What about money?

food-686922_960_720Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

As we well know, the number one reason most people give as an excuse or reason NOT to travel is money. When I say “excuse” or “reason” I am doing so on purpose, because who can argue with such a strong justification like that? Who are you to tell me how I should prioritize my spending? Why should I explain my bank account to you?

End of the discussion!

Well, money is a matter of priority. Some people don’t have the money to travel, but drink Starbucks daily or twice a day – a grande latte with 2 Splenda and soy milk, extra hot. Others swear they can’t afford to travel, over a 6-inch Subway Rotisserie-Style chicken sandwich. And, how about the combo size popcorn and coke at the movies every weekend, because we all need a reward after a hard and long work week!

But talking seriously now, once we retire, when the children are out of the house, there is less stress dealing with grandchildren rather than children – we all know in our hearts there will be money down the road for some travel, right?

People are allowed to lie to themselves, who am I to judge? But, these are all excuses, because it is easier to believe that there is no money to travel than to face the FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN!

People should face their fears and talk to a trustworthy travel agent/advisor and make a deposit on a well-deserved, rewarding trip. Prepare your coffee and lunch at home and sneak a Kit Kat from the supermarket into the movie theater. No one really cares but you! Take care of yourself first, be proud of your accomplishments, and reward yourself with a vacation that you can afford. You deserve it and can work on the scary fear of dealing with the unknown. You are not alone, and a great travel agent will guide you through.

Remember, the best taste in life is learning something new -such as getting rid of a fear, and it is fun to take lots of pictures of the places you visited, being proud and brave!

Money is just an instrument between you and your happiness. Make it work for you, not against you!

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Unresolved Problems – A Good Market

 

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Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

This week I will continue to provide solutions to the “unresolved problems” of those who fear the unknown – now famously known as “The Untapped Market.”

  • Unfamiliar with the Visa process (when one is needed, how to get one).  
    A travel agent/advisor tells travelers which countries need a Visa based on the passport you have. Most countries issue a Visa upon arrival in the airport, so have some money prepared for that, and most of the time, fees are charged in US dollars.
  • Foreign currency – how to exchange, how to use, how much to tip, when to tip.    Most countries accept US dollars for most transactions. My advice is to exchange the minimum possible at the hotel or airport once travelers arrive in the country. They’ll want just enough for water and little souvenirs. Most places accept credit cards or US dollars and the exchange is very fair.  For Europe, I recommend exchanging to Euros and/or pounds, the dollar doesn’t carry as much weight there as it does in the rest of the world.  For tips: ask if the tips are included in the package. Some companies include all tips and gratuities. If not included, ask the travel agent/advisor about it. Some countries, like Japan, consider tips to be offensive.
  • Rules/Laws/Customs of foreign countries (do not want to get in trouble or offend people).
    A good travel agent/ advisor will guide the client to where they can find all information about how to be polite in a foreign country, but my best advice is to smile. A bright smile can always bring good karma and it is translated in every language.
  • Responsibility for travel companions (feeling like being the blind leading the blind!).
    I strongly recommend joining a group and having the tour leader be the responsible one – especially for travel beginners.
  • Worry something will go wrong – what to do if a flight delay, or transfers not there, or hotel reservation not available.
    Again, I definitely suggest using a travel agent/advisor, and participating in group travel with a tour leader. On top of all of that – travelers should get travel insurance. Now, all bases are covered. If something goes wrong, you have a phone number to call. The person on the other end will help the client. Remember to download a deep-breathing app on the cell phone for relaxation. Also very important is to write a list of all “problems” that could go wrong, and discuss these with the travel agent, travel insurance agent and tour leader (you’ll want to talk to each one of them.)
  • Cell phone service.
    Call your cell phone company and ask about travel plans. I have AT&T and we pay $10 a day for all calls, unlimited emails, texts etc.
  • How to deal with jet lag.  
    The best way possible to deal with jet lag is to avoid naps and go to sleep in the night time of the place you are. During daytime, stay outside as long as possible to avoid the craving for a nap.
  • What to do if an emergency happens at home.
    Travel Insurance deals with any emergencies anywhere. If a problem happens at home, the tour leader can get you in touch with your travel insurance while you’re abroad, and change the ticket to come home sooner.

Don’t stop living a great life because of a fear of the unknown. No one can control everything in anyone’s life. Those who fear airplanes could die of a plane crashing on top of their homes. Live your life to the fullest so you regret nothing.

Cheers to living the greatest life, because that is my goal!

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Being successful with the unknown

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Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

This week I will follow up on my blog from last week about an untapped market of People who “don’t want to” or “don’t like to” travel. These excuses translate to a “fear of the unknown” more than any other reason.

Today we will review how to deal with some of their reasons, give these people assurance, and a reason to turn to you, their hero:

  • Money – not enough! LOL! What to do if emergency arises and they cannot pay – I want to address this one with a special blog since there are lots of ways to deal with this sensitive situation. Please check back in two weeks!  
  • Inability to speak foreign language – I truly believe that a smile speaks louder than any other words. Also, learning some basic words is fun and gives travelers something to look forward to, and thirdly, suggest traveling with a small tour group. These are the best pieces of advice for everyone, on every budget! 
  • Discomfort or fear of plane rides – If you ask most people who travel, they will confess that they don’t like the plane ride, going through TSA, standing in line, changing planes and so forth. Show me anyone who likes every little detail that they go through every single day to achieve what they want or love?  This is why there is booze and meds. Take advantage, but don’t abuse 😜!
  • Flight delay/cancellation causing missed connections or missed cruise departure –   Travel Insurance combined with the help of an expert Travel Agent/Advisor who has explained all the pros and cons of a direct flight if available or arriving a day prior if possible. It’s like having an umbrella on a day with guaranteed sunny weather. 
  • No passport – unfamiliarity with them – how many pages you need, one country not wanting another country’s stamp – If your US passport was issued when you were 16 years old or older, your passport is valid for 10 years. If your US passport was issued when you were 15 years old or younger, your passport is valid for 5 years.   For More information check:  https://visacentral.com/passport-faqs

Next week, I’ll provide more solutions for other reasons travelers have. Please come back to learn more. Meanwhile, I want to hear from you – your opinions and how to deal with the reasons above.

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Untapped Market

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Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

We’ve talked a lot about prospective clients – family and friends who could potentially become clients, and where to look for other potential clients.

I want to make sure you are aware of another huge untapped market: the non-travelers. The people who say they don’t want to travel, or don’t like to.

From this huge market, I’ll bet any of you that the words “don’t want” or “don’t like to” translate to “fear of the unknown” more than any other reason.

Here is a list of reasons why people say they don’t travel, you’ve probably heard other reasons as well:

In no particular order:

  • Money – not enough! LOL! What to do if emergency arises and they cannot pay
  • Inability to speak foreign language
  • Discomfort or fear of plane rides
  • Flight delay/cancellation causing missed connection, or missed cruise departure
  • No passport – unfamiliarity with them – how many pages you need, one country not wanting another country’s stamp
  • Unfamiliar with the Visa process (when one is needed, how to get one)
  • Foreign currency – how to exchange, how to use, how much to tip, when to tip
  • Rules/Laws/Customs of foreign countries (do not want to get in trouble or offend people)
  • Responsibility for  travel companions (feeling like being the blind leading the blind!)
  • Worry something will go wrong – what to do if a flight delay, or transfers not there, or hotel reservation not available
  • Cell phone service
  • How to deal with jet lag
  • What to do if an emergency happens at home

These are just some of the reasons I’ve heard. I am sure that these prospective clients don’t know that a travel agent/advisor will guide them and hold their hand all the way through. They think their agent is too busy to do such a job or would charge extra for that. Many are embarrassed to admit they are “travel virgins”  (if there is such an expression!) LOL!

I totally believe that many travel agents/advisors have never thought to deal with this market. It takes time to work with them, but I am 100% sure that once you insert the travel bug into them, and they have an awesome, positive experience with your guidance, they will become your most reliable clients.

In my next blog I will give you some ideas on how to approach this market and how to make it into a niche for you. Meanwhile, feel free to reach me at askRosana@aol.com

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Twitter @travelwithrosana
Blogs @www.travelwithrosana.com