Travel Factory Blog

Travel Tips, Stories, Deals and Info...

The Travel Factory employs 4 full time agents with 100 years total experience in the travel industry. Our agents specialize in cruise, tour and resort vacations as well as corporate incentive and school groups. Our mission is to provide the best, most courteous, most detailed, most informative service. Our slogan, "Building vacations to your specifications" says it all.

What You Need To Know About Coronavirus

coronavirus-4817450_1920 What You Need To Know About Coronavirus

A real good blog or report that I often refer to is TravelSense. It gives some real good advice and tips on a daily and weekly basis, and one that they produced recently had some excellent information regarding this disease that has the travel world turned upside down....especially if one is traveling to China, Japan, Korea, or even Hawaii.

It's really frustrating for the travel suppliers that it seems that it's always something that crops up and threatens to scare folks away from traveling. If it's not some new illness, its a natural disaster, or threat of civil unrest or just plain disinformation that has folks nervous about going anywhere.

According to a Travel Impact Survey Report conducted by The American Society of Travel Advisors, 25% of all U.S .travelers have changed their travel plans because of coronvirus fears. More concerning is the 71% who had a trip currently booked to China say they will either “definitely” or “probably” cancel those plans because of coronavirus.

Continue reading post
  494 Hits
  0 Comments
494 Hits
0 Comments

That Ugly Old Coronavirus

Coronavirus-Disrupts-Travel-Business Coronavirus Disrupts Travel Business

Talk about disruption......this disease has really got world-wide attention from travelers and non-travelers alike.....and rightfully so. You can quickly die if affected.!! 

Where did it come from? Well, according to a good travel source, TravelSense, it is not a new illness; coronaviruses of one one kind or another have been around forever. This is a new strain identified first in December, 2019. This strain is a particularly nasty version of a coronavirus which spreads faster and is more dangerous. The early signs are a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever.

Continue reading post
  224 Hits
  0 Comments
224 Hits
0 Comments

Hawaii...Our 50th State...A Great Place To Visit

Visit Hawaii - Napali Coast - The Travel Factory Visit Hawaii - Napali Coast with the Travel Factory

Just this past week, I had some folks come by for a visit and ask me where was I planning on taking a group in 2021. I hadn't totally thought about it much, except for the fact that I already had planned on taking a group back to the Holy Land in March of 2021, and we had planned to take a group on Viking's brand new ship, the Viking Venus to the British Isles in August of 2021. On both of those we have folks who have been very wise and made reservations already to go with us; wise because planning early makes sure you get on and not left behind wishing you had “pulled the trigger” earlier.

Continue reading post
  234 Hits
  0 Comments
234 Hits
0 Comments

Picking Seats On Airplanes

Picking Seats On Airplanes Picking Seats On Airplanes

One of the more challenging tasks that a travel agent has is helping a client pick just the right seat on an airplane. That has proven to be more challenging since most of the airlines have gone to several tier pricing in the coach class section.

Continue reading post
  247 Hits
  0 Comments
247 Hits
0 Comments

The Business Of Travel

The Business Of Travel The Business Of Travel

I get this very often, “Boy, you are so lucky to be in such an exciting business!!!” And for the most part, they are right, but......

If a poll, or one of those incessant surveys we get all the time were taken, and I'm sure there has been, I'm confident that 98% of those responding would declare they were interested in the prospect of traveling...somewhere...anywhere!!! It is an interesting, exciting prospect, whether it is to Grandma's house, to China (maybe not now considering all the circumstances), cruising, just getting away from the daily humdrum.

Continue reading post
  244 Hits
  0 Comments
244 Hits
0 Comments

The Gift Of Travel

Visit-Christmas-Markets-with-The-Travel-Factory Visit Christmas Markets with The Travel Factory

No, doubt in all professions there are times when we borrow ideas from others; I know it was like that when I was coaching, and it's been like that while in the travel agent profession. Of course I have had some travel adivsors (writers) that I gravitate to each week who have impressed me with their ideas and suggestions....among them Christopher Elliott of the Dallas Morning News, Richard Turen of Travel Truth, and Charlie Funk, a Nashville agent...just to name a few.

Continue reading post
  373 Hits
  0 Comments
373 Hits
0 Comments

First Time Cruisers

First Time Cruises with The Travel-Factory First Time Cruises with The Travel-Factory

Some folks resistance to cruising is that “there are too many people on those big ships”...especially first time cruisers as well as some who have limited cruising experience. But really, it has been my experience on some of the largest cruise ships in the world, that after you get checked in and on board, there is really no feeling of there being a lot of people on board. Yes, a lot of people or not, the day of embarkation is typically a little hectic and chaotic, until you get on board.

Continue reading post
  272 Hits
  0 Comments
272 Hits
0 Comments

The Gift of Travel

The Gift of Travel with The Travel Factory The Gift of Travel with The Travel Factory

Thanksgiving turns to Christmas, which means we need to begin thinking what kind of Christmas present we can give....or get!!! It's been true ever since I've been in the business, and that's a long time, that one of the best, if not the best present, is a life-long memory. And one of the best memories is wrapped around a travel product; a trip to Disney, a ski trip, an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, a Hawaiian vacation, a cruise experience......even a drive in the car for a week at Grandmas.

Continue reading post
  227 Hits
  0 Comments
227 Hits
0 Comments

Reasons To Visit Alaska

Reasons-To-Visit-Alaska-with-The-Travel-Factory Reasons To Visit Alaska

I keep getting requests from folks who have been to Alaska and those who have not. I'm reasonably confident that they have heard about our Travel Factory Gang trips for the past 25 years to that beautiful state and want to get on with us in 2020.

Continue reading post
  359 Hits
  0 Comments
359 Hits
0 Comments

Birthday Girl!!!

russell-paula-berry-gavin-mccloed-royal-princess Russell & Paula with Gavin McCloed

I'm sure our listeners and readers wouldn't mind a little personal privilege today. It just so happens that this is the day,(and I'll have to be careful), several years ago, a little girl was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma. She grew up in a family with one spoiled brother and two sisters, she being the middle sister. I'm sure psychologically that means something, but I don't have a clue what!! Her name was Paula Rowlett.

Continue reading post
  374 Hits
  0 Comments
374 Hits
0 Comments

Alaska 2020

Denali-National-Park-with-the-Travel-Factory Denali National Park

As many of you know, I've had the privilege of escorting groups to Alaska for the past 25 years....we started out calling our group “The Travel Factory Gang”, and have kept that moniker for all our other groups since.

I did a quick count this week of the number of guests we've had as a part of the Alaska Gangs, and it numbered over a thousand people. Probably 100+ more made reservations but for some reason or another could not make it with our group, but traveled later on their own.

Continue reading post
  309 Hits
  0 Comments
309 Hits
0 Comments

Family Travels

Family-Travels-with-The-Travel-Factory Family Travels

Some of the best education you and your family can experience is through travel, getting away from your comfort zones and discovering new cultures and lifestyles. One travel contributor to the Dallas Morning News said, and rightly so, “the freedom to travel is something to savor”. That is an attitude or reality that we often forget or just take for granted, but when I see on the news and pictures of folks over in Syria or other parts of Africa in their day to day struggle just to survive, that's when the concept of “freedom to travel” becomes a reality for us in the United States. 

Continue reading post
  321 Hits
  0 Comments
321 Hits
0 Comments

Carnival Radiance Moving To Galveston

Carnival Radiance Moving To Galveston Carnival Radiance Moving To Galveston

Carnival Cruise Lines recently made the announcement that they were moving the Carnival Radiance to Galveston in May, and that will make the presence for that cruise line largest in the state. In fact, that will give them 4 ships in the Galveston market, and that is as many ships as they have in their Miami home market.

Continue reading post
  344 Hits
  0 Comments
344 Hits
0 Comments

How Do You Like Those Dratted "Resort Fees"????

How Do You Like Those Dratted Resort Fees? How Do You Like Those Dratted Resort Fees?

One travel writer commented that those mandatory resort fees that have cropped up all over the nation, especially in Las Vegas, New York and other resort communities are a “rip off”.

Continue reading post
  317 Hits
  0 Comments
317 Hits
0 Comments

Plan A Cruise Month

Plan-a-Cruise-Month-with-The-Travel-Factory Plan A Cruise A Month

The month of October has typically been designated by the Cruise Lines International Association as “Plan A Cruise Month”. My opinion is that anytime is a good time to plan a cruise, but I can certainly understand why October is such a good time to start those plans.

Continue reading post
  334 Hits
  0 Comments
334 Hits
0 Comments

Travel Insurance

thomas-cook-need-travel-insurance Thomas Cook - Need Travel Insurance?

We had a program on this topic several months ago, last March to be specific, but in light of some recent events in the past week, I thought it would be a good idea to visit that topic again.

A recent study of the U. S. Travel Insurance Association reported that in 2018, Americans spent almost $4 billion on all types of travel protection, and that was an increase of over 40% from 2016. Those policies were purchased through travel insurance providers, through travel agents, as well as on-line suppliers.

Continue reading post
  354 Hits
  0 Comments
354 Hits
0 Comments

Holiday Travel

Holiday Travel with the The Travel Factory Holiday Travel with the The Travel Factory

It's getting close to holiday time and we always get the question, “When is the best time to travel”, and I usually answer, “Whenever you want to go!!!”. Then their real question comes out, “no, when is the best price or what day is the best day to get the best price”. In this day and time, those are hard questions to answer in precise and definite terms.

Continue reading post
  280 Hits
  0 Comments
280 Hits
0 Comments

May I Help You?

airbus-159588_1280

The heritage of this agency started back in the late forties when the airline industry was just getting off the ground. Mrs. Ruth Gay who initiated the travel agency business back then was focused primarily on ocean travel, but air travel was beginning to make a little headway.

When I started in the business in 1976, travel agents were appreciated and loved because we were the lifeblood of the airlines business, 'course it was the phone and Official Airline Guide operation back then. To show their appreciation, the airlines paid the travel agencies a commission for selling and servicing their (our) customers.

Continue reading post
  424 Hits
  0 Comments
424 Hits
0 Comments

Do You Have A Real ID???

airport-690556_1920 A person will have to present a Real ID to board an airplane.

Do You Have A Real ID???

Congress passed the “Real ID Act” into law in 2005 following a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission on setting minimum national security standards for state drivers' licenses and ID cards. The enforcement of those requirements has been repeatedly delayed. Real ID's require state applicants to submit paperwork to prove who they are and their established residence in the U.S. Some states have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

Continue reading post
  392 Hits
  0 Comments
392 Hits
0 Comments

The Travel Factory Gang

jerusalem-3934346_1280 The Holy Land - March 2021

Don't ask me when, it's been too long to remember when or why, but I decided, for lack of another name, (you might say I am creatively challenged), to refer to the groups that my wife and I host as “The Travel Factory Gang”. Some tour operators and cruise lines have a little hesitation and suspicion when I announce the name of our group, so most of the time I have to explain the nature of the group.

Continue reading post
  425 Hits
  0 Comments
425 Hits
0 Comments