I had the stupidest argument with one of my YouTube followers last week.
This guy was insistent that the airlines determine which labs are acceptable for pre-travel testing. INSISTENT.
He pointed out that his brother tried to go to Dubai and was turned away at the desk because his test didn’t meet airline standards.
I told him that this just wasn’t true.
His brother’s test didn’t meet the UAE’s requirements.
The airline had a list of tests that the UAE would accept, but the airline itself does not set the requirement. It is the countries to which people are traveling that set their entry requirements.
The airlines are just the enforcers.
He just wouldn’t believe me. He said I was being hard-headed.
(My husband will tell you that I am most-certainly hard-headed but, in this case, it’s wasn’t me who was being stubborn).
The scarier part of this situation is the fact that the gate agent I chatted with a few weeks ago when I went to St. Lucia told me that most people are showing up at the airport with incorrect documentation.
This, my friends, is the main reason that I chose to become a travel agent.
I wasn’t always the travel guru I am today. In fact, I spent nearly 15 years as mortgage loan officer for two major banks. I was very good at that job, but I really didn’t love it.
Then, my husband and I were on our 10th anniversary trip to Walt Disney World. While we had a blast on the vacation, we made some missteps that cost us a lot of time and hassle. As I filed away all my newfound knowledge of how to avoid these missteps I began to wonder if I could make a business helping people visit Disney World more efficiently.
I got home, started researching, and voila! The answer appeared on my Google search: Travel agents.
Turns out I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. I could join a Disney-focused travel agency and begin to build a business helping people have the best Disney vacation possible. And that’s what I did. I began a side-gig as a travel agent.
I joined an agency and began to learn the ropes. We had little training or guidance, so it was a long climb, but I eventually got there and built a thriving little business in addition to being a mortgage loan officer.
Eventually, I started my own agency and, 13+ years later, here we are! I am a full-time travel agent and travel agency owner.
Now, I spend my days ensuring that my guests have everything in order when it comes time to travel. This is true even in the non-COVID times, but it’s especially important now.
Because airlines don’t determine which test you need to travel.
Because having had the vaccine doesn’t exempt you from the CDC requirement to test before returning to the US.
Because the requirements to enter Jamaica have changed three times in six months.
This is what I do. I stay on top of everything so you don’t get turned away when you try to check in for your flight.
The past 12 months have not been easy for those of us in the travel industry, but I wouldn’t give this job up for anything.
So, don’t be like YouTube guy’s brother.
Contact me for your next trip so you aren’t turned away at the airport and end up spending your vacation at Sandals La Couch instead of Sandals La Toc.
Oh, and remember, we are booking through the end of 2022 and there are some GREAT deals to be had. (If you’ve ever thought, “I can’t afford a butler room,” we need to talk.)