101: Planning

Here I am recharging my business from the recent down turn and happily have several new referrals this week.


Infinity Room at Jade Mountain, St. Lucia


Two groups and three families reached out to me with appropriate budgets and wishes. The only problem:  they are planning to travel the coming holiday season.  Oh my- how very frustrating!

It is almost impossible to accommodate travel plans less than three months prior to the busiest time of the year.

The travel industry is like the fashion industry: we produce our work six months to one year prior to the experience.  Currently I am working on a cruise and frequent flyer seats for September 2011. Come March, I will work on February 2012 winter break.


Kayaking by the Pitons


The fashion industry is now making the clothes for next summer, so they will be ready when you want to buy them at the end of winter! We in the travel industry need to make reservations now for next summer and fall, so they will be ready when you want to travel. The advance time frame for planning is now being even further impacted by the lack of airline seats. There have been so many cut back from the carriers and more to come, especially into the Caribbean.


Golfing with a view at Atlantis, Bahamas


The few seats that are available have very high price tags unless the seats are purchased months and months in advance. I see seats now for the 2010 holidays well over $1,000 – and these are in coach class!  It is not just airline seats that sell out, cities and resorts do too!  I had a client going to Copenhagen with a 10 month advance window and still the city was sold out for a very large UN conference.

My advice to my clients is always when you are thinking of traveling call me and I can advise you as to when it is time for us to make your arrangements.


Relax and enjoy your vacation


I do not always say buy now. Often, it is prudent to wait and the fares may lower. Why should the airlines have your money? When it comes to holidays, winter and spring break seasons, though, the sooner the better.

About alwaysharriet

With thirty years experience in corporate and leisure travel consulting, Harriet Ahouse has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and worldwide. An avid scuba diver, she understands the requirements of travelers both on land and in the water. On the European scene she has offered traditional and personalized travel itineraries throughout the continent--Italy, France, and England are some of her favorites. As a Virtuoso Agent, she also has extensive resources to enhance her expertise in designing individual destination travel itineraries--and honeymoons--worldwide!
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