PHOTO: Travel agents can help clients separate the myth from the reality. (photo courtesy of Pixabay)
It’s expensive. You have to complain to get what you want. It’s about just going from one place to another.
There are so many myths and falsehoods that people believe and that can actually change the perception of how and where they travel.
Travel agents do what they can to debunk the myths they hear. For example, Kerry Mooneyham, a Virtuoso Travel Consultant with Midwest Travel Solutions, often hears that travel is simply going from one place to another or that it is a luxury.
“The core of travel is experience,” she said. “To experience another person’s culture and realize we aren’t that different or that your perception based on the news is simply wrong.
Mooneyham was raised on Animal Kingdom and Jacques Cousteau specials before cable television and the Discovery Channel. “Until the day I plunged off the back of a small catamaran off the coast of St. John’s, with its impossibly turquoise water in the middle of a school of dazzling fish moving in synchrony as a mass parting around me, I never understood the wonder, peace and tranquility that the sea offered.”
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In that instant, she was hooked on travel. “Had I not experienced that moment, I doubt that I would even be a professional travel agent today,” she said. “The experience of travel can have such unintended consequences.”
Becky Lukovic often hears, “We don’t spend much time in the room anyway, so it doesn’t matter where we stay.”
“The reality is that where you stay is more than just where you lay your head,” said Lukovic, from Bella Travel Planning, an Independent Affiliate of Travel Experts, Inc. “Where you stay is your home for your travels. Opening the window of a balcony to see the sea while sipping my morning tea is glorious! Having someone greet me by name as I walk into a hotel makes me feel cared for! Beautiful surroundings make your stay even more beautiful.”
She once drove by a small motel with a sign reading “Clean and Safe” and wondered if this was the type of accommodations people envision when they say “I just want something clean and safe.”
“I want my valued travelers to have so much more than just clean and safe—I want their home away from home to be welcoming and fabulous,” she said.
The reality is that travel is not always welcoming and fabulous. Dirty hotel rooms, lost luggage and bad service make travel uncomfortable. However, Margie Lenau said that the myth about travel is that if you argue or act upset, it will help to get upgrades.
“If you really have a problem, you should be kind and work to resolve the issue,” said Lenau of Wonderland Family Vacations. “Getting upset or yelling just makes people want to avoid you and the conflict. If you want your seat changed on a flight, ask nicely and you will get a better result. The people you are asking for a favor hear this from travelers every day.”
If you’ve heard of a travel myth, talk to a travel professional and find out if what you’re hearing is true or false.