Author Archives: Steven Talbott

There are 7 articles by Steven Talbott published on this site.


Hi, I'm Steven Talbott. I inspire and nurture the human desire to connect - one person, one experience and one vacation at a time.

My undying passion for travel started at a very young age and continues to this very day. I grew up with a single parent putting herself through college, working full time and taking care of 3 kids and we were lucky if we got to travel any farther than a couple of hours down the road to Ruby Falls, in Chattanooga or maybe Six Flags, in Atlanta. There were always kids in school flying off to Europe or cruising the Hawaiian islands for summer vacation so as soon as I was old enough to work (15), I saved every paycheck while constantly checking out any travel deals in the newspaper so that I experience more of the world.

Today, I've got 10 years of professional experience under my belt, much being in the technology industry working for one of the world’s largest pc makers and service providers. I believe it’s the combination of skill sets, expertise and experience in travel, technology, computers, business analysis and project management that makes me one of the best agents around. I am extremely resourceful, patient, attentive, eager to please and build life long relationships with my clients. These are the unique qualities you’ll find when you conduct your travel related business with me and my agency, Vacation Side Travel.

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Several weeks ago, I was consumed with negative thoughts about my agency’s constant flow of bookings throughout the spring and summer worrying about what would happen if business started slowing down. What if all the new business was a fluke? What if it was just a “summer rush” or worse yet, what if everything I had put into this business was a waste and I’d find myself searching for a corporate job again? The very thought makes my skin crawl! Read the rest of this entry »

I hope all of you have been as busy as I have lately! Who doesn’t enjoy being busy and booking business, selling products and services that change people’s lives and create ever lasting memories? It definitely beats worrying about where your next booking is coming from – or your next dollar for that matter!

Have you ever been so caught up trying to catch up that certain aspects of your business fall by the waste-side or slip through the cracks?

Maybe it’s sending out those thank-you-cards or taking time to reconcile your incoming commission checks. Recently, I fell back into what I like to call “subscription hell.” Read the rest of this entry »

When you think about the month of July, do you think of fireworks, barbecues, 4th of July celebrations and summer vacations? I certainly do. July is probably my favorite month of the year because of those very reasons; and because the 13th is my birthday! In ancient Rome, July was the fifth month of the year and originally called “Quintilis” translated as “fifth” in latin. When the Gregorian calendar was adopted, it became the seventh month of the year. It still kept the name “quintilis” until the death of Julius Caesar, also the month of  Julius Caesar’s birth so it was renamed in his honor.

Although, I was in the travel industry before launching my agency, Vacation Side Travel itself  is relatively new and I’ve had to navigate the travel industry landscape to figure out what works best for me and my business which is a totally different ballgame than being employed by an established travel agency. In the past few months, I’ve learned a lot, including: Read the rest of this entry »

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend that you’re well rested and as excited about growing your business. I certainly am! This week, I want to start my entry with a question – the same one in fact that’s been playing over and over in in my mind lately. I hope you’ll take a moment or two to share your own thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. What goals do you have for your business? If everything played out according to plan, what does your business look like in 5 years? What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

You see, I was watching a “Sales & Marketing 101 Webinar” a few weeks ago and had an epiphany. Read the rest of this entry »

Vacation Side Travel – on the hunt

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on a mission to find effective tools to use in my business, namely, CRM, social media and proposal-building solutions. Believe me, there are tons of them out there and this process ended up being much more involved than I originally anticipated. In fact, I don’t feel any closer to finding the perfect fit now, than I was when I started!

I spent almost 5 of the 10 years I worked for Dell on finding and integrating tools into the sales team’s processes which would result in increased productivity, better sales effectiveness and higher customer satisfaction. It only stands to reason I’d be able to do the same for my own company, right? Read the rest of this entry »

Every trade publication I pick up these days has at least one article in it where the best practice of focusing on a niche market is shared as a key to success. Well, I finally decided to focus any marketing, training and client acquisition on a specialized area of travel! It took me a year to make the decision and it didn’t come easily because my goal was to book anyone and everyone I possibly could to build my business.

The specialty I chose was a natural one for me – the gay and lesbian market. Primarily, because my partner and I happen to be gay Read the rest of this entry »

VacationSide Travel — Easy ride

Greetings from Music City, USA – home of genuine southern hospitality, the Tennessee Titans and backdrop to ABC’s hit show “Nashville”. My name is Steven Talbott and I’m so excited to be part of Travel Research Online’s sixth year of the Travel Agent Diary series! I hope to use this opportunity not only to be re-introduced to the wonderful community of travel industry professionals but also to become part of the conversation and best practice sharing already going on. You may be asking why I titled this piece “Easy Ride” and if you happen to be a Madonna fanatic, you may be able to connect the dots; but for those who aren’t, I promise to reveal the reason I chose this title for my first post but you’ll have to come along with me on this journey to find out! Read the rest of this entry »