Travel Agent Life: How to Balance Work and Travel
Written by: Melissa on June 01, 2022
The line between work and vacation isn’t always clearly defined for independent travel agents. Should you schedule a site inspection or two during your family’s getaway? What about adding some spa or beach time to your next FAM trip? Do you need to be available to your clients—or potential clients—at all times while traveling?
Despite these dilemmas, having the freedom and flexibility to set your own travel schedule is one of the major perks of being a travel advisor. Is it possible to strike the right balance between work and play? These five tips will help you stay inspired without losing focus on your travel business.
#1 – Embrace FAM Trip Opportunities
Travel advisors can participate in familiarization (FAM) trips, which offer special pricing and itineraries designed to help agents gain first-hand knowledge of destinations, resorts, and cruise ships. These trips combine education and networking opportunities, but often have hectic schedules. Many agents find balance by adding an extra relaxation day to the beginning or end of a FAM trip.
#2 – Take Real Vacation Days
Year after year, many employees leave unused vacation days and PTO on the table. Owning a travel business seemingly allows you to control your vacation time, but the real challenge is separating yourself from your phone, email, and work life. Schedule at least one truly work-free getaway each year, plus occasional mental health days where you step away and recharge. Your business will thank you for it!
#3 – Make Travel a Priority
Growing your agency should be near the top of your to-do list, but not at the expense of your mental and physical energy. A change of scenery often leads to renewed enthusiam. You don’t have to go far or spend a lot to adjust your perspective. Even a day trip or a weekend stay in a nearby city can lead to eye-opening experiences. Can’t get away right now? Make time to curl up with a good book about travel or an unfamiliar destination.
#4 – Work the Calendar
Although some travel opportunities are last minute, many industry events are scheduled well in advance or typically take place around the same time each year. In addition to your day-to-day scheduling, keep a master calendar that gives you a bird’s-eye view of the next 6 to 12 months. Include important family or personal obligations—birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other “can’t miss” occasions. Pencil in the professional events you’d like to attend, even if the exact dates aren’t known yet. This will help avoid scheduling conflicts, and as a bonus, you might notice opportunities to combine multiple events into one trip.
#5 – Keep Your Clients in the Loop
Make sure your clients—and potential clients—aren’t left hanging while you’re out of the office. Set out-of-office responses for your email and voicemail, including details on how you can be reached and what kind of response time to expect. Consider asking a trusted fellow travel agent to cover any urgent needs or requests, especially if you have clients traveling during your absence.
If you’d like to learn more about how KHM Travel Group supports independent travel agents as they work from anywhere, fill out the form to the right or call us at 888.611.1220.