|I’m really irritiated.|
Last week, I read an article by Chris Elliott, a well-respected travel blogger for The Washington Post, who said that no one should be traveling now, no matter what. Furthermore, he implied that travel advisors who book travel for the near future are only in it for the commission so they can save their businesses.
Normally, I really like Chris’ articles. I have even contributed to a few of them but, this time, I think he has missed the mark.
First, a GOOD travel agent is never only in it for the commission, no matter what is happening to our businesses. We act in the best interests of our clients. Always.
Second, while I am not particularly encouraging anyone to travel right now, I’m also not particularly discouraging it if clients contact me wanting to book a trip.
I feel that this is a DEEPLY personal decision. It depends upon where you are traveling from, where you are traveling to, how willing you are to take precautions, and your own situation in terms of your health and the health of those in your everyday life.
Some people are not comfortable traveling now and that’s just fine. For these clients, I recommend planning a future trip for mid- to late-2021 , or beyond, and choosing flexible options so that they can cancel for a refund if need be.
Other people are desperate to travel and that’s fine, too. For these guests, the mental strain of the pandemic and being stuck in one place is a real issue and they feel that a trip is worth the risk. For these clients, I am open and honest about the risks and the restrictions and, if they still want to travel, I help them choose the best possible option for their trip.
It is my job as a travel ADVISOR to work with my clients, not to judge them.
Personally, I am traveling judiciously. There are many places that I will absolutely not go, but I have also found that not traveling at all was taking a serious toll on my mental health.
While I am traveling very infrequently, and taking all safety precautions while I do so, I find that the occasional trip has helped me tremendously in terms of being able to handle the stress of this pandemic. I need just a tiny bit of normalcy and a little drop of joy in order to stay the course in the long term.
In the end, it wasn’t the fact that Chris discourages travel at this time that bothered me. Many experts agree. It was the judgmental nature of the article that got under my skin.
This is a hard time for all of us and I think we all need to give each other a whole lot of grace.
What do you think?Should people consider traveling now?
Drop a comment and let me know.