The Travel Factory Blog

My initial working career was as a teacher, coach, and administrator at the high school and university levels for 13 years. Those responsibilities certainly prepared me for the travel business which I entered in May, 1976. I have been a partner in the business since 1981, primarily specializing in group business. My initial group efforts were with ...high school and college groups, especially athletic teams and senior trips. Then we escorted many groups doing mission efforts to France, Denmark, Norway, Australia, Korea, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, and Great Britain and the Holy Land. Domestically we’ve planned and escorted groups to Las Vegas, Reno, Hawaii, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Idaho. Read more... More

Group Travel

Group Travel with The Travel Factory Group Travel with The Travel Factory

We get requests all the time regarding our interest and capability to handle groups---athletic teams, high school groups, musical groups, church groups, family travel, you name it. Generally speaking, we always answer with a big YES!!! In fact, that's where I cut my teeth in travel. 

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Surviving In The Travel Agent Profession

Surviving In The Travel Agent Profession Surviving In The Travel Agent Profession

Several professions are becoming extinct, and some have been predicting for many years that the travel agent is quickly becoming a relic. One group asked this question: with technology, online, mobile and user experience all firmly entrenched in travel, where does the store-front travel agent fit in to the buying cycle?

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Airport Tips

Airport tips with The Travel Factory Airport tips with The Travel Factory

Back in 2002, this program started out with the title of Thursday Morning Travel Tips with Russell Berry from The Travel Factory. Well, we will often offer some tips, but mostly it's an opinion or state of the travel business, or a trip that we are promoting. But today, I have some real tips!! I'm more or less copying them from a “Smarter Travel” website titled “Things You Should Never Buy At The Airport”. For example:

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World War II Places To Visit

World War II Places To Visit World War II Places To Visit

Two of the most treasured World War II sites to visit are Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the Normandy beaches in France. In my opinion, the best way to see those sites are on cruise vacations. Why are those sites so important in our history?

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Holiday Traveling

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

Folks have been coming in this week interested in seeing if there is any real good deals available for the Christmas or New Years weeks. You gotta be kidding!!!! If there were any space available at all, it wouldn't be a “good deal”!!

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Cruise Booster

Cruise Booster with The Travel Factory Cruise Booster with The Travel Factory

Back in 1981, five years after I had been in the travel business, I finally was able to get on a cruise....with my wife. I had always wanted to, and had the opportunity to sell many in those previous years, but of course, I really didn't know what I was selling. Finally, I convinced my wife to go with me on a cruise I had earned, and we sailed out of New York on a Holland America ship to Bermuda. One of the clinches in getting her to go,(because she was afraid of getting motion sickness), we got one of the first prescriptions for what is now known as the “Transderm Patch”. That was the “ticket”....we've been on about 85 cruises since, and she has never had motion sickness. So..that's my solution to one objection we hear of going on a cruise vacation.

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The "City Of Lights"

The City Of Lights - Las Vegas The City Of LIghts - Las Vegas

Can you believe that Las Vegas, in 2017, registered a visitors count at 42.2 million people, and that was considered a “down year”. They based the fallen numbers on the shooting that occurred in Oct. that killed 58 persons and injured 851.

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The Last Frontier

Denali National Park in Alaska Denali National Park in Alaska

We've been fortunate over the past 24 years to enjoy introducing groups to one of the most exciting destinations in the United States......our 49th state....ALASKA!!! If you've listened to our radio show every Thursday on KWKC Talk Radio at 8:07AM with David Bacon, you'll know a little about our excitement when we talk Alaska. We also put the show on our website: www.thetravelfactoryabilene.com under our weekly blog. In fact, you can go to our July 19 show and see a report of this years Alaska trip.

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Do You Speak "Airline"?

Do You Speak Airline? Do You Speak Airline?

I'll occasionally tell folks, when they are talking about taking a cruise, if you didn't have to get there and get back, cruising would be wonderful. It's getting to the ports and returning that makes a lot of folks reluctant to take that great, relaxing vacation.

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Mexico's Top 3: Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel

Mexicos Top 3 - Cancun - Riviera Maya - Cozumel - The-Travel-Factory Mexicos Top 3 - Cancun - Riviera Maya - Cozumel

Back when I got in the travel business in the middle 70's, the hot spots to go to in Mexico were Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan.....even Mexico City received a lot of interest. I bet it's been 20 years since I sold a trip to Mexico City!! Back then, and even today, you have to be in possession of a United States passport to visit anywhere in Mexico, but that's ok...with a passport you can visit a lot of other countries too!!

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Where Do YOU Want To Go???

Where Do You Want To Go - The Travel Factory Where Do You Want To Go?

As you can imagine, we have some real interesting encounters with potential clients. One recently came in and when asked if we could be of service, he said he would like to go somewhere. Well, for sure, he came to the right place for an answer!!!

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Hawaii.....Here We Come!!!!

Hawaii - Here We Come - The Travel Factory Hawaii - Here We Come - The Travel Factory

Frequently we have folks who come in and want to talk about a trip to Hawaii. My eyes light up because it is one of the best trips we ever take. I've taken groups over there in years past where we just visited Oahu (Honolulu and surrounding area), and it was ok, fun and a lot of things to do, but I wanted to be able to visit the other islands too, but didn't have time. So, here's the best solution.

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Travel Advisors Do More Than Sell Travel....They Help Keep You From Being Depressed!!

Travel Advisors Sell Happiness! Travel Advisors Sell Happiness!

We could have probably had a shorter title, but I wanted to get your attention. According to the 10th annual Allianz Global Assistance Vacation Confidence Index, Americans who don't feel like they can take a vacation, despite wanting to, are nearly two times as likely to show signs of moderately severe to severe depression. So, the first thing to do is to realize that you do need to relax, then secondly, reach out to your travel advisor who will take the stress out of planning a vacation that will make you a more productive employee or owner. Taking time off is not a frivolous thing, it has real benefits to your mental well-being.

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Airline Germophobia

Airline-Germophobia-with-The-Travel-Factory Airline Germophobia

One of the travel websites that I visit quite often is posted by one of my favorite travel agent owners and writers, Richard Turen. The site is titled “Traveltruth.com”. He and his staff are very intentional in “telling it like it is”. They answer various and sundry questions sent to them by travelers, and one that I thought was interesting and wanted to share was the question about how to avoid getting sick while traveling on an airplane.

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Cruising The Caribbean In September

Cruising The Carribean in September Cruising The Carribean in September

We just returned last Sunday from a great cruise experience, cruising the Western Caribbean out of the Texas port of Galveston. It was our 13th September cruise, and a good time was had by all!!!

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Norwegian Cruise Line's Bliss

Norwegian Cruise Line's Bliss Norwegian Cruise Line's Bliss

NCL aptly named their newest ship in the fleet, Bliss. The dictionary defines this word as “great happiness”, and if you go on her and don't find bliss, I don't think it will be the ships fault.

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Flying With Medical Concerns

Flying-with-Medical-Concerns---The-Travel-Factory Flying with Medical Concerns

One of my favorite websites to visit regarding regulations in flying on airlines today is the Transportation Security Administration website: www.tsa.gov. There is a world of information on there especially regarding what you can and cannot bring, along with some valuable tips.

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Hey Siri, What Do You Call Those People Who Do Travel??

Hey-Siri-What-Do-You-Call-Those-People-Who-Do-Travel---The-Travel-Factory Hey Sir What Do You Call Those People Who Travel??

Over the past 42 years since I've been in the travel business, travel sellers have had a variety of titles. Probably the most favored over the years is 'travel agent'. But there have been other handles like travel counselor, travel consultant, travel adviser, travel advisor, or as one in our office mentioned, travel slave based on the amount of money I pay her. Interestingly enough, the American Society of Travel Agents, after going by that name for 75 years, made the decision last week to rename themselves. That organization that represents those of us who work in the travel business have decided to name themselves, American Society of Travel Advisors....that's AdvisOrs. Obviously, they didn't have to change the initials.....still ASTA.

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Flying Tips

Flying Tips with The Travel Factory Flying Tips with The Travel Factory

Occasionally we have clients who come in and want to talk about taking a flight to a certain destination. In fact, we had some folks recently who were totally unfamiliar with the flight process.....at 75 years of age, they had never flown in a commercial airplane. In this day and time, that is really unusual.....but not so terribly. I remember when I got into the travel business over 40 years ago, my parents who at that time were in their late 60's had never flown, so I got to accompany them on their first airplane flight.....a neat memory.

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"Texas, Our Texas, All Hail The Mighty State"

Texas Our Texas - All Hail The Mighty State Texas Our Texas - All Hail The Mighty State

Seldom do travel agents extol the virtues of a driving vacation; they can't make a living talking about places where they can't realize a commission for their efforts. But, here in the middle of August, I thought it was about time I praised the efforts of the Texas Historical Commission, Texas Department of Transportation, and Convention and Visitors Bureaus of virtually every city in Texas to make our state a viable vacation destination.

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