|Ruthanne Terrero, CTC Vice President–Content/Editorial Director|
In honor of National Travel Agent Day, we’re bringing back some popular how-to tips to help you sell better and enhance your clients’ experience.
You asked for it, you’ve got it. Celebrating the New Year with all new proof you are invaluable to your clients.
1. You’ve always been the smart one in the family so you took it upon yourself to book the big reunion trip that included your parents, grandparents, cousins, brothers and even your weird uncle. Three weeks later, you’re not talking to any of them because they can’t make up their minds on where to go, half of them want you to find a better price and your sister wants to bring her two dogs on the trip. Who’s the smart one now?
2. You and your friends cooked up a great scheme: half of you would book rooms at an all-inclusive resort and the other would sneak in without paying and blend in with the crowd. That got you all kicked out of the hotel and now you’re all back at the airport six days earlier than planned. Who knew they had such strict rules in the Caribbean?
3. When you saw the resort you’d selected had a kids’ club, you rejoiced; you could finally get some quiet time with your spouse without hearing your offspring squabbling over who gets to play with the family iPad. Only thing is, when you got there after five hours of flying you found out only children ages four and over could use the club, and your twins are three. Time for some quality evenings with the little ones!
4. You didn’t realize that you should have booked a reservation for the Michelin-star restaurant at your five-star hotel, and who knew that you should have reserved that facial and massage at the spa three weeks ahead of time? Now you’re spending a very expensive vacation glowering at your spouse because you can’t get access to the very places you’d wanted to try out. If only you’d been warned.
5. It’s actually winter in Australia when it’s summer in New York — go figure. And here you are in Sydney with two suitcases filled with sundresses and Panama Jack shorts and flip-flops. Time to shop for some warm clothing and to research something else to do besides laying on Bondi Beach. A travel expert would have been super helpful here.
6. You haven’t flown for years, but you’re really looking forward to the cross-country flight to go visit your brother. You’ve loaded your carry-on bag with his favorite New York things, including Dr. Brown’s diet cream soda and a bottle of Scotch from his old favorite liquor store down the street. Get ready to hand all those liquids over to TSA at JFK and to show up in L.A. with nothing to share but some poppy seed bagels from Zabar’s. Next trip, you’ll ask a consultant what the rules are ahead of time!
7. You booked a villa in Florida near the ocean through an online service. Except it wasn’t a villa and that wasn’t an ocean, unless you consider an inlet with some swampy water surrounding it the ocean. You sure as heck wanted to call someone to complain, but the only person you could think of was your best friend who was flying down to join you for vacation. So you called him and told him not to bother making the trip.
8. You didn’t realize the names on your airline tickets had to exactly match those on your passports and so you used your kids’ nicknames when you made the flight reservations. That smart move held you up with TSA for three hours at the airport as you, Treenie, Bobby and Tippy tried to sort through it all. And yeah, you did miss your flight.
9. Seems there’s a thing called travel insurance that can be really helpful if you have to cancel your vacation. Wish you’d known about it when your kids came down with the flu just before your trip and those nonrefundable hotel rooms and airline tickets went to complete waste. Where do you even find out about stuff like that?
10. The couple that checked in ahead of you at your hotel seems to be pretty important. The general manager greeted them when they arrived and you even overheard them chatting about the special gifts waiting for them in their room. They even got a bottle of wine. Wine! Who gets wine? When you finally got up the courage to ask them what their story is, they said they have no story – just a great travel agent!