The Grass is always greener…


Dear Travel Agent,

Thanks to Facebook and other social media, we live in a world that feels like the grass is always greener across the street. It seems like only MY grass has so many weeds, and that it is more like a greenish yellow-brown than the sparkling deep green of my neighbor’s!

Is this true?

I remember very well that before social media, when I went to meetings and conventions, other companies and competitors talked about how WONDERFUL their businesses were doing, but I knew from other sources that it wasn’t the real truth.

Let’s face it, people haven’t changed, only the vehicle used to deliver the “news” has. Now it is more “in your face” and “reminds you every day/second” – every time you check your social media. Before it was ONLY when you met them in person.

Now that I have vented to you how it all works, let’s talk a bit about clients who complain during the trip, just when you thought you were all done and ready to enjoy the commission and the benefits of a referral.

Suddenly, you get an awful phone call, text message or email. If a problem is happening on your client’s trip, contact your supplier and tell your clients you are doing so. Get back to the client as soon as you get an answer from the supplier. If a problem has ALREADY happened and they want to complain about it and demand a solution, ask them to send it in writing with all details. If it is pertinent to the supplier, forward the complaint to them and ask for an explanation and/or compensation for your client.

Remember, a client always behaves differently when he/she is excited planning for the vacation as compared to when he/she is on the real vacation. Not every traveler is relaxed and easygoing. Some are more demanding, more uptight. Jet lag can have a bad effect on many people, and a change in medication could play an important role (taking it on time, changing, or not taking it at all).

From a supplier’s perspective, I can tell you that some clients will complain even because of the weather (over which no one has any control) and demand compensation for that.

My advice is to listen to your client, deal with real problems as soon as they arise (and then deal directly with the supplier) and if not, ask to have it put in writing in detail once they come back. Let them cool off and have the time and energy to put all in writing.

Knowing how to handle an upset client is similar to when you yourself, feel overwhelmed by so many postings about fantastic green grass on Facebook. Take few deep breaths and be gentle to them, and to yourself!

Travel is like life, only those who choose to see the beauty actually will!

Follow me on:
Instagram @travelwithrosana
Twitter @travelRosana
Facebook @Rosana Chermisqui


The Value of a Good Partner

handshake-2009195_960_720Dear Travel Agent,
Who are your partners? How loyal are you to them? How do you build your relationship with your partners?
I have been watching these business relationships for many years. And, for over 23 years, I was personally part of these types of partnerships. As the owner of a tour operator company I have helped many travel agents – sometimes “saving their lives,” or a lot of money by helping them to avoid making mistakes.
The agent/supplier relationship is very special, and should be taken very seriously.
When a travel agent keeps changing suppliers, always looking for the cheaper one, they are not building relationships. What happens when they need a favor? For example, a name changed, a few extra days to make a payment, or a waiver on exchange. How can they can approach a brand new supplier they have no history with for these types of things? Even worse, how would they deal with Expedia or another online booking engines? How can they even ask for a favor or to correct a mistake?
Building relationships with suppliers is as important as the relationships built with clients, and trust is the name of the game.
I have many stories I could tell about when I went to battle for a travel agent, just to “save” him/her for his/her client.
One funny story happened few years ago. A travel agent took her group to Cambodia, and during their shopping time (on their own) they bought “diamond” and “ruby” rings for $100. Trying to save even more, they paid cash. A few days later the rubies and diamonds started to peel, and the rings made their fingers green.  Once back in the US, the travel agent called me and asked me to intervene. As you can imagine, that was not an easy task. But luckily, using our relationship with our office in Cambodia we were able to get the “jewelry” back to the store, and the money back to the travel agent.
Here is my advice about this one: Don’t pay cash, ask for a guarantee, and if it sounds too cheap to believe, DON’T buy it!
Follow me on Instagram @travelwithrosana
Twitter @travelRosana

Addicted to Travel

Dear Travel Agents,

If I could ask each and every one of you why you SELL travel, I’m sure I could predict a lot of the different answers. All great reasons, and plenty of perks.
My favorite one is to have fun! Yes, many travel agents enjoy what they do and have fun talking about and selling travel. That is a great success in life. No matter how you do it, or when you do it: have fun!

I had fun writing positive posts last week using common English idiomatic expressions.

As a Brazilian who loves to see the sun, I live in sunny Southern California. Right now we are dealing with June gloom. Even with that…. let’s have fun and make positive posts!

Clients and prospective clients can feel our energy; they feel when we are having fun. Fun and travel go together, like beautiful music to the ear. Let’s make all of our clients addicted to travel, and have fun finding the next destination for them to dream about.
I confess, I am a travel addict and I love it! I just returned from Cuba, and will soon be leaving to visit Kenya and Tanzania, followed by a cruise to Alaska in August. I am also planning a trip to New Zealand and Australia. Later, I will take a cruise to the Caribbean. So far, I have been only to Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba.

How about you? Are you addicted to travel too?

Let me know by email at or leave a comment below!