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Eliminate What Stops You

As a travel planner, no doubt you are very aware  of all the “shoulds”: you should develop a marketing plan, you should email clients on a regular basis, you should have a newsletter… there are a lot of “shoulds.” In fact, coming up with a list of things to do is easy. Accomplishing the list is a bit tougher. As you continue to build your travel practice, one of the nicest things you can do for yourself is to consciously remove the obstacles  you can identify that prevent you from acting on and accomplishing your plans. Read the rest of this entry »


COVID-19 is one of the deadliest natural disasters the world has ever seen. Scientists who study pandemics say COVID, SARS, ebola and avian flu are consequences of human incursion into animal habitats.

Rob Jordan, of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, explained in the Stanford News, “Viruses that jump from animals to people, like the one responsible for COVID-19, will likely become more common as people continue to transform natural habitats into agricultural land.”

If we ever thought of sustainable travel as an altruistic impulse, we now know better. Sustainability is a matter of self-preservation Read the rest of this entry »


To check out Part 1 of this two-part article, please click here.

Tripadvisor is offering its 463 million monthly customers easy access to a professional travel advisor—and you have to give them credit for going ahead with the rollout of the Reco program this month, in the midst of a global pandemic. The travel advisors who have signed up are being patient, though. After all, the program costs them nothing but time (which many have plenty of)—and holds the promise that the world’s largest online booking site will be sending them a stream of new fee-paying customers when travel comes back.

“This is our chance to have a crack at the luxury market that is not using travel advisors, our chance to convert DIYers Read the rest of this entry »

To Whom Am I Speaking?


The foundation of success in communications is to know your audience – to whom are you speaking. If you don’t know who your audience is, you are going to struggle with even figuring out what you want to say.

Here’s an example: I’m Starbucks. I sell coffee, tea and other beverages, and some other notable items. Now, I have to develop a website, marketing materials, emails, and social media posts.

I could start the process of building all of that out by writing something like: “We have the best tasting coffee in town.” It tells one of our stories. We sell coffee. It’s boastful. We sell “the best tasting coffee.”

But how is that going to resonate with our audience? If my coffee is a dark roast, that is more of an acquired taste than say a deli’s coffee, or the coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Read the rest of this entry »

Travel, Trouble, and Terms


In my last article, I spoke about the basics of contract law and how it applies to travel agents and independent contractors. In this article, I will discuss the obligations imposed by agent and third-party suppliers to the clients by contract, statutes, and common law. Statutes are created by Federal, State, and local bodies and can impose certain duties upon the agent and third parties that can affect the contract terms. Therefore, it is important to always have a severability clause in all contracts. The severability clause means that if one section of the contract is deemed invalid by law, the entire contract is not abrogated, and the rest of the terms and conditions remain valid. Read the rest of this entry »

What Will 2021 Look Like For Us?


With 2020 finally behind us (thank goodness), we, like many of you, feel a dire need to plan for 2021 and beyond. After all, who among us can say they’ve not missed cruising? Though the first week of 2021 has not proved to be much better than last year was, we are still holding out a lot of hope to board cruise ships in 2021. Below, you’ll read more about some of the trips that we’ll be hosting in 2021 and 2022. Today, however, we want to talk to you all about our plans for the new year here at Avid Cruiser & River Cruise Advisor. Read the rest of this entry »

How I Beat FONNS (Fear of Nothing New to Say)


Sometimes I freeze at the keyboard. I get all fired up to craft an article or create a keynote, and nothing flows. Just prior to settling in, I had great intentions and big ideas. So, why the work stoppage? Occasionally, I suffer from FONNS (aka. Fear of Nothing New to Say).

Have you ever experienced FONNS?

Throughout my career, I have written countless messages of motivation and education. I have been humbled as many times by readers and viewers who expressed heartfelt gratitude after consuming a nugget that triggered life-changing transformation.

What was a common practice to me turned out to be catalyzing to them. Read the rest of this entry »

Sales Lessons From ‘The Queen’s Gambit’


I am not a regular when it comes to TV viewing, but I capitulated when my son strongly recommended I watch a particular program on Netflix. The show features the exploits of an orphan who later became a chess genius. I was glued to my TV as each of the seven episodes unfolded. It is reported that this was Netflix’s most watched serial, The Queen’s Gambit. You do not need to be a student of chess to enjoy and personally benefit from this program.

I was entertained for sure. But more specifically, I was engrossed in the story line. Although far from the story’s main theme, I was often reminded of a number of sales lessons. I would like to share a few of these with you this week. Read the rest of this entry »

2020: What’s the Silver Lining?


Good-bye 2020!Good Riddance!

2020 was a _________ year.How would you fill that one in?

For our industry, 2020 was an exercise in resilience and hope for the future. I keep thinking about how we can prepare and move forward as our industry recovers. And guess what, I’m feeling excited because of all the changes that have happened in social marketing in spite of (or maybe because of) the pandemic.

Many of us also feel 2020 is a year to look for as many ‘rays of sunshine’ and ‘bits of silver lining’ as possible. Here’s a couple of things that fit into that category and really matter for our industry moving forward. Read the rest of this entry »

Few people I have ever met are what I would consider larger-than-life. Butch Stewart was one of those men; and as 2021 gets underway, the travel industry is a lot poorer for our loss; yet a lot richer for the legacy left behind by Gordon “Butch” Stewart.

Like many, I was shocked to learn that Stewart passed away on January 4th in Miami of a “recent” undisclosed illness at age 79. Read the rest of this entry »

Underserved Niche Championed by Dina Farmer


As I interview travel professionals and persons in the travel industry, I find there are two camps for niching.

The first group plants a flag in the camp of, “choose a niche” you are passionate about, learn about it, visit it and then dominate you niche. The other camp says, “your niche finds you,” and often have incredible stories to back their claims. This is a story of the niche that found Dina Farmer.

Dina is an adventurer. Her world travels are exciting. Her past service to our country as a photographer in the United States Air Force is part of the tale. Falling in love with her husband, also USAF, is part of the tale. Marrying and having her beautiful children is where her niche emerges. Read the rest of this entry »


It’s early Spring. Most Americans will be vaccinated by summer, and outbreaks are being controlled. Most of the world is open for travel to anyone who is vaccinated and willing to be tested twice before arriving at a ship or resort. The pent-up demand for travel is triggering outrageous bargains, and most people haven’t a nickel on this in the past year. How do you ensure that you share in this good fortune?

If you’re an experienced agent with a huge book of clients, it will hopefully be like “shooting fish in a barrel.” But what if you don’t have a huge following, and you need to try something different from how you’ve marketed in the past?

A very promising strategy, which I’ll be trying myself, is to sign up for free personal and business accounts on Snapchat Read the rest of this entry »


When the pandemic first hit, no place was affected more than New York. During the first few weeks of the pandemic, we all watched as New York struggled to contain the COVID-19 virus. To battle the virus, New York implemented one of the strictest travel advisories in the country that limited travel to New York unless you were an essential worker and required anyone who traveled to New York from a designated hot spot to quarantine for 14 days. Read the rest of this entry »


I don’t know about you but after the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations, January and even February are often dull and drab months that have to be endured. Let me lift your spirits with a collection of festivals and events that can be used as the cornerstone for a UK tour that can be customised to meet your customer’s interests, time frame and budget. To enable them to travel less and therefore see more, they are based in the Cotswolds and in the colourful seaside city of Brighton. Read the rest of this entry »

Khartoum: Where the Nile Meets Itself


Located where the Blue and White Nile Rivers converge into one great river, Khartoum-proper is a city moving quickly into modern times. This metropolis is the capital of Sudan, which did not gain its independence until 1956. It is now a center for trade and economics in North Africa, but still holds onto its traditional roots just outside of the glass and steel of its center. Markets, mosques, and Sudanese culture await the traveler. Read the rest of this entry »

Miki Taylor, Owner, Taylor & Co. Travel


Miki is in love with travel, culture, event planning, planning destination weddings, and creating Taylor Made Travel Xperiences & Events To Fit Your Lifestyle. She has been an accountant, domestic & international, for over 23 years. During that time she created & implemented a travel program for a software company that grew from 50 employees to over 200. With this experience came her love of working in the travel industry. When the best boss one could ever ask for decided to leave the company Miki was working at, Miki decided she needed more, and needed to feel able to make a difference. So, she left the security of a 6-figure income, became a Global Concierge, and created Taylor & Co. Travel. Read the rest of this entry »

La Fortuna and Arenal in Costa Rica

There’s a reason that La Fortuna remains one of the most visited areas in Costa Rica. Simply put, it is paradise. This small town, located in an area named the same, is a fortune of relaxation and allowing the richness of life to wash over the traveler. With a magnificent volcano as a backdrop, La Fortuna’s lush natural surroundings and laid-back atmosphere lets the traveler settle into a worthwhile vacation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lake Balaton and Western Hungary


In a continued look at the beauties of Hungary, I’ve covered some of the more well-known cities such as The Best of Budapest – as well as The Interests Around Budapest. Today’s article on Hungary will dive a little deeper into the premier holiday destination of Central Europe, Lake Batalon and its surrounding areas. As central Europe’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Balaton is a prime in Hungary destination to enjoy it’s Mediterranean-like climate.

Once exclusively the home of resort centres for the aristocracy of Hungary, Lake Batalon’s tourism expanded to the middle class in the late 19th century. And, while resort towns line the lake these days, the more historic towns gain quite the attention of visitors. Read the rest of this entry »

The Interests Around Budapest


Budapest is, of course, a highly sought after destination. As the Danube passes by its shore, the city is alive with 2,000 years of history. You can read all about the details in another article. However, the outskirts of Budapest are waiting for those to see castles overlooking small villages, magnificent houses of aristocrats, medieval castles, and vineyards that stretch to the horizon. All along the Danube river bend, the atmosphere of these towns is one of pure beauty that only Hungary and its history can offer. Read the rest of this entry »