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.
Prior to this trip, we tried promoting local wine tours and cruises, but the biggest mistake we made was not allowing enough time to properly promote the experience. We were letting our financial needs dictate our planning. Since then, we have started looking into various marketing methods, including free online press releases and forums to spread the buzz about our upcoming trips — and we now post them a minimum of four months in advance. The other downside– we realized that we would both have to take on part time jobs, in order to make ends meet. We are both hopeful that this sacrifice will ultimately pay off by giving us time to build our clientele and learn our craft better.
Whether it is the current economic crisis or my own lack of experience and knowledge, I have quickly found out that supporting my family from the income from this venture will not happen overnight. It will take time, patience and dedication. However, in recalling the almost euphoric feeling I had when making the decision to leave real estate and once again pursue a career in travel, I know that if I continue to remember that feeling, I will stick with this and will be a success. With the euphoria wearing off and reality setting in though, intuitively and intellectually I am realizing now that what I really need is support and a knowledgeable mentor. I am hopeful that in sharing this story with others, those resources will become available to me, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Until then I am hoping that the prospects of future travel will be enough to keep me excited and pushing forward regardless of this crazy economy. Fortunately for all of us just getting started and with limited budgets, dreaming is still free.
April Scarlott is a lifetime Houston Bay Area resident, travel and adventure junkie, and member of the International Travel Writers and Photography Alliance. She attended college at the University of St. Thomas and currently holds multiple licenses in real estate and is a member of OSSN. She is full partner for Thrillseekers Travel Club which arranges group tours for other travel and adventure enthusiasts. She has combined her passion for writing and adventure travel into a full time dream career. Contact her at email@example.com or toll free at 1-888-970-8747 or visit at the website at www.thrillseekerstravelclub.com.
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