Contributed By: Travel Planners International
A few weeks ago, I saw a TPI agent post on Facebook, stressing over her clients’ trip. Nothing wrong had happened but she was still nervous about how well it was going. Other TPI agents flooded her comments section, echoing her sentiment and offering stress-relieving solutions. (According to a good majority, wine helps!) Some shared their own experiences of being nervous for the duration of their clients’ trip, regardless if no challenge arose. One agent commented, “A good travel agent knows their job doesn’t end until their client comes home.”
Stress like this can be good. It means you care and is a reminder that you’re in the right profession. It can also keep you sharp – makes you sure you’ve crossed every tand dotted every i; but too much stress can hurt you and eventually, your business. Between anticipating your clients’ needs, keeping with current trends within your niche market and handling the administrative tasks of owning a business, your days as a travel agent can be overwhelming. It takes to a special type of person to hustle day in and day out as a small business owner. But at the end of the day, we’re still human and stress can get to us.
There’s the standard way of dealing with stress – exercise, mediation, drinking water. These recommendations are highly effective and completely valid. It’s why they’re always suggested. However, I want to share with you my three stress-relieving solutions that will particularly benefit the hustlin’ travel advisors. Trust me, they work like a charm!
1. Be Part of a Community
Most of us are solopreneurs and damn proud! But when it gets to be too tough, a support system can make a positive impact. For most people, this could be a spouse, friend, or colleague. If those close to you don’t do the trip (maybe because they’re not travel advisors), there are still other ways you can find a positive community.
Facebook groups are an excellent option! It’s so easy to search for groups for travel agents or small business owners. The purpose isn’t to always talk business – it’s also a place to relieve stress and ask for help. Plus, in these groups, you connect with people all over the country. Remember the TPI agent from earlier that was sharing her anxiety and stress over her clients’ trip even though nothing had gone wrong? She found the perfect outlet for her anxieties with her community of travel agents that empathized with her, all through Facebook. They understood exactly what she was going through.
If you’re looking for something in-person, check out , a community-based website. Through them, you can connect with local entrepreneurs and travel agents by joining or creating your own meet-up in your area.
Joining a host agency can also help! Here at , we guide and support our 3,800+ agents on the road to their own success. Plus, we host several training events and networking parties in our Central Florida HQ and across the country. We do all this to curate a positive atmosphere for our agents to thrive within their businesses.
2. Cover Your Bases
Limit the amount of stress you have in the future by doing your due diligence now. Hands down, you should always push for travel insurance. Trust me, it’s in your clients’ best interest
Another way to make sure you’ve got everything covered is by asking a lot of questions. Find out what they’re afraid of – do they have allergies or are they on a special diet? Ask your client if they heavily use or post on their social media accounts. If they say yes, suggest they look into international data plans from their cellphone carrier.Seriously, asking your client these type of questions will reveal the “unknowns” that could make or break a vacation.
Record or write down their responses and store them in your CRM so you can continually curate better vacations for your client.
My last piece of advice on this subject is to over-communicate and never assume. This alone will save you and your clients many headaches.
3. Don’t Let the Stress Drown You
No matter how hard we try to prepare our clients and no matter how strong your support system is, stress can get to you. And that’s ok! Accept it but don’t drown yourself in it.I know it’s easy to ruminate but try to move past it! The more often you remind yourself of this, the less stress and anxiety you’ll experience.
If you’re like the aforementioned TPI agent that can’t help but stress every time a client goes on a trip, find a solution that will adequately reduce your stress. In a case like this, don’t be afraid to ask for updates from your clients. While you’re doing this to better control your stress, they’ll see it as you being the awesome and super invested travel advisor (more than you already are). Another solution is to set up Google alerts on your clients’ final destination. This could be for the country, city or even the hotel they’re visiting.
And if something does go wrong on the trip, don’t take it personally. Of course, a healthy amount of stress will kick in while you craft the perfect solution to your clients’ issue. Stress like this can be good. There are no guaranteed perfect vacations. If you did everything right and covered your bases (see the second tip), acknowledge that. If there’s room for improvement, use this as a learning opportunity and identify what you can do better next time.