Pat and Bee's Life

At the speed of crazy!

Friday, July 27, 2007

The weird world of travel

The one thing that I have found is that it's really, really hard to sell what you don't know. The gals in the office can go on and on about Italy, France, the UK, Germany, Croatia, Albania, Hawaii, Montana, Seattle, Vancouver, Alaska, Yosemite, Brice, Zion, Washington DC, New York, Canada, Denver, LA, Portland (both Maine and Oregon), Caribbean get the point.

I only know a few things really well! I can sell anything Disney! I can sell San Diego, and most of the So Cal theme parks. I can sell any aquarium on the west coast (a passion of mine for many years), the Grand Canyon Railway (having been on a "Fam" last year), and that's about it. The problem is, being a mostly military/base access town, anyone can walk into MWR and beat my prices on hotels and tickets. So, my knowledge there is pretty much worthless.

So, back to "Fam's". Fams are Familiarization trips offered to travel agents to assist with getting to know the destinations. Once you've been there and can describe it, give tips on where to eat, walk, swim, shop, relax, stay, etc., it assists greatly in closing sales. Otherwise, you look like a muck that just read it out of a book (which is normally how I get my info on these destinations.

A fam was just offered to our office! $450 to Hawaii. Round trip air, 5 nights stay on the Big Island of Hawaii, most meals, transportation, excursions, training on the destination and on the programs offered by the supplier so that we can better sell. $450 is a steal. But right now, it's just not really do-able. First, one agent is gone the entire time the fam is being offered, with another gone the last 2 days. Leaving my office with the new person, who hasn't even started yet. Not a wise choice.

Also, it's just too close to some major purchases for Pat and I, and I have to think about our financial situation first. There's more to be spent then just $450! Gas to LAX and back, meals that aren't provided, any shopping, I would DEFINITELY need new clothes. Because I have discovered that of the clothes I normally wear to work, almost none are really professional and almost all are stained or ripped in some manner.

I'm hard on my clothes, and I buy the bare minimum needed so I have money to spend on other stuff. It's going to be hard to break down and buy $150-$200 bucks in new stuff.Even then, it'll be from Wal-Mart and be destroyed in a year or so. But I digress.

If we're offered rental cars to explore on our own that will cost gas and possible taxes, any snorkeling/swimming/fishing gear required for any of the excursions or on my own will be extra, and of course, at least SOMETHING for family for souvies, since I'll probably never go back to Hawaii.

So.....I'm disappointed I can't go. It would be good for the office, but I'm not stupid enough to even ask my boss to pay for it. But it would also leave the office in a position of complete helplessness while I was gone. Not good!

But I'm also glad, in a way. Pat and I have plans in August, September, and we have to do something in October with Tawnia, though her birthday trip has had to be postponed because of a lack of funds on both our parts.

Then in November/December our car insurances, home taxes/mortgage stuffs is due, along with our home warranty and various other yearly bills. Plus holiday and Christmas stuff, it's just not a good time.

So, until the next fam becomes available, I bid you all, ALOHA!


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