What’s Wrong With People, Anyway?


Ruthanne Terrero
Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero

I had this horrid realization the other day that some people never, ever take a vacation. These are normal-enough individuals who go to work and pay taxes and seem to have the ability to understand how to leave their house and get into a car or a train or an airplane to get somewhere.

Case in point: I was riding the subway shuttle between Grand Central Station and Times Square recently. Two people who apparently work together were chatting. The man said something to the woman about the fact that when his wife was expecting a child they went away somewhere. “It was quick and cheap,” he said, seemingly embarrassed. As we all got off the train and herded ourselves to the IRT, I heard him say, so wistfully, “If I ever do go away, I’d like to go to a beach.” He was in his 30s or 40s.

The other day I went with a friend to one of those urgent care places, where you can just walk in, pay $50 and walk out in 10 minutes with a prescription. My friend told the doctor she was traveling to Europe and wanted to be sure the cold she had didn’t get out of control while she was there. The doctor looked at her and said he had never been to Europe and asked what was it like.

As I thought about it I realized the real issue for them is not necessarily the lack of time, which often gets the blame for not taking a vacation. It’s a mind-set. The two men I refer to here have never made travel a priority for themselves. They have never realized that their life is passing by and that they are never going to get to that beach or to see Paris because no one is going to drop out of the sky and whisk them away to a fabulous resort or city hotel. I think as well they’re waiting to take that vacation of a lifetime and ignoring the chance to travel at all until they get to that point.

I am not sure how you can reach these people. Certainly they are not shopping for a travel advisor. My guess is you might need to approach them on another passion point. Do they like to golf? Perhaps they like antique cars. They probably enjoy wine of some sort. They could be a foodie. Spa aficionados are everywhere. The list could go on and on.

Think about which niches you think you could sell and then dig in to see what suppliers are offering. The cruise lines, Crystal in particular, have gotten very creative over the years in offering land excursions that appeal to enthusiasts of many sorts. Come up with some potential travel programs and then pull together your community with the promise of a talk on some interesting topics that focus not so much on travel but on the niche you are selling. Draw them in with the lure of golfing on a fabulous course.

When you’ve got them reined in, lead up to the fact that it’s in Scotland and be sure to tell them how easy it is to get there. Be ready to tell them that they deserve this. Be easy on them, these are sensitive souls who don’t treat themselves too highly so you’ll have to coax them into it. It won’t be easy, but if you’ve dusted off your sales 101 techniques (think, overcoming objections), you can do it. If you succeed, you’ll have a client with so much pent-up demand and desire to travel, the effort will be worth it.