Author Archives: NEVILLE F SMITH

There are 10 articles by NEVILLE F SMITH published on this site.

Well with the year almost coming to an end I have to say it’s been an eventful one. I survived 2013 with the ups and downs and roundabouts. It has travelled fast and it’s hard to believe that we will be starting it all over again for another year. I have sent people on dream trips, bucket list trips, honeymoons and weddings; and got to see their photos and hear their wonderful stories. I have been on learning trips myself whether it be sailing on Celebrity’s ship or visiting Vegas for Virtuoso Week or escorting our home team football packages for games. Overall it’s been one big life lesson that has been difficult at times trying to balance work life with personal tragedy but I did it. Juggling does not come with an owner’s manual so all we can do is face one day at a time and do the best we can. Read the rest of this entry »

Last month, I took some time off with my family who were visiting me here in my hometown of Boise.  After returning back to work I was anticipating a slower time for me as many of my clients were on vacation or about to leave. I looked forward to easing back into the working world from a well-deserved break.

No such luck! For some reason, I decided to check on the status of a trip for a client who was leaving the following day. As I reviewed it, a look of panic came across me. I had her booked the wrong two nights at the Hotel Ritz Montreal and she was arriving in two days. How did I miss this? How did I do this? Read the rest of this entry »

Global Travel – All conferenced out

Well I made it back from Virtuoso week in August and as usual, this event never disappoints. In fact, I feel it just expands and gets better each year. Of course this year I had a better idea of what to expect and was a bit more prepared for the ongoing meetings, learning opportunities and fancy dinner parties.

This year’s event saw record numbers of attendees—partially because Virtuoso was celebrating 25 years of Travel Mart. The very first Travel Mart started back in 1989 and attracted 98 people to a Palm Beach hotel. This year we had 4100 attendees who cumulatively had 350,000 4-minute one-on-one meetings at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Read the rest of this entry »

Global Travel–A week with Virtuoso

So we are in the month of August and summer seems to have flown past.  I am already looking at trips for 2014 and even 2015. This month is also the time where some of us get ready to head down to Las Vegas for Virtuoso Travel Week.

Being a part of the best of the best, we are invited every year to attend this amazing event held in late August in Vegas—this is the 25th year!

What is Virtuoso Travel Week? It is a time of learning and networking and bringing the best agents together with the best suppliers to further solidify their Virtuoso and individual relationships. Read the rest of this entry »

They told me this was to be a diary, so pardon me if I divert from a lot of travel talk for a moment.  So we are half way through summer and all of a sudden, my world was turned upside down. I received tragic news that my brother passed away suddenly, and my life came to a halt. Being from Scotland (with family back there) and living on the west coast of the US makes this news even more difficult to fathom. The distance, and the inability to grieve with family members make the burden virtually unbearable. When I got the news, everything came to a standstill. Read the rest of this entry »

Global Travel – Nightmare Air

So summer is in full swing here in Idaho and its feels wonderful.  People are in better moods, clients are getting closer to their summer vacations and overall it’s a fun time to work. As I have mentioned in the past, I love what I do but of course some days are better than others.

This month my struggle has been airlines and their policies when it comes to typos in the name on the PNR as well as reissuing tickets when the airlines change the schedule. As we all know, everything has to match the identification the client will be using when checking in exactly. When travelling domestically it’s usually a driver’s license and when travelling internationally it’s a passport. Sometimes mistakes are made; after all we are only human and we don’t live in a perfect world as much as we would like to think so. So, a mistake was made this month Read the rest of this entry »

So spring is in full swing here in Boise and the sun is shining, which of course keeps everyone in a good mood. However I have gone from full speed ahead to a grinding halt. It seems that March was go-go-go and I didn’t have time to think, and now I am twiddling my thumbs on some days. I love what I do and I love being busy but the challenge is trying to find a happy medium between overwhelmed and bored out of my gourd. I am relatively new in the retail travel industry, which is a disadvantage for me. Additionally, I am relatively new to the Boise area so I sometimes feel as if I am at a distinct disadvantage. I need help in marketing myself better and reaching out to the markets that haven’t been touched yet. I need to get my name out there. January, February and March helped me peak; but I would like to stay at that level. With today’s technology it’s hard to compete with all the online sites and I am constantly coming across the questions, “why should I use a travel agent?”, “what do I benefit from by using you?”, and “how do I go about using a Travel Agent?” Read the rest of this entry »

So last month I mentioned how I got into the travel industry and how important I think it is to travel and experience other cultures and languages. I feel like I was born to travel and sharing fun new destinations with clients and helping them narrow down where they want to go gives me great joy when the end product is finished and here you have created this personal trip just for them. Working as a travel agent though does have it moments of funny clients; and sometimes I think, “you couldn’t write this stuff even if you tried.” Sometimes they drive me batty.  Here are my two favorites. I am sure you will have some to add. Read the rest of this entry »

So last month I shared with you my trip home to Scotland at Christmas for the first time since starting out in the travel industry almost 15 years ago. This month I want to share a little on how I got to where I am at the lovely age of 36. Being raised in Europe I was fortunate to enjoy overseas holidays every year to Spain, France, Greece etc. When I was about 7 and playing with my holiday rep one day in Spain, I told my mum “I want to do that when I am older.” Sure enough when I was able to study, I went into languages in order to have an advantage when moving overseas. Once I graduated, I got my first job as a flight attendant and off to Paris I went.  I was 20, young, nervous, lonely, naïve but determined. It took some getting used to but eventually it became home and I thrived. Read the rest of this entry »

Global Travel – Going home

I recently had the opportunity to return home to my native country ‘Scotland’ to spend my first Christmas in 15 years with my family, and I took my American boyfriend who had never been to Europe. On this journey I was able to stop off at one of my favorite cities, and a place I used to call home as well–Amsterdam. It was an honor to get to stay at one of the Virtuoso Properties ‘The Grand Amsterdam’ for 3 nights and it did not disappoint… far from it. Read the rest of this entry »