Monthly Archives: August 2015

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Transform Travel With Travel Leaders Franchise Group

The Travel Leaders Franchise Group can trace their beginnings to 1984 from the Carlson Wagonlit Travel franchise system which developed from “Ask Mr. Foster” Travel, North America’s first travel agency chain founded in 1888. Travel Leaders Group was created when the former Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, Travel Leaders, and Tzell Travel Group merged in 2008. Travel Leaders is committed to building on their success by continuing to build on their relationships with their members. Their foundation in the industry is strong with roots dating back well over one hundred years, pushing them to the top of the industry as one of America’s top ten travel companies. They have also been voted as the top travel business franchisor in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 for the past 19 consecutive years. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Making your phone smarter

On March 10, 1876, the first successful telephone transmission of clear speech was sent. Alexander Graham Bell spoke into his device, “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you,” and Watson heard each word distinctly.

Today, a short text with maybe a smiley face would say the same thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

With Just A Little Coaching

One of my favorite seminar messages involved a well-known talented golfer and how the best in the business finds time to practice and spend time with his coach.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the higher you climb on the success ladder, the better the chances that you have and use a coach. But more than just “having” a coach, it behooves you to “listen” to your coach. And better yet, do something with the new information, techniques, and reminders you are being introduced to. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

When you think of “the Outback”, chances are you’re thinking of the iconic scenery and sights of Australia’s Northern Territory. With wide stretches of brushlands, towering rock formations, and hundreds of rare species of plants and wildlife, this is the “real Outback.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

One of those rare Irish gems that has stood up to the increased traffic from tourism, County Kerry is still deeply rooted in preserving its iconic Irish scenery and tranquility. Located in southwest Ireland, County Kerry is incredibly popular with travelers looking to eschew the typical tourist sectors and soak in the fresh, green tranquility of natural Ireland. The county includes some of Ireland’s most famous landscapes and architectural landmarks, including the Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry, the town of Killarney, the Skellig Islands, Ross Castle, and Muckross Abbey. If you’re looking to experience the heart of County Kerry, then let Back-Roads Touring lead the way!

Read the rest of this entry »

I have to admit, I tend to be an education junkie. I’ve always been that way — wanting to take every class possible in college and graduate school. I’ve even taken classes that didn’t count toward any degree. It wasn’t always easy applying what was taught in classroom to the workplace. If only things would be black and white, and never gray. We all know that isn’t reality, and even more so in the travel industry. Sure there are different aspects of the business and varying areas that we must learn. Some can be taught in a classroom setting or online, but there are some that you just learn from experiencing them first hand.

When this diary goes live, I’ll be on the last leg of a multi-week journey through Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

You Are Not For Everybody

But you may be for somebody.

I already reminded you how effective the simple postcard can be when initiating the process known as sales.

I agree there is not much space and in no way, shape, or form do I want you to try to sell anything when using the postcard technique. Remember: sales is a process. Step one is designed to lead to step two. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

It will never happen to me. I live in a nice neighborhood. I have a bunch of great friends. I do all the “right” things to make sure I am safe.

And then two Fridays ago, I came home from a great night out with my girlfriend to find my rear sliding door broken, my bike missing, a jar of change missing and my laptop (life) missing. I had been robbed and along with my missing laptop was the data that I use to run my business. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Open Jaw – August 7, 2015

Courtesy of Open Jaw and Sean Kapitain

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Sales Is A Process

Call it confirmation.

Call it endorsement.

Call it like-minds thinking alike.

Call it whatever you’d like to call it.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

One thing that surprised me when I ventured up to Arctic Svalbard with Silversea Expeditions last month: the number of comparisons between the Arctic and that other famous polar destination, Antarctica. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Soundings

The Early Signs Are Hopeful

Susan SchafferInvestor calls and quarterly financial updates of cruise corporations can give us invaluable insight as to what is currently going on or what might be coming down the pike. A few days ago Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the corporate parent of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises, held their quarterly investor call. For travel agents, the interesting tidbit of information came from Richard Fain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. He spoke about the company’s recent move to pricing integrity. Vicki Freed spoke to us about this last November. At that time Vicki stated “we are working very, very hard to make sure that pricing is very stable, and the people that book furthest out will have the better pricing.” In the recent investor call Fain addressed this new pricing policy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

Do what you say

My father in law was the kindest, gentlest person I know; and very slow to anger. The only time I witnessed his irritation was directed at one of his grandchildren who had agreed to do something for him and blew him off. In no uncertain terms he told them that if they made a commitment they needed to honor it. It was not acceptable to say they were going to do something and not follow through with it.

He was a wise man and those words have stuck in my head. Honor commitments, promises and follow through. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Showing Up!

Driving up from Baltimore one day I found myself tuned into one of those radio call-in talk shows. You know the ones. People call in to have their lives straightened out in less than a New York minute.

To kill a few hundred miles, I thought I would eavesdrop on a few words of wisdom.

A young man called in seeking financial advice for his recently laid off father who happened to be a skilled mechanic. The host of the radio program sounded like he was going to wet himself with excitement and repeatedly told the caller that his dad was in the cat-bird seat. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Explore The World With Adam Travel

With thirty years in service, Adam Travel’s philosophy has always been to cultivated and maintain the highest quality of service for its clients. With the goal of providing a personalized travel experience, Adam Travel has built on these business practices to become one of the nation’s largest travel consolidators. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide

Walk Your Talk!

Today’s message involves an article I read in the Florida Sun Sentinel.

It involved customer service, and this particular article featured the DHL Freight & Shipping Company as an example of how to do things right.

Well, as I might have expected, in came a few emails with examples to the contrary as far as DHL’s professionalism and care for their customers were concerned.

I am sure that with a company the size and width of DHL, one could expect a few balls to drop now and then. But that is not the point of today’s message. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

What Travel Agencies Can Learn From Keen Footwear

I discovered the Keen Footwear company just as they emerged on the outdoor footwear scene. Needing a pair of sandals that I could wear in the water when kayaking, I liked Keen’s oversized toe protection. I put them on, walked out of the store, and did not take them off for three years. Living in Asheville at the time, the casual nature of the town matched the footwear and for three years I wore those shoes everyday, hiking, kayaking, running, going to dinner, everywhere. I wore them hard.

Then the laces broke.

I emailed Keen and jokingly complained that after only three years of constant wear, the elastic lace on my right shoe broke. I had repaired the lace by tying it together and was actually pretty content. I forgot about my laces. Until my new ones arrived in the mail.

Someone at Keen had placed two new laces into an envelope and mailed them to me.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The 365 Guide


I was reminded of the power of “authenticity” this past week in an email arriving from a friend of mine who also happens to be the President of a speaker’s bureau.

In a back and forth communication (email ping pong), I shared my story for when people find themselves fretting about competition. I remind them that in my business my competition is anybody with a mouth. This usually draws a few chuckles from my audiences… but I am stone-cold serious. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Outposts

Copenhagen is a big city with the heart of a small town. Despite its metropolitan flair, with contemporary restaurants, nightlife, and attractions, the city retains its cozy atmosphere and easy navigability. The city has plenty of surprises waiting, and Trans Am will show you everything Copenhagen has to offer! Read the rest of this entry »

I can’t believe it’s August already. The year is two-thirds over. When last I posted, I was majorly pumped about exhibiting at CruiseWorld. As I sit here right now, I am majorly pumped over going to Mexico City for a whirlwind four day FAM trip—leaving in two days.

But, today is one of those days. Right now I am waiting for my contact at CruiseWorld to finalize the details of my presentation. I am waiting for the FAM leader to fill me in on the details of getting to the hotel and checking in before the fun starts. I am waiting on my invitation to the Norwegian Escape Pre-Inaugural, which I have heard are going out “any day now.”   I am waiting for someone else to get back to me on a  pre-cruise hotel stay before the Escape inaugural in November. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1


In 2004, a few years after attending Addis Ababa University and receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management, Nigisu Worku joined Ethiopian Airlines as a college trainee. In those early years at the airline, Nigisu served in variety of roles that included Analyst, Senior Analyst, assistant to the COO, and assistant to the CEO. While assisting members of the C-Suite, Nigisu continued his education at Addis Ababa University, earning a Master of Arts Degree in Marketing Management. He briefly served as interim country manager in Equatorial Guinea and then in Canada before being appointed as the Country Manager for Canada in 2013. In that role he headed sales and marketing, as well as airport operations. Nigisu currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his spouse and two sons. Read the rest of this entry »