What an honor it has been to serve as one of the contributing writers for the Travel Agent Diaries this past year. It is with a bit of sadness that I write this last article, and make way for the class of 2011.
Looking back over the past year, many things come to mind regarding our start-up venture, Thrillseekers Travel Club, and all that we learned in the process of building it. One of the smartest things we ever did was partner (in effect) with TRO and utilize the tools they provide to, not only us, but all travel agents for FREE. Read the rest of this entry »
Heading into the holiday season I am reminded to take stock of all the reasons we have to be grateful or to show gratitude. And looking back over the past year I am also reminded that even in the midst of a nationwide economic crisis, good things can still be found.
Some things are tangible such as meeting a quota or personal financial goal, taking a long awaited trip to someplace that you always wanted to go, or even making a luxury purchase that you previously thought was out of reach. While all of these things are wonderful and do hold value, there is also intrinsic value in those things that seem to be intangible, such as lessons learned.
So in the spirit of the season and in an effort to acknowledge those intangible items, here is a list of the lessons I am grateful for having learned this year. Some of these lessons learned have saved me time and some have saved me money, and really, when you think of it, time is money! So here is my short list: Read the rest of this entry »
Now that the summer months are behind us and the fall and winter loom ahead on the horizon, I am feeling a wee bit out of kilter. During the summer months, our phones were ringing and our members were booking trips from Israel to Italy, Ireland and back. Yet as soon as school was back in session, things slowed down considerably. Now I fret because I have too much time on my hands, mixed with a fear that I am not putting any of it to proper use. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s hard to believe that our little travel club is approaching its one year anniversary. In fact, it feels more like we should be approaching our fifth or tenth year due to all the work and effort we have put into this venture. At times, it has been a rather bumpy ride and there have also been those times when we wondered if maybe we had inadvertently taken a detour on a path to nowhere. Read the rest of this entry »
Having been born in Tampa and spending the better part of my youth on the beaches of Clearwater, Pensacola and Panama City, I have a deep affinity and love for my home state of Florida. After 64 days of continuous oil and methane leaking off the coast of Louisiana, my beloved home state is now at high risk for severe contamination. And the end is nowhere in sight.
Never before have I felt such a strong urge to immediately make the sojourn back to the coasts of my beloved Florida to revel in what are still some of the most amazing and pristine beaches in all of America. Read the rest of this entry »
They say you never stop learning or growing. As such I like to consider myself a student of life. Yet there are some things that I must admit, I seem to need to learn over and over again. Although I like to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent individual that picks up things quickly, one of the most difficult life lessons for me has been to not compromise my own needs in order to fulfill everyone else’s. That’s not to say that you should be neglectful of anyone, but I think we need to be mindful of our own needs first. Read the rest of this entry »
It has been almost eight months since we began our foray into the group travel business and we are still struggling to get our events filled. Our trip to Israel in July fell apart; and we realize now that we did not plan it far enough in advance. Local events seem to be doing better, but with those we are finding that some of the people that commit early are slow to commit when it comes time to pay their deposits.
This is stressful as we never know until literally the last minute if we will have enough people to fill the minimum amount we need to keep our rates competitive and still actually make a profit. Read the rest of this entry »
Although 2010 definitely started out much better than 2009 ended, the progress we were hoping for is somehow still eluding us. Even though our efforts have intensified enormously, it’s almost as if we are learning what not to do by a process of elimination. Unfortunately, this has proved to be very costly, in dollars and time.
How is it that there is so little helpful information available regarding Read the rest of this entry »
Upon re-entering the travel industry after a 20 year hiatus, I have been overwhelmed by the massive amounts of information and disinformation I have had to sift through in order to get my group travel and club business up and running. I have a partner who has a completely different set of skills than I have, so hopefully, all of our bases are covered. After several months of trial and error, and several thousands of dollars in totally unexpected expenses, we finally have our first group trip to Israel for July 2010 in on the books. Read the rest of this entry »