Posts Tagged With: travel

There are 487 articles tagged with “travel” published on this site.

It’s not a year to be shy about upselling, said virtually every supplier at the Avoya Travel Land Forum earlier this week. Travelers are eager to extend their land and sea vacations, and to try unique and upscale experiences. It’s up to their travel advisors to point them in the right direction—and that direction is up.

“We all want to increase the bottom line,” said Sandals senior regional sales manager Ian Braun. “Every conversation we are having we should be upselling, telling clients the things they should be doing on their next vacation.” Read the rest of this entry »

Capturing Lightning in a Bottle

Like many agents out there, after the pandemic I’m busier than ever with new and repeat business. It has doubled year after year and, 2023 is shaping up to double again. As a solo owner/operator, it took some trial and error to find my groove. I can’t point to one thing that moved the needle—it has been a combined approach from multiple angles. Here are some things that have helped me accelerate my multi-million-dollar business growth. Read the rest of this entry »

As many travel agents view it, providing airline tickets isn’t a real business—it’s a giveaway. Since domestic tickets don’t pay commissions, they serve as loss leaders for compensation paid by cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and escorted tour providers. Selling Business Class and First-Class air tickets is a different matter due to the huge commissions paid, but they probably account for no more than 10-15 percent of the tickets that pay nothing.

The lack of financial incentives isn’t the only problem. Unless your business is large enough to justify a GDS, you spend much of your work life waiting on “hold” for airline service personnel, or listening to Sally explain why she can’t fly on Saturday or needs a window seat. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple ID Goes Live in Four States

Detail from Apple shop in Tokyo, Japan. Apple is American multinational corporation founded at 1976 at Cupertino, California.


Wouldn’t it be nice to just wear your ID on your wrist as you go through the airport? Apple’s been working on it, and it’s live now in four states.

Apple users in Arizona have been carrying their driver’s licenses and state IDs in their Apple Wallets for a year now, passing through TSA checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with just a flick of their wrists. Since then, Maryland, Colorado and Georgia have come aboard—and the tech giant is working to add the other 46 to the list.

Each state has its own verification process, but the goal is to have a digital ID stored on your iPhone. Users just click on the ‘+’ sign in the Apple Wallet’s top right corner and follow the instructions. The system works on an iPhone 8 or newer.

TSA also is testing Delta Air Lines Biometric Facial Identification and GET Mobile Drivers Licenses, its website says ( The technology is available at 25 airports including Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.

While users do not have to produce their physical driver’s licenses, the TSA still requires that travelers carry them.


A federal judge has ruled that American Airlines and JetBlue must end their Northeast Alliance because it is anti-competitive.

Formed in 2021, the partnership allows the two carriers to coordinate schedules, swap slots and share revenues at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Airports in the New York metropolitan area, and Logan Airport in Boston.

U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin ruled in favor of the Justice Department, which had brought the suit in partnership with six states. Combining two of the four largest US airlines, the Northeast Alliance has decreased the number of flights at the four airports, and violates the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The Alliance “makes the two airlines partners, each having a substantial interest in the success of their joint and individual efforts, instead of vigorous, arms-length rivals regularly challenging each other in the marketplace of competition. Though the defendants claim their bigger-is-better collaboration will benefit the flying public, they produced minimal objectively credible proof to support that claim. Whatever the benefits to American and JetBlue of becoming more powerful—in the northeast generally, or in their shared rivalry with Delta—such benefits arise from a naked agreement not to compete with one another,” Judge Sorokin wrote in his decision.

The Boston Globe called the ruling “a major victory for the Biden administration, which has used aggressive enforcement of antitrust laws to fight against mergers and other arrangements between large corporations,” noting that an economist predicted it would cost consumers more than $700 million a year extra if American and JetBlue stopped competing in the Northeast.

Finding Your Niche

Many travel professionals have told me recently they have decided to work on creating a specialized, niche segment for their travel practice. Developing and marketing a niche area of expertise is one of the best ways to differentiate your travel practice from the competition. As an expert in a particular theme or destination, you can quickly establish your travel agency as the only reasonable resource to which consumers should turn when considering travel in your niche venue.

The concept of adopting a niche is often misconstrued. Niche marketing is a way of helping you focus on locating new clients, not a set of restrictions on your business offerings. Niche marketing is not necessarily about gearing your entire business to a particular type of travel. It is about segmenting your marketing efforts to focus on particular groups of people, however. Read the rest of this entry »

After reading the book by the title above, I find myself noticing a number of items that, yesterday, would have gone unnoticed and perhaps untouched. I figured if I was not going to complete the task at hand in one sitting, I would wait until I could find the time to do so. This has proven over time to be a wasteful decision.

The Kaizen philosophy goes against the popular teaching that you must finish what you start… at one sitting. Kaizen implies that you will eventually complete the task, but not as quickly as you first imagined. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve been there on a Norwegian cruise; I’ve been there on a Globus coach tour. But when Lindblad Expeditions invited me on their 40th Anniversary sailing to Alaska, I knew I was in for a different kind of experience.

We sailed into the sunset on the National Geographic Venture, Lindblad’s partner since 2004, with about 80 intrepid explorers, most of them enthusiastic return guests. One lady was on her 30th cruise (and only tight finances had prevented more, she said), but most had sailed with Lindblad six or eight times before, to far-flung destinations around the globe. They promised we would experience good service, make friends with the crew, and be educated by the National Geographic scientists who trade their knowledge for free passage to remote locations. It’s a cooperative venture that works for everyone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Blown Away at the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town

While in Cape Town, I had the good fortune of attending the currently featured exhibit at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Africa Art, and was blown away. It was something the Cape Town wind had almost accomplished on its own, but the museum finished the job.

Read the rest of this entry »

Porto: More Than Wine

Porto is a vibrant city located in northern Portugal on the banks of the Douro River. Known for its delicious wine, stunning architecture and rich history, Porto is a fascinating destination that offers something for everyone. In this article, we will explore some of the top things to do in Porto, Portugal.

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Become More Likeable

When I was offered the opportunity to share some of my sales and marketing information with the readers of TRO, I jumped at the chance. According to me, I have a lot I want to share. You probably already know I look at marketing and sales through my own personal lens. The older I get, which means the more experienced I get, the easier this “selling thing” gets. Read the rest of this entry »

covid 19 hospital-based vaccine package for patients around the world


The United States will finally lift the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for inbound international air travelers on Friday, May 12th, that has been in place since October 2021.

“Considering the progress that we have made, and based on the latest guidance from our public health experts, I have determined that we no longer need the international air travel restrictions,” President Joe Biden said in a proclamation announcing the change. “As we continue to monitor the evolving state of COVID-19 and the emergence of virus variants, we have the tools to detect and respond to the potential emergence of a variant of high consequence.”

Biden also announced an end to vaccine requirements for federal employees and contractors, and for foreign nationals at land borders. The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, said it will no longer require vaccinations for non-U.S. travelers entering at ferry terminals.

Industry groups including the U.S. Travel Association applauded the change. “Today’s action to lift the vaccine requirement eases a significant entry barrier for many global travelers, moving our industry and country forward,” said president and CEO Geoff Freeman.

The CDC does still recommend that U.S. travelers be up to date on their COVID vaccinations before leaving the country, however.

If you’re not part of the solution, they say, you’re part of the problem.

The travel business literally revolves around Planet Earth, and we all share a responsibility to sustain it, says Internova CEO J. D. O’Hara. To that end, the travel company is committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of the year. And when they invited some top suppliers to talk about their own efforts to cut down carbon emissions and sustain the Earth, they also called on travel advisors to do their part to help. Read the rest of this entry »

Check out my video highlights from back-to-back Burgundy barge adventures in April 2023. Afterward you may want to see How Locks Work On The French Canals or read Back From Back-To-Back Barge Trips. Also for your reading and visual pleasure, Barging In Burgundy Week One and Barging Through Burgundy: Week Two Of Our Adventure.

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Please Bring Back South African Airways

My experience last week with a failed trip to South Africa on United Airlines convinced me that South Africa needs its national carrier and should find a way to maintain it no matter what the cost. There’s no way to put a number value on what that airline brought to the country.

I was booked on a United Airlines flight from Newark at 9:15 p.m. that was supposed to land in Johannesburg at 5:45 p.m. the next day, after 14 hours and 40 minutes in the air. Many people won’t take a flight that long, and for good reason. Sitting in an airplane for 15 hours is not many people’s idea of fun. It can be fun, but it has to be tiring. It was particularly trying last Thursday, and the flight never left the ground. Read the rest of this entry »

Porto: Much More Than Just Port Wine

Located on the banks of the Douro River in the northwest of Portugal, Porto attracts thousands of tourists every year with its captivating vibe, stunning architecture, scenic views and, of course, its delicious port wine. Besides being home to the esteemed wine, Porto possesses some of the country’s most splendid historic and cultural monuments.

One of the best ways to soak up the atmosphere of Porto is by taking a guided tour. PetraBax, a travel agency specializing in Portuguese tours, offers a variety of options for visitors. The ‘Essential Porto’ tours begin at the city’s main square, the Praça da Liberdade, and take you on a fascinating journey through the city’s history, architecture, and culture. You’ll get to find out about the city’s local traditions, explore charming streets, and take in some of the most magnificent vistas in the region.

For those looking for a more personal experience or a bespoke trip, PetraBax also provides private tours. Hire your own knowledgeable tour guide, and customize your tour according to your preferences, making it a truly personalized experience.

Before leaving Porto, it’s worth exploring one of the most popular tours in Portugal, the ‘Porto to Santiago’ tour. The tour connects Porto to Santiago de Compostela, one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in the world. The six-day tour treated by PetraBax guides you along the route taken by pilgrims over the centuries, and takes you through some stunning rural landscapes, cozy towns, and historical sites.

If you’re looking for excellent cuisine, Porto has plenty of options to savor. You must taste the local seafood delicacies, octopus, and francesinha, which is a classic Portuguese sandwich made with steak, ham, and cheese. You can also grab a bowl of the traditional Caldo Verde at any corner. And, of course, a trip to Porto is incomplete without trying the delicious port wine, which is specifically made in this region.

As far as accommodation options go, the city of Porto has a wide range of choices to suit every budget. Stay in luxurious hotels located in restored heritage buildings with stunning views of the river, or opt for a comfortable hostel located in the heart of the old town.

Porto truly is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a quiet relaxing break or an adventurous city break, this historic city offers so much to stimulate your wanderlust. Exploring Porto’s stunning architecture, art galleries, local dishes, and port wine will be an unforgettable experience. Book your trip today with PetraBax, and give yourself the opportunity to unearth a marvelous city that will leave you captivated for years to come.


Just ahead of opening sales for the 2024 season, Walt Disney World announced a handful of sure-to-be-popular changes that seem designed to turn things back to the way they used to be.

Leading the list is the return of Disney Dining and Disney Quick Service Dining Plans, which again will be available on Disney World packages that include a Disney Resort hotel stay, beginning January 9, 2024. The plans include more than 100 dining venues across the park.

Also beginning January 9, guests will no longer be required to have theme park reservations in order to buy date-based tickets at Walt Disney World, and annual passholders and cast members will be offered occasional “good-to-go days” when they can visit the parks without a reservation.

Disney also said that early park entry (for all Disney Resort hotel guests) and extended evening hours (for guests staying at Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels and Disney Deluxe Villas) will continue through 2024, and that it is working on ways to help guests plan Disney Genie+ service and Lightning Lane selections in advance of their visits, rather than only on the same day.

Tickets for the 2024 season at Walt Disney World will go on sale May 31, and Disney then will also release complete details on the new dining plans, it said. But the company did say the plans will allow guests to make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance of their trip.

Insiders attribute the renewed focus on the guests experience to the return of Bob Iger, who six months ago canceled his retirement and returned to Disney as CEO. Since then Walt Disney World has stopped charging for overnight self-parking, allowed annual passholders to visit after 2 p.m. without a reservation, offered free digital downloads of photos on rides for guests using Disney’s Genie+, ramped up character meet-and-greets, added new characters, and restored annual passes.

My wife and I have been cruising to Australia for nearly 25 years. During that time, we have never paid gratuities on any ship we’ve sailed. Some have been luxury lines, such as Silversea, where gratuities are never charged; others have been mid-priced, such as Azamara and Celebrity, where tipping is customary despite the fact they are (or were) owned by the same corporate entity.

The reason is explained in an article by Sally Macmillan, Tipping on Ships: An Australian Culture Clash, which starts off: Read the rest of this entry »

I have always endorsed the practice of identifying one’s strengths and focusing on that strength to make even stronger, or more prominent. Many sales professionals think it is time well-spent to isolate a particular weakness and focus on improving upon that lacking skill. I suppose there will always be two sides to that coin. Read the rest of this entry »

We all know the basics, right? Traveling is an exciting adventure to explore new places, cultures, and experiences. However, no matter how well planned, unforeseen circumstances can always arise, risking financial loss and physical harm. The solution? Travel insurance! And not only does it protect your client, but it also pays you handsomely as well.  But how to impress upon a client the need?

We only need to look at the  Celebrity cruise where a deceased passenger was held in a beverage cooler. Insurance would not have prevented the death but would have covered a re-patriation if needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Self Image

How we see ourselves and the profession of travel counseling has much to do with sales psychology. For travel agents the problem is two-fold: The first aspect concerns societal perception of the travel profession in general. The second deals with the individual travel consultant’s personal self-image. Being consciously aware of the influence of these two aspects of one’s personality and working to place self-image in its appropriate context is a worthwhile exercise in becoming a better travel professional. Read the rest of this entry »