Swipe right on your own getaway – and fall in love with travel all over again

While the month of February has long been associated with the notion of ‘love’, many may not be feeling the love right now.

The past two years, our industry has often experienced what felt like an endless string of blind dates, showing up every day with the best of intentions, only to discover our expectations and reality were miles apart.

You have had to wade through cancellations, refunds, frustrated clients, constantly changing policies, testing requirements and more.

As we started to see travel resume you shifted that focus to rebookings, calming client nerves, managing long hold times, and staring at your phone expecting a callback only to end the day feeling ghosted.

The past months have been spent working on your business, educating yourself on new policies and procedures implemented by tour operators to keep our clients safe, and attending more online trainings and webinars than you can count. You have exhausted yourself ensuring you are armed with the knowledge to offer your clients the best guidance, playing matchmaker with their personal comfort levels and the right destination for their perfect getaway.

Every day we are seeing more countries ease restrictions. Australia is reopening to international travellers as of Feb. 21, 2022, and New Zealand has announced its plan to reopen its borders. And now there is speculation the Canadian government is planning to remove mandatory PCR tests for fully vaccinated travellers. All very positive news for our industry.

It’s time for you to take a step back, catch your breath and take a moment for yourself. If there is one thing you can do this month, give yourself permission to be the traveller instead of the ‘trusted travel advisor’ and remember why you started in this industry.

There is no better Valentine you can give yourself than ‘swiping right’ on travel. Reignite that spark, rediscover that passion, and rejoice in the act of travelling again. It doesn’t matter if it is Victoria or Venice, Calgary, or Cancun; plan a trip and revel in the pure joy of travel again. Play tourist in your own province exploring new locales, take advantage of the amazing fam opportunities currently available, or return to a favourite destination you’ve thought of often over the past two years.

Soak up every moment of the process: enjoy the anticipation counting down until departure day, packing then repacking your suitcase as you decide what to bring, planning your itinerary and the journey itself.

Whether it is the simple pleasure of staying in a hotel or your first flight in months or even years, enjoy every second and take it all in. As you board the plane and take your seat, close your eyes, feel the goosebumps as you hear those three magic words: ‘Prepare for take-off’.

I am a big proponent that in our industry the ultimate act of self-care for us is to travel ourselves. The responsibilities we have to our businesses, to our clients, to our industry have been a heavy weight in recent months. Unburden yourself, even if it’s just for a long weekend and fall in love with travel again. Trust us, you will be grateful you did.

Heather Baker