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Planning for Serendipity

“People don’t take trips, trips take people” ~  John Steinbeck

There’s a word for happy accidents, those series of unplanned events leading to good memories: serendipity.  I am convinced the best trips are those in which we allow serendipity to go along for the ride.  On a trip to World Travel Market several years ago, I did something I do with some regularity and never with regret. I had always wanted to go to Glastonbury.  It was on my “someday” list. On the spur of the moment I decided it was now someday.  I checked out of my hotel and left London without any plan other than having a destination: Glastonbury. Read the rest of this entry »

 

It’s been six months since March, when the Coronavirus came down hard and much of America went into lockdown. Doctors and epidemiologists have had millions of cases to observe and analyze, and a consensus has developed about how to stop the spread of the virus. Along with it, people have learned how to protect themselves, and strategies are emerging for how to travel safely in a world in which the Coronavirus is present.

Even during the days of the strictest protocols, people were allowed to avail themselves of “essential services,” such as going to the grocery store. Early on, it became clear that the most effective means for stopping the spread were wearing masks, physical distancing, washing hands, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces. Wearing masks is at the top of the list and the most important. Read the rest of this entry »

A Tale As Old As Time: Travel Advisors vs. Scammers

 

As if Covid cases, consistently changing rules of entry, and nervous customers weren’t enough to deal with… last week, travel advisors were hit by another insidious disease: scammers at the resorts.

“I got lucky; I had a guardian angel looking out for me,” says travel advisor Loulu Lima, who last week discovered, just in time, that her booking of 22 adults and kids, for a total of 27 room nights, at the Hard Rock Punta Cana for a man named Darling Koch (you can’t make this stuff up) was just one big con.

Cathy Sanchez was not so lucky. Her scammer, who called himself Robert Nunez, booked five rooms at Hard Rock earlier this month — and even sent her a video of himself enjoying his vacation. Then he disputed the credit card charge, claiming it was unauthorized.

While they are seasoned travel advisors with a careful process for detecting scammers, both Lima and Sanchez were fooled Read the rest of this entry »

How Has COVID-19 Changed Travel Insurance?

 

In normal times, insurance is one of the quietest sectors of the travel industry. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, travel insurance has become one of the most dynamic products for a travel advisor to sell, and it’s worth an update here.

Some countries have begun offering comprehensive medical coverage to encourage more travelers to visit their destinations. Suppliers are insuring the cost of cancellations through totally flexible cancellation policies, as well as their own vacation protection coverage.

For example, the week of August 10, Portugal launched a travel insurance program for inbound international travelers that will cover medical, surgical, hospital and pharmaceutical expenses. Spain’s Canary Islands is doing the same. Read the rest of this entry »

Wow! We were impressed and encouraged while listening to Michael DaCosta, CroisiEurope’s General Manager, North America. Mike spent an hour with us talking about CroisiEurope’s return to cruising. River cruisers and barges are back in business, with no incidents (knock on wood). Capacity is limited to 75 percent, and dining is done in two shifts, unlike the single seating on CroisiEurope’s ships during normal times. In this informative webinar, Mike outlined several itineraries currently operating and discussed protocols. If you want to feel good about the future of cruising, check out our replay of Wednesday’s webinar. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Get Creative in Tricky Times

Are you still wearing your hair the way you did after high school?

Do you eat the same thing for breakfast every single day?

While there’s comfort in sticking to habits and styles that work, the thing I’ve found in this pandemic is that trying something new and different works NOW.

Who would have thought that our industry would be turned upside down? Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes a little Pooh can clear things up

Getting lost in the woods can be scary. 2020 started out pretty decently for the travel industry—wave season was underway. Bookings were solid. Suppliers were flush. And then COVID! 2020 went to hell in a handbasket and 2021 (if we are honest) is not shaping up to be much better. Face it, we are deep in the woods. Welcome to 2020 and Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. Read the rest of this entry »

Elvis Has Left the Building

Not long after starting my training firm, The Wealthy Travel Agent, I received a call from my friend Richard Earls, publisher of Travel Research Online (TRO), asking if I would write a column on luxury travel. I immediately agreed. Over time, it morphed into one that advocated sound sales-based business practices with luxury travel as the product of choice – but could be applied to any model.

I don’t want to be that person who overstays their welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Until late 2020, it’s unlikely that U.S. passport holders may be permitted to travel on “real” cruise ships. The ships are banned from U.S. ports and U.S. passport holders are not permitted to sail from European, Australian, or the ports of most other nations. On the few ships that attempted to sail from European ports (without Americans onboard) over the summer, nearly all of the cruises terminated early when COVID-19 appeared among passengers or crew. This was despite everyone being tested within a few days of boarding the ship. Read the rest of this entry »

 

With the Covid-19 pandemic persisting throughout this summer travel season and into the fall, many Americans have decided to social distance while hitting the road to rediscover America’s natural wonders. The road trip has long been an American past time and given the ongoing restrictions from the pandemic, a road trip that traverses America’s iconic wide-open spaces has become an essential experience in 2020 and will continue in 2021. Read the rest of this entry »

Cathedrals, Castles, and Ancient Churches In Kent

 

Two weeks ago, my Agent’s Perspectives article took a look at Castles and Cathedrals in the Cotswolds. This week, the focus sharpens on some of the Castles, cathedrals, and some 11th century churches which are like a slow but riveting walk through centuries of English history.

Some of them double up as short pre-or-post cruise extensions sailing in/out of Dover, while others come together as components for a travel-less, see-more tour that will appeal to your garden-loving clients. Other ingredients can be blended together for an English cathedrals-based tour perhaps with Sunday morning worship in Canterbury Cathedral?

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Accept Responsibility. Now That is a Novel Idea!

 

Author David McNally once went on record to say, “It seems there is no tougher challenge than to accept personal responsibility for not only what we are, but also what we can be.”

When I read this quote, I immediately remembered another line from the movie producer Woody Allen. The Woodster said he had accomplished many fine things in his life, but he managed to come up short on a number of occasions. What he did not accomplish was nobody’s fault but his own. Read the rest of this entry »

 

While the numbers of people suffering the worst of COVID-19 have dramatically decreased, much of the world is still cautious about travel in the near future. Poland is no different and, as mentioned in a previous article about their #CityWillWait and #PolandWilllWait campaign, it has created the first issue of Poland: Online Site Inspection – created to keep the Travel Industry updated on spaces for meeting and event planners. Read the rest of this entry »

Susan Shultz-Gelino is the Vice President of Trade Relations for American Cruise Lines. She has been with American Cruise Lines for over 20 years and has worked in Sales and Marketing for over 30 years, beginning her career with the Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor.

During her tenure with American Cruise Lines, Susan has led American’s sales department to record numbers. In 2014, she was integral in expanding American’s U.S. sales force to the Line’s Salt Lake City, Utah office. In 2018, Susan formed a team of Business Development Managers, positioned throughout the U.S., to assist American’s growing network of Travel Advisors. She now oversees all trade partnerships and group sales. 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 »

Greater Zion and Bryce Canyon Country are pleased to announce their new destination partnership with AmericanTours International (ATI).  Explore and enjoy wide-open spaces in two of the most beautiful and popular national parks in the USA. These two parks are a contrast in beauty and are both top-rated by Michelin.

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