Karst and Rudi Schreiner, certainly two of the happiest people in the cruise industry. They’re happy people simply by their dispositions but the success of river cruising hasn’t hurt matters. They are riding a wave of unprecedented tourism growth on rivers worldwide. Read the rest of this entry »

Support Desk!

Barbara Tautkus, Business Development Manager for Vacation Express

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I have been very lucky to be with a company for 19 years as the Business Development Manager in one territory. Through the years the territory has gotten bigger and smaller, and we have adjusted to the nature of the travel industry. It is amazing to see how our industry has changed. I remember years ago when our business was based on brick and mortar store fronts. I could travel to a city and spend a week just in that city and surroundings, simply by calling on the many store fronts. Read the rest of this entry »


The Challenges of Being a ‘Vegabond’

A big health and weight challenge for me is that I’ve always used travel as an excuse to abandon the diet-du-jour and eat anything and everything, even from the inflight beverage cart. I’ve since developed healthier habits and strategies to overcome these tendencies. A survey of the agent community has also generated some useful advice.

The wake-up call came two years and twenty five pounds ago when I awoke from a dream…actually a nightmare… trying to shake off feelings of shame and self-loathing. In my dream, a smirking flight attendant was asking me if I needed a seatbelt extender. All passengers within earshot were laughing at my embarrassment and, of course, they all looked like triathletes with body fat percentages of negative twelve. I decided that very morning to get serious about losing weight and eating healthy, especially when traveling. Read the rest of this entry »

Supplier Profile

Trans Am Travel – the Preferred Supplier for Travel Professionals
Trans Am Travel – the Preferred Supplier for Travel Professionals

Founded in 1980, Trans Am Travel is the preferred supplier for travel professionals. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, our mission is to offer competitive pricing combined with excellent service. Trans Am Travel has been in operation for 34 years and is one of the best, as well as one of the largest airline ticket wholesalers in the United States. Our highly trained representatives average 15 years of experience in the industry and are committed to providing our customers with high quality service. Read the rest of this entry »

The 365 Guide

365 Guide
Reasons Consumers Mistrust Travel Agency Advertising #5 – It’s First Person

Are you aware despite countless Federal Trade Commission regulations, the worst product of any category in the world is perfectly within its legal rights to call itself “The World’s Best” and to extol its virtues? This type of advertising is known as “puffery” – putting your best foot forward and using terms that most people understand to be more or less “bragging” rights. Is it any wonder people mistrust advertising?

Most travel advertising is “first person”. Inherently, first-person advertising is less credible than a third party endorsement. Think about it for a moment. Which do you trust more? A commercial on television or the recommendation of a good friend? Testimonials are the basis of much of modern social media marketing. Read the rest of this entry »

60-Second Geography

Discover the Magic of Juneau, Alaska by ShoreTrips

At over 650,000 square miles, Alaska is by far the most sweeping land in the United States. With all this land – most of it wild and untamed  - Alaska presents a perfect experience for those who want to appreciate the serenity and awe-inspiring beauty of nature, as well as those who want to engage the outdoors head-on with thrilling adventures! Come explore Juneau, Alaska – brought to you by ShoreTrips.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Guanacaste Region of Costa Rica by Costa Rica Dream Adventures
The Guanacaste Region of Costa Rica by Costa Rica Dream Adventures

A mere 3-hour flight from Miami, Costa Rica is Central America’s coveted jewel. Costa Rica appeals to travelers of all sorts; the country’s natural attractions, wildlife and reputation for enlightened conservation draw visitors from all over the world. The government has made immense efforts to preserve the country’s reputation as an eco-tourism haven. As a result of this watchfulness, Costa Rica shelters a whopping 5% of the existing biodiversity in the entire world.  Read the rest of this entry »

TRO Tips

5 must-have WordPress plugins for travel agents

Many (if not most) agents now use a WordPress platform to host their websites and blogs. The beauty of the free platform is that is can be customized in literally millions of ways due to the open source design. Plugins are little snippets of programming that can be installed into your WordPress site to give it additional functionality. A couple of years ago Steve Cousino wrote an article outlining several recommended plugins for WordPress websites.  Since that article was published I’ve come across a few more plugins worth considering for your WordPress websites. Read the rest of this entry »


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Open Jaw – April 18, 2014
Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain
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