Is being a travel agent just a job?


Dear Travel Agent,

Do you still remember the reason you became a travel agent?

I do! Over 25 years ago, with 2 little boys at home, my husband suggested that I become a part-time travel agent so we could take advantage of all the perks and travel as a family.

When I started, the three of us (me, myself and I) had a hard time getting it all together!

I remember telling my husband that I would only do something IF I was going to have fun. I couldn’t imagine myself miserable at a job; praying every week for Friday to come, and cursing Mondays. Nope, that is not me!

I was almost 29 years old, and being young and naive I thought my profession was going to determine my destiny and my happiness. Well, it didn’t take long for us (me, myself and I) to declare and decide that we were in charge!

I was taught by my mother that kindness wins hearts, and caring wins over bitterness. She also taught me that prayer saves you from a lot of cursing. That lady was pretty smart, but God took her when she was only 52 from colon cancer.

I still believe in her teachings and I use them every day.

I have fun most of my days and I believe that working in travel is not just a job.  It’s a calling to help people have fun, and to spread happiness wherever they go. Travel agents help people to successfully see other parts of the world, and feel blessed by that.

How about you? How do you feel about being in this industry? How has it changed you? Let me know in the comments!

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Know it all!


Dear Travel Agent,

I have been approached many times with questions about how to deal with clients who “know it all.” Believe me, even as tour operator I have had many travel agents who wanted to teach me how to run my company, or tell me how to create my tour packages.

Is that annoying? You bet!

I am a truly believer in taking a deep breath and trying to understand the other side (which is not so easy, I promise you!) But in a world in which we are so tired of hatred, how can I call myself a “lover” when the first thing I think about is to kick that kind of prospective client on the behind, and tell her/him to shop someplace else.

I believe in building bridges. If that prospective client came to me, it was for a reason. With a big smile on my face, and kindness in my heart, I would let that prospective client hear my voice over the phone asking the question: “What can I help you with?”

I choose to believe that not everyone is bad, not everyone is racist (I am Hispanic and speak with a Brazilian accent), but many people come from a place where they have their own personal problems or fears, and many times they just need some caring words and validation.

Once you break that barrier and build a bridge, you will find a reliable client. They will trust you, come back, and recommend you to friends and family.

Maybe some of you reading my blog are calling me a dreamer or even delusional, LOL! But those who really know me, know that I built a successful business and life making friends instead of trying to prove who is more “macho!”

As I always say and will continue saying, life is short and travel is a blessing. Just have fun and build as many bridges as you can, you never know where they will take you!

With love,

Follow me at:
Instagram @ travelwithrosana
Twitter @ travelRosana
Facebook @ travelwithrosana
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Controversy, opinions and starting new.


Dear Travel Agent,

How many of you remember starting your company or job as travel agent?
I certainly remember my beginning. The first call came from a friend of a friend, and she wanted a honeymoon in Greece. She wanted me to give her details about the package. At that time there was no Google, and I barely knew where Greece was! I remember physically going to a library to read more about Greece, and then I opened an issue of JAX FAX and found a tour operator for Greece who delivered a very nice package. Through my friend I know that the honeymoon was great, but unfortunately, the marriage didn’t survive.

Right after that first consult, another recommendation called me for a hotel in Jerusalem and I asked if she wanted ocean view. By her reaction over the phone and a very fast look on the map, I understood my mistake. I was fast on my feet and told her it was a joke and then asked her if she wanted a taller hotel so she could appreciate the ocean in Tel Aviv!

Well, after 24 years and 74 countries, experience and expertise has made me much more confident and knowledgeable about travel.

Last week on my blog I expressed my opinion about charging Research Fees, and shared that post with different groups. I noticed that some people who have lots of experience and expertise feel very strongly about charging a fee. I would never want to change their opinion, or the way they conduct their businesses. When I write my blogs to travel agents, my intention is to share my knowledge – especially with those who are just starting out, and perhaps feeling overwhelmed. I truly believe that being humble and remembering my own beginnings keeps me centered.

For all of you who are just starting out, remember to have fun, laugh at your own mistakes, and take it easy. I just came back from Tanzania and as they say, “Pole Pole!”
Life is lived only once – relax and enjoy helping others travel and have fun!

Follow me at
Instagram @travelwithrosana
Twitter @travelRosana
Facebook @ Rosana Chermisqui
Blogs @

Charging Research Fees


Dear Travel Agent,

I am often approached and asked whether or not it is a good idea to charge a fee to prospective clients when offering to work with them.

I completely understand that time is money, and we have all had many seemingly wonderful prospective clients who wasted our time preparing quotes and fulfilling requests, only to have them buy somewhere else or book on their own.

This is when we imagine ourselves charging for our “wasted” time, or having a FEE for research, or even charging by the hour. What would happen if we were to do so?

Well, let’s look at that from the point of view of the supplier (which is what I was for 23 years), and you – the travel agent, as the client. Ask yourself how many suppliers you would pay a consulting fee to for preparing a quote for you. Would you pay the fee, or go look for another supplier who would do it for free?

As a supplier, we knew who the serious travel agents were, and we invested our time and energy with them. We also knew exactly who the Lookie-Loos were.

You may ask how we could tell? Well, with past experience, and by asking the right questions, we separated the “good” from the “bad” clients. From doing this over and over, and being asked to quote on an already perfect itinerary, we knew that another supplier had already done the job and that this was just another “copy and paste and get me a better price” scenario. Or being asked to quote a trip with an unreal budget; like asking for Dubai, 5 stars, with limo and helicopter rides, and VIP treatment for less than $1,500 per person (even asking to stay at Burj Al Arab).

We dealt with many travel agents, and it has always been my policy to teach them. We would explain why we wouldn’t quote another supplier’s itinerary, and I would advise how pricing for VIP works, and also explain anything else we thought was appropriate to educate the agents about.

In the end, it is your prospective client, and it is your time. Some travel agents do very well by charging a fee. Personally, I still believe in doing business without charging upfront, and being selective about who I am going to work with.

How about you?

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




Expectations on Social Media


Dear Travel Agent,

I believe that using all kinds of social media will benefit you; to expose what you do, promote your abilities and more importantly, show friends, family and prospective clients who you are as a person, and as a professional.
To see what to post and how often, I suggest you read my previous blogs.
Here, I want to talk about what to expect from your “audience” or “friends/followers.”
For the most part, people behave on social media how they behave in life. Don’t expect or believe otherwise.

Now, let’s divide these followers into three basic categories:

Givers: As in life, they like to give and help. They will cheer for you, make nice comments about YOUR postings, repost them, and tell their “friends/followers.”

Takers: Again, as in life, these types of people will copy and paste YOUR postings and “pretend” as if it were theirs. They’ll copy your ideas and even crop your posts and take your name out. Why cheer for you if they can use and benefit from them?

NONE OF ABOVE: Unfortunately there are these kinds of people on social media, as there are in life. They just stay there, don’t cheer, don’t copy, but at every single opportunity they judge, write something unkind and nasty. They are not expecting to take advantage, nor they are givers. I call them lost souls.

My intention is not to tell you to start judging who is who, after all it is good to have lots of followers and friends. I want you to encourage you to continue posting and not to take comments personally. It is not about you, it is about people. Most people don’t behave differently in life than on social media.
I hope this helps you feel better the next time someone copies your ideas, crops and takes your name from your postings, or even makes a nasty comment just because he/she can.
Remember, most people are givers and they are cheering for you!

Follow me on
Instagram @travelwithrosana
Twitter @travelRosana
Facebook @RosanaChermisqui