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Travel may be impacted by cold front and heavy rains this weekend

The final few days of January will feature numerous chances for snowfall across the northern half of the country and mountainous West, with potentially heavy snow leading to travel impacts as bitter cold temperatures surge into more the Nation by the end of the weekend. An initial system traversing the...
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Copa Airlines Strike Set for Feb. 2

Copa Airline’s pilots plan to go on strike against the Panama airline on February 2. Panamanian Commercial Aviators Union (UNPAC) said on Friday that its 1,200 pilots will walk off the job at 7:30 a.m. local time, after failing to reach a "fair and sustainable agreement" in contracts talks that...
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Trouble over Cancun Ubers Leads to Travel Advisories and Delays

A series of incidents involving taxi and Uber drivers in the Cancun area of Mexico has the US Embassy issuing a warning and some travel advisors advising clients to leave plenty of time to get to the airport. The Embassy this week cautioned that “in the wake of recent incidents...
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Delta and LATAM Extend Partnership in New Joint Venture

A new joint venture between Delta Air Lines and the LATAM Group of Brazil will benefit customers heading to South America and Antarctica and connect the two American continents to 300 international destinations. The two airlines have been code-sharing since 2020 in a program that now includes 20 routes in...
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Machu Picchu Closed Indefinitely

The ancient ruins of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail have closed once again, this time indefinitely, as protests against President Dina Boluarte continue in Peru. Tourism Minister Luis Fernando Helguero said at a news conference that 417 visitors, more than 300 of them foreigners, are unable to get out...
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“Malicious” Fire Halts Paris Trains

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose in not-so-gay Paris, which has been hit by labor issues and strikes—and now a fire at the busy Gare de l’Est train station. Train service came to a halt yesterday after two fires at a signal point damaged 600 cables during the...
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Stabilizer Issues Send Seabourn Venture to Drydock

File this under “it’s hard to launch a new model.” Seabourn’s new expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, is headed to drydock to fix its stabilizers, leaving five canceled cruises in its wake. The unscheduled drydock will last from April 7 to April 30, 2023, said a letter sent to booked guests...
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Slow Travel – Are You Moving Too Fast?

Slow travel is a grassroots approach that emphasizes sustainability, intentionality, and quality over speed and mass tourism. Slow travelers prioritize taking their time to get to know a place in its entirety – not just the main points of interest but also the culture, people, and everyday life. Unlike traditional...
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Habit Forming

Habits are powerful factors in our lives. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily express our character produce our effectiveness or ineffectiveness. ~ Stephen R. Covey

As Stephen Covey indicates, habits are powerful forces, perhaps even more so than we suspect. Good habits we often perceive as difficult to form and bad habits impossible to break. Ironically, the reverse also appears to be true. Good habits seem as flimsy as the first excuse to disrupt a routine and bad habits arise before we notice their presence. Read the rest of this entry »

Barbara Khan has sold a lot of Silversea cruises, and a lot of transatlantic cruises, in her career—but she had never sailed either. So when she was offered the chance to sail a repositioning cruise on Silver Moon, 14 days from Lisbon to Barbados at no charge, she jumped at the chance.

Angie Schwartz, on the other hand, has sailed across the Atlantic many times. The idea of spending two weeks at sea never grows old for her. She and her husband, a former Navy submariner, “love crossings, and we love sea time,” she says. So she, too, signed up.

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Learning Journeys is About Restorative Travel

Last week I spoke to Carol Dimopoulos, the founder and CEO of Learning Journeys, about the term “regenerative travel.” There’s another term she prefers when speaking about the Learning Journeys style of delivering service. She calls it “restorative travel.”

Learning Journeys offers “Journeys of Transformation,” educational experiences that take place while traveling to special destinations. The programs are based on specific interests, such as photography, wildlife, arts and crafts, dance, music or gastronomy, and include encounters with various kinds of experts and teachers.

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Legal law justice service illustration flat vector template

Let’s delve into a few best practices and a few legal issues that confront travel agency newsletter publishers. Many of the best practices pertain to any email marketing, but they are worthwhile repeating to keep you and your agency in good standing both with your clients and with some important third parties!

Best Practices

When formatting your newsletter, try to avoid complicated CSS style sheets. Many email readers, notably Outlook 7.0 are not kind to CSS and will play havoc with the appearance and layout of your newsletter. Have your designer use simple “in-line” html tags instead. Read the rest of this entry »

Long River Cruises: How Many Days Could You Do?

One of my best river cruises ever was one of my longest river cruises ever. In 2016, I spent 15 glorious days cruising from Amsterdam to Budapest on AmaWaterways’ AmaSonata. After transiting the Rhine, the Main, the Main-Danube Canal and the Danube, I was left with one thought: Could I stay on and do the cruise in the opposite direction?

Of course, the answer was yes – from me – but a hard no from AmaWaterways. In fact, AmaSonata was not headed back to Amsterdam but would instead operate a series of Danube cruises. Sigh.

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Setting goals for your travel agency

Goal setting. Chart with keywords and icons

Goals are a good thing. Without a goal in front of us, we tend to be far less directed in our actions. Without goals, it would be more difficult to measure our progress or the efficacy of our plans. Without goals, we would lack the strong motivation to succeed that is so important to our personal and business lives. Let’s take a look at how we might set goals  into the next business plan we draft.

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Sometimes A Beer With Other Businesses Helps!

I belong to a local networking group, and we meet monthly on Zoom, but there is a sub-group that really clicked, and we meet every other week for beers.  Our beer meetings tend to get deeper into the weeds than the typical “Hi. I’m John, and I can help with your travel needs.” We all operate public-facing businesses, meaning you can walk in and buy a product or a service. Last week, we discussed best practices for running our businesses, and I took notes. And as I looked at them, I realized that my travel business is not that different than the jewelry shop, the hardware store, or the grocery.  Check it out (in no particular order)! Read the rest of this entry »

For hosted advisors, knowing all the facts about different host agencies is a must. Yet, sometimes the facts found on the host company’s website aren’t the whole story. That’s where Host Agency Reviews will come to the rescue, in specific Host Week 2023. Now in its third year, registration is open for this virtual event featuring notable keynote speakers, offers, and information for advisors of all levels.

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When traveling with valuable gear, such as cameras, jewelry, and prescription meds, it’s important to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of your belongings. Protecting your belongings is crucial to maintaining their value and functionality, whether you’re a tourist who enjoys taking photos as their travels progress, a diabetic who relies on insulin that needs to be kept cold, or someone who wants to show off different diamond bracelets when dining. We will discuss the best ways to travel with your treasures. We’ll explore some of the best alternatives available today.

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American Cruise Lines vessel

American Cruise Lines proudly announces a brand new 15-Day National Parks & Legendary Rivers itinerary for 2023. Following successful product testing this year, the itinerary will be the country’s largest land-cruise package and the first-ever coupling of a river cruise with the mountain states’ national parks. Read the rest of this entry »

I had to admit to myself that I was a bit nervous about interviewing Laurie McAndish King. As the accomplished writer of An Elephant Ate My Arm: More True Stories from a Curious Traveler, published last year, she’s seen a rise in popularity. This book has won first place in the Paris Book Festival, with individual stories in the collection winning multiple other awards. Her writing voice is clearly her own, a daunting task most writers struggle with on a daily basis. So, yeah, I was clearly nervous that my questions wouldn’t grab her attention. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

From the starting conversation about our video backgrounds, there was a curiosity radiating from the image on the computer. Three minutes in, she’d asked more questions than me. When it naturally came around to a starting point, I launched in with the biggest question first: did you start this collection of stories during the primary part of the pandemic?

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picture of Tom Smith in front of brick wall

Tom is responsible for leading sales, marketing and partnership activities in North America, Intrepid’s fastest growing market. Like the company of Intrepid, he is committed to supporting travel agent partners and non-traditional distribution channels, taking Intrepid’s sustainable, experience-rich travel to more people in North America than ever before.

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Mt. Fuji, The Mighty Art of Nature

Japan is known for its sprawling metropolises, cities that bask in the light of every color from signs and advertisements. Yet, outside these massive cities is an island country with natural beauty that shines bright on the pale petals of the cherry blossom—on the delightful purple of the wisteria tree. Adored by Japanese poets and painters is a sight that soars above them all, the UNESCO World Heritage Mt. Fuji.

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Where Are Crystal Cruises’ Ships Now?

Cruise ship MS Crystal Symphony

Just when it seemed that most major cruise lines had weathered the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the bankruptcy of Genting Group’s Crystal Cruises at the start of 2022 sent shockwaves across the industry.

Luckily for loyal Crystal guests and cruise industry supporters, the majority of Crystal Cruises’ nine luxury ships found other homes within a few short months. As the year draws toward a close, this list provides the latest standings of Crystal’s ocean, river, and yacht vessels. Read the rest of this entry »

Athens and the Cyclades: A Landscape of Legends

Athens is a metropolis of the old world and new, an ancient city that has offered lasting world knowledge and architecture to civilization. This already marks it as a sought-after destination, but the crisp flavors of fresh olive oil and the white coasts of nearby Cyclades Islands mark it as a top-tier destination. History is evident all around this ancient land full of nature, beaches, and cultural landmarks to visit.

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Slow Travel – Are You Moving Too Fast?

Woman looking out the window of a train

Slow travel is a grassroots approach that emphasizes sustainability, intentionality, and quality over speed and mass tourism. Slow travelers prioritize taking their time to get to know a place in its entirety – not just the main points of interest but also the culture, people, and everyday life. Unlike traditional mass tourism, slow travel emphasizes spending more time in each destination, experiencing local culture face-to-face. Rather than an effort to “tick off” as many places as possible, the slow traveler instead focuses on getting to know one place deeply Read the rest of this entry »