Are you leaving vacation days on the table in your job in Austin, TX? In 2019 there was a whopping 768 MILLION vacation days that went to waste, despite Americans taking more trips than the year before according to the research by the US Travel Association. That is a lot! 236 million days were forfeitied which resulted in $65.6 billion lost benefits.
The forfeited days not only wasted opportunies for workers, but also the economy. This means $15.5 billion in travel spendings went unused which would create two million American jobs, according to the study. WOW!
The average amount of PTO increased to six and half days from six days in 2017. You will never get the time back. Your time spent with family and friends is IMPORTANT! It is unfortunate that cost is the main reason many don't travel much. There are affordable experiences within the US whether it be a drive up the coast or a day trip to another city from Austin, TX. Take time for yourself. You deserve it!
We are down to the last 3 months of the year. You still have time to plan a trip and make that vacation count!
Online is for looking and travel advisors are for booking!
I was a vendor at a wedding venue and one of the food vendors jokingly asked me if she could ask me a question I probably get asked all the time. What do you think it was? She asked, "Are travel agents real and how do I compete with the online services?" Here is what I shared with her and thought it would be helpful for you:
1. We have the connections and knowledge to make sure your trip is right for you and that you get treated well.
2. Booking online may or may not be what you actually purchased. Your view could be a dumpster!
3. Some online services can cancel your booking for any reason without notifying you so you better read the terms and conditions.
4. When booking online you get what you pay for and have to pay in full.
5. If you have something go wrong with your reservations the online service won't help you. You are on your own.
6. I provide personal service you won't get online.
7. If you book in advance you can set up a payment plan with a travel advisor like myself.
8. I help you before, during and after your travel.
9. I will visit with you to get to know you more in order to find a match.
10. How many online services reach out while you are traveling to see how you are doing? I do!
11. I communicate to the hotels/cruise line prior to you traveling with the specifics they need to know.
12. When working with me you have one point of contact instead of a call center.
13. You can email, text or call me with any questions you have.
14. I work directly with our preferred suppliers to get the best package for you.
15. I am here to take the stress away so you can just pack and enjoy your vacation!
16. I am in the travel industry to truly help you experience some great destinations if you are truly serious about traveling.
Are you wanting to travel with a group but don't know how to get started?
Here are some Group Travel Tips to help you get started:
1.You will need someone to be the decision maker for the group.
2. You can have others in charge of different aspects of the group trip so it is not so stressful for the leader.
3. You want to decide on accomodations, activities, and things to do up front so you can decide what the group wants to do so you are not wasting your time on your vacation deciding on what to do.
4. Agree on a budget and adhere to it. You want to make sure to be realistic about the cost.
5. Decide how long you want the trip to be.
6. You want to book your trip, flights and transportation early in order to get the best pricing and selection for the group.
7. Hotels are not always the easiest for groups. You have more options with all inclusive resorts for groups. Villas can work for groups as well. Cruises work well, too.
8. As your travel advisor for your group I will help you with all the payments, arrangements and travel documents for the trip. Everyone needs to be on board to make the group a success. Communication is key. I am available before, during and after your trip for any questions.
9. Be sure to consider excursions in your destination in the planning stage but don't plan something for every second of your trip. You need some down time.
10. Split up during your trip. Not everyone is going to want to do the same thing. Half may want to do one activity and the other half something else. If there is something you really want to do and no one else wants to go then go do it on your own. Don't go home from vacation regretting you didn't get to see something.
We can help with student groups, adult groups, social groups, niche groups, destination weddings, seminars at sea, etc. If you need help or know of anyone that would like help with their group near Austin, TX please share our information with them. Let's start planing your next group trip.
As a travel advisor near Austin, TX there are so many things we can help you with. I start off with finding out more about you and your family. Your wants and needs for your trip. I will ask many questions in order to get enough information to help me be able to put your trip together for you. Your probably thinking OMG! This is an important process I need to go through especially if anyone has any medical needs, etc. for their trip. The more information you can share with me the better.
Benefits of working with a real travel advisor:
I work hard to find the best package for your travel needs.
I will be available to you before, during and after your travels.
I work directly with our preferred suppliers to ensure a great trip.
Our suppliers have our backs.
I will save you time researching.
I am a live human being available to talk to and bounce ideas off.
You have one preson to talk to and not a call center.
We can meet in person, face time via FB messenger, Whats App, etc.
I respond in a timely manner to your emails and questions.
I have destination and resort knowledge.
I keep you up to date with any major changes in itinerary.
I will guide you every step of the way to make the process as simple as it can be.
Why am I sharing this with you? It breaks my heart when someone loses their money for their trip to a scam. The internet is for looking but agents are for booking! Well, here is another news story about a person losing lots of money going through an online booking service.
I have had a similar situation with booking hotels and I didn't fall for it. If there is one thing you take away from this is please work with a travel professional. I know many think it cost more to work with a travel professional but it doesn't. I work with a "Good Faith Deposit." This lets me know who is serious about their travel. It is applied at the final payment. I know many want to find the cheapest deal you can but keep in mind you get what you pay for. I work hard to find the best package and the price may not be exact but this also has to do with the time of year you are wanting to book your trip.
Let me help you with your next getaway!
Reasons Why Travel Insurance is Important
Recently I had a client fall on one of their tours, one getting sick and ending up in the hospital with pnemonia, another having their flights cancelled due to weather. 2 out of the 3 had insurance. The one that didn't have insurance was lucky that the airline rebooked their flights for the next morning. They could have been out of pocket for the flights.
1. We never plan for things to happen.
2. We can't afford to lose our vacation investment.
3. Emergencies overseas can be expensive.
4. Your current medical coverage or Medicare won't cover your medical needs.
5. Insurance can help with travel delays, baggage delays, missed connections, and flight cancelations.
6. Death in the family.
7. You get sick before you travel.
8. There is a hurricane situation.
9. There is a terrorist attack.
10. Bottom Line:Purchase Travel Insurance.
When Vacation is Over
We all dread it when our vacation is over and have to head back to work. Here are somethings you can do to lift yourself up:
*Bring back something from the trip that helps remind you of where you were.
*Take time to adjust being back home and getting things done.
*Return to work later in the week so the weekend comes much sooner.
*Organize your photos and share with family and friends.
*Start planning your next adventure.
Your kids don't have many school breaks so look at your calendar and let's start planning your next vacation.
Cabin-Make sure you request a cabin that is away from the elevators so you don't have to deal with the foot traffic if you are wanting to get some sleep. Your travel advisor can help with your location.
Mediciations-Make sure you bring your meds if you need stuff for motion, allergies, colds or meds for the kids. Options on the ship are limited and not cheap.
Shoes-Make sure you pack comfortable shoes. Everyone likes to dress up for dinner and shows but climbing stairs or walking on some surfaces are not real comfortable with high heels. You don't want to lose your balance on a moving ship.
Suscreen-It is always better to have TOO much than not enough. Consider some aloe vera as well in case you get sun burned.
Put phone in airplane mode-It is a MUST! If you don't put your phone on airplane mode once you are at sea you will have a nice big phone bill when you return.
Ship newsletters-These are in your cabin each evening. Please review them so you know what is going for the next day. This way you can plan your day out easier and not miss some activities or shows you want to participate in.
Excursions-Most cruisers believe they will "Miss the boat" if they don't book excursions with the cruise line. This is actually not true. Many times the cruise line use the same vendors. The advantage the tour operator has is that their groups are smaller, more personalized, better service and can be cheaper. Their business focuses on excursions so they comply with the cruise ships's schedule. I always offer other vendors as I use them myself.
Carry on-Make sure you have your important documents(passport and boarding pass), change of clothes, medications, sunscreen and anything else you ABSOLUTELY need once you are on the ship.
Luggage Survival Tips
Many travelers at one point or another may encounter dealing with lost luggage. Your luggage didn't make it to your arrive airport with you, it got routed on a different plane, it got left behind at the hotel, etc. Here are some tips to help you with luggage that are MIA.
1. Take a picture of your luggage. This allows you to show a picture of your luggage instead of trying to describe it to an agent.
2. Split clothes 50-50. If you are traveling with someone else consider splitting your clothes amongst each others bags. This way if your luggage gets lost you have some clothes. It is unlikely the airline will lose both but it is better to be prepared.
3. When reporting the MIA luggage to the service desk you want to describe items that stand out and that will be recognizeable. (ex: red hat, yellow tennis shoes, floral shorts)
4. Provide your phone number and address of your hotel if your luggage is lost while traveling. If it is on your way home then a phone number should be good. Ask for a copy of the report and a number where you can follow-up.
5. Ask for a reimbursement if this occurs while traveling. Most airlines will cover the necessities like clothing and toiletries while you wait for your luggage. If you are arriving home after a trip it is not as likely. Consider purchasing travel insurance which will cover situations like this.
6. Inform your hotel about your situation if you are just arriving in your destination. Let the front desk know as they may be able to get your bag back faster if they contact the airline especially if you are not fluent in the language.
Many times you travel by plane to get to the destination desired. As summer gets underway many will take to the skies to enjoy their vacations from Austin, TX. Here are some tips for your flights.
Reclining Your Seat-Most want to be comfortable in their seats. Since the seats are getting closer and closer together it is suggested by many experts not to recline your seats since it only goes back about 2 inches or so. If you do it means the person behind you will have to recline theirs, and so on. If you must recline your seat be careful to go slow as you don't know if the person behind you has something on the tray that could spill or if they have long legs, etc. If there is meal time pull your seat up so they can use their tray for their food. Be kind and respectful.
Get Out of the Aisle Quickly-Before boarding the plane make sure you have the things you want in the bag that will go under the seat such as your tablet, phone, kindle, etc.. When you get on the plane find your seat and put your main bag in the overhead bin and sit down promptly so everyone else can get to their seats in a timely fashion. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for a person to rummage through their bag before they put it in the overhead bin. This delays things for everyone and for the plane to leave on time.
Armrests Dilemma-The person in the aisle and window seat each have an armrest so technically the middle seat gets both center armrest. It is only fair. If you don't want to fuss over the armrest then consider booking the window or aisle seat.
Place Your Bag Over Your Seat- Many times when you board the plane you find that most of the bins are already full. Try to place your bag in an overhead bin in front of you instead of behind you. This is important for long international flights. There have been some situations where folks in the back watch where bags are placed. If you fall a sleep they can rummage through your things. Keep an eye on your bags.
Leaving Your Seat-Don't climb over the person that is sleeping next to you. Kindly nudge them and say, " I am sorry to bother you" and wait for them to get up to let you out.
Summer is a busy time to travel. Be kind to one another and following these basic flight etiquette guidelines to ensure you don't have any problems on your next flight. Safe Travels!
Global Entry is good for 5 years. For your $100 you also get TSA PreCheck. You can purchase the TSA PreCheck by itelf (it is good for 5 years). For $15 more you can get expedited through U. S. Customs. This is helpful is you do a lot of international travel.
1. Date of Expiration-Keep an eye on your calendar. Globsl Entry expires on your birthdate. You should receive and email 90 days before it expires as well. Make sure you haven't changed your email address.
2. Don't get in trouble-You can't be convicted of any crime or you can have your Global Entry revoked. Follow the program requirements and you will be fine.
3. Avoid violating agriculture guidelines-You want to make sure you are not bringing back any fresh fruit, meat, dairy, etc. These agriculture violations are a big issue. You must declare these items if you are bringing them back to the USA. If you don't you can be fined and lose your Global Entry. If you are given fruit on the plane don't put it in your pocket and take it with you. You will get stopped.
If you don't have Global Entry you can use the Mobile Passport App that helps expedite you through customs.
I love to travel and explore the world. My goal is to help others actually experience their desired destination(s) whether they are traveling solo or as a group. The world has so much to offer.