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Salutations™!!

For the last five years, I’ve side-gigged as a travel professional. Booked many a trip including four for The BCPF and myself, several for other family members, a right many for friends and a few for clients I didn’t know. It has always been my side hustle because I have been deep into the podcasting world for the last seven years. BOYWT

Booking travel is more than just putting some numbers into the computer, comparing and contrasting prices and picking something to do. There’s a lot more to it than that. It’s hard, arduous work. If it were easy, just anyone could do it, right? At least they think they can.

I got into the travel biz at a weird time. OTAs (online travel agencies like Travelocity, Kayak, Expedia, etc.) had started to really take off and hundreds of more followed. Trying to convince people that they aren’t spending any more money booking with a real-life travel professional is hard. No one believes it and no one sees the realities of it. To keep it short, here, time is money. Your time is valuable to you. If you put a value on your free time, how much would it cost you to look up airline tix, a hotel and a few museum tours for a five-day trip to Paris? Let’s say you value your time as about $40/hour. Unless you’ve been to Paris (and really even if you have), you’re going to spend about five hours just getting started on that. You have to piece together a puzzle. Most people just give up and go to the beach or the mountains and then complain they don’t ever go anywhere because it’s such a “hassle.” But, let’s assume you went on and searched. So, at five hours at $40 an hour, that’s $200 of your time you’ve wasted. Beyond the value of what it cost you, how about the intangible things? You could have used that time to play catch with your kids, cooked a meal, talked with a close friend you’ve missed the last few weeks, binge-watching your favorite Netflix show and so on. That runs up a pretty hefty bill. Chances are it wouldn’t have cost you $100 more to use a professional. That’s our jobs.

Let’s say you value your time as about $40/hour. Unless you’ve been to Paris (and really even if you have), you’re going to spend about five hours just getting started on that. You have to piece together a puzzle. Most people just give up and go to the beach or the mountains and then complain they don’t ever go anywhere because it’s such a “hassle.” But, let’s assume you went on and searched. So, at five hours at $40 an hour, that’s $200 of your time you’ve wasted. Beyond the value of what it cost you, how about the intangible things? You could have used that time to play catch with your kids, cooked a meal, talked with a close friend you’ve missed the last few weeks, binge-watching your favorite Netflix show and so on. That runs up a pretty hefty bill. Chances are it wouldn’t have cost you $100 more to use a professional. That’s our jobs. It’s what many of us do full-time. It takes that to be serious about getting your travel right.

But, to the ones that do it part-time, sometimes it’s harder to get all the stuff right. There are rules, regulations, procedures and so on that get caught up in the minutia that one may never even know of, including full-time TP (travel professionals), much less the part-timers. There are situations I’ve never dealt with, that I wouldn’t have thought to take care of. There’s a bunch of scenarios that could/would be applicable but I’m going to skip that, you know what I mean. Sometimes a mistake ends up costing the clients a good chunk of change. Part-timers are good for letting the vendors do their work and just being the middle man, but it takes more than that to keep the biz going.

As you’ve seen from my posts over the last few months and if you keep track of any of the podcasts that I do, their social media, this blog, etc., you know that time is the one thing (well, short of cash flow) that I’m running significantly low on. What happens is you can’t give your 100% to your travel clients when you haven’t 100% to give. That’s not fair to the clients and it’s not fair to you. You can’t be upset when they’re upset you just cost them some funds, even if it’s not your fault exactly. You’re the agent; the advocate. Luckily, that’s only happened to me about twice. There’s been more missteps but usually not with me. Not in proportion, anyway.

In addition, it costs money for me to even be able to call myself an agent. It is around $50 a month for me to use an IATA/CLIA (consortium agencies that issue ID numbers to travel agencies) and run a website to book travel. If I book a trip for you today that you don’t take until February, that commission doesn’t kick in until February and could take up to 90 days to be processed. So, a commission of $350 that I may make is a minimum of 7 months away. Conceivably it could be 10 months with the 90-day process. But at the minimum, it would cost me $350 (7x$50) to even be an agent of the umbrella agency. I’d break even, what’s that worth? Take into account, too that I’ll only get 70% of that commission, then I’m in the hole on it.

I even find myself going to hotels’ websites myself to book my own travel. Joining the loyalty programs get me a better overall rate when I book that I can get, even as a travel agent unless there’s some FAM (familiarization) scenario going on. It’s all a headache, really. The beauty is I know how the business works and I know where to look for the better rates and how to work that.

So, with all of that being said, and I apologize for the verbosity, let this blog post stand as notice that I am shutting down Bee On Your Way Travel. I am resigning my membership through the travel agency that I was under the umbrella of and closing shop. To anyone that I have had the pleasure to book a trip with, thank you for trusting me with that. I have let down a couple but for the most part, I’ve done at least a decent job. I love the industry, just not the business. If I ever decide to get back into it, it will be after I have allotted time for it specifically and I will do it all on my own, keeping my own commissions and not splitting it with another agency. I will get my own consortium and go from there. But, again, thanks so much to any that I’ve talked, booked or taken travel with over the last five years. I’m going to miss it, but I think I’ll be better off. I’ll still offer advice but I won’t be able to book any longer.

Until tomorrow, happy travels…
Scorp out!


“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” – Matsuo Basho