A guest post by Rose Gray
A story I still think about to this day starts 30 years ago when I was at the beginning of my career as a travel consultant. My best friend’s father owned an electrical contracting company, and he decided to give a four-day Caribbean cruise with airfare to his 20 employees and their guests, and he needed my help with these secret arrangements.
Our planning started by finding the best time for this grand getaway. Due to January and February freezing people over, we decided those were the best months for travel. Next, my friend’s father methodically planned a schedule that allowed each supervisor, four-member team and their spouses to travel together. I then went through the process of putting together airport transfers, airfare, transfers in Fort Lauderdale to the pier and a magnificent four-day Caribbean cruise in a balcony cabin for each group. After our hard work, I was excited to hear about the reactions of his employees.
We had everything ready for the night of the company Christmas party: airline tickets (yes, they were paper tickets back then), transfer vouchers and boarding passes for the ship all neatly packaged in a beautiful travel bag. I couldn’t attend the party, but my friend called me from a pay phone at the restaurant where the party was being held. She told me there were 19 ecstatic employees who were thrilled with their Christmas gifts — it turns out one of the spouses wasn’t the biggest fan of flying or boats.
As it turned out, everyone loved their trip, and all came back with stories that were shared with one another. Having all experienced the same cruise but with different excursions and adventures, everyone had unique memories and stories to tell.
The best experience I had as a new consultant was watching someone give the gift of travel, and you can do the same. Here are a few tips for giving travel:
With all the details of airline tickets, cruises, hotel reservations, tour packages, etc., Fox encourages letting a travel consultant handle this. Just make sure you know your recipient is available for travel on those dates.
If the intrepid traveler on your list already has a trip in the works, another option you have is to find a way to enhance their experience. A certificate for a snorkeling adventure, sunset cruise or horseback experience will delight those who have a warm-weather getaway planned. If your world traveler has booked with a tour group, find out if the tour operator will be offering optional excursions and ask how to pre-purchase one. Another way to surprise your recipient is by purchasing limo service to the airport, giving comfort and relaxation before their big trip.
If there is one thing I want to convey, it’s that the travelers on your holiday list can be the easiest to find the perfect gift for. This season, Give the Gift of Travel. Trust me — it’s the best way to make someone’s holiday season!
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