Did you miss me? Well, I am missing YOU! It’s been two months since I felt the travel writing passion, and I acknowledge the fact that the past three months or so have been unsettling, to say the least. As we all have to adjust to this time of COVID-19 uncertainty, I know you are feeling much of the same emotional roller coaster ride that I have. It reminds me of the saying, “This too shall pass”. Maybe it’s as simple as that?
My new routine is one of self-preservation, mostly. I did pivot to be a responsible citizen in my own home and became a new consultant for an awesome, clean, mostly vegan and organic skin care line, Lemongrass Spa Products. (check it out…that’s my shopping link. You will LOVE this stuff!)
The most important task during this time, however, is helping my travelers navigate the changes…sometimes daily…that our industry faces now. As I write these words, I learned that Jamaica is open (well sorta) for business, but not as usual. They require a passenger fill out in advance a form online that details their stay. They are doing screenings with a mouth swab upon arrival. I can’t help but wonder how many passengers had NO KNOWLEDGE OF THIS. Ugh, I heard this morning that 22 vacationers landed in Montego Bay on an America Airlines flight and were detained, turned around, and a jet from AA had to come back to pick these folks up to deliver them back to their city of departure!
How many had a travel advisor in their corner? I don’t know the answer, but I suspect very few. It’s not a magic bullet, for sure. I have had a few suppliers that I will not use again due to the way they treated my travelers.
And then there is the insurance issue as well. COVID is now a world event. If a hurricane had already formed in the Caribbean and someone wanted to buy insurance after the fact, they are not covering cancellations because you are afraid to fly or be infected in destination. The company I tend to sell the most, however, Arch Roam Right, is allowing you to change your dates out one year or perhaps a bit more so that you do not lose your investment. That is comforting. You may also consider moving forward to purchase a waiver from your supplier that offers a full refund, or a voucher to use within a certain time frame. READ THE FINE PRINT, OF COURSE.
Several of my trusted partners even protected my commissions when they cancelled my client’s vacation. How cool is THAT? I had several suites on a Royal Caribbean Cruise in Italy scheduled for May departure. Not only did I receive my commission from THAT cruise, but when they reschedule for a future date, they will also pay for the future one. Do you think I will remember that moving forward in my business? You bet!
For now, some of my travelers are waiting it out to see what develops. Others are still hoping their trips will travel in the fall. Still others are rescheduling the same journey one year from now. Fingers crossed for all of us that the world will continue to open up safely and we will not slide backwards as a result of re-opening too quickly.
In the meantime, thank you for your patience and your continued support. You are very wise to use a travel professional in this uncertain travel climate we are in. We have worked tirelessly as your advocate to be certain you are taken care of, and I promise as your personal travel concierge to continue to work for you, my valued client.
If you have questions or concerns about travel in certain areas of the world, feel free to reach out. firstname.lastname@example.org
Oliver Wendel Holmes once said, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to it’s old dimensions.” That’s beautiful.