Howdy, Travelers! I hope you are enjoying your Wednesday from wherever you are at in the world!
Today I want to talk about the life span of the travel industry. Don't worry--- Unlike the life of the industry, my post will be rather short.
I'm in a ton of Facebook Groups for women in business. Like, TONS. I really don't know why, except that sometimes other female entrepreneurs are interested in traveling and every now and then I find some motivation or inspiration. Most of the time I skim past the "follow for follow" posts and the "who wants to know my secrets to earning a billion dollars per week" ones, but every now and then there is one that will stand out.
One of these random posts vaguely interested me. The question was: What is one common misconception about your industry?
My answer? That it's dying.
Interestingly enough, another person in the industry hopped on and told me that it is NOT a misconception, that it is in fact dying.
In the words of my 12 year old (and also in the words of myself TBH)... "umm... ok, Boomer".
Now, I might not have the decades of experience that some agents/ advisors have but I have two beautifully working eyeballs and a brain that can fairly adequately comprehend when business is picking up for me and my colleagues in the industry. I am saddened by the thought that others are being let down by the industry that I love, especially if they have the same passion that I do.
But truthfully, it is not a dying industry, Boomer. Good gravy, Lady!
Frankly, travel is not difficult to book for yourself if you're the kind of person who enjoys doing that kind of thing or if you're a seasoned traveler already. Before I started this business, I never used an agent. I liked doing everything myself. I probably would have been annoyed with someone trying to help me plan my trips. If that sounds like you, hey... I might have a job for you. I'm partially kidding. But for real, let's chat.
So after I was told that my industry was on it's way to meet Saint Peter at the pearly gates, I decided to make a list of just some of the many RECENT reasons that my clients have come to me asking for help, advice, and my expertise. Maybe Ms.-Rain-on-my-Parade will see it. PEOPLE STILL NEED HELP WITH THIS STUFF! It can be stressful, difficult, confusing, and even fraudulent at times.
Now, in the words of both of my 8 year olds (and also me)... "check it out, bruh".
- You've never traveled before.
- This is something I think I've seen almost as frequently as all of the other reasons combined. There are so many options for traveling and going in blind can be intimidating. Do you want to stay in the U.S.? Do you want international travel? Train travel? Cruise? All-inclusive or not? Do you want adventure? Spa? Quality family time? A little bit o' ROMANCE? Narrowing it all down is something I absolutely love helping with. Another thing that first-timers can find overwhelming is how to actually get to where they are going. Flight schedules, passport applications, required documentation for children, arranging transfers, travel insurance, and what to do/ who to call if something goes wrong are sometimes difficult for people who have never had to do that sort of thing. These are all things that I take care of for you and guide you through if needed.
- You are unsure of what you want.
- Again, with so many options available, part of my job is to to help you figure out what you want. I recently had clients who were set on a Caribbean family vacation but they didn't know which island they wanted to visit. I helped them discover the best options based on their interests and needs. Another time, I had somebody who was considering a European tour. After talking and getting to know this person a bit, I suggested a more fitting vacation type... A Mediterranean cruise that offered loads and loads of sightseeing and historical tour options. If you are on the fence about where you want to go (because let's face it, you don't want to feel like you wasted your hard earned money), ask me for help. I help my clients free of charge, by the way. It could be something as simple as "do I want to go in June or do I want to go in July". There can be huge differences!
- COVID rules and regulations are overwhelming.
- I hate to even bring it up. Truly, I do. But the ever-changing world in which we live in makes me give it a line or two. It seems like every day the COVID rules change, doesn't it? It's frustrating as all get-out! The cool part about using a travel advisor is that it is our job to keep track of that stuff. Of course we will need input from you (vaccination status, etc...) and we will guide you through things like getting your pre-departure test scheduled, setting up a test prior to returning to the U.S., quarantine procedures, forms that need filled out, apps that you need to download, and whatever else may be necessary. You will not navigate this alone, and when there are changes... guess who's job it is to learn what they are? Oh yeah, that's right! MINE! I got you covered.
- You or a family member are military (active, retired, veteran, etc.).
- As a veteran, this is my favorite reason of all. There are options that we have available that nobody else has and it makes me so happy to know that companies offer their thanks in the form of making less money off of us. Discounts are great but they can be hard to find or confusing. Example: Walt Disney World. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes relatively easy but the first time planning a Disney trip using military discounts to save money can be stressful or you could miss some discounts altogether. I've made a few videos about this specifically on my YouTube channel. Check out my Military/ Veteran Travel Discount Playlist >>Here<<. Since y'all are kinda my people, I even help by answering questions and pointing you in the right direction on trips I make ZERO commission on. Why? Because: America, that's why.
- You don't like planning/ just want to "set it and forget it".
- If you are this kind of person, I tip my proverbial hat to you. I really do. I can only aspire to be like you. Sometimes you just want to "hit the road" and be surprised. Sometimes you want to be less than surprised, but still have all of the arrangements made for you based on your interests, budget, and schedule. Sure, there are a lot of pre-packaged itineraries (which I love, if I'm being truthful) but sometimes you don't want to pay for a snorkeling excursion if you're afraid of sharks. I'm using (and taking some liberties with) a conversation I had recently with a client, but you get my drift. Maybe instead of snorkeling you want to repel down the side of a cliff. Maybe you're allergic to shellfish but one of the tours on your itinerary includes a stop to sample conch in the Bahamas. Pre-built is great for some people and others need a more personal touch (even if I'm the one doing the touching on your behalf). Wouldn't it be great to just show up and be amazed as opposed to showing up and not getting exactly what you want? Yes, I have people on my client list exactly like this.
I'm sorry, Lady-From-One-of-My-Fifty-Different-Womanpreneur-Facebook-Groups, but you're wrong. It's not dying. Changing, sure, but the travel industry shall not perish. It shall live forever.