Lessons From Summer Vacation

Lesson #1: When stuff happens, a travel agent is your best advocate.

By: By Kenneth Shapiro

 Kenneth Shapiro
Lesson #1: When stuff happens, a travel agent is your best advocate.

After months of planning, the time for my family’s summer vacation had finally come. I was in Los Cabos for meetings, and my wife and kids were going to meet me there. The night before my family was set to leave, however, my daughter came down with a fever of 102. By the next day, Hurricane Jimena was a Category Four storm heading straight for Baja — and I was on a plane back to Los Angeles. Fortunately, I had used a travel agent to book my trip; others I met at the hotel and airport were not so lucky.

Lesson #2: Staycation? Maybe not.

Okay, our Los Cabos plans were ruined. Instead, we would enjoy a “staycation.” We told our kids that each day one of them could choose any activity for the whole family to do. On day one, it was miniature golf. On day two, it was miniature golf. On day three, guess what, miniature golf. That’s when we knew it was time to get out of Dodge.

Lesson #3: The right way is to get away.

Lounging by the pool at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, our staycation left in a cloud of dust, everyone in the family seemed thankful that we were finally — really — on vacation.

Take it from me, when your clients’ dream trips change for reasons beyond their control, it’s important to be able to suggest alternatives and, sometimes for their own good, to be ready to gently steer them in a new direction — ideally one that heads out of town. —K.S.