Want to get away for a great deal?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 20, 2011

People often ask me “We want to get away. Do you have any great deals on vacations?”

Smiling at their question my normal reply is “Sure do! But first I need to know where? When? Why? Who? What do you want to see and do? Where have you gone and what have done on past vacations? And how much have you budgeted for this trip?”

Many people seem to think that I’m rude when I answer their question with a battery of my own questions but hey I have to get to know you, your vacation style and preferences before responding.

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Unfortunately I generally receive a stunned dazed look with no response to my questions. This person wanders off never to be heard from again. If they’ve called on the phone, this is frequently our last electronic contact.

Am I being rude or disrespectful? No I don’t think so. What I’m attempting to do is to determine your travel MNEs-motivations, needs and expectations.

I might know you professionally even socially but unless you have shared your travel preferences with me, I am hard pressed to offer any vacations suggestions.

You may have been my best friend in high school or college but that was years ago when we both were single starving students. Today you’re a different type of traveler than way back when.

I am comfortable making this statement because I’m aware that my tastes, preferences and price thresholds have changed since school too!

We need to discuss your likes and dislikes, overall budget, along with what you and your traveling companions want to see and do on your journey. I am trying to determine your travel needs and expectations before recommending a destination or travel product.

Please share your past vacation experiences with me. What trips and/or destinations did you really enjoy? And share with me why you liked it. Please be honest and tell me what you vacation type or spot that you really hated and why.

Why do I need to know all of this before I can make a recommendation? It is because I want to match you up with the best possible vacation. There are London vacations but there is no one size fits all package.

Do you buy the first pair of shoes you see or do you take the time to locate your size then try them on to see if they fit. This is what I’m trying to do, fit the right product to your travel motivations, needs and expectations. Let’s look at some examples.

There are plenty of all inclusive vacations available to offer you but if a casino on location is necessary then most if not all of Mexico is out.

Add Jamaica to that no casino list as they’re still working on opening Las Vegas style casinos down there “mon”.

If you still need that gaming fix and indicate that a Disney cruise vacation would work I’d have to say no it won’t. No, as in they do not have a casino onboard the Disney ships.

But I’ll add that you are free to hit the casinos once they had docked in ports of call like Nassau, Bahamas.

A young lady recently approached shyly asking if I was the “travel guy.” After positiviely affirming her question she stated that her kids really, really, really wanted to go on the Nickelodeon Norwegian Cruise Line kids cruise but her and her husband were deathly afraid of water.

Tears swelled in her eyes so I could tell that this was a real fear but she still wanted fulfill her children’s’ dreams. I asked a few more questions then replied “Are you aware that there is a Nickelodeon Resort in Orlando Fla.? It’s a 24/7 Nick themed resort. Universal Studios Orlando also has some pretty awesome Nick stuff”. Thankful she said that she’d talk with her husband and get back to me.

Yes human personal travel consultants are playing the match game. We’re attempting to match you and your MNEs to the proper travel product. There are plenty of search engines that can provide great rates but are they really providing a price for what you want.

What I am doing is applying a part of the sales process sometimes referred to as getting to know the customer phase. I have to ask all of those “W” questions-who, when, where, why, what plus the dreaded how much have you budgeted question. When these questions are answered I can visualize the proper travel product for you. Then I will gladly share the special deals with you.

Got travel? E-mail Steve Call at the travelprofessor@gmail.com or dial 740.550.9540.