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

Family Vacations In Mexico

Visit Cancun on a Family Vacation in Mexico Visit Cancun on a Family Vacation in Mexico

We’ve been talking the past two weeks about all-inclusive vacations, and I thought I’d expand a little bit on that topic.  With a little help from one of the major hotel and resort companies, Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, here’s some of the reasons to consider an all-inclusive family trip to Mexico.

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Solving Vacation Confusison..Part 2

Solving Vacation Confusion - Part-II - With The Travel Factory

Last week we talked about the fact that many folks are frustrated about where to go for their family vacation with the understandable concern that everyone would be happy, wherever it was.  And we mentioned that we use the services of a very reliable tour operator, Funjet Vacations, to help us make those “happy and memorable plans, and have done so over 25 years.

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Solving Vacation Confusion!!!

Solving Vacation Confusion with The Travel Factory

When helping clients plan their vacations they are often frustrated because they just don’t know where to go where the whole family will be happy.  A good travel agent will start the interview and try to find out what they like to do, what they have done in the past that was fun.  Do they like to eat?  Do they like beach stuff?  Do they want a lot of activities, if so, what kind of activities?  Do they want to drive or fly? How long do they want to be gone?  Do they want a land based vacation or would they consider a cruise?  What kind of budget are they working with?  All important variables to consider!!!

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Honeymoons, Anniversaries. . .Anyone??

Honeymoon Anniversaries Anyone? Honeymoon Anniversaries Anyone?

One of the real pleasures we receive as travel agents is to help couples plan their honeymoon or anniversary getaway.  Any time of the year is the time to make those plans, but here in the Spring, there is certainly a lot more opportunities for those activities.

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What Do You Think About Carnival?

What Do You Think About Carnival Cruise Line? What Do You Think About Carnival Cruise Line?

As many of you know, yesterday was the annual Abilene Expo down at the Civic Center where around 175-200 business in town set up booths to introduce their products and services as well as network with other business in our city regarding keeping our economy in the Big Country vibrant and alive.

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Making Vacation Memories!

Making Memory Vacations - The Travel Factory Making Memory Vacations with The Travel Factory

The U. S. Travel Association recently released a new survey targeting information on family vacations.  This survey found that adults say their most vivid childhood recollections are of family vacations.  Children surveyed also say they enjoy vacation time with parents and grandparents.  This poll surveyed more than 2500 adults and 1100 youth, and some who were as young as 5 years old. 

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Are The Rivers Getting Too Crowded?

Are River Cruises Getting To Crowded?

I talked a little bit at the end of January about river cruising, especially in Europe.  We promoted a river cruise on the Rhine for this year in November, and it sold out by August of last year; furthermore, to take advantage of the great rate, it was fully paid, cruise and air by middle December.  

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Hee Hee Hee.. .Have You Sold Any Cruises Lately?!!!

Have You Sold Any Cruises Lately? Have You Sold Any Cruises Lately?

I am out and about in the community in a lot of social, business, and church settings, and for the past two weeks, since the Carnival Triumph unfortunate situation, there is always someone wanting to know how my cruise business is doing. . .asking that question with a sly smile on their face.  I know they’re thinking that cruise sales are in the tank. . .but in reality, they are not!!  Thank goodness!!

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What's On Your Travel Bucket List?

Whats On Your Bucket List? Whats On Your Bucket List?

Did you ever see that movie The Bucket List starring two of my favorite actors, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman?  Ever since that movie came out, every time I turn around someone is promoting or talking about their “bucket list”.  It’s especially true in travel circles.

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Travel News Of The Week

Travel-News-Of-The-Week-The-Travel-Factory Travel News Of The Week with the Travel Factory

Something is always happening in the travel business. . .it’s seldom the same ‘ole, same ‘ole.  Airfares change by the minute, conventions spring up in resorts that our client wants to go to, the weather is always unpredictable, something is always changing.  

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Tell Me, How Do You Feel?

Tell-Me-How-Do-You-Feel Tell Me How Do You Feel?

It just gets my goat when some of these on-the-spot newscasters, usually sportscasters, put a microphone in the mouth of a coach or a player and asks them, after a hard-fought loss, “how does it feel to get beat by an extra point at the last second?”  The coach or player is extremely vulnerable at that moment to say exactly how they feel, and it might not be too pretty a public pronouncement.  Or the politician who had just lost an election gets the question concerning his feelings about the loss.  What do you expect them to say?!! 

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Let’s Go River Cruising!!!

River-Cruising-with-The-Travel-Factory River Cruising with The Travel Factory

For the past two years, we have seen an uptick in clients booking river cruises, especially in Europe. . . not only in Europe but also in China and now here in the United States.

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Don't Be Fooled by Cheap Online Travel

Beware-Of-Cheap-Airlines---The-Travel-Factory Beware Of Cheap Airlines

We get this response all the time when we are quoting an airfare and the caller will say, “we saw that price a whole lot less on the internet”.  Our quote is directly tied to the airline, so we know it is a current rate at that particular time, but one of the important factors the caller hasn’t told us is when they saw that price a lot less.  And they could have been on one of several on-line operators like Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak, Orbitz. 

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Travel Is A Good Thing!!!

Travel Is A Good Thing Travel Is A Good Thing

There is something uplifting and energizing when anticipating a vacation or a trip away from the daily activities of life.  I’m certainly not a psychologist, but I’m sure there is a psychological term to identify this emotional boost to our looking forward to a trip. My observation has always been that at least 75% of the enjoyment of a trip is the positive anticipation during the planning stage.

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Alaska. . . . The Land Of The Midnight Sun!!!

Alaska---The-Land-Of-The-Midnight-Sun---The-Travel-Factory Alaska - The Land Of The Midnight Sun

That title certainly does not apply to this time of the year, it’s really dark during the winters up in the 49th state.  But, during the summer, 18-20 hours of sunlight is commonplace.  That was the one thing that really amazed me on my first trip to Alaska back in the mid-90s; we’d go to bed at 10:30PM, and the sun would still be coming through our bedroom window.  It’s really not that bad though, in a day or two you are used to it, and glad that it is that way; it certainly gives you more time to do things. 

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Aloha State is Attractive!!!

Aloha-State-is-Attractive---The-Travel-Factory Aloha State is Attractive

Are you ready for 2013???. . .sure felt funny typing that date in today for the first time.

Last week I referred to several destinations and segments of the industry that were experiencing upticks in their current business and indications for the immediate future.  Both Mexico and Israel are very positive about their tourist trade for 2013, airlines are looking at their numbers enthusiastically rising, and the cruise trade is pumped about guests scheduling vacations with them.  One segment that I did not mention was the Hawaii market. 

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Things Are Looking Up!!!

Time To Visit Tulum Mexico?

Don’t ask me how, but based on reports from the travel industry, we are poised for one of the best years in a long time.  Read on:

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Airline Fees...Are We Hooked Yet???

airline-fees-are-we-hooked-yet-The-Travel-Factory

Way back in July I reported that American Airlines had a $240 million loss in the 2nd quarter and Delta reported a loss of $168 million in the 2nd quarter, but the CEO of American had told a crowd of corporate travel agents at that time that he expected  their airline would return to being an industry leader by the end of the year.  Well, we’re getting close to the end of the year and I haven’t heard them crowing about that yet!! 

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Cruising with Kids

Cruising-With-Kids-The-Travel-Factory Cruiseing With Kids

Reading an article in the Dallas Morning News a couple of months ago reminded me that I should blog some information about cruising with kids.  That’s an important topic to several families who are cruising over the Christmas holidays, as well as for those who are planning Spring Break and Summer family vacations.

 

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Tip for Families of five. . . . .OR MORE!!

Tips-For-Famileis-Of-Five-The-Travel-Factory

One of the real dilemmas families and travel agents have in planning a vacation is what to do with families of more than 4, especially if they all want to be together.  Hotels and cruise lines will not allow more than four to a room, so the last one born has to sleep out in the hall!!!  No not really, there are other more practical solutions but they oftentimes cost more money.

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