The dog days of summer are upon us and here in south Florida, the syrupy humidity and always expectant afternoon thunderstorms prevail on a daily basis with no end in sight. Finding the strength to work outside, or complete necessary household projects reaches the pinnacle of difficulty this time of year when the need to remain inside trumps all others.
A cold beverage and my windowless office provide me shelter and relief from the overbearing heat and moisture and offers me a quiet place to conduct my travel business. While the air conditioner constantly runs and the electrical meter spins wildly off its axis, I chuckle as I see ads for sun drenched Caribbean resorts and destinations; people on pristine beaches without a cloud in the sky or cruise ships plying through waveless oceans, and recognize the irony of the opposite experiences many of my clients endure this time of year. Travel to the Caribbean during the summer; or through October for that matter, just does not match the idyllic image that is portrayed all too often in the world of travel marketing. Just take a quick look at the weather channel on TV or any other weather website and you would notice plenty of tropical storm patterns filling up the Gulf of Mexico and the waters surrounding the other Caribbean islands. Hurricanes, tropical waves and storms added to this mix paint a different picture of the island oases opposed to the late winter early spring when the weather is just about perfect.
In reality, I think we should move summer to the months of April through June. Let the kids out of class, and then and let them enjoy the best time of the year. Here in South Florida, even the cruise lines don’t want to be here. Honestly, during the summer, we have very few cruise lines sailing 7 day cruises to the Caribbean; and the ones that do, have to deal with not only lousy hot and rainy weather, but the prospects of changing itineraries because of the tropical storms and hurricanes. By changing the time of year that kids are out of school, families can book their summer vacations for the springtime; enjoy great weather and when the hot and sticky part of the year begins; put the kids back into air conditioned classrooms.
Ok, I digress. As I sit here in my office, the weather outside is roasting while the ominous black clouds rapidly expanding are ready to explode, I find myself looking ahead to my clients who are traveling in the next few months. As their agent, I have prepared them for the conditions that they may encounter. The possibilities of a vacation different then they imagined when booking, and the counsel of how they can still have an enjoyable time. As with most people, fun is a state of mind. Many can look past the disappointment of bad weather if equally replaced with something to offset it–maybe an enjoyable activity or their traveling companions.
As for me, I am not a big fan of this time of year, but I know for many, it is the only time to take a vacation. As for me, staying indoors is a priority. I work on clients’ documentation, send out quotes and handle other necessary travel duties on hot and rainy days. But my own summer doldrums are made a lot easier to handle as I realize that the weather should be great in March when I plan to cruise to the Caribbean, during Spring Break, where I expect to experience the short window of weather excellence.
Are you in the summer doldrums? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!
Vincent Yeck, CTA, DS is the owner and agent of Yeck’s Cruise & Travel in Lake Worth, Florida. He is a “Destination Specialist” for the Caribbean and specializes in cruises, family travel and groups; including youth sports fundraising. He also is the OSSN Chapter Director for Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, a travel industry trade association representing and supporting the Independent Travel Agent, Home Based Travel Agency, and the Outside Sales Travel Agent. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or his website at www.yecks.com.