Episode 95: Passport to Paradise: Chronicles of a Travel Agent’s Fam Trip

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Welcome to episode 95! Today, I’ll be getting into fam trips. These are familiarisation trips that us travel agents take to become familiar with destinations so that we know what we’re talking about when we recommend them to travellers.

It’s not all fun, though. We’re not there to live it up in the destinations. We’re there to work.

Let’s get into it:

[03:12] It’s actually work.

If you follow me on social media, you see me posting the best pictures of the destinations I visit, but you don’t see the behind-the-scenes.

[03:39] It’s a full day of work.

Tour companies and resorts want you to experience everything they have to offer in one day, so you start your day early and get back to your room late, and then you do that again the next day.
There’s no off time when touring resorts on a tight schedule.

[05:30] Do we get the best rooms?

Remember, we get to stay for free, so there’s a low chance of the resort giving us the best room.
We’re there to learn about the destination, so if they want us to promote their best rooms, and the room is available, we’ll get it.

[06:29] We still have to work.

Even when I’m out doing these tours, I still have a job to do.
I still have to be a travel agent and do all those things.
Client requests? You better know I’m checking my emails and making sure that my clients are living their best lives.

[07:55] Being a travel agent.

I keep getting calls from people asking how they can become travel agents so that they can just travel all the time.
I have news for you: that’s not what happens.

You have to deal with your client’s needs, resorts, airlines, and you need to be able to resolve anything that could go wrong. It’s a stressful job, and if you’re not up for it, it’s not the job for you.

[10:37] Fam trips are different.

When you’re travelling on a fam trip, it’s work. It’s not the same as when you’re taking a vacation. You are expected to be professional all the time and you have to attend classes and meetings, and if you don’t, you won’t be invited back.
It’s only by putting in the work that we get invited on these free or discounted trips, so if you want them, they’re not going to come looking for you unless you’re putting in the hours.

[15:10] Taking pictures.

Even in our down time, we have to be taking pictures, posting stories, and showing everyone what it’s like to be at these destinations. So, we don’t even have real down time because we’re constantly working.

[16:13] The not-so-sexy part of the job.

When we’re not driving around in busses, we’re walking around resorts, getting all sweaty and funky, because we’re seeing every single part of the resort, from the rooms to the amenities.

[18:29] We do it all for you.

We do it so that we have the best knowledge to serve our clients. If you give us a list of things that you’re looking for, we can make the best recommendations because we’ve been on the ground at these places, so we know what you’ll be getting.
This is why it’s important to use a travel agent.

[19:59] To summarise.

If you want to have the best travel experience, use a travel agent who travels, who has experience, and who has put in the work to make the best recommendations for you. If you’re basing your trip on someone’s online reviews, you don’t know if it’s serious or not. With a travel agent, you can be assured that they know what they’re talking about.

I hope this episode has helped you understand why you need to work with a travel agent who is posting those pictures of destinations and resorts, and trust that they have the knowledge and experience to put together the kind of trip that gives you the experience that you want.

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