Having been selling vacations for a little over 20 years, I consider myself a professional vacationer. I spend my days talking to people about vacations, researching vacations, hearing reports from people’s vacations and writing about how to take better vacations.
As such, I take packing very seriously. I take it as a challenge to my “travel agent cred” (ibility) whenever I’m packing for a trip. I’ve wanted for years to develop a collection of lists for the various types of trips I take. For instance, packing for a family vacation to a beach resort is different than packing to go to my nieces house for the weekend to help with her new baby. I’ve found a new iPhone app that I’m hoping will help me do exactly that. I’ll write about that app as soon as I’ve figured out exactly how to use it.
In the meantime, the lovely and talented Leigh-Ann has put together a packing list for you! Created with resort vacationing in mind, she left lots of blanks so that you can fill in things that are unique to you. You could laminate the list and mark things off with a wet (or dry) erase pen as you pack them. Use it to your hearts content!
I flew up and back to Oklahoma City in the last 24 hours. My nephew graduated from high school and I wanted to be there for the event.
Anyway, I flew home in first class this morning (AAdvantage Gold Upgrade) and I was next to a nice enough guy. He wasn’t gross, didn’t talk too much and didn’t smell bad. He did, however, keep putting his foot on the arm rest of the chair in front of him.
His bare foot.
On the arm rest that belongs to the seat of someone else.
Am I the only one who thinks this is gross and completely unacceptable?
I can’t wait to hear your comments.
1) You need to restore your creativity.
Being in new surroundings and getting out of your routine brings new ideas to your mind. I can’t tell you the number of business changing ideas that have just “come to me” while in a beautiful destination.
On vacation you try new things and you play. There is nothing like play to spark your creativity. (Be sure to keep a pen with you to record your brilliance.)
2) You need to reconnect with someone.
Daily life is busy. I know my day goes something like this: Get kids out the door to school, dash off to work, work all day without taking a break, return home in time to make dinner and to make sure that homework gets done. Shortly after that, I collapse into bed with high hopes to get a few hours of sleep before getting up the next day to do it all again.
All of this dashing about doesn’t leave any time for leisurely conversation and unstructured time. It doesn’t even leave much time to simply be together in the same place. A vacation allows time to reconnect.
3) You need to escape from stress.
Life is a pressure cooker. If you’re like me you always have a cycle going on in your head where you’re trying to resolve issues in your life and bring your initiatives forward. There is always more to reach for, always another item on the to do list. You’re a fox always trying to out run the hounds.
A vacation is, above all, an escape from stress. For just those few days everything is on hold and you can take a deep breath.
…and isn’t that what you need? A really deep breath.
I do all of the welcome home calls as well as handle all of the after travel issues.
What that means is that I’m the one who finds out first if you had a problem on your vacation. That also means that I’ll be the one to report back to the tour company and the resort and whoever else needs to be involved in order to get some sort of resolution for you.
In fact, I just handled a bunch of complaints from a group we had about how they were handled at check in at the resort. They also had complaints about their wedding coordinator, as well as service at the restaurants. As you can imagine, I was quite upset that the weekend hadn’t been what we’d all hoped.
So, I sent emails to my contacts at the hotel and the investigation was underway.
Today I got an email back from the hotel. It reads as follows:
“I looked deep into this and we didn’t have registered 1 complaint in our system from any of these guests throughout their stay. I even spoke to their wedding coordinator and she said everything sailed smoothly and she would have known if something was wrong. Overall, they were very happy with the staff, service and food. I also looked into the comments they filled out at check out and was able to find 10 comment cards. (10 suites). I have attached them for you to read,
We sincerely apologize for any inconveniences they may have experienced you know the first and most important thing for us is to try and make our guests happy and have an unforgettable vacation. It`s disappointing to hear that there was unsatisfied guests staying with us, knowing this, we would have done everything in our power to turn the situation around. ”
So, to the hotel it seems like one of two things is happening. Either they think that I’m overstating the situation and the client isn’t unhappy, or that the client is trying to take advantage of the hotel for some sort of future consideration. Either way, it doesn’t help us get any satisfaction for our clients after the fact.
Additionally, as the hotel said in their reply, if the hotel had known about the problem they could have taken steps to fix it while the group was still in destination.
So, the bottom line is this: If you’re having a problem on vacation, don’t wait until you get home to say something about it. Make sure the hotel knows. If all else fails, call us from the destination and let us try to intervene. Don’t wait until you get home.