Off season is a time, when both the guest and the tour operator has all the time to follow the etiquette of planning a tour and enjoying a tour with everything at ones disposal.
Yesterday, whichever guest stepped into my office, had a smile and asked “How are you?” and I was really happy to be on the receiving end.
Its always good for the travel agent to be able to answer the queries of the tourist. But one thing every travel agent should take note, you have more knowledge of the place than the tourist. So it is your duty to help the tourist, no matter what the other party thinks. I will give an example, two guests came asking for Kathakali Show. Here we have two types of show, one only Kathakali and the other they have a cultural show of different dances of Kerala and also the martial arts. The first question, I ask is, are you an artist? If they say yes, then I know, where to direct. But if they are tourist, then I would recommend them the cultural show because they get to see the cultural part of Kerala. It might be a bit expensive but still it would be worth it. Since the tourist have spent loads of money and time and energy to be just in that place, its the duty of every travel agent to make their tour a special one.
Well, if the tourist feels that the travel agent is trying to make business, then you have more to lose than gain. How much can they earn by making you see a cultural show? So do not think your tour with respect to money, just enjoy it with respect to experiences, people and places. Then it would surely be a memorable one.
So tourist, be open to the option of getting the help of a travel agents, just give them a chance and that includes me too.
Take care and be happy.
I know, you might be raising your brows. But its true. Never bargain. Ask the price. If you feel that it is the right value or a little more and if you can afford it, then just pay it.
And if it is very much more?
If you really want it, ask whether they can reduce it for you. If they say no, either buy it or let it go. If it is for you, it will come to you, no matter what the price.
Do you know, why you bargain?
Because you feel, that it is your hard earned money, which should not be squandered. But how did that money come to you in the first place? From the money tree?
No, someone gave you, isn’t it.
Exactly, money is to be shared, just like everything. Grains are sown in the soil and after sometime, it produces more grains, likewise, fruits, vegetables, etc…etc… They decay and become nothing to bring abundance.
Sometimes my friends would scold me for paying the price just like that, without even asking whether it could be reduced or not. To be frank, I do not know to bargain in the first place. Now for some home truths, I put myself in the trader’s place. I would never charge more for anything I sell.
Not because of any moral ethics or like that, but because, if I have charged unfairly, I would lose double that money from my own pocket. Its my experience. Then why take the risk and waste money?
And it is vice versa, when you are a customer too. If you think, that you got a good price bargaining, then forget it, you would lose double the saved money. Then why waste energy and time to haggle. To bring negative energy to oneself?
What is yours would always be yours, whether you are a trader or a customer. It is the law of nature. Now look at nature, during summer,the water goes up as steam , some days it would be more and some days less, but still it goes, right? Have you heard the seas and ocean grumble with the sun for cheating away their water? I haven’t. Well, I hope you too haven’t.
So why doesn’t it grumble?
Because the nature knows, whether the sun evaporates, more water or less water, it will return back to the seas and oceans as rain or snow or ice or whatever. And this sunny climate is necessary for our daily existence. The ultimate goal, the good of all living beings.
So, don’t be selfish, share wisely what you have, it will return back to you double or triple or ten fold all in good time and at the nick of time too, never fear.
Now my advice, you are here for a holiday, so enjoy it. If you have been cheated. Just hold that anger and hurt. No one can cheat you, except you. The money cheated from you will return back to you within no time. So just buy what you want and stop bargaining. The money is theirs too for the taking. Give it happily.
Take care and be happy. Happy holidays!!!!!
Hey guys, Sorry. It took so long to take my letter pad for the next session of writing. Last day, I had a very insightful experience which really made me think that travel is not just seeing places. Then what?
Well, let me first explain the situation, then I could explain in detail.
A month ago I had to organize a houseboat post haste. The reason, the guest who had selected a travel agent, did not turn up to take them to their houseboat or give any detail of the houseboat. So they decided to take my help. I booked a good houseboat, they requested a standard houseboat. You know the speciality of the houseboat?
There are many categories from base, standard, premium to luxury. And the price, facilities, menu, etc varies.
The boat which was allotted for them had no fridge ( standard boat has no fridge). But they had two cases of beer to consume. The boat people gave them an ice box in which the ice couldn’t stay for long and the result, the guest were angry. They were angry and angry with the boat people, harassed them so much and started complaining from top to bottom. It was a nightmare. So they requested a refund after having the full board meal, travelling the whole place and staying overnight and having breakfast. They asked for 50% refund, which the boat people refused to give. So I gave it from my pocket, even though the boat people received the payment directly from the guest. I know, you might be thinking, I am crazy. I felt good giving that money back. Do you know, the moment when I gave the money back, the husband said, “If you had replenished the ice, there was nothing to complain, the rest was our creation.”
The wife rolled her eyes at her husband and spoke sweetly to him, “Darling, could you please go and check whether our friends have arrived?” Then the husband knew, he had overstepped his pleasantry. “O Yes dear” so saying, he got up and fled the scene.
And the lady was all sugar and honey.
I told once more, “Sorry for the inconvenience”
“Oh!! its OK, it sometimes happen, don’t think too much about it. The boat was really a good one, but what to do, we didn’t get what we needed.”
“They should have requested for a bar near the backwaters. What a pity, being in the backwaters is a once in a lifetime experience and they maligned it for a piece of ice block. Then I knew, why the other travel agents did not respond to them. It is because they are creating disaster wherever they go, creating negative energy for themselves. If you want to know what their future holds, its seven times more disaster what they had given to others.
Now, the money which I gave them from my pocket returned to me ten folds more on the very same day.
I know, you would say its impossible. But its true, it happened. For me my work is not business, its my life, the time to spend idly, is my life, time to be with family, time to be with holiday are all part of my life, which ultimately is an extension for the advancement of my spiritual identity and that goes for all human being.
Now the lesson, whether you are in leisure or in work place or in family, the time which you are going through is one and the same, it is yours. Either make that moment an investment or a blunder. The choice is yours and the best place to make a difference is from you. Remember your life does not end with death. So live accordingly. So now you understand what is the connection between you and travel. Utilize it to the hilt. I do.
Take care and be happy.
see you soon.
When you decide to travel, the place do matter with respect to the budget.
Now if you ask a regular traveller, which is the most expensive place to tour?
Some would respond as Paris and some would say, its London. That doesn’t matter unless you are aware that these places are more expensive than other places like India or Sri Lanka. Now, the first thing to note is the standard of living of the place. I am an Indian and if I feel, that I can manage in London or Paris, with the money I earn in India, then I would be awakened with a big shock when I apply for a visa.
So make sure, you know the living standards of each place before you plan the trip. I remember one guest who tipped Rs. 10/- to the person who carried four big suitcases of his in Kerala. Last day in the same place, I saw a beggar who threw back Rs. 5/- and cursing the person who donated it. For me, I cannot digest it. But imagine the nerve of the beggar. Its not the nerve, its the standard of living they are used to. So when you plan, even if it is to the last detail of tipping too, it matters.
If you are well aware of the situation you are going to, the expenditure you can afford to, then you could plan likewise with less hassles and the ultimate result, you would feel royal from start to end. Want to bet?
See you soon.
We all do not have the same financial status. A pauper has one and the prince has another. But we all sure have one. The only advice is, do not get yourself in debt by overspending.
Now if you have only Rs. 1000/- to spend for a day, be frank to yourself, and spend within that price range.
And this range makes a lot of difference in many ways
1. The spaciousness of the room
2. The neatness of the room
3. The thickness of the bed
4. The location of the place
5. The dealing of the staff, etc….etc….
And we put all the services of all category hotels in a scale of 1 to 10. The lower the budget, the scale would be lower.
I work in a place where the category of the hotel is in the scale of 6 and the guests there cannot tolerate or even step into a 3 scale hotel. Now, if they purposefully decide to lower the budget and stay in a budget hotel, then mark my word, its a lot more replanning, rescheduling, running around the place and the end result, money loss and searching and searching for the guest and humiliation for the travel agent. So its better to know the budget and plan all the services of the same scale from first to last. If ever you want to have an upper scale hotel. Select it in the last part of the tour and never on the first part. And all will click into place, without worry.
But there is one thing, which is a very big factor with respect to budget – the place.
Which we will talk about the next day.
See you guys
Now, this is one question, you should know before you travel. And that is a very important question which you should answer no matter what. You might think it weird, but it is true, because then the adventure you are going to take part would not touch your being.
We are all here in this world searching for something fulfilling and its not same for all. My favourite place is sitting by a small brook under the shade of the tree, with my legs dipped in the water letting the small fishes eat, with a romantic book to read and something to munch and sip. But my family would ask, “Are you crazy? What is there in a brook. So ….. now you understand, all people are not alike.
So decide, what makes you happy and what makes others happy and check for the places, which caters to both yours and your family’s need or get the service of a travel agency, so that they can help you out on that score and easier to plan.
Then bring a balance to the places you plan to visit. So that the whole family gets to fulfill their wishes easily along with yours. And that would help you get fond memories of the tour.
Now the next thing you should be aware of is, how much you should spend. That is another issue. Which we can talk about, next day.
See you soon.
Since I am in the travel field and meeting hordes of people. I decided to give some tip, which every traveller should know before departing for a holiday or from your safety zone.
The first and foremost to ask before you get out of the cocoon of your home.
1. Are you ready for adventure or not?
If yes, then you are ready to travel and ready to meet people and experience the very best and the worst and still let a smile behind.
If not, then believe me, don’t step out. It would not only be a nightmare to you but also for the person who comes in contact with you. The best example is the hollywood movie, Nim’s Island (Smile!!!).
For all the travellers :-
Travelling is a risk, where you are throwing away all safety precautions to see the unknown, to feel the unfelt and to savour the unsavoured. And believe me, we are all travellers in our life from infancy to adulthood. But for what? Have you wondered why we are travelling? In search of happiness, contentment, fulfillment and above all everlasting love and peace. When we reach each destination, either we feel elated or excited or wrinkle the nose. The difference in attitude happens according to the connection it has made, in your heart.
Now comes the next question.
2. What would you love to see?
You know, the activity which brings a smile on you. That smile can do real wonders to others and to your very self.
It just happened to me now. One guest just passed me poker faced and I gave a big smile and still he didn’t change his expression. After a few seconds he returned and asked some service from me and I asked him,
“Are you such a serious person, always?” He looked surprised at me. I continued, “you know, you would be far more handsome, if you could just sprinkle a little smile on your face.” And to my surprise he smiled, and indeed it changed his whole facial structure. And to be frank, I felt happy too. Anyway, keep smiling to whatever experience you get, that brings a lot of difference to your life – a sunshine. Want to bet? So keep smiling. I will talk about what makes you happy in travel, tomorrow.
See you soon.
Take care. Bye