Updated: Sep 7
Can you believe it? And no I didn't vote for myself! Here's the short version of the story. Remember a couple of weeks ago I mentioned attending Virtuoso's Travel Week, virtually? The following week I attended another virtual travel conference, the one held by ASTA, the American Society of Travel Advisors, of which I am a member. Every year ASTA selects a Travel Advisor of the Year from among thousands, to reward the one who provided exceptional and innovative service for a client above and beyond the normal course of business. They gave it to me!
And now the rest of the story - I wasn't the only one who received this award. ASTA gave it to every member. Why? remember back in March and April, when Covid-19 became a real health hazard, and overall travel killjoy? Vacationers and business travelers were suddenly stranded away from home, trapped within rapidly closing borders, or were facing cancellations of long-awaited trips in which they had already invested. Others were becoming disappointed at the prospect of their itineraries-in-work not coming to fruition.
Travel advisors sprang in to action to rescue the stranded by ensuring unplanned passage on flights of dwindling availability; refunds were sought (or begged for) and acquired; a flurry of rescheduling and eventually cancellation of tours, flights, cruises, activities and excursions took place, all amid uncertainty, new rules, no rules, panic an in some case near-bankruptcies of travel providers.
Once the dust settled and TA's caught their collective breath, we realized that clients were safe, the phone had stopped ringing, and commissions were being recalled (not fun). We were left to wonder what next. We felt for the folks who'd had to fend for themselves during the turbulence without representation, because they had booked through mass market travel outlets (who shall remain nameless). I believe many people lost a lot of hard-earned vacation investment back then. Please remember...the internet will not answer your 3am phone call during a travel emergency. But I will.
Once a traveler, always a traveler; if you are a traveler it is a component of your soul. That desire has not gone away just because we have been forced to sit still for a long minute. Baby steps, and rightly so, I say. Last week I gave you an update on travel to the Caribbean, and I told you how to take a lovely 'workcation'. The news this week is Costa Rica - they are reopening this month to a handful of states, less than ten - the ones where the Covid-19 infection rate is LOWER than Costa Rica's; and one of those states is Colorado. Things are slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y looking up. As the iconic movie character Madea says, "Hallelu-yer!"
You've heard the following statement; I didn't make it up: "Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer." We haven't been able to buy a lot of it lately, but once we're able to stock up and replenish our decimated travel 'supply', your award-winning Travel Advisor of the Year will be honored to curate your journey perfectly to your heart's desire. Take advantage of the insider knowledge and expertise crammed into my noggin, and the expert, world-wide travel connections at my fingertips; encourage your friends to do the same. Friends don't let friends travel blind. Yes, that one I made up.
'til next week.
Let's talk. I create expertly designed vacations for people who crave immersive travel. If you’re too busy to take time to plan the details of your own well-deserved escape, or are feeling the pressure to make lifelong memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day.
-Juliet Weller, Founder