Why Workations are Important for Travel Agents
Written by: Melissa Rice on September 17, 2015
Most people think travel agents go on a lot of vacations. Judging by the number of tropical photos and airport check-ins on my Facebook page, I guess I can understand why someone could get that idea. The truth is, however, that although travel agents may go on a lot of trips, very few of those are actually what I would call a vacation.
Travel agents may be on something called FAM (short for familiarization) trips, which are official trips to tour resorts and destinations. Or they may be on a Seminar at Sea, which involves training events held on a cruise ship. They might be attending a tradeshow, learning conference, or other industry event. But even if a travel agent has booked their own hotel stay or cruise with no official training schedule, chances are they are never truly on vacation.
Instead, most of the travel agents I know go on what I call “workation”: Work + Vacation = Workation. We may be staying at an oceanfront resort, or like I am right now, sailing on a beautiful cruise ship. We may be traveling with friends or family. We may even spend at little time with our toes in the sand. Rest assured, though, that mixed in with that fun and relaxation we are also doing research.
This week, for example, I am sailing on a Norwegian cruise. My research started the moment I arrived at the pier, as I jotted notes about the check-in procedures and timed the boarding process. Once on board, I walked the entire ship from top to bottom, taking hundreds of photographs along the way. As our trip has continued, I’m still noting things that I think our clients would want to know about this ship, this cruise line, and the cruise experience in general. I’ve even scheduled resort tours during two of our port days, in order to see them firsthand and get a better understanding of how to match the right person to those properties.
Each night, I take time to review the day’s happenings and make sure I’ve recorded any information that my agency could use for future travel bookings. During this trip, I’ve been making an effort to post a daily recap on our blog. And of course, there are those travel tweets, posts, and ‘grams along the way.
Please don’t misunderstand, I’m still perfectly happy to be on a workation! Travel is fun, even with a little work thrown in. How can I complain, when I typed this while overlooking the ocean from a padded lounge chair?
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