There’s usually a rhythm to the travel planning business. Spring and fall are usually very busy and summer and the winter holidays are kind of quiet, as most folks are actually traveling. Every once in a while a traveler on an actual trip has a glitch and needs some support, but, if we do our jobs right, that had been pretty rare.
Well, that model got shattered this summer. Three years’ worth of travel was trying to happen in one summer. Airports were overwhelmed and short staffed, and even the most carefully crafted itineraries got squeezed. Our clients were incredibly fortunate for the most part, and we worked hard to shelter them from any unforeseen circumstances. At the same time, lots of folks were trying to plan new trips as it became clear all the Covid restrictions were lifting. It was quite busy in the office this summer!
Early fall gave us a chance to carry our first Travel Sisters Network trip - a trip to Italy - to completion! That was an excellent opportunity to get some standard operating procedures together, like how we would present and deliver final documents, how we would tag our bags with a TSN pom to visually alert people that we were a group and to help us find each other’s luggage, and how we could create rhythms and habits while on tour to make sure everyone’s needs were met. We got some great feedback that the documents need to be much more explicit about tipping and we need more “before you go” checklists for people who are new to international travel. We’ve already started implementing those as we prepare to send women to Peru next week!
We continued with monthly in-person events and made play a priority. We met up at the NC Museum of Art for a walk, an exhibit and lunch, and we met at Drive Shack for some hilarious golf fun. In August we had a Panera meetup and in September we took a stroll around Pullen Park, attended a free community event and played some carnival games. We held monthly Zoom meetings for our out-of-towners or folks who wanted to meet up but couldn’t make it to in person events.
The focus this fall is also on getting people up to speed about our Iceland trip as an enrollment fee of $25 is due January 10th and deposits of $600 are due at the end of that month. We hope to backfill some small trips for next spring once we have that “anchor trip” firmly in place.
Serendipitously, Iceland hosted a half day conference about Iceland travel and tourism at the Renaissance Hotel in North Hills this summer! Angie was able to attend; she met with lots of great partners on the ground in Iceland and gained a much more in depth understanding of the country.
October is turning out to be a very busy time for Teresa & Angie; Angie is a former social studies teacher and LOVES elections, and Teresa's new house is getting built and she owns two new horses (?!) SO we are going to cancel our events for October and get together in November and December - twice via Zoom and once in person on December 17th. We will have a Zoom January 5th and an in-person event January 7th, right before enrollment fees are due on January 10th for those who want to go to Iceland.
A lot of activity, a lot of learning, a world of opportunity ahead! Join Us!