HOW THE WORLD OF TRAVEL HAS CHANGED - 2023
Since spring 2020 when COVID brought the world to a standstill, the travel industry's been on a wild rollercoaster ride.
Fast forward to 2023, even with lifted restrictions and border openings, the industry still has much to deal with - including new and more sustainable ways of conducting business, with increasing climate change impacts and devastation.
Nothing is, as it used to be - and never will be. The World has changed dramatically. Don't pretend it hasn't.
My job is to prepare and help you navigate your way through interim things such as masking, social distancing, vaccination requirements now - however, there's so many permanent changes that are NOT temporary.
SMART PHONES + APPS
When meeting with one of my clients to prepare him for an upcoming trip, going through his package, he quipped "you don't only have to be a Travel expert - you have to be an App expert too!" Uh-huh ....
Small things like QR codes replacing menus at restaurants - likely a permanent part of the travel experience now.
Contactless hotel check-ins - airport and airline check-ins - virtual tours of popular attractions - restaurant reservations.
All changes driven by the pandemic, creating touchless solutions, will likely continue to be a part of the travel landscape for years to come - so be aware and prepared.
Photo: Embracing your newest travel companion
Didn't like your cell phone before - learn to love it now. It's going to be your best friend when travelling.
THE COST OF TRAVEL NOW
Be realistic with your travel budget now and never dismiss medical and travel insurance as unimportant. It needs to be part of your travel budget and often tell people to allow for 10% of your trip cost, to be allotted to travel insurance.
The cost of air travel has increased. Even once airline staffing and routes are back, we're less likely to see the cost of flying decrease. Likely the prices will continue to climb even more throughout 2023, so be prepared.
Don't wait, expecting there to be a drop - it may never happen.
Travel is no longer a right, it's a privilege.
WORK WITH A QUALIFIED TRAVEL ADVISOR
Throughout the pandemic, I continued (as did many of my colleagues who's career is travel) to train, renew licensing and educate myself in the products and offerings. I lived and breathed what I sold and continue to do so.
I may not know everything, but I do know how to find the answers.
Photo: Your trusted Travel Advisor (that'd be me!)
My relationships with my suppliers, tour operators and travel partners, has a global reach.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR TREPIDATION
These past few years has been hard on everyone - individuals and businesses alike. Brutal realities of the pandemic are still being processed and for many, triggered a newfound appreciation for the value of life and how fleeting it really is.
Perhaps we can't get you the exact 3-week family vacation you've been dreaming of, due to budget constraints - but I'll do my best to find you something similar, even if it means another destination or option that'll be equally fulfilling.
I take the time to get to know you - I hope you do the same.
Life's short - tomorrow is not guaranteed.
NEW FORMS OF COMMUNICATION
In the past, email or phone were the most common forms of communication.
Now texting has become the norm, as is Facebook Messenger.
I always revert back to email eventually, because of the ease of sending more detailed information (sorry, my thumbs are not as quick as my typing).
But when my clients are travelling and I'm wanting to check in to see how things are going? It's text or What's App now.
With the bundling of packages for many different products and services now, it just makes sense, that I'm going to offer you a more "inclusive" trip, rather than basic and discuss add-ons. I want you to have the best experience, not the cheapest one!
By continuing to work with Preferred Partners around the world, my clients are taken care of every step of the way. These times have made travelling a bit more complicated, but we've adapted and adjusted to the new norm.
As time goes on, you'll forget how painful the past few years have been and slip back into old habits - it's human nature, we all do it.
But remember the value so many in the hospitality business, bring to your joy of travel. Most do it, for the love of service to others, not for the pay or the perks.
Travel should be fun - not a blur.
Photo: Family Dining in Slovenia vineyard
If I've done my job right, you'll travel safely and remember the memories, not the hiccups (because there'll be those!).
CLICK HERE FOR A FEW TIPS AND TRICKS reminder for travel now.
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