CategoryTravel

Travel Tips for Senior Travelers

Air travel can be exhausting even for a fit adult and whether you believe it or not, after the heroic incident of 9/11, the airport securities, limitations in services and special requirements and expensive airfares have worsen the situation. Luckily, there are certain things that still keeping the traveling for senior travelers an easy and hassle-free task. However, to use them all, one must know about some of the best travel tips for senior travelers or people who are frequent on arranging traveling for their parents and elders in the family. So, here we are, escorting you through to the best tips to keep in mind before planning a travel for senior citizens in any part of the world:

1. Know your rights

To ensure a hassle-free and healthy transit during and before the flight, senior citizens especially above the age of 75 are entitled with some special rights. Senior passengers can ask for assistance at the airport to escort their luggage and wheelchair if have difficulty to walk. Also, the security checking by the TSA have been eased for senior citizens with some variations that helps the elders to go clean easily whilst keeping the flow of safety at its best. Senior citizens that are implanted with medical devices have different screening process to keep the process safe as well as keeping the security clearance easy for elders. Also, many airlines are now giving priority boarding to the senior citizens only after a simple request to avoid hassle during the regular boarding of flight.

2. Search for non-stop flights

A long flight with various hauls and changes of planes/airport is sufficient to make a regular healthy adult to become cranky and out of comfort. And when we speak of a senior traveler who has difficulties to sit down properly, walking a little extra or require assistance to even walk or climb the stairs shall travel in non-stop flights. Transit through non-stop flights eases the pressure on the body and mind of a senior citizen and gives them the ease to avoid any extra effort during their travel. Using the non-stop flights will also help to avoid regional jets. Maneuvering through the airport and security checks can be a difficult thing for senior travelers. So, it is highly advised to use non-stop flights as much as possible.

3. Look for senior travel discount offers

To encourage senior citizens to enjoy their lives more and explore the global destinations, both the airlines and travel agencies have begun to offer some hefty discounts on senior travel. Finding these discounts may seem to be a difficult task, but once you wrap your head around the concept, you can not only enjoy some great savings, but also can understand the special perks comes along with these kind of bookings. Signing-up for special offers from airlines as well as travel agencies will give you an edge to understand the best deals and destinations suitable as per your preference, travel trends and season conditions.

4. Arrange for every assistance required

Airports and airlines these days have become more careful to pamper the senior citizens and have sketched a wide range of extra perks for senior travelers. If you are a senior citizen yourself or a senior citizen from your family member who is planning on an air travel, make sure you make anything potentially required on the trip and promptly inform the airline to arrange those requirements. Most of the assistance like wheelchair, oxygen tanks, escorting guide, priority check-in and others are majorly available without any extra cost and all you need is to make your request during the booking or some days prior to the departure (based on the policies of the airline) to get the required assistance on time.

5. Carry essential things in carry-on luggage

Both the TSA and the airline have been giving the liberty to the senior citizens to carry their medicines and other supplies in their carry-in luggage as long as they are prescribed by an authorized doctor and are safe to keep in such delicate conditions while flying. If you have your elders flying to some destination and you get scare of baggage loss at the airport or have a hunch of first-aid requirement during the flight, always pack their necessary medicines, undergarments, tooth-brush, travel documents and more in the carry-on luggage to keep them safe and secured even after facing some serious baggage issues and promptly inform the airline about the situation.

Though, in the recent time, airlines as well as airport authorities have been keeping a tab on making the journey of a regular passenger much more delightful and bringing new reforms to keep the voyaging affordable as well as convenient, but if you have or you are a senior passenger, the requirement of those perks are even more important. Hence, it is really an important factor to know the best tips in order to make your voyage or a senior passenger’s voyage as happening, healthy and convenience as possible. So, next time when you escort your elders for a vacation or a simple trip to some other part of the world/country/state, then make sure they know all the tips to voyage through their entire journey seamlessly.

Airline Consolidators Play a Major Role in Growing Travel Businesses

Being responsible for the sales of thousands of flight tickets, Airlines prefer to provide exclusive fares to Consolidators. They get the fares from airlines on negotiated rates depending on their long term relations with them. Travel agencies seek Airline consolidator to ensure sufficient profit while giving attractive discounts to their customers. The diversity in travel field brought more air traffic that made the travel agencies spur the travel business in one way or another. The travel agents find airline ticket consolidators huge source to get their revenue increased. By getting in contact with airline consolidators, they can extend their flight bookings up to a great extent.

Let us take a shift ahead with a better understanding of airfare consolidators. They sell a bulk of airlines tickets by sourcing Discounted Fares from Airlines. They further pass the negotiated airfares to the travel agencies so that these agencies can add required markups while giving attractive discounts to their customers. The catch for travel agents here is to maintain the private fares below published fares and pass on to the customers that ultimately get lower fares than published fares. Purchasing the air tickets in bulk from airfare consolidators that already have their commissions set with airlines proved valuable to many of the travel service providers. The business is made flexible for both consolidators as well as the travel agencies. Consolidator fares make these travel management companies turn up the business by getting around 45% commissions on flight fares commonly.

Published and Private fares

A published fare is the same for anyone they are easily attainable through Airlines’ websites. However, the Unpublished airfares that are also referred to as private fares or consolidator fares, are offered to travel agencies or travel agents at a net price, that can be around 30-60% lower than regular airfares. That let travel agents earn great commissions which allow them to offer adequate discounts to their customers even after setting decent markups. Some of them wait for the time when they can get the maximum drop in price due to seasonal discounts.

We all know very well about the importance of online booking engines. Though a bug-free travel portal is a plus point still teaming up with the big airline consolidators for international fares can make a huge difference to travel businesses. With them, travel service providers get access to discounted airfare content across multiple GDS. Yes, earlier, they might be limited to a single GDS or two, but pairing up with leading airline consolidators, provides the best deals across multiple GDS. TMC(s) can expect a tremendous increase in their dividends by saving up to 60% on published fares with the help of airfare consolidators. In order to keep the graph high, these airline consolidators make good terms with Airlines by distributing private fares to various travel agencies in the act of selling more and more airline tickets. Thereby, travel entities can book the lowest fares across multiple GDS or non-GDS sources to present the best deals to customers.

Brings best deals for travel agents

Airline consolidators are capable of negotiating fares with airlines. Travel agencies that book fares for customers demanding seats in premium classes can make a healthy profit after purchasing the same on consolidator fares. Apart from that, travel agencies can buy airfares that are commonly booked depending on frequent regional traffic. The diversified airfare content by these consolidators allows them to save a huge amount on international fares. With this, travel management companies can book the right fares for customers with more attractive deals on holiday packages too. Teaming up with airline consolidators makes travel companies earn even more. As it allows them to access multi GDS content at a time. That helps them present nice deals to their customers while making enough profit for themselves.

Five Ways Travel Packages Make Your Life Easier

Travel packages are not necessarily new to the travel industry. As more people explore the idea of traveling on a much more regular basis, taking advantage of a travel package deal is becoming a very popular way for people to jet-set around the world.

If you ever want to see just how much travel means to people, ask a few folks what they’d do if they had more time. More often than not, they’d tell you that they’d take a trip somewhere, but they’ll usually follow that up with the reasons why they don’t actually travel. Two of the most common reasons given for putting off travel wishes is time, as mentioned before, and money. Well, guess what? It might be time for these people to stop saying, “Someday”, and start saying, “Well, where to now?”

A travel package can look a little different depending on how your book your trip. For the most part, though, it means that you’re able to book travel & accommodations together. At times, a travel package can include group tours at your destination or have plans for meals & drinks while you travel. In any case, the idea behind these packages is paying one price for everything you want in your trip and that the price you paid is actually a better deal than booking everything separately.

Here are five ways travel packages make your life easier:

All Planning Done At Once – Nowadays, you can use technology in the way of emails and apps to get tremendous deals on travel all over the world. If you’re not savvy enough, though, you might be trying to book a hotel, airfare, and attraction tickets separately. Do yourself a favor & knock everything out together.

Rates Are Generally Lower – Travel experts note the lower rates with packages, and this is certainly the case when it’s booking with a group rate. Getting larger groups of seats & rooms booked at the same time definitely results in better pricing. In fact, a general web search will show you just how much of an incentive it is over traditional booking.

Many Options to Choose From – The travel industry is customer-driven, which means you, as a consumer, are in the driver’s seat. Everyone is vying for your business, which means that lower prices are more available because everyone’s trying to outbid the competition.

Concentrate On Your Trip More – You can actually enjoy traveling more because everything else is taken care of, and that’s a nice feeling. Now your attention can be about what you’ll see & experience rather than how you’ll get there & where you’ll stay.

Safe & Reliable Travel – Travel packages are usually rooted in regular scheduling for travel companies. This means they’ve booked these kinds of deals often, and it’s old-hat for them. It also means that if your travel package also includes tours & sights, the trips, guides, and itineraries are safer & more reliable.

Travel packages are really the way to go for people trying to save money & get as much as they can out of their trips. It’s a great way to alleviate the stress of planning a getaway so that you can enjoy traveling the way you always thought possible. If you’ve never taken the time to see what a travel package can mean for your galavanting, you might be pleasantly surprised. Safe travels!

4 Hidden Travel Pitfalls the World Needs to Know

Even if you have travelled a lot in the past, you are still susceptible to blunders while traveling, even if you are not aware that you are making them. Some travellers have already fallen into a trap, a not easily recognized difficulty – a pitfall. Unfortunately, when you have already fallen into a travel pitfall, it is often a challenge to get out of it. Just before you board that plane, avoid these four common travel pitfalls so that you make the most out of your trip, along with some smart planning ideas.

Travel Pitfall 1: Going Beyond Your Budget

Budget is very important while traveling. It is always a good idea to plan out how much you’re spending versus the number of days that you will be staying in a country. You should be able to allocate a per-day budget and stick with it. Of course there will always be that unprecedented expense. Smart travellers usually get travel insurance during the duration of their travel to cover for unexpected costs incurred while travel such as lost baggage, medical expenses, etc.

Before leaving, it is also crucial to make sure you know how much money you have and what you can afford to spend. As much as possible, you should always pay in cash while you are travelling, as there may be places that only accept cash. You should be able to keep cash on reserve in an accessible international account like a savings account just in case of emergencies. There are also several travel apps available that will help you keep track of your expenses.

Travel Pitfall 2: Getting Sick While Travelling

The most common travel illness is diarrhoea. Eating contaminated food and water contributes to diarrhoea. You should always remember that when you are in a strange place, stick to bottled or purified water and freshly prepared food. If you are not sure how food is prepared, do not ingest it. However, travellers can also get ill with respiratory tract infections and influenza. Standing on airports or sitting on planes can get you infected with these common illnesses. When you get ill while travelling, it may get expensive. In some countries, expert medical care in most facilities cost a fortune. One thing you can do is to choose travel insurance that covers medical expenses while travelling.

Travel Pitfall 3: Not adhering to safety precautions

There are always safety risks while travelling. In fact, even our own government gives a travel warning whenever we go to certain countries. While we can’t avoid accidents and mishaps on the round, safety is a priority, especially when we are travelling with our family.

When you’re traveling you need to be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are a tourist in a remote region. There are some ways to stay safe while travelling like keeping your passport, travel documents, cash, and credit cards in a secure place, and spreading them around in various bags just in case one is stolen. You should also not call too much attention to yourself and avoid wearing touristy clothes. While this is not possible in many Asian countries, just try to blend in as much as possible. While travelling, women should always be with a group and not walk in darkened streets alone. While it is perfectly acceptable to enjoy and have a drink or two at a bar, keep track of your alcohol consumption. You shouldn’t get too drunk that you cannot find your way to your hotel.

Travel Pitfall 4: Not Anticipating your Mobile Situation

One of the most unexpected expenses that await us when we get back from our trip is the very costly mobile phone bill. This is due to roaming charges while we are using our phone abroad. In order to avoid this, you should research ahead of time and see if you can purchase an inexpensive local prepaid SIM card to get very affordable data and minutes. You can always make VOIP calls or send text messages through Facebook Messenger or Skype. There are also other ways of communicating over the internet such as Viber, WhatsApp, Line, and many others.

These are just four of the most common hidden travel pitfalls that you might encounter during your mini-break, or while you are on a business trip or family holiday. Avoiding these and being prepared will result in a headache-free travel experience.

Increase Sales With Travel Incentives

Today’s business environment has changed dramatically over the past 10 years, it can be a tough task to make a sale. Just being aggressive doesn’t cut it any longer. Sales skills alone aren’t enough to compete when so many new products and services become everyday commodities. Consumers nowadays are being smart. You’ve got to distinctively separate your business from the competition and lead each of your prospects and customers to think, ‘I would have to be a complete idiot to do business with anyone else… regardless of the price.’ They are shopping for the best bargains and they all seem to want more than what they paid for. Every industry both online or offline needs a cutting-edge cost-effective powerful marketing tool that appeals to every kind of consumer.

Vacation and travel incentives are one of the most powerful methods of attracting business, retaining profitable clientele, increasing profits, enhancing product awareness, improving employee productivity. Businesses that have used vacation travel incentives in their marketing and promotions have seen at least 30% increase in their sales on both sides of the buy and sell cycle. Companies of all sizes and virtually any type of retail, wholesale, manufacturing, internet, service, distributor or direct sales business will benefit from incentive travel programs.

Why use incentives?

Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider using incentives:

·Knowledgeable and attentive employees account for 80% of the reasons consumers feel satisfied, according to a PNC Bank Corp. survey.

·Fewer than one in four American workers is working at full potential; half of all workers do no more than directly asked, and 75% of employees say they could be more effective in their jobs, according to the Public Agenda forum.

·70% of unhappy customers abandon vendors because of poor service, according to the Forum Corp.

·A 5% increase in customer retention can increase lifetime profits from a customer by 75%, according to the Loyalty Effect by Frederick Reichheld.

·’Reward and retention efforts can produce big dollar returns.’ That’s what the Incentive Federation found in a 2003 survey asking hundreds of businesses using incentive travel promotions ‘Does Incentive Travel Improve Sales Productivity and By How Much?’

What then can we conclude from these survey results?

The bottom line is loyal customers and productive employees are the foundation of a successful business. But to continuously retain and motivate people can be a difficult challenge. Vacation and travel incentives, a proven motivator, will achieve this purpose.

Do your incentives measure up?

Today’s business environment demands a new breed of incentive programs. Many companies have already discovered that standard incentives of just a few years ago just don’t cut it with the customers as well as the workers in our continuously changing economy. Your choice of incentives have to widely appeal to your clients’ and employees’ wants or desires in order to measure up and get results you are looking for.

Hundreds of promotional companies offer incentive programs that are designed to evoke an emotional response and motivate people to take a positive action. It’s obvious from industry surveys of companies using incentives that travel is the most widely appealing incentive where everyone wins. Your sales people will close more sales, your clients will enjoy an exciting vacation experience and your business will increase its profits.

Why use travel incentives?

-Travel is considered to be the most effective reward.

According to the result of an email survey conducted by CMI, 58% say travel is more effective than cash or merchandise. Survey respondents consider travel to be the most effective reward. (Incentive Travel Fact Book)

“Cash bonuses are necessary but travel is a higher perceived reward,” says Verizon’s Porterfield.

Additionally, in a recent survey of American workers, 85% said they were motivated by vacation travel incentives.

-Nothing beats travel for long-term results.

In a 2003 Incentive Survey of Buying Practices conducted by the Incentive Federation, survey respondents believe that travel and merchandise awards are remembered longer than cash payments. Specifically, 69% strongly agree with this statement. (Copyright IPC)

Porterfield added, “When people spend their money, it’s gone. But the recognition that comes from our travel incentives lives on.”

-Travel has a universal appeal and high-perceived value.

USA Today, on their recent survey, stated that “93% preferred travel over other incentives.” This is because vacation travel is something that some or most people would not be able to get for themselves.

-Travel is desirable.

Another question asked on the Wirthlin Worldwide Research 2003 survey was “Suppose your employer wanted to reward your work performance. What would you find most rewarding?”

88% – indicated a trip they plan and take with a companion to the destination of their choice

5% – indicated a trip planned for them and a companion of choice with their co-workers

5% – indicated a trip planned just for them and their co-workers

-Travel has a promotion value.

A more exciting and memorable program can be built with travel than you can with cash.

Do travel incentives work?

According to the 2003 Incentive Travel Facts survey, travel incentives increase sales by an average of 15%. In addition, half of the respondents reported that travel incentives meet 75% – 99% of their objectives. (Incentive Magazine)

Where can I use travel incentives for?

Sales Incentives – To increase sales

In a May 1998 Promo Magazine special report, it was noted that LifeUSA attracted new agents and sent sales soaring by abandoning its annual cash incentive program for a more inclusive campaign that gave out merchandise and travel. By the program’s conclusion, policy enrollments exceeded LifeUSA’s initial goal by 700%. There were 10,000 certificates issued and were more than twice what the company planned for. (Copyright IMA)

Employee Incentives – To motivate, retain and reward loyal and efficient employees

A small retail store in Maryland, Target Appliance, used travel incentives. “We introduced our first travel incentive for sales employees five years ago,” says President Daryl Gamerman, “and since then we’ve only lost staff due to retirement. I don’t ever have a problem with our sales people not working hard or volunteering for extra work, because they know it will help qualify them for a great trip.

Customer Loyalty Incentives – To build customer loyalty and trust

The Frequent Builders Program at Garco Building Systems offered travel awards to individuals. Since launching the program five years ago, Garco has experienced a 15 to 25% growth rate, compared to an industry standard of 2-3%. In 2000, the company grew a robust 37%. While it’s impossible to measure precisely the role that the Frequent Builders Program played, “there is no doubt in mind that it helps to build customer loyalty,” says Loomis.

Referral Incentives – To develop contacts or promote referrals.

‘Refer three new customers to our Tanning Salon and we will give you a free cruise to the Bahamas or Mexico.’ is one example of so many ways to use incentives to get those referrals every company needs.

Purchase Incentives – Increase cash flow and obtain money upfront.

‘Pre-pay a one year service agreement, you will get a free 7 days and 6 nights resort condo accommodation in the destination of your choice.’ is an example how incentives can be used to up sell.

Member Perks – Sell new accounts or member ships.

‘Join our golf club now and we will send you and a companion to Las Vegas with airfare and hotel for free!’
‘We will send you and a companion to a free vacation for 3 days/2 nights in over 30 destinations when you open a checking or savings account with us.’

Encourage responsiveness or trial of product or service.

‘Send back our questionnaire, we will send you and a companion to Orlando near Disney with free hotel and airfare!’

‘We will give you a free 3 day/2 night vacation to Orlando when you test drive our all new 2002 Honda Hybrid.’

Improve attendance

Create new markets

Foster teamwork

Build traffic

Set appointments

Business gifts

Consumer/User promotions

Cash vs. Travel Incentive?

Cash as a motivator is considered an unemotional award and widely over used. It seems that all human behavior stems from one of the brain’s two hemispheres: the left, which thinks in rational, linear terms; or the right, which operates in terms of images, emotions, and feelings. When companies offer money as a motivator, they are addressing performance issues from a rational, left-brain point of view. Tangible rewards, however, are often more motivating because they appeal to the right brain eliciting images. (Copyright IMA)

On a survey conducted by the Wirthlin Worldwide Research, a question “How did you spend your last cash reward?” was asked.
The following results were gathered:

29% – Bills

18% – Don’t remember

15% – Never received cash

11% – Gifts for family

11% – Household items

11% – Savings

Though its value is concrete and while it could be used to purchase a lifestyle award, most likely cash will be charged against a pile of bills or deposited into a leaky checking account where it soon ceases to exist. And with the demise of the cash award goes the memory of its origin leaving no trace of psychological branding.

Joe Devlin of Mitsubishi Fusco Truck of America Inc. quoted, “Cash goes straight into people’s pockets, and they need it to supplement their salary, but our trips give us the competitive edge. They’re a big part of how we motivate the salesperson at the dealership that has the opportunity to sell more than one product.” (Incentive Travel Fact Book)

In 1994, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company sponsored an incentive campaign to improve sales of tires. Two groups were formed; one was offered monetary rewards, and the other an equivalently priced selection of merchandise and travel – related rewards. The group receiving lifestyle and travel rewards outperformed the monetary rewards group by nearly 50%. This was the first documented evidence that cash, as a motivator, is not as effective as travel or merchandise. (Copyright IMA)

Using non-cash incentives such as travel will distinguish a company’s campaign from cash compensation packages. The programs do not become an expected part of an employee’s income. Surveys by Incentive Federation show that organizations use incentive travel because it creates lasting memories for the participants and generates positive buzz throughout the organization. Because they do not have an impact on compensation, it’s easier to use incentives as needed without creating the impression that people are getting pay cuts when no program is in gear. (Copyright IPC)

Join hundreds of other companies like:

Car Dealers

Banks

Manufacturers

Real Estate Brokers

Service Providers

Credit Card Companies

Public Speakers

Furniture Retailers

Mortgage Lenders

Sports Organization

Insurance Companies

Jewelry Stores

Non-profit organizations (fundraising, etc.)

And more…that have discovered the positive impact of incentive travel in their business.

Travel – The New Incentive To Get More Business

How do you get prospects to become clients? What extra can you add to your presentation to make the sale? Why not try an incentive? The three top incentives to get people to do anything is cash, products and travel. Cash incentives cost the most and believe it or not are the least effective. The reason being is that you pay dollar for dollar and what little cash you offer is used to pay bills and is quickly forgotten. Products work quite well, and it is true you can by them at a discount off retail but the problem is, most of your clients already have everything. It is almost impossible to guess what they want. Printed mugs, shirts, pens are very old fashioned. What is left to offer, a CD player?

Vacation and travel incentives are one of the most powerful methods of attracting business, retaining profitable clients, increasing profits, enhancing product awareness, and improving employee productivity. Businesses who have used vacation incentives in their marketing and promotions have seen at least 30% increase in their sales!

Why not recreation travel? First of all it is the cheapest. The most successful travel promotion in the country today (I will be mentioning it later in this article) cost 1.5% of its market value! More important recreation travel appeals to everyone. And travel is a long lasting gift. For example, think of all the preparation that goes into effect for a long vacation. Then think of all the pictures that you take during your vacation and remember for a lifetime. That’s right. Memories of a vacation can last forever! How is that for a great incentive! To show you how powerful recreational travel is just look at the most popular screen savers on everyone’s computer. You won’t find pictures of money. You won’t find pictures of products. What you will find is everyone’s dream vacation resort with palm trees in the background. Get the picture! The first words from most lottery winners are – “The first thing I am going to do is go on a long vacation”. I assume you get the point that recreation travel is one hell of an incentive.

According to the results of an email survey conducted by the Incentive Travel Fact Book, 58% say travel is more effective than cash or merchandise. Survey respondents consider travel to be the most effective reward. “Cash bonuses are necessary but travel is a higher reward”, says Verizon’s Porterfield. Porterfield added, “When people spend their money, its gone. But the recognition that comes from travel incentives lives on”. Additionally, in a recent survey of American workers, 85% said they were motivated by vacation travel incentives.

Incentive magazine in their September2003 issue said travel is remembered two to one over cash or merchandise and a USA Today survey said “93% preferred travel over other incentives”. Incentive Magazine said business respondents to a recent survey said travel incentives meet 99% of their objectives.

Travel incentives make great sales incentives. In a special report in Promo Magazine, it was noted that LifeUSA attracted new agents and sent sales soaring by abandoning its annual cash incentive program for an inclusive campaign that gave out merchandise and travel. By the program’s conclusion enrollments exceeded LifeUSA’s initial goal by 700%!

Travel incentives make great employee incentives. Target Appliances President Daryl Gamerman in Maryland said, “We introduced our first travel incentive for sales employees five years ago and since then we’ve only lost staff due to retirement. I don’t ever have a problem with our sales people not working hard or volunteering for extra work, because they know it will help them qualify for a great trip”.

Travel incentives builds customer loyalty. The Frequent Builders Program at Garco Building systems offered travel awards to individuals. Since launching the program, Garco has experienced a 15% to 25% growth rate, compared to the industry standard of 2% to 3%.

COST OF TRAVEL INCENTIVES

Now lets get to the best part. You can buy recreation travel wholesale, and I mean really wholesale. Look at these figures.

VACATION INCENTIVE COST MARKET VALUE

Two night stay for two
at major resort $16 $400.00

Three day cruise for two
to Mexico or Bahamas $50 $1,500.00

Round-trip airline tickets for two
To major resorts throughout
North America $30 $2,000.00

Seven night eight day vacation
At major resort including round trip
airfare $1,000 $3,500.00

O.K. take your pick. All these vacation incentives are marketed through
my company, We are the premier travel incentive company in North America and provide companies with an inexpensive way of leveraging the most exciting and effective promotional premium available today. Travel! For the past 16 years, we have been helping business owners attract new customers, generate leads, referrals and appointments and helping retain good employees using an extraordinary inexpensive travel promotion. We are a certified full-service travel agency and a member of the leading travel agency associations.

Let me describe our signature travel incentive, called Fly Free America.

Here is what our travel incentive includes:

1. Two Complimentary Roundtrip Airline Tickets to four & five star domestic and international destinations worth over $2,000![ at a recent charity auction, these two tickets sold for $1,000.]

2. Travel on all major airlines to over 47 four & five star hotels, all-inclusive resorts, and condos in Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Lake Tahoe, etc.

3. Great hotel rates 365 days of the year, Prices start at $130 per night [Stay in Hawaii or the Bahamas for only $179 per night]

4. Tickets good for three years

5. No restrictions, airfare good from Jan 1 through Dec 31.

6. Kids under 12 stay FREE at our resorts.

7. Frequent Flier mileage accepted on all our flights

8. Tickets are good from any airport in the U.S. or Canada.

9. Absolutely no Timeshares are associated with our incentives.

Unlike other travel incentive companies, we are a high-touch company. We are known by the company we keep. Our partial client list includes the FBI, Federal Express, American Express, Auto Nation, MBNA Bank, Time-Life, Citibank, Marriott, and Sprint, to name a few. Fly Free America is trusted by these and hundreds of other companies to facilitate client and employee acquisition/retention programs.

If you think offering a travel incentive program is expensive, think again. Our travel incentive of two complimentary roundtrip tickets on major airlines costs you only $30.00 or less in volume while your customers/employees get a luxurious dream vacation with a savings value in airfare of $2,000. Over 90% of the businesses who use Fly Free America as an incentive in their business reorder the program. OVER 8 MILLION HAVE BEEN SOLD!

Our customers have been using our travel premiums successfully for over 16 years to:

Increase Revenue – New Customer Acquisition

Grow Sales of their Existing Base and increase Customer Retention

Generate More Lead Referrals from Customers

Reward and Motivate Sales Personnel

Improve Morale through Employee Reward & Benefit Programs

Increase Contract/Warranty and/or Service Package Renewals

Success Stories:

Citibank – new credit card activation (25% increase)

MBNA Bank – to activate new credit card accounts (60% increase)

American Express – catalogue promotions (customer retention / rewards)

Sprint – to activate new cell phone accounts (30% new business)

Nextel – to activate new cell phone accounts (35% increase in activation)

Blue Beard’s Castle – lead generation (purchase 1000 units/month for nine-year period – zero consumer complaints)

MCG Marketing – purchase 600 units/month for 6 years. (35% increase in their warranty business)

Fraternal Order of Police – increased the # of donations by an average of over 700%

… and hundreds more.

Because we travel hundreds of FBI agents a year, our travel professionals treat everyone who calls to redeem the vouchers as if they were an FBI agent–with the highest level of courtesy, respect, and impeccable customer service. Hundreds of Thousands of people have gone on vacation through Fly Free America’s travel incentive program and we have not had a documented consumer complaint in our history, since 1989!

14 Ways to Make Traveling with a Disability Easier

If you travel with a disability, handicap, physical limitation, mobility limitation, or developmental disability, have special needs, or use an electric wheelchair or handicap scooter, it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can to make disabled travel easier.

Or if you’re a mature traveler or senior who is a slow walker or just wants a slower pace, becoming more informed about disabled travel services and disability travel resources, will lessen the anxiety that often accompanies disabled travelers.

The following travel tips, resources and information for the disabled will help make trips, tours, holidays and vacations a lot easier for you, or for a child with a disability, whether short-term or long-term.

1. Plan your trip well in advance! Do you need to order extra supplements, medications or renew prescriptions, fix eyeglasses or change prescriptions, get a physical, have dental work done, have your wheelchair fixed or tuned up, etc.?

2. If possible, always book your travel through an agency that specializes in helping people with disabilities. This is important because specialized travel agents and tour operators for the disabled are experienced and can save you some awful headaches.

They offer a lot of good tips and a wide range of services for the handicapped traveler. Among other things, they can arrange for a: wheelchair at the airport, wheelchair accessible hotel room, wheelchair rental, lift-equipped accessible van, full van, minivan, RV, handicap scooter, or any other handicap vehicle.

Travel agents for the disabled can help arrange accessible transportation, help plan the best accessible cruise, give cruise line and cruising tips, arrange travel insurance and take care of special needs.

Agents can check with hotels for: inner and outer door widths to accommodate your wheelchair, ADA-approved handicap bath tubs, grab bars, or for roll-in showers. Just tell them your needs.

Travel agents can help you find cheap airfare, cheap tickets, cheap flights, cheap travel auto insurance, cheap hotels, cheap car rentals, cheap cruises, cheap vacations and cheap travel of all kinds.

3. Besides taking along your travel agent’s phone number, you’ll also want to take with you the phone numbers for the travel agencies that specialize in disabled travel at your destination, in the event you can’t reach your own agent.

These travel agents may know how to solve problems that come up regarding your hotel, car or van rentals, etc., even if you didn’t order your tickets through them.

4. When traveling to another city, check out the local health and medical associations before you go. For example, get the phone numbers for the local MS chapter if you have MS. These organizations can be great resources.

They usually know what museums, restaurants, theaters & other local facilities are wheelchair accessible and where you can get oxygen, emergency supplies or medical assistance. They may be able to help you with any problems that arise.

5. If you plan to rent a handicap scooter, wheelchair, electric wheelchair, handicap van, full van, mini-van, RV or other vehicle in another city, don’t wait until you get there. Make all the arrangements before you leave on your trip.

Make sure you ask any specifics like, are there tie-downs, ramps, or hoists, etc. Check on what van, RV, car or auto insurance you’ll need before you go.

6. Don’t leave anything to chance. If you can, double-check all the arrangements your travel agent makes. Call the airlines, hotels, scooter, wheelchair, car, RV or van rental companies, medical equipment rental companies, etc., and verify the specifics, especially if you’re traveling in a wheelchair or have any other special needs like oxygen.

This is important if you haven’t used the agent before.

7. If you need oxygen or any other special medical equipment, call airlines and suppliers well in advance of your trip. Don’t wait until the last minute. Start calling them as soon as you know you’re going to be traveling or taking a trip.

Then double-check with your travel agent and the airline at least three to four days before your flight.

8. Arrive early at the airport. It’s better to wait around there than miss your plane. This will eliminate some of the pre-trip anxiety you might feel and make for more leisurely travel. This seems like common knowledge but many people still arrive at the gate just in the nick of time.

With all that’s going on in the world today there are many reasons why you want to allow for more time at the airport.

9. In your airplane carry-on bag keep copies of the prescriptions for your medications and eyeglasses, extra eyeglasses, sunglasses, all your medications and supplements, and a list of your doctor, dentist and other health professionals with their addresses, and phone numbers.

Include your doctor’s fax number for prescriptions in case you lose your medications. Keep duplicate copies of these in your luggage and at home by the telephone. Know where your medical records are kept.

10. When you travel, and for any other time too, if you take medications, learn their names and exactly what they’re for if you don’t know. People come into the emergency room all the time and don’t know what medications they’re taking. You might be surprised to find out that most people say ‘a little yellow pill’ or ‘a white capsule’, etc.

Emergency workers need to know what you’re taking so they don’t give you medication that would interact adversely with it, overdose you or somehow interfere with their treatment and your recovery.

11. If you’re traveling by air, tell the flight attendants when you board, of any medical problem you might encounter on your flight. Note the location of the closest restroom before getting seated. Tell the flight attendant if you think you’ll need assistance getting to it during the flight.

You may need or want an aisle seat for easy access to the restrooms. Discuss seating with your travel agent.

12. If you need someone to travel with you, ask your travel agent for ideas or suggestions. Call the local chapters of medical associations and ask if they can recommend a travel assistant or travel companion to help or accompany you.

There are national companies who offer traveling nurses, traveling companions or travel assistants to accompany disabled travelers or people with serious medical issues.

13. Make sure to take with you: any medical cards, Medicare cards, discount cards, car or auto rental discount cards, auto insurance policy numbers and agent’s phone number, passport, airline tickets, etickets, American Express Travelers Cheques, debit cards, credit cards, and drivers license. Photocopy everything.

Keep photocopies in your luggage and at home by the telephone or someplace where someone has access to it in case you need it.

14. Read everything you can about traveling with a disability. Read disabled travel books, access guides, accessible guidebooks, disability travel articles and travel publications for the disabled traveler. Read the personal travel experiences of wheelchair users and others who have traveled with disabilities. Be informed.

These travel tips, information, resources, and services for the disabled should help you, or anyone with a disability, handicap, physical limitation, or who uses a wheelchair, have an easier, more pleasant, anxiety-free, trouble-free trip, tour, holiday or vacation.

See What the Travel Agents See!

The travel Industry is a multibillion dollar Industry and is
growing significantly each year. In the past the Travel Suppliers would sell their travel packages to the travel agency and the travel agency would sell the package
directly to the public. This is changing!

Because of the Internet and the positive response to the Internet by Travel consumers, Travel Suppliers are now placing their products online for ALL to see. Many Travel suppliers have set up their own web sites, however, hundreds of Travel Suppliers, Consolidators and Travel Wholesalers have teamed up with Travel Industry Trade Associations. For example OSSN (Outside Sales Support Network) is the #1 Travel Industry Trade Association representing and supporting the Home Based Travel Agency, Independent Contractor Seller of Travel and the Outside Sales Travel Agent. There are over 100,000 members in OSSN.

Because of this vast number of outside travel agents — Travel suppliers overwhelm our in baskets with travel deals. Most agents select a particular region, destination or type of travel like Honeymoons, Cruises Gulf trips, Skiing or what ever area they feel comfortable with. When a new Travel supplier is introduced to the membership, members often discuss their product on the private members only message board. The Travel Agents then present these great travel deals to their client
database and the rest of the consumers are left searching for these true yet unbelievable travel deals. (If you want to see a sample of what I am talking about, find the “catch all” fax machine at your work place. Ask about the Travel Faxes that come in? Because faxing unsolicited information is a no, no, you may not see the real deals on a consistent bases)

Travel consumers can view an e-vacation catalog without having
to speak with a travel agent. Not only can you read and see what
travel agents see, you can view videos, online, of your selected destinations.

Some Travel Agencies markup the Travel Tours if possible, others will only charge you the price that the Travel Supplier is charging them! There is much debate about how to expose the public to these great travel deals. There is also, it appears, to be a silent push from the US State Department for US citizens to travel in groups when traveling aboard. Well the Travel Suppliers, got the unspoken message. The group tour deals are unheard of and the individual, select a date, vacation packages
are extremely affordable.

3 Common Styles of Travellers

We all like to go to interesting destinations and we travel for many different reasons. All these reasons are usually good. However, we like to go in our preferred way. The associated costs vary greatly with each style. Be aware that value can be achieved in all styles of travel with the right opportunities and a proactive travel agent. It is not unusual for travellers to choose alternate styles of travel for different experiences.

The Fully Independent Traveller

The Fully Independent Travelers (FIT) are usually people who are confident of seeing the world on their own. This mode can provide great value and allow flexibility. It allows them to be active participants rather than an observer of all the experiences. The Fully Independent Traveller may have more opportunities in cultural immersion when staying with locals, for example, and generally have greater access to intimate events. The people using this style of travel need to assess and mitigate risks.

The Group Traveller

The Group Traveller enjoys the comfort of a guide and fixed itinerary and the start date of the tour is called the Fixed Departure Date (FDD). Group sizes vary with small groups ranging from 8 to 20 and larger groups having up to 100 participants. Mostly the group size is determined by the transport options and the accommodation options available at the destinations. One of the benefits of groups is the possibility of meeting like-minded people. Many a long-term friendship has been made during group tours, particularly small group tours. The group leader can also add insights into the activities during the trip making it more interesting. Small group tours tend to be more relaxed and a little flexible in their activities.

The Specialty Traveller

The Specially Traveller is looking for something particular, like corporate, photography, adventure health, mission, volunteer or special interest. The needs of these people varies greatly and care should be taken that risks are identified and mitigated. These tours are usually like groups but can be for Fully Independent Travelers also.

In conclusion, choose the travel style that suits your needs. If you are not a frequent traveller, perhaps a place to start is in group travel and move on to becoming and independent traveller as you gain confidence and understand the many challenges of traveling. Irrespective of the style of traveller that you might be, enjoy the opportunity to see the world as it is. We all come back a little different after our travels.

Travel Industry – Evolving, Sophisticated and Under Appreciated Industry

The printed press and social media are full of headlines such as:

” 9 Things Your Travel Agent Will Not Tell You,” “Useless Jobs,” “Travel Do it Yourself” or “How to be a Travel Hacker.” Furthermore, if you search the definition of a Travel Agency you will find information that says:

“With general public access to the Internet, many airlines and other travel companies began to sell directly to passengers. As a consequence, airlines no longer needed to pay the commissions to travel agents on each ticket sold. Since 1997, travel agencies have gradually been disintermediated”(Cutting the middle man).

Misconceptions including the belief that using a Travel Agency will cost clients more, or the infamous question, “Do travel agents still exist?” need to be addressed. Our labor of love has never been put to the test more than now, but was it always like this? Were Travel Agents always under-appreciated? Why? How is it that our 127-year-old industry is being placed in this modern-day situation?

Here’s an interesting fact: The oldest known travel agency in the United States is Brownell Travel, founded on July 4, 1887. Mr. Walter T. Brownell led ten travelers on a European tour, setting sail from New York on the SS Devonia. Originally, travel catered only for upper class customers, but the post-war boom opened travel to the mass market, allowing everyone to look for convenient ways to go back to Europe for “the holidays.”

I commend Mr. Brownell and his legacy, taking those early travel pioneers to the old continent. I also commend and congratulate the new owners for continuing their services today.

Changes of the perception of Travel Agents, are clear shown in the contrast of messages, of 2 of our Presidents, we were particularly praised by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and nowadays are considered irrelevant, even according to President Obama in a 2011 speech.

Here is a transcript of their messages;

In President John F. Kennedy’s own words:

“It gives me great pleasure to extend my greetings to the American Society of travel agents on the occasion of its annual Congress. Your contributions to the furthering of peace and international understanding through the promotion and stimulation of worldwide travel are most heartening.

The economic impact of your work has been beneficial for countries large and small. Your organization has been a vital instrument of expansion for the economies of countries undergoing post-war recovery and newly emerging nations.

In our own country, it has provided one of the three main sources of income for 20 of our States, and, last but not least, through its efforts to encourage more people to visit the United States, it has positively and efficiently aided us in the amelioration of our balance of payments situation.

The consistent increase in the number of visitors from overseas in the past two years reflects the efforts of your members in developing travel facilities at home and abroad for those who wish to visit the United States.

Your continued service can be of invaluable assistance to our country in a future in which travel will play an increasingly crucial role.”

Powerful words that make any Travel Agent feel proud to serve their country.

In contrast, President Barack Obama’s own words in 2011:

“One of the challenges in terms of rebuilding our economy is businesses have gotten so efficient that-when was the last time somebody went to a bank teller instead of using the ATM, or used a travel agent instead of just going online? A lot of jobs that used to be out there requiring people now have become automated.”

Strong words that could make any Travel Agent feel devastated and feel purposeless in serving our country.

The industry went through many changes, from the 60’s until now and the Travel agent, Professional Advisor, stand still loyal to their customers, regardless of the adversities, they continue being loyal to their clients, creating memories of a Lifetime.

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