Dear Travel Agents,
I now want to talk to travel agents who plan travel with groups of people.
For those with lots of experience with this, we all know that when we first offer a date and a destination it seems so easy to gather a big group. Everyone is so excited about the destination and/or the date. Everyone says, “COUNT ON ME!”
Yes, right! LOL!
The next step is collecting the money. Suddenly the group of excited people becomes much smaller! “I thought you said two years from now.” And another person says, “I just heard from a friend of a friend of my cousin that the destination is not safe!” We could all write a book as thick as the Bible full of excuses.
Finally, we’ve gathered a group and start the planning. If we all live in the same town, it is fun to get together for the planning. Maybe go to a restaurant with food that is typical of the destination and get a person who will teach us all about the itinerary, and answer questions about packing and how to travel abroad. Meeting the group is fun, and helps to build camaraderie, especially if some people will be rooming together.
As the date of the trip approaches, many people get excited and happy, but some will get anxious. Anxiety can bring more questions for the organizer. Smile, take deep breaths and answer all of their questions. If the questions seem silly, send them a link so they can read more and learn. Reading and learning helps with anxiety because the person will be spending time and focusing on something other than his/her own anxiety.
Once traveling starts, remember that travel and life are not perfect, so learn how to deal with the unexpected. Again, take deep breaths, smile and remember that everything can be solved. Everyone will be watching you, because you are the organizer. Keep a smile on your face and remember that joking is always the best way to deal with people. People respond better to happy people.
In my next blog I will write a list of things that could possibly go wrong, and how to deal with them. But always remember: NO ONE WANTS TO DEAL WITH A SOUR FACED PERSON, SO KEEP SMILING!