Monthly Archives: December 2018

That’s All Folks!

There is a popular saying that reminds us “what goes around …comes around.” This reminder came to mind this morning when I typed the three words in today’s headline.

It is true that today marks the end of another year of “Missives.” But, you don’t have to turn your head in embarrassment to wipe away your tears. This is not the end of another year. It is the beginning of a New Year. And with the word “new” come the words refreshing, exciting, unique, stimulating, motivating, entertaining and captivating. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Last month, I sailed aboard Celebrity Edge. The innovative ship has a lot to offer – from her 29 food and dining venues to her unique public spaces, which I highlighted in a previous post.

Throughout my short time on the ship, I found myself completely engaged the whole time. Whether it was the art – seemingly exhibited in every inch of the ship, down to the construction of the ship itself – or the engagement with actors in various public spaces, there was not a single second on the ship that I felt there wasn’t something to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: cartoons

Where Has The Time Gone?

This is the second to last “missive” I will have for you in 2018. Where has the time gone? To say I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you this past year is an understatement. I truly have.

I know some of my messages where easier to follow than others. You connected with some, while others missed the mark. I never promoted myself as a Harvard graduate. (UMASS) But, they all made sense to me, and I suppose if there is any validity to the saying, “Be true to yourself,” I was right on the money this past year. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Departures

In the center of the archipelago that makes up the Galápagos Islands sits the most developed of the islands, Santa Cruz. It is surrounded on all sides by picturesque beaches thriving with wildlife. The island was once home to a research station created by Charles Darwin when he was working on his theory of evolution. From watching iguanas lazing about on white sands to exploring many of the unique natural settings, Santa Cruz is a land of adventure. Thanks to G Adventures, today’s 60-Second Geography is all about Santa Cruz, Galápagos

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Posted In: Point-to-Point

Whether you see your extended family regularly at Sunday dinners or only gather during holidays, breaking free from the status quo rejuvenates your group and creates new chances to bond and create lifelong memories. Plan that family reunion or vacation you’ve been putting off and join together for a trip of a lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

Over the years, the sales practice has appropriately earned a pretty poor reputation. To grasp the scope of the negative predicament salespeople have created for themselves, try this exercise:

Put this book down, walk over to the person nearest to you (spouse, friend, co-worker, stranger…it doesn’t matter) and ask what word immediately comes to mind when you say “salesman.” Go ahead…I’ll wait. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans

Cunard Commemorates 75th D-Day Anniversary

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, Cunard is partnering again with The Greatest Generations Foundation to pay tribute to six heroes of World War II onboard flagship Queen Mary 2. Thematic onboard programming will allow guests to hear first-hand accounts from WWII veterans as they share their experiences of battle during the Transatlantic Crossing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives

I’m rounding off a busy year with a selection of imagination stretching bright ideas that I’m already including in customised UK tours. The lead story flags up a significant anniversary which many Methodist churches will be celebrating, and which some enterprising travel agents have already spotted as the starting point for an imaginatively themed UK Methodist Heritage tour. The stories continue with a pop-up Elizabethan theatre in York, Peter Pan in Dumfries, Scotland and a Harry Potter/Roald Dahl combination that will appeal to families and people like me who like me who are also fans!

News of direct flights from London Heathrow to Newquay in Cornwall makes access to Doc Martin, Poldark, Arthurian legends and other important literary anniversaries a great deal easier—and those of you with green fingered clients will be able to offer them an Ireland, Wales and England programme they will probably have never seen before

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas. See you next year!


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Posted In: cartoons

I Like To Win

This is a three-day week. It is the period between two highly recognized holidays…Christmas and New Years. It is perhaps the ideal week to sit back, draw a deep breath and take inventory while mentally preparing for another 12-months of ups, downs, smiles and tears.

Allow me to wish you a belated Merry Christmas if the shoe fits. If the shoe does not fit, I hope you enjoyed December in whatever way you chose to celebrate the season.

I would like to take this quiet week to remind you of a fundamental truth that I have been sharing with travel professionals since I entered the fray in 1984. Read the rest of this entry »

When you are out of sight you are out of mind.” Today I would like to reinforce the concept of repetition. Here are four reminders as they relate to this topic:

  1. Repetition implies permanence…and staying power wins trust. If the prospect senses you are here to stay, their confidence and comfort levels go up, and suddenly a purchase is imminent.
  2. Repetition sinks into the way human beings learn. Have you ever been introduced to someone at a party and minutes later you’re unable to recall their name? That’s what happens to a display that runs one time. We require repetition to learn.
  3. Repetition stimulates the 24/7 effect. In other words, if you advertise 12 times in a monthly magazine or send 12 e-mail blasts per year people will always know where to find you for future referrals, or to hire you for themselves.
  4. Repetition is the only way to break down the “barrier of resistance.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: TRO SMITH

It’s that time of year again! Bring out the mistletoe, the Santa Hat and the New Year party favors!

Has 2018 has flown by for you? Our industry has the habit of moving faster than Santa’s sleigh on a cold night, and social marketing seems to move even more quickly than Santa’s elves on caffeine. Here’s the social marketing highlights, in case you missed anything in the whirlwind that was 2018. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight


Stephanie Lee

After a 6 year stretch as director of a national host agency, Stephanie Lee started Host Agency Reviews – a resource website with host reviews and articles to help travel agents start and grow their travel agencies. She was awarded the ASTA’s Young Professional of the Year and Travel Agent Magazine’s 30 under 30 award. As time marches on, the dates of the awards have been surreptitiously left out to avoid drawing attention to the fact she’s aging. She’s not.


Host Agency Reviews is an independent website connecting home-based travel agents and host agencies. With over 140 host agencies and 2400+ reviews, it’s the largest host agency directory on the web. Founded by Steph Lee, a former host agency director, Host Agency Reviews is a resource for home-based travel agents during and after their host travel agency search. Oh, and we like to have fun. Lots of fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Supplier Profile

Sky Bird Travel & Tours

Sky Bird Travel & Tours has been an industry leader in airline consolidation for over 40 years. Starting in a small office building in downtown Detroit, Sky Bird rooted its mission in providing exceptional customer service to travel agents by connecting them with low net fares that weren’t available to the public. Today, Sky Bird has 11 offices throughout the United States along with offices in Canada, India and the Philippines in order to serve their clients on a broader scale. For the last three years, Sky Bird has been nominated for and taken home the Travvy Award for Best Airline Consolidator (silver in 2016, and gold in 2017 and 2018). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

Nothing feeds ideas for a bucket list than animal encounters that leave you wanting more. Whether you’re a solo, family, or baby boomer traveler; animal encounters provide a totally unique experience that fuels your sense of adventure and scratches your itch for travel at the same time. From swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean to sledding with Iditarod dogs of Alaska, here are the best animal encounters with world travelers in mind. Read the rest of this entry »

I hope you are beginning to get the message that creating a business, (or life) worth living is not as hard as many people are currently making it. You don’t want to get off the world. You want to hop on. Reference to the roadway play, Stop The World I Want To Get Off.

Here are three more little things that will soon prove to be big things.

Read the rest of this entry »

I’m doing something a little unusual for this TRO installment! In order to maintain privacy, I’m answering a question without providing the specific exchange. Over the past two weeks, several travel advisors reached out to me to let me know that their host are not paying their commissions (sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars). Read the rest of this entry »

As promised, I am back with a few more reminders on how to put a little meaning back in your life. If you remember, I referenced the Broadway Play, Stop The World I Want To Get Off, in my last missive. Today, I am strongly recommending a different mindset. “Stop The World, I Want To Get On And Play A More Active Role.”

I will try to keep today’s messages to around 350 words.

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Posted In: 1:1

Jeremy Brady, National Sales Manager, G Adventures

PicturePennsylvania-based Jeremy Brady is the National Sales Manager for G Adventures in the United States, a leadership position he earned after four years work in the field, educating agents and selling travel experiences through the tour operator’s large network of travel advisors in the mid-Atlantic region. Today, he applies the principles of servant leadership and noble purpose to coach G Adventures’ nationwide team of 10 Global Purpose Specialists (GPS’s) in outside sales. Together, they have achieved double-digit sales growth while changing thousands of people’s lives through responsible travel. 

Prior to joining G Adventures, Brady earned his stripes as a travel agent with Liberty Travel. His youth was largely spent overseas in Europe as part of a military family, an experience he describes as a privilege that sparked his early love for travel. Read the rest of this entry »

Years ago (quite a few years ago…1961) there was a Broadway Play titled Stop The World! I Want To Get Off. There are times when I find myself wanting to shout at the top of my lungs the same sentiment.

But, as much as we would like things to unfold differently, it appears we are destined to live out the rest of our years on this planet. With that being the case, we might as well make the best of it. Read the rest of this entry »