Author Archives: Graig Wilkins

There are 10 articles by Graig Wilkins published on this site.

Morris Murdock — My top ten

As I close my year of “Travel Agent Diaries” a bit of reflection is in order. What did I learn? What did I like? What did I dislike? What the hell happened to the year anyway? It seems everyone is doing a top ten list, so why not me?

Here are ten things I learned this year: Read the rest of this entry »

Morris Murdock — Graig eats some crow

Recently, I was selected to attend the trade show and conference for Signature Travel Network as part of the contingent from Morris Murdock. I have to admit, I went into it with mixed feelings. I have attended many trade shows before and always questioned if they were a good use of time and effort.

This time around it was worth it on both counts. Read the rest of this entry »

Morris Murdock — It’s so different!

October 15th was the two month anniversary of joining the team at Morris Murdock Travel. So far the pluses outweigh the minuses; but there are still many things that are still taking some time to get used to.

The first has to be the hours. Imagine, I need to be at the office at a set time for a set number of hours each day. Sounds kind of silly to those millions of people who go to their jobs at a set time each day but for those of us who have tasted the freedom of come and go as you please, it is a major transition. But I knew that going in, so I can’t complain about it too much–but I still do…in my head. Read the rest of this entry »

Mouse World Vacations — A new me

Independence vs. security?…control vs. volume?…do it yourself vs. “having a boss”?…trading a percentage of commission vs. a regular income?…me vs. we?

These were the questions I had in front of me at the end of July when an opportunity arose to join a large regional travel agency here in Utah. I lost a lot of sleep and did a lot of pacing and talking to myself for a month before making the decision.

Mouse World Vacations is now part of Morris Murdock Travel. Read the rest of this entry »

There comes a time in every sporting event I have ever seen (which I have to admit is probably way too many) when you know that a play about to happen is gonna be a big one. A game changer, momentum killer, rally starter, or one that you just know will have a big effect on the outcome.

I am looking that situation, square in the face right now! Read the rest of this entry »

One of the biggest surprises of running my travel business is that I did not anticipate the percentage of time I would spend marketing. Not that I thought it was all about planning trips and cashing commission checks; I just did not realize how time consuming it was.

Personally I find the marketing piece one of my least favorite “hat.” As a business owner, we all wear different “hats” at different times and if I had my way, the marketing “hat” would remain in the drawer—only followed by the accountant “hat.” Those wacky tax laws are a killer! Read the rest of this entry »

Is it just me or are there more and more people with unrealistic expectations lately? Of course, the mainstream media does not help the matters by not clarifying anything. All they seem to report is on the “bargains” and “killer deals,” but when it comes time to book those things, someone has to tell travelers about the restrictions, taxes, and “limited availability.” That all seems to fall on me, the lowly travel professional. And when I have a client or prospect with those unreasonable expectations, invariably they end up disappointed—and it is my fault. Read the rest of this entry »

There used to be a time when travel agents were partners with airlines. There used to be a time, when we could work together for our mutual benefit. There used to be a time when I was not spitting mad at Delta.

It all started with an innocent mistake. A client was getting married and was busy planning all aspects of the big event. They turned to me for their honeymoon.  I booked them into a nice cruise to the Mexican Rivera with flights that they had requested.  After I sent out the packet from my agency with all the information, confirmations, and extras, I got that dreaded call from the client. Read the rest of this entry »

As a travel agent, one of our jobs is to inspect and know the hotels and destinations we sell.  I have stayed in and inspected hundreds of hotel rooms and I promise I didn’t shed a tear in any of them–although there was this hotel in Mexico … but that’s a whole other story.

Being a Disney specialist, I recently took advantage of a FAM  to Walt Disney World. The facilitators, Rita Lewis and Tommy Keesling were terrific. Props to them both. The two of them made the entire experience lots of fun. Their knowledge in unending and they ran a great informative program. Read the rest of this entry »

“Everyone knows more about travel than I do.” When I first got into this business I thought that was going to be the case. Now, almost three years later, I know that is the case.  Why, because I hear it at least once a week. Not from other travel agents or vendors but from some random callers to my office who book airfare at least twice a year. They always “know the system” or “have a friend who said…”

Thanks to the Internet and 101 search engines, dozens of do it yourself websites and a barrage of TV and other advertising, everyone is a travel agent. Certainly better than someone who went to school for it and books dozens of flights every week. The only other job where everyone is sure they know more than the is a referee. So after a while, I started to ask myself “why do I do this? Read the rest of this entry »