Traveling, and Being Weird


Dear Travel Agents,

Last week we talked about anxiety and travel, today we will talk about travelers with eccentricities, or as others might call it – being weird.

I strongly believe and suggest that to be a good travel agent we should embrace, accept, and make travelers feel comfortable about being eccentric in any way. The more we can make them feel understood, the less inclined they will be to book online, where Mr. or Ms. ONLINE will not accept, embrace, or make exceptions or accommodations for their eccentricities.

Now that we all agree on that, let’s start naming some eccentricities:

I will go first! Even though I have been to 78 countries, and even traveled back to many of these same countries; I need my own pillow. Not necessarily one specific pillow (because of its shape or form) but the idea of laying my face down (yes, I sleep facing down) on a pillow where many strangers have put their head, grosses me out. The beauty of this is that by talking about it, I have found that many people share this same eccentricity. Now, when I see people going onto airplanes with their own pillows, I smile to myself and I know exactly why the person is doing that.

Another eccentricity (not mine this time) is people who travel with wipes and clean the seat and table before sitting. Have you seen these people? I have! They take extra time when we are all in line trying to place our luggage overhead before taking our seats.

Others need white noise when they sleep in hotels. I have had many travel agents ask me how to make this possible for their clients. I usually suggest that they bring their own noise machine, and make sure to have a converter for electricity. In case they don’t have their own machine, many can use a fan, and that can be requested in most hotels. The sound of the fan will help them get to sleep.

There are so many eccentricities that people have, can you share one? Admitting their personal needs makes travelers more human, and travel agents more useful. Booking ONLINE doesn’t offer an ear or a heart to understand that no matter how expensive or simple a trip is, a human is complicated, and sometimes a little weird like the rest of us.

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