5 Ways to Prepare for Busy Season
Written by: Sydney M Crago on November 21, 2019
With summer vacation over, the kids back in school, and winter on its way, many travel agents find that their number of client inquiries slow in the last few months of the year. But that means that busy season is just around the corner, and now is the best time for agents to prepare!
When and What is Busy Season?
A travel agent’s busy season is usually January through March, though it can vary depending on your area and clientele. This is the time of year people are looking to book any last-minute spring break trips, plan their summer vacations, and look ahead to big trips in the coming year like a river cruise or European vacation. It’s a busy time of year for inquiries coming in and making bookings, as well as a busy time for clients traveling to warm locations.
Preparing for Busy Season
There are a few ways that you can prepare for busy season to save you time and energy.
1. Understanding Flight Schedules
Think about which airport(s) most of your clients fly from. It’s important to know the days and times of popular flights our of these airports. Are these flights scheduled air or chartered air? Who has the best flights among your travel suppliers?
2. What are the Newest Resorts?
There are new resorts opening in Mexico and the Caribbean every year, and it’s important for travel agents to know about them. Read reviews, ask agents that have been, and talk to your suppliers about these resorts. Will they be popular with your clients? Encourage them to book early to ensure they have the room category and dates they want.
3. What’s New with Cruising?
The cruise industry is vast and dynamic, which is why it’s so important to make sure you are up to date on the newest cruise news before the busy season hits. Ship inspections, both in-person and virtual, are one of the best ways to learn about new ships or ships you haven’t personally sailed on.
Webinars by cruise suppliers or in partnership with your host agency are an interactive and entertaining way to learn about new ships, new itineraries, and new home ports for some of the most popular ships. Also, pay attention to ships that have been refurbished in the past year and what new experiences they have onboard.
4. Start Marketing Now
One of the best ways to lay the foundation for your busy season is to plan your marketing and start now. Share images, information, and videos on your social media to inspire your clients to start thinking about their 2020 vacation now. You may even find that some clients want to book now, meaning that you can space out some of your work.
5. How to Manage Your Time
Time management can be difficult to master, especially when you are juggling multiple itinerary requests, making bookings, and trying to follow-up with clients. Do your research for popular destinations, resorts, and cruises now. Know which suppliers are your go-tos and review their booking engines. Promote your business hours everywhere so that clients know when you’ll be available.
Being busy booking travel is exciting, and we hope these tips will allow you to focus on the fun of your travel business!
Are you interested in learning more about the travel agent life? KHM Travel Group is a leading host travel agency helping people start and grow their independent travel businesses. To learn more, fill out the form to the right or give us a call at 1-888-611-1220.