My name is Mike Ellis, and I am a travel consultant for Pixie Vacations. In this post, I’m going to share with you a little bit of information on the highs and lows of being a travel consultant, with the thought being to show how a good travel consultant is more than just someone that plans vacations.
I’ve been a consultant now for over five years, and in that time, I’ve helped a lot of clients have incredible vacations that bring a lifetime of memories for them and their family to cherish for years to come. In nearly all of these cases, my client was not anyone that I had ever met before, and for most of them, that is still the case. However, there are times when you connect up with a client in such a way that you become friends to the point that it’s no longer a client/consultant relationship; rather, it’s a friendship, one that goes beyond your work relationship.
Deb is just one of those clients. She contacted me last year through my connection with Disney’s Cheapskate Princess for a trip for her and her friends; the four of them were heading to Disney for a girls trip. As we talked, we felt a connection, a bonding that happens sometimes, and it became more than a business relationship; it became a friendship.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and Deb had put in a request for another Disney trip, this time with her son and granddaughter. We planned it out, worked up the pricing, had a hold in place, but then the laughter from last year’s trip turned to tears for this year’s trip. Her son has been sick, and they won’t be able to make that trip this year. Please pray for the family, it is very serious. It’s in times like this that I stop being a travel consultant, and instead put on my friend hat and pray with them.
Travel consultants take the details of a family — or, often, more than one family — and weave them all together. Celestine is just one example. He worked with me to plan a trip for his family. His daughter, nephews, nieces, sister, mother, in all, three generations traveling on vacation, some from the States, some from the UK. When you are going to a venue you have never been to before, the single most important thing you can do is call on someone that has been there, knows the ins and outs, and can walk you through the process so it’s not overwhelming. That’s what Celestine did — a friend of mine recommended me to him, and he reached out to me. As we talked, I could hear the excitement in his voice, and together we worked up a trip that allowed all of his family to experience Disney on their terms. One of the best responses I ever received was when I told them to have fun, and he replied, “Already am!” That’s the kind of response I like to hear from my clients.
Sometimes, life takes you beyond the boundaries of your job, and the relationships you form become a second family. When I was writing for another site, another writer and I struck up a friendship that stood the test of time. Then, when my wife, daughter and I traveled to Disneyland, we were able to arrange it and were able to meet with them; Sheila, Randy, and Jagan. My daughter Sophie and Jagan had an instant friendship from that visit in 2013, and since then, we’ve toured Walt Disney World together in 2014 and 2017, Sophie and I stayed with them in 2015 when Disneyland celebrated it’s 60th Birthday, and we have seen our friendship turn into family. In fact, Sophie is visiting with Jagan right now.
A good travel consultant wears his/her heart on their sleeve, to the point that what happens to your clients happens to you as well. You laugh with them, you cry with them, you pray with them, and you celebrate with them. You have been joined and connected together on this road called life, and their highs are your highs, their lows become your lows, and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Thank you for stopping by, now go out and have a great day!