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White Sand Travel, signing off for 2016

At first I was a little uneasy about writing monthly diaries. But as time went on, I enjoyed being able to share the ups and downs of my business, and the new things that I learned about different aspects of the travel industry and how I can incorporate them into my agency. I can see my growth just from the articles that I wrote; I was able to be transparent, and that enabled me to write about not only the great things about travel and how it affects my agency, but the mistakes as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Art of Travel – ciao!

As the year-end fast approaches, we’re also at that time when our team reviews what we’ve accomplished against Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and targets we’ve set for the year.  Our KPI’s and targets are focused on product development, marketing, and sales, as well as financial goals.  We know this is part of our monthly, quarterly, and year-end routine.

What I’ve also taken as routine for myself this year is the privilege to share my experiences through the Travel Agent Diaries. Read the rest of this entry »

Tier One Travel – a Canadian agent signing off

Every Tuesday for years, I’ve always enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations in the Travel Agent Diaries. A year ago, I went back and forth, wondering if I could do it. Sometimes you just have to have a leap of faith and jump in with both feet – I’m so glad I did it! The process made me think… monthly, about how to improve my business. Read the rest of this entry »

Boomerang Escapes – Goodbye, onward and upward

It’s that time. Time to review. Time to make my 2017 business plan. Time for me to say farewell to you as my year of Travel Agent Diaries has come to a close.

I was a bit nervous last year when TRO contacted me to write. I was in the midst of a divorce which ended up catapulting to a major move. I decided to write to have my own accountability of where the year would go. With monthly deadlines and happy reminders from John each month, I was ‘forced’ to review what had taken place in my business. The good, the bad, and the ugly. In the end, the one thing I mentioned in the beginning still holds true. Read the rest of this entry »

En Route Travel — wrapping it all up

When first approached to write a monthly column in the Agent Diaries, I thought it would be a great opportunity to motivate and support my colleagues.  What I really underestimated was the amazing value it would add to my personal motivation and growing my travel business!  What started as an annual outline of business improvements to tackle each month such as marketing, obtaining referrals, working with suppliers, etc., has truly changed the way I now see the big picture, and that has trickled down to everyday positive changes.  My biggest take away is that having a year end review and creating a plan for month-by-month evaluation and focus is critical for business success and personal job satisfaction.  I will absolutely commit to an annual plan from now on! Read the rest of this entry »

White Sand Travel – the calm before our storm

The Holidays are coming! The Holidays are coming!

This year has come and gone in a flash. Many people love to travel during this season. Whether it’s a cruise, ski trip, or even an all-inclusive resort, family and friends love to be festive and yet still enjoy each other in a relaxed setting that everyone can benefit from. Read the rest of this entry »

Art of Travel – reflecting on an Asian roadshow

Last month, I mentioned that at the end of October, I’d be heading off to Southeast Asia with the Czech Tourism Board for a Roadshow covering the 5 major Southeast Asian markets.  This was in cooperation with the Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and Slovak Tourist Boards.  It was dubbed the “Discover Central Europe Roadshow.”  I was in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila, and Jakarta promoting our inbound business to the Czech Republic & Central Europe.    Read the rest of this entry »

September and October are a busy couple of months for me. As it always is in this industry, it’s trying to find the balance between everything we have to do and still get it done.

Autumn is the time of year that tour operators do their product launches for the upcoming winter season. There are days that I could be at one for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Read the rest of this entry »

Here we are, nearly the end of October. The leaves are falling from the trees, temperatures are descending, and the year is rapidly coming to a close. I have had to turn my heat on as I write this morning. My blood is still thin from my 13 years in Tennessee, but I have to say I am adapting and loving my new location here in New Jersey. Read the rest of this entry »

Since fall is a bit slower, I’ve been taking the extra time to enhance my knowledge on agent incentive programs and destination knowledge.  It’s really amazing how much there is to learn and what a challenge it is to stay updated with relevant information! Many hotels and resorts offer agent rewards that I was not even aware of, but have now registered.   Read the rest of this entry »

White Sand Travel – the hurricane blues

October has started off with Matthew showing his wrath among travelers.

So far, in 2016 hurricanes have hit our Caribbean travelers with a vengeance. Hurricane season is really proving to be a challenge this year. Our clients have called with many questions and concerns regarding hurricane season, especially those trying to plan their vacations for 2017.

Well, we are not forecasters or seers, so we just give them the facts from our script… Read the rest of this entry »

The entire month of September went by so fast! In the beginning of the month, I attended a Luxury MICE Event in Amsterdam, where I met high-end hotels and resorts throughout Europe and some from the Middle East. It was a great forum that enables Art Of Travel to build high-end products and packages both for our Leisure and our Meetings & Incentive clients. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s been 2 years since I’ve been working from home as an independent consultant. As with most things, there are pros and cons. I’m still trying to adapt and figure out what works best for me.

One of the things that I really miss from working in an office with other consultants, is the ‘what do you think?’ situations. Any recent feedback on an all-inclusive resort? How do you reissue a ticket due to a schedule change? What was that cruise promotion that came out last week? Read the rest of this entry »

Boomerang Escapes – Onward, with nearly no down-time

I can’t believe it is time for me to put pen to paper again or in this case fingers to keyboard. I blinked and it is the middle of September with the 4th quarter just around the corner. I’m just on the heels of two trips: my Amazing Aussie Adventure with Travel2 and my host conference in Charlotte with Gifted Travel Network. I haven’t even had time to do my follow ups or load my photos which is on my ever growing list of things to do. Read the rest of this entry »

En Route Travel — Cementing supplier relationships

September was devoted to Supplier Relations and evaluating all aspects of how much of the success of my business is dependent on securing amazing suppliers. This really took a lot of thought to determine what I need in a supplier, how to cultivate and maintain a positive relationship, and ultimately if a supplier falls short how to handle that situation. I started by breaking down the qualities that are a “must have” for people and companies I’d like to do business with: Read the rest of this entry »

White Sand Travel – Back to school blues

I have the back to school blues. While I am not returning to school, I am returning back to work and back to reality. The past few weeks have found me trekking through crowded malls, buying clothes, school supplies, back packs, paper, pens… I am sure you all know the drill. It’s quite a drain on the wallet. On the upside, my fridge will be stocked and my electricity bill will go down! Another bright side is the fact that I’ve been getting calls lately from my clients asking where to go on a quick vacation before the kids go back to school. Read the rest of this entry »

Now that summer in Europe is almost done, we shift focus from our incoming Europe business to outgoing Southeast Asia. Not that we totally leave out our Europe business. There’s demand, albeit in lower numbers than in summer; but destinations like Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bali, Singapore, and Hong Kong all offer a nice change of products to sell for the travel agents and their clients we serve from different parts of the world. Read the rest of this entry »

This past month I’ve been continuing my pursuit of training and education. Most of it was a refresher, but in every case I did learn something that I either didn’t know or had forgotten; and for some of the programs, there was a bonus commission for the next booking, so nothing was a waste of time. I also found some other venues of learning outside of the travel industry. It really is amazing what you can find on the Internet these days. Read the rest of this entry »

Boomerang Escapes-I finally made it

I have finally landed myself in New Jersey, but not before a few more hiccups in the road. I was delayed leaving Wisconsin due to issues with the closing on my home. After an additional 5 days with my sister, I decided to pack up and head east to Vermont where my parents reside. I made a few pit stops along the way to catch up with other travel colleagues. The beauty of our business is all the friends we make across the country and the world. I probably could have spent the whole summer just traveling and catching up with everyone. I truly feel blessed to be a part of this industry. Read the rest of this entry »

En Route Travel — It’s all relative

As the summer madness seems to have come to a lull, the plan for this month was to enhance Client Relations.  Since positive client relations is the key to keeping clients and obtaining referrals, I wanted to be sure a sustainable plan was in place.  In keeping with my mantra, I need a plan that is very streamlined, simple, and easy to maintain.  I’ve broken client relations into 3 parts:  Communications, Gifts, and Client Retention. Read the rest of this entry »

To pick up on where we left off from my last diary and what I am learning about the destination-wedding niche, you’ll have to remember that you are not just arranging a wedding, but a “weekend getaway” for all your client’s guests. That means taking care of their friends and family from the moment they arrive until they leave. There are certain steps that the bride, along with her Travel Professional, should take… Read the rest of this entry »