Travel Agents Can Eliminate Family Travel Stress

A trusted travel advisor can help busy parents with those last few family travel headaches By: Kenneth Shapiro
Shapiro // © 2016 TravelAge West
Shapiro // © 2016 TravelAge West

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What should travel agents know about accessible family travel?

Summer is finally here and, if most families are like mine, that means last-minute scrambling to nail down the details of a summer vacation. While the trip itself is exciting, this part of the planning process can be stressful — which I’ve realized is totally counter to what a vacation should be.

In our case, this summer is more complicated because we have two vacations to plan. First, my wife and daughter are going to Europe for a girls’ getaway to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. Then, the whole family is heading to the Sierras near Lake Tahoe where we rented a house with some friends.

Sure, this sounds simple enough, but the logistics can get very complicated. (Did anyone remember to find a cat sitter?)

Now that my kids are a bit older, I see that it’s not just parents who need a break from the worries of everyday life. Middle school and high school can be hard, and there’s more pressure than I ever felt. As the end of the school year approaches, I can tell that my son and daughter are limping to the finish line, longing for when school gets out and they can finally exhale.

Knowing that I’m not alone — that there are undoubtedly many families out there feeling the same vacation stress I feel — I think it’s an ideal time for agents to make one last inquiry to see if family clients need a helping hand. Even if it’s just to check in and see how clients are doing or to find out if they have questions you can help with, it’s a great opportunity to get a conversation started that could very well lead to more business — if not now, then in the future.

This approach will be even more appreciated by families with special needs. As you can read in this issue’s cover story, “Accessible Travel,” traveling with those with special needs can be complicated, and expert advice is often particularly welcome. So, if you know families in this situation, reach out and start a discussion about travel. Every parent can use a helping hand at some point, and every family will ultimately cherish time together on vacation.

For agents, this is one of the benefits of the profession. Helping families take a much-needed vacation is not just good business, it’s good for the soul.

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