Monthly Archives: August 2015

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Which Way To Go?

I remember telling a friend of mine not long ago that I thought things would be different, once I reached my age. I thought things would be easier. I thought the hard part would be yesterday’s news. Wrong again Mike-O.

This simply is not the case. But if you stop long enough to think about it, life would be pretty boring if we all had it together before the boys headed for the showers and the “fat lady” sang. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

How To Specialize In Cruising

Susan SchafferIn marketing seminars, webinars, etc., we consistently hear one piece of advice: specialize, focus on a niche. Many times the problem is that no one takes the extra step of helping us to define what a niche is exactly. A lot of travel consultants say they specialize in cruising, but that is really no more specific than saying you specialize in hotels. What kind of hotels? Budget hotels? All-inclusive hotels? Adult only? Family Friendly? High End? Luxury? Hotels in a certain destination? Hotels that belong to a certain brand (like the Hilton Family of Brands)? Pet friendly hotels? You get the picture. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

When I purchased my home, I received an inexpensive bottle of white wine from my realtor. Nice gift? Not really. I have very specific taste when it comes to the wine I drink. Anyone who knows me knows I drink red and specifically Malbec. Not only that, I absolutely hate screw tops, which this one had. Needless to say, the bottle is on my wine rack unopened and collecting dust.

What does wine and travel have to do with each other? Plenty. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Play Morning Detective With Your Newspaper

Reading your morning local newspaper (digital or paper) can become a fascinating part of your day. That is, if you know what to look for and how to respond accordingly.

Here is an example of what I am talking about: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Answering Blogs As A Marketing Strategy

If you are looking for ways to build your prospect list, think blogs.

I am not suggesting that you write or author a blog. This could prove to be too much work and require too much time and effort. What I am suggesting is that you “respond” to other people’s blogs. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Blue Sky Tours has been selling Hawai‘i dream vacations since 1981. They sell only Hawai‘i and only to travel agents. All of their reservation specialists are certified Hawai‘i experts by the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau. They are devoted to helping their travel agent partners create custom vacations for their clients. With an extensive range of products available, Blue Sky Tours is able to offer the best schedules, hotels, car rentals, and activities for Hawai’i.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point


Once or twice a year I do a deep clean of my computer. Like going through a box of photos or knick-knacks, an old memory usually distracts me, so the process takes much longer than expected.

Tucked away in a random folder from 2008 was a PowerPoint file for a workshop I had presented to travel consultants. It was called “What Is Social Media?” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Slow Down, You’re Moving Too Fast

A recent news story reported on a working woman who apparently had too much on her plate. I was instantly reminded of the lyrics from The 59th Street Bridge Song by Simon & Garfunkle. Read the rest of this entry »

There are some days I get out of bed and I get an email or a travel request and I scream in delight and think this is the most exciting and sexy industry in the world. And, then there are those days where a long face seems to be a part of my uniform and I feel utterly frustrated and think, why am I doing this. Yikes! So what does one of those “long face” days look like? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Two Heads Are (Often) Better Than One

A very interested thing happened this week and I wanted to share it with you.

I stumbled across a recording from a marketing specialist promoting himself  as “The Sales Hunter.” His name is Mark Hunter. I think I found him in iTunes. I liked what I heard.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings


Today I got into my car and realized it was trashed. I attended a wine festival yesterday and it was covered with dust and the inside looked horrible. So, off to “my” carwash where they do a meticulous job for $30 plus a tip. I am not a weekly customer, I am an occasional customer, but when I am in the market for a car wash… I go to the same one. But no more! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – August 14, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Summer Is Over

We have all of September, October, November and December to continue to build our businesses and to move forward. And we can use every minute we have.

Nearly 120 days to find and help other people achieve their goals and objectives.

Four months to shed a few pounds while introducing ourselves to more upbeat, fun, proactive people out there in marketing land. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

It’s beautiful in the Baltic Sea region. Just a few days ago, newspapers in Stockholm proclaimed that summer had finally arrived. That’s a bit late, and of course, summer will be short-lived way up here in the high north. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

Dear Cruise Lines

Susan SchafferDear Cruise Lines,

There used to be a time when travelers could truly take a vacation; to disconnect, unwind, rejuvenate, reconnect with loved ones, relax, and then return to the “real world” refreshed. Employers, especially the self-employed, had no expectations of anyone being able to work while on vacation. Then WiFi and Internet access became a thing; however, it was an expensive thing at first. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

“You’re not rich until you have something money can’t buy.”

This quote truly summarizes the thought we want to convey to our clients! Since they are purchasing an intangible item and making an investment in creating quality use of time, both of those purchases are really priceless. Our clients are not actually buying a material item for personal use or to display in their home – they are spending their money on an experience. Time is obviously something money cannot buy; yet it must be spent wisely, and the only remaining evidence of time well spent are personal memories. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

What Travel Agents Can Learn From Europe Express

Europe Express is a travel supplier that works only with travel professionals, and does not seek to work directly with consumers. Even though their marketing is never consumer-focused, we can learn a lot from them and especially how they utilize social media in their marketing. Much of what Europe Express does can be duplicated by travel professionals in how we reach out to our market (our consumers). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

A few weeks ago, a travel writer called me and, ironically, asked me if I would mind being interviewed about the topic of “how to get quoted in the press”. I thought to myself, “That’s an interesting topic,” and of course, I was happy to spend time answering her questions. After all, she was calling to ask my expert opinion and planned to quote me in her upcoming article. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

Xiamen is known as one of China’s “most livable” cities, and with its tree-lined beaches, countless attractions and lush surrounding countryside, it’s little wonder visitors are drawn here. Even if it’s for only a short stay, one should never miss the opportunity to visit the “gateway” to China. Located at the southeast coast of China, Xiamen is one of the major port cities in the Fujian Provence. Popular with both Chinese and international tourists, the city is famous for its island seascapes, subtropical climate, rich history and customs, and great regional cuisine.

Xiamen has been a major trading port for hundreds of years as it boasts a broad deep-water gulf, and thanks to its year-round temperate climate, isn’t subject to freezing or silting. This makes it a perfect port-of-call for commercial vessels and cruise ships alike.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

You vs Me. I vs You.

I can hear many of you now. “It has taken a number of daily messages, but Marchev has finally lost his mind.” Not so fast! I still have plenty of “mind” left. Today’s headline says exactly what I want it to say. Follow along.

I recently received a letter/memo from a person who asked me to give her prose the old “once over.” Now if I have learned anything since leaving The University of Massachusetts it is that editing the written word is more important than you might think at first. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

A few years back I found myself promoting a cruise to St. Thomas and beyond. To make life easier for my marketplace, I included a link which automatically addressed a return email back to me with the subject line reading “Caribbean SAS.” Using this as an example, I think I have something of value to share with you today. Read the rest of this entry »