Monthly Archives: May 2020



Here is a word that could be categorized as a “4-letter-word,” as far as I am concerned. Procrastination is a malady experienced by just about every man, woman, and child from sea to shining sea.

In short, it implies that it is okay to put off until tomorrow what could be done, stated, or accomplished today. In a few cases, this postponement of action warrants some consideration. After all, doesn’t “haste make waste”… according to a popular reminder first recorded in 1575 in John Ray’s proverb collection.

But I am also quick to remind you, “he who hesitates is lost.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 1:1


Neetu Singh is the Marketing Director at Sky Bird Travel & Tours’ headquarters in Southfield, MI. Born in Shimla, India and raised in Michigan, Neetu earned her undergraduate degree in psychology followed by an MBA with a marketing concentration from Walsh College.

Neetu began at Sky Bird in 2017, saying it was “the right opportunity at the right time!” Her innate love for travel – with excursions like Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, and Croatia stamped in her passport – and 14-years of marketing experience made taking on the role as head of Sky Bird’s marketing department an easy transition. Neetu enjoys every aspect of marketing and using consumer research, strategy alignment, and product development to answer client needs and enhance user experience. She values making a positive impact and adding to the legacy of a company like Sky Bird. In an industry that is always changing and updating, Neetu consistently challenges her team to learn and experiment, giving them permission to try and fail so that they can grow from each experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

Accentuating the positive

Several years back, Psychology Today ran an article on what it termed the human “negativity bias.” It seems that our brains have a heightened sensitivity to unpleasant news. We focus on the negative. Very likely that capacity kept our knuckle-dragging ancestors out of harm’s way. Today, however, it serves to allow politicians to manipulate us with negative messaging  and gives the news media a portal through which they can drive advertising. The impact can be seriously harmful to our sense of well-being. Our clients are certainly affected by the same influences. Anyone who has spent any time at all on social media of late no doubt has been exposed to a bit of untempered anger. With a political season at hand, we can anticipate a tsunami of negativity in our near future layered on top of the Covid-19 situation.


Unfortunately, this bad-news bias is active not only when we sit in front of the television, but in every aspect of our lives. We remember insults far longer than we remember compliments. Fear can paralyze us into acting unwisely or not at all. Read the rest of this entry »



I recently read an article from a marketing professional, whose book I once read and immediately connected with. He listed ten reasons why most people fail. For the next few days I want to focus on just four of his observations.

Let’s begin with my personal “Word of The Year.” DISCIPLINE.

“Training to ensure proper behavior,” is the #1 listing in the dictionary for this word. I am good with that. You will have to determine for yourself what specific behavior is right for you. There is no one answer for one’s behavior, although some are more admirable than others. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Over the past few weeks, the news has been filled with survey after survey about the travel industry in a post-COVID world. Will the cruise lines survive? Will people want to travel? Should we have bailed out the airlines? The list goes on. But with every survey, there is an inherent bias based on your audience and I wonder what the real truth is. Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Full of Baloney?


As a few of you know, I “speak for a living” and have been known to shoot from the hip.

I consider myself to be a non-linear speaker by design who usually ends up talking about what is shooting through his mind at the moment. This is both good and bad. It is what it is.

I can assure my audiences of only one thing. They can’t finish a sentence for me because where they think I may be going may not be where I end up.

That being said, I thought I’d share this with you… as it crosses my mind. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans


Carnival Cruise Line announced that it will phase in service beginning in August. The news had a mixed response among our readers. Some are glad that they might be able to sail again and with low lead-in rates, we have heard from people excited for Carnival’s return to the seas. Others aren’t so sure. They say that August is simply too soon to return to cruising. Instead of relying on the feedback of a random sampling of individuals, we decided to ask you all if you would take a cruise in August. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Agent Perspectives


As you can’t make it to the UK at the moment, let your imagination (and technology) transport you across the pond to learn more about some of the travel experiences you could offer clients in May of next year. Especially for those who have been to the UK on several occasions in the past. Some of them may only want to go to London but, if they’re actively involved in the cultural scene at home, they might like to be offered other options which can be tailored to meet their specific interests and time frame. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips

I am an avid advocate for emulating successful companies and salespeople. My thought: ‘Why try to reinvent the wheel when someone else has already built the car?’
As the world SLOWLY begins to open back up, are you going to go back to the “same old, same old” you were doing before all this happened?

After selling our successful travel agency, I took some time off so I could re-imagine myself and what to do next. Little did I know at the time, how similar the circumstances were to what we are facing in our industry today. Looking back, I was fortunate to have that opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Keep Things Simple


Maybe it has something to do with my age, or perhaps I am just a bit naïve, but I do not see what all the fuss is all about. Who said that building a business has to be difficult? Certainly not me. Like everything worth pursuing, it is the fundamentals along with the basics that will get you to where you are trying to go.

I am reminded of my very own elementary, yet effective, solution to the problem. The world is made up of just two types of people: (1) Those you can help, and (2) the other kind. Spend your time looking for type #1 and zero time on #2.

In an attempt to simplify your efforts, I’ve outlined five steps that will have you feeling like a pro in very short order. Read the rest of this entry »

Be a Fixer

Does it often seem that the only time people contact you is when they are in a jam? When they have a problem? When they need help? Never when things are going smoothly? Congratulations. That is exactly how you want it to be.

Although I am a better than average swimmer, I am comforted when I see a lifeguard present and on alert. I don’t remember ever approaching a lifeguard stand to just “shoot the breeze.” In most cases, lifeguards are summoned when something goes wrong, and usually without advance notice. Then, a highly trained professional springs into action with an efficient, thorough, and polished display of expertise — and without an attitude. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Preview

The Healing Waters of Poland


Stress seems to be an inevitable part of life. Our jobs, which can often be a source of fulfillment, demand our attention and keep us on our toes. Add in taking care of family issues that may arise and the plumbing getting backed up and the air conditioner going out… stress seems to always be knocking at the door of attention. Medical issues pop-up without warning, and may be daunting at times. Fortunately, Poland has plenty of ways for travelers to relax and truly enjoy life once again with spas and health resorts – as well as help people with issues that may be affecting their daily lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Be a Buzzkill

Tell anybody your idea, and chances are the first thing that comes out of their mouth sounds like, “The problem with that is…” Go ahead try it. It will make you laugh when you see I am right. In fact, you are probably guilty of this knee-jerk response yourself. (Shame on you.)

When it comes to creativity, I want you to pour gas on other people’s ideas and not toss a wet blanket on them. Fuel their enthusiasm. Don’t hinder the creative process. Read the rest of this entry »

Do What Works


As I often do, I asked my coaching students to share their recent good news / bad news stories. I do this so we can all learn from each other, from both good and bad experiences.

The topic was promotion and, more specifically, how we can promote our services. I offered an idea and one student immediately shared the fact that she had done exactly what I was talking about… and that it worked to perfection.

I applauded her positive efforts before asking her when she enjoyed her marketing success story. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

We sometimes exhibit an auto-magical thinking about websites much like Field of Dreams. We believe if we build a site, then people will just come to it and “Sales” will happen.  I hate to break it to you but that is not the way it works. Your website has to be marketed. Ironic that one of your key marketing tools has to be marketed, but it does. Over the next few weeks, we are going to cover a few items you can undertake during the travel standstill to enhance your visibility. Keeping the lights on is important, as many will not be marketing during this difficult time. Those who market appropriately will be remembered when travel comes back. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Throughout my travel career, the majority of my clients have been what I call “typical travelers.” One or two family vacations per year—maybe a splurge on Disney or Europe every five years.  And then I have a few what I consider “one-percenters” who travel without any need for a budget. They were always nice to have—demanding, but pleasant to work with. But will all that change as the travel industry tries to recover from the most significant obstacle ever faced?

My fear, as we come from this is that being a citizen of the world will no longer be attainable for the average person. It will become the privilege of the top one percent. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Deck Plans


On May 6, our panelists included representatives from the French Atlantic Ports. We can’t promise champagne delivered to your doorstep, but we can promise an informative discussion with official reps from river cruise and ocean cruise destinations, including Rouen, Le Havre, Nantes-St Nazaire, La Rochelle and Bordeaux. Let’s get ready to visit France virtually. Read the rest of this entry »

Little By Little


Tomorrow I will wake up to another Saturday. Which, in and of itself, is a good thing. I will go straight to the living room floor for some full body stretching. (If not already, you will soon understand the need for this fundamental task once you pass the age of X.) I will move onto the kitchen for my usual boring breakfast. A bowl of cereal with fruit, accompanied by a cup of yogurt.

Since I biked 25 miles today, my legs will undoubtedly feel a tad sore tomorrow; so, I’ve decide to designate this particular Saturday as a “day of rest.” I will remind myself that “the mind quits first,” and reluctantly go outside and run a few miles.

Why am I sharing this with you today? Because if you don’t have a goal for your life Read the rest of this entry »


There is a distinct line between “customer service” and being a doormat. Remember: you can’t be all things to all people. Nor should you try to be.

If there is one common refrain I hear (and if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times) it is: “Potential clients contact me to milk me for as much information as they can before they head out to book their own vacation on the internet.” Read the rest of this entry »