fbpx

Travel Cancellations: What to do Now?

The Travel Industry is in chaos.  And I know a LOT of y'all had wonderful trips planned, and paid for.  And now you are wondering, what to do now. I have GREAT information from a fantastic Travel Agent, who has tips, recommendations and answers to the most frequently asked travel question:  "What do I do NOW???"

Subscribe

Share this:

 

In the face of a chaotic challenge, my default reaction is always to stop.  Take a deep breath, consult an expert, and make a plan.  And the Travel Industry is certainly in chaos.  And I know a LOT of y’all had wonderful trips planned, and paid for.  And now you are wondering, what to do now, in the face of of these travel cancellations.  I have GREAT information from a fantastic Travel Agent, who has tips, recommendations and answers to the most frequently asked travel question:  “What do I do NOW???”

 

At the time of this recording, March 23, 2020, the world is facing incredible chaos and challenges, due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.  The Travel Industry was hit early, and hit hard.  Many people have spent thousands of dollars on upcoming travel, are facing travel cancellations, and simply don’t know where to turn.

This episode is an excellent set of recommendations and strategies for working through travel cancellations.

 

If you are new to Podcasts, here’s a few tips:

  • You can always find The Curious Cowgirl Podcast here, on my web site.  Simply go to the menu bar at the top of your screen, and click on Podcast.   Then, you will be able to see and search for all my Podcast Episodes.
  • You can also listen to The Curious Cowgirl Podcast wherever you normally listen to Podcasts, such as on iTunesSpotify, or iHeart Radio.
  • I’ll also embed the podcast  episodes in Blog Posts that are closely aligned topically!
  • Simply click the “Play” button on the player below, and start listening!

 

The Curious Cowgirl Podcast Episode #5

 

 

 

What You Will Learn

 

  • What to do if you booked through a 3rd Party Booking Site, like Hotels.com or Expedia, and need to deal with travel cancellations
  • How is a Travel Agent able to help their clients, when there is a problem, big or small
  • What are the Pros and Cons of Travel Insurance

 

 

Podcast Episode 5 Show Notes, Links and Resources

 

 

 

Podcast Episode 5 Transcript

 

Mary:  Hey y’all. Welcome to The Curious Cowgirl Podcast. In today’s episode, I have a fantastic guest. Her name is Melanie Lake. She is a travel agent with Sherry Lane Travel, and Melanie has some very good information and tips for any of you all who are facing and having to deal with cancelled travel plans, so stay with me. This is gonna be a very informative episode.

Welcome to The Curious Cowgirl Podcast where we’re talking about all things travel and maybe some other stuff that I find interesting. Let’s jump into today’s episode!

Now be sure and stick with me until the end of this episode, because I have a very, very good travel tip that you’re for sure gonna want to get your hands on.

Hey y’all OK, well, before we jump into the meat of this episode, I just have to begin by saying kind of a big… wow.  I don’t even know what to say about this whole Coronavirus mess that we’re all in. And, um, you know, I know that every emotion that I’m feeling y’all are feeling, too. It’s just feels like an out of body experience, kind of.

But I first of all more than anything, I pray over you and your family and your community and this world, I believe confidently that we’re going to get to the other side of this. I have complete and total faith that as a world we will get through this together and come out on the other side stronger. And, um, you know, somehow better for it. I definitely believe that. So blessings over you. Blessings and protection over you and your family and your community right now.

So one of the, uh you know, I guess news items that we’re hearing about a lot is how all of this is impacting our economy. And the travel industry was hit early and hit hard and will continue to feel the significant impact of the Coronavirus.

And so, regarding travel, I know that for most people, travel is an expenditure that is not a have to, it’s a want to.  And, you know, as we sort of moved through the month of March and lots and lots of families had travel plans related to Spring Break. As we look forward to April and, you know, lots of travel takes place in April. And then even moving into May and June. I think about couples who are getting married and had big honeymoons planned. Or kids were graduating from high school or college, and families had big trips planned to celebrate those moments. There’s just a lot of people who had spent a lot of money, not necessarily typical money, not necessarily budgeted money, but spent money on travel. And now they’re sort of sitting back, going, Okay, now what? What do I do about that?

And so I’m definitely a person. When faced with a challenge, I like to take a deep breath and think through action steps, concrete action steps, of how I can deal with whatever the situation is. So in this case, I turned to my friend Melanie Lake, who is also a travel agent. I’ve known Melanie for years. I think I’ve known her for about 15 years, maybe even longer than that. We met when our daughters were in elementary school together. They graduated from high school together, and then Melanie and I have worked together professionally, planning trips for me and Will. But then also we’ve done a little trip planning for some other people who approached me for some help, and I immediately turned to Melanie. She’s fantastic. And I love that Melanie is a very calm, linear, organized thinker. I think that what we need in this moment is somebody who can say, All right. Here. Step one. Here, Step two. And Melanie is definitely that personality type. So I will bring her on. And I’ve got some questions that she and I talked about ahead of time. She’s got some fantastic answers. I definitely want you to be sure and stick around until the end because I’ve got some good resource is for you,

Mary:  Melanie. Like welcome to The Curious Cowgirl Podcast. I’m so glad you’re here.

Melanie:  Well, thank you so much for inviting me to be part of this great podcast. I’m excited to be to be on this.

Mary: Well, we’ve been talking about doing this for a while, so I’m glad that, you know, whatever, that the timing was perfect for both of us. So we have got a ton to talk about today. But before we jump into the meat of the episode, tell the people about yourself, who you are and why you decided to be a travel agent. All the things!

Melanie: Wonderful. I would love to. Okay, so Melanie Lake, I am. I will go ahead and describe myself as I have for the last, almost 23 years. I’m a mom of a 22 year old son and two 19 year old daughters. My husband, Chris, and I had a wonderful time raising them. I’m a former attorney who was able to spend time at home with the kids raising them, and then a few years ago started thinking I needed to find my next, my next adventure of my next plan for life,  after everyone left the house.

And one of my favorite things in the whole world is travel. I think that it is essential to well-being. I think it’s essential to learning. I just think it’s essential to the soul to connect with people here in the United States and especially all over the world.

So I was extremely excited when my good friend Kelly Gruber, who owns Sherry Lane Travel, approached me about if I would be interested in joining her agency. And at the time it wasn’t the right time because I wanted to wait until my daughters graduated from high school, so I could be as present for them as possible. But starting their senior year, I started. I jumped on, I jumped on board and got my feet wet and started learning the business, and really was full throttle by the time they graduated.

And so I’m coming on two years now, and I absolutely love it. Even love the exhausting parts and the headache parts, which are what’s going on right now.

Mary:  Yeah, no kidding. This is kind of a challenging moment for everybody in the travel world, that is for sure. And I’m very grateful for all the information that you’re gonna bring to us today, because I think that one of the ways to kind of combat worry and fear is with knowledge. And, you know, especially when it comes to finances, this is, kind of Ah, you know, I don’t know. This is a hard moment where people have spent money and maybe money’s not coming in. And some of that money spent may be related to vacations that were planned. So I know that you’re gonna have a lot of great info for everybody today. So let’s kind of jump into the meat of the episode here.

And I guess where I’m gonna start, Melanie, is what would be, kind of your best advise, to people who are really concerned right now about trips that they booked, and they did not use a travel agent. Let’s kind of start there and give them a bit of your two cents on how you would advise them to proceed.

Melanie:  Okay, So for people who have booked their travel, let’s start with airlines because I feel like, ah, lot of the suppliers, like hotels and tours are following what the airlines are doing. At least that’s the trend I’m seeing.

So before we started this podcast, I just checked American Airlines, not for any other reason, except that tends to be the one that I personally use the most because I have a credit card that generates miles. And so I went on there and saw that American Airlines has extended their date to May 31st,  where they will offer vouchers for travel. You can go online and cancel it online without calling, because the hold times are terrible right now that you can cancel online.

Keep your record indicator and then through May 31st you can get a voucher that is good for 12 months from the date you booked your travel, or you can change your trip. Uh, you can do it for the same destination and they will waive the change fees, because domestically, I think they’re usually around $200. Internationally they could go up to around $750. Um so, ah, lot of times this is what I’m seeing as a trend.

I’m not saying it’s going to be this way tomorrow, but what’s trending is hotels will then take their cue. Oh, okay. The flight might you know, for this client? The flight has been canceled. They can’t get to their destination. What am I going to do? I want to keep this client. So here are some things that maybe I can do, and the hotel will either give a refund, a partial refund, or they’ll give a credit, that’s good for X amount of months or years, in some cases, for people to travel back to that hotel. Because they also are wanting to engender that goodwill. So that people will come back.

And I haven’t found any. I haven’t really found suppliers who are just full out, not giving refunds and not giving credit. It’s been rare, but again, I’m a travel agent. I’m working on that.

So if you booked your own trip, and you’re having trouble getting a refund. See if you can negotiate a future credit. See if you can negotiate, you know, six months from now, a year from now, even two years from now. Just see if they will do that, because I feel like suppliers are more likely to be helpful if you’re not looking for a full refund.

Also, if you’ve booked with third party site, liken Expedia, like a Booking.com something like that. That can be tricky because you are needing to call that third party site, and not the hotel or the airline, because the third party site has to make the changes in their system, for them to go into the system at the hotel or airline or tour company.

Those wait times are, well. Last week I was on wait for four hours. I can only imagine that that has not really changed. So, I’m confident that it’s a headache for the independent booking traveler. Uh, be patient. If you can cancel online, cancel online and maybe try to negotiate the refund later. Because if you try to cancel after your dates of travel, then then you’ve lost your negotiating power.

If you’re canceling before and then, then you can oftentimes go back and negotiate that refund that credit, whatever it happens to be. And also, if you are able to cancel and you are due a refund, please be patient because a lot of those refunds can take 30 to 60 days because the system is flooded and they are trying to triage, for a better word, who comes first, whose travel dates are first, and then they’re working down the line. So that’s really my best advice.

If you have booked on your own, try to follow what the airlines are doing, what their dates are before you just cancel, and then also try to negotiate a credit or refund with the hotel. If you booked directly and then also for third party sites, uh, you’re gonna have to hold, you’re going to have to be patient. And if you have a refund or credit coming, you’re probably going to be waiting 30 to 60 days to see that in your inbox or on your credit card statement.

Mary:  Oh, my gosh. Melanie, that was unbelievably helpful information. Let me ask you a follow up question. Uh, actually Will and I were talking about this last night. So in the case, let me give you something that I’m facing. And maybe some of my listeners are, too. I have booked a hotel directly through their website. I didn’t use a third party, I but directly through a hotel website. And I am wondering, Yeah, sometimes when you book online, I’m just gonna say, you know like Hilton.com. Sometimes you’re going through, like a main switchboard or whatever with a person who is just looking at their, I guess, inventory across every hotel in that chain. Would it be more helpful to try and get the local phone number at the hotel you booked and try and talk to that local hotel? Um, rather than you know, the person that’s kind of on the switchboard. Would that make a difference?

Melanie: I think it could make a difference. I always like to try the local hotel first. And then if they’re not able to do something and they refer you to that, you know, main switchboard or their more global contact, then go there. Because if that’s the hotel where you’re wanting to stay, you may have more uh, luck, with that general manager of that hotel. So that’s my, I always like to start at the source and then if I have to go higher up than I do that.

Mary:  Okay, that’s really helpful. And I really appreciate what you said about being patient. I mean, I think there’s, I mean, nobody wants to make everybody happy more than the travel industry does. I mean, you know they are, they want everybody to come back, fly back, go back, take the tour, whatever. But they are kind of, you know, overwhelmed is a great word, and triage is a great word. You used both of those words.

And just think all of us have to take a super deep breath right now, and know that we’re one of a lot of people that are in the same situation and they want it to work out for us and for them too. So I thought that was very wise of you. To encourage people to have that perspective. Melanie:  Absolutely. You just, this, this is uncharted, uncharted territory. Excuse me, for everyone. The travel industry has never seen anything like this. I have a wealth of information through a Travel Advisory forum, and even the 40 year travel agents. They’ve just never seen anything like this. Nothing has shut down travel to this degree. And I think the last thing that we experienced was 9/11, and that was nothing compared to this. And so, uh, it’s very frustrating.

It is a service industry, just like you said. It’s an industry where we want our clients to be happy. The suppliers want our clients to be happy. It’s a joy to travel, supposed to be a joy. And so when we can’t make that happen, just everyone’s trying to get to the point where we can solve the problems. We can get money refunded, we can get credits restored and hopefully not go bankrupt in the process.

Mary:  And all the people said Amen, for sure.

Melanie:  Yes, right!

Mary:  Okay, let me, um let me ask you this. So I said in the introduction that, you know, full disclosure. I am, you know, Melanie Lake, The Travel Agent. I’m a big fan, and you know, and I have not always been a travel agent user. I’m definitely the person who on doesn’t mind  spread sheets and doing all that research. That’s why I’m a travel blogger.  And I used to really forge ahead on my own a lot. But over the last couple of years, I have so appreciated your help and have had incredibly good experiences with you. So, once we get through this moment, Melanie, let’s kind of talk about as people begin to plan travel going forward, why should they consider using a travel agent as opposed to just trying to do it on their own?

Melanie:  Well, first of all, thank you so much. I love that I have brought you around and I take that very high praise. So please know how much I appreciate that.

Uh, I didn’t use a travel agent before. I really started doing this either. And I am blown away at what being that travel agent could do for people. So I think first and foremost, especially given the situation we’re in now we answer the phone.  We answer the phone in a timely way. When you have a question, when you need to, make a change, when you need to ask advice, when you are frustrated with, I haven’t seen this refund or what.  I mean, just speaking to the situation we are in now, you’re not gonna be on hold for hours if you used a travel agent. So I think that’s first and foremost.

Secondly, in in this situation, in this travel crisis that that we’re in now, for lack of a better word, and then also just going forward, I am part of an agency. So I’m part of Sherry Lane Travel, which is then an affiliate of a larger group called Montecito Village Travel. And we, I am so grateful and so thankful for both of those groups and their savvy about the travel industry and truly their weight that they carry in the travel industry.

With that, with a Montecito Village travel, which is part of Virtuoso, we have an ability to negotiate. We get to come to the table with these hotel suppliers, with these tour suppliers that are global, and we just have an ability to negotiate, that the independent traveler is not going to have. We are able to get that better rate. Get those perks added. We’re able to. Uh, an example is, I had a client who was booked to go to Europe on spring break. Uh, they booked themselves, and then came to me to fill in some blanks. But one of the hotels they booked on their own is a Virtuoso hotel. They booked a nonrefundable rate because they wanted to be able to spend a little less. And then when all of this came up, they panicked and said, Oh my gosh, it’s a non-refundable rate and they won’t they won’t refund. So because of the relationship I had with that hotel in Europe due to my affiliation with Sherry Lane and Montecito Village, I was able to negotiate a refund. And so they said, because of our relationship and because this is your client, we’ll go ahead and refunded the full amount of their stay. And I’m not saying that happens every time, because it doesn’t. So I don’t want people to think I can wave a magic wand and get them out of every non-refundable rate. I can’t. But because of the crisis, because of my relationship, and because this was my client, I was able to negotiate that refund.

And I just think that having the weight of a travel agent who has that affiliation really benefits the client instead of booking on their own. And so really, I think the most important thing that you’re going to find if you hire a travel agent is relationships and its relationships domestically and abroad, with tour companies, with hotels, with airlines, just with everything, I mean, we have. We cultivate these relationships. We meet people for lunch. We do webinars to learn more about products. We do all kinds of interviews. We just, we really try to stay connected to everyone in the industry as much as we can. It’s impossible to become an expert on everything, but we try to become as knowledgeable as we can. And so that’s part of why you hire a travel agent is to be have access to that wealth of knowledge and the inside relationships, so that it can make your trip even better, and certainly better than if you just book it on your own.

Another reason I think that it’s important to hire an agent is that, I think that we can be a voice of reason and during times of uncertainty, and then also just in what’s now looking like mundane travel planning. I would say that during this crisis, I have been able to talk to clients, advised them when to cancel when to wait. When to, let’s push for this agency to give a refund instead of waiting for a credit, depending on what I know about a certain, uh, hotel chain or tour supplier or what have you.

I feel like we’re able to give reason.  We’re able to, help people not panic and get through this and with saving as much of their hard-earned money that we can. And then also a voice of reason when people are planning their trips during happy times when, which they are coming, this will be over. People will want to travel again, and especially if you’re gonna be, you know, in our house with our families for days and weeks on end. Everybody will want to get out. I have a huge list. I’ve never had this big of a list of where I want to go other than my home, but I do right now.

But even when we get to that part, where we’re planning travel for the joy again of it and people come to me and they say I want to see these five countries in 10 days. Well, there’s what the travel advisor says. Okay, hold up. So do I. That’s a great idea, But let’s get the most bang for your buck. Let’s look at this trajectory. Let’s look at these countries. Let’s look at you know, the things that are important to you. And so I feel like we are, we’re the voice of reason when people want to have that trip of a lifetime, or when they just want to go check off one more country or when they just want to go sit on the beach or they want that ultimate ski vacation. I think we can help be that voice of reason because we know what’s out there. We know it’s available. We’ve had other clients, what’s worked for them, what hasn’t worked for them. And plus, we also have this huge network of other travel agents that we can put out questions to. I have, on a Facebook group with others for Montecito Village Travel. Uh, we have a Sherry Lane Travel group text. So, I always, if I have a question, I can put it out to people who have way more experience than I do and say, Hey, what do you think about this? What’s worked for you? And so I feel like we have these resource that just, that independent person booking travel isn’t going to have.

And then lastly, I would say that we also, as travel agents, have a heads up to trends. We have a heads up to what’s going to be really overcrowded this year. We have a heads up on the airlines are going to start making these cancellations. We just have this consistent influx of information that is so helpful when planning.  When trying to make a determination on where should I go this year? Where should I not go this year? Oh, my goodness. It looks like, you know, there’s going to be weather threatening. So, I just feel like we get this influx of information that is certainly helpful to us when we’re trying to plan for clients. But then that also benefits the client that doesn’t have that access to information coming in about travel advisories, about hot spots, and just about anything else that would be related to travel.

Mary:  Okay, that’s awesome information. And, you know, everything that you said makes so much sense. Happy times or if you know, there’s a, I don’t know, you know, something happens.  If your family’s, someone gets sick or, you know, someone suddenly can’t leave their job. For some reason, having your travel agent in your corner helping you make changes, what if, for whatever reason, is unbelievably powerful. And, you know, like I said, at the beginning of, kind of, this segment, you have a vast network and vast knowledge, and, um, that is invaluable, I really think so.

Melanie:  It’s humbling to have so many qualified people that I can reach out to, and it also it takes the stress off of my clients. I love, um I love to be able to tell them. Don’t worry about this. My favorite part, I’ll just say this. My favorite part is when I get that phone call and people say, I want to take this trip. This is where I want to go. This is what I want to do. But I have no idea how to do it. And I love being able to say, give me a couple of days.  Let me put together some sample itineraries and then let’s go from there.

And I think it empowers people to feel like they can make those great trips come true without having to have to deal with all the stress. And they don’t have to deal with the stress of the planning, even if they like to do it. I can always say, Okay, here’s your homework. Your homework is you figure out all this part and then I’ll figure out all this part. And so, to the to the person who says, I don’t wanna have to deal with any of it. Just plan it.  And I love both of those, because it’s a human interaction were we’re both working on.  Something we love to do.

But then also, once that fabulous trip is planned, if something happens, then I’m there. I’ve got your back. I’ve got your back. If something goes wrong, I’ve got your back. If you get sick, I’ve got your back. If there are strikes in Paris, I’ve got your back. If you know, a global pandemic breaks out, and we’ve got to cancel everything, and so I just think that is a source of comfort. That’s a source of relief, when it should be something that’s that brings joy, it shouldn’t have to be, I mean, it shouldn’t have to be like a tax return that you’ve done on your own. You want it to be something that brings happiness. And so that’s what I think travel agents are able to provide.

Mary:  Oh, my gosh, that needs to be made into a poster. Planning travel should not be like completing your tax. That’s exactly right.

Well, let me ask you this, because I’ve seen this pop up. You mentioned Facebook groups, and I’m in a number of Facebook groups as well, for travel writers and travel bloggers. And one of the questions I’m seeing come up a lot is the benefits of having travel insurance. So, can you kind of speak to that?

Melanie:  I can, uh, with the caveat, I am not an insurance agent. I definitely want to say that I do not know all the ins and outs of travel insurance. That is definitely a question for, you know, people who are qualified in all of that. But what I will say is, what I know from my experience. Ah, because of this global pandemic, it is changing daily.

Uh, we work with vetted companies through, uh, Sherry Lane Travel and Montecito Village Travel. They have identified partners who we like to work with.  And so I try not to just go rogue and just buy any travel insurance, or suggest any travel insurance.

Uh, in the past, I will say that we have recommended travel insurance for our clients that normally. Like, the normal travel insurance policy you would purchase, would be one that would cover in case anything happens to you, is the way I like to say it. If you get sick, if there’s a death in the family, if there’s an injury, if your trip gets cancelled, if your luggage gets lost. It helps cover all of those hiccups that, uh, that would usually render a trip nonrefundable.

And so, if you have that travel insurance and something happens to you, then the insurance company will work to refund you for the amount you lost because of whatever happened. So, in the past, we have definitely recommended people get travel insurance. I would say probably 50% of my clients do decide to purchase it, and about 50% don’t. They would rather pay a higher price and get a refundable rate. They booked flights with miles possibly, and they can know that they can get their miles reinstated. I mean, there’s a whole host of reasons why people, you know, wouldn’t get the insurance.

But then a lot of people do like to have that safety net under them. Another level of insurance that was available, and this is the part that’s changing, and I can’t fully speak to it because it honestly is changing every day right now. But there was a cancel for any reason rider that you could get in addition to your normal travel insurance. And that would, that would really protect you from almost anything, because you could just cancel for any reason, just like the, just like it says. And so I think that because people have purchased that, everybody is claiming that right now. Anyone who has that rider has claimed it, and so the insurance companies are paying out. So, it’s you know, as you can imagine, it has the potential to be devastating to the travel insurance industry. So it will be interesting to see.

I know, I know there are changes coming through Travelex and Allianz, and they’re changing the way that they are wording that policy. I don’t, I don’t know exactly what that’s going to mean yet. But when travel starts picking up again, uh, obviously all of that will be firmed up. And I will still give those options to my clients because I do still think travel insurance can be of value.

I know personally, we’ve had to use it twice. For family trips where flights got canceled. Uh, and so, you know, maybe we lost a day, or it got cancelled on the departing end, and we had needed a hotel room, and that really wasn’t our fault. So we’ve been able, we’ve used it. It’s been valuable, it’s paid. And so, I do think for trips that are especially the really expensive ones that you’re pouring in, money you’ve saved, or this is a celebration trip for, a 25th anniversary or graduation. I do think it makes sense to protect your investment.

But again, I’m not an insurance agent. I don’t know exactly where all of this is going at this point, but circling back to if you booked a trip on your own and you have travel insurance definitely. Look at that policy. What kind of policy did you buy, and call the insurance company and talk with a representative and see what you can do to salvage your investment.

Mary:  Well, Melanie, that goes back to, kind of what you said earlier about having a  community that you’re part of. You know, as these insurance companies kind of refine and redefine, which makes sense that they’re gonna do that, to be able to have a travel agent like you said, in your corner, then can kind of help explain. All right, this is what this really means, you know, as opposed to you know me by myself, trying to figure it out, I think, is really helpful. And so, you know, kind of another tick mark in the column of why you should use a travel agent. Somebody else that can kind of help explaining that, you know, sometimes kind of funky, hard to understand language, is really you know, um is a good thing.

Melanie:  Absolutely. And one thing I’ve really appreciated, is because of our connections. I feel like we have sales representatives with these travel insurance companies who are amazing. And they will do a conference call with me and my client as we go through the policy. And because again, like, I tell them, I’m not I’m not an insurance agent, but I know someone who is. And it’s been, it’s been invaluable to have that conference call and go through, you know, does this make sense? What does this mean? Do you think I need this cancel for any reason? And so, I’m able to be on the phone and hear that conversation and get that wealth of advice and experience so that my client can make the best decision. That’s awesome.

Mary:  Wow, I didn’t even know that that was possible. That’s really good information. Okay, Melanie, I feel like, I mean, I feel just personally, a person who has a couple of trips, you know, and hotels and stuff that I’ve got booked. I’ve got some answers now about what I need to do going forward. And I am sure that my listeners have been taking tons of notes and have, you know, a path forward. And I feel like knowledge is power. Knowledge fixes, also more calm.

And you have brought incredibly good knowledge to the table today. And, you know, as we are kind of joking about, we all have nothing but time on our hands right now. So, I appreciate you kind of laying out of the road map for how we can be using this time to, kind of sort through this tangled mess.

Melanie:  And I’m 100% with you. It is gonna come back. We’re gonna get through this. Travel again will become a joyful thing that we look forward to and well, you know, after all this stay at home? Need to go on a trip for sure? Absolutely. I told I told a friend the other day. I said, look through your photos of past trips and enjoy that with your family. And then, you know, when you’re sitting around the table and you’re running out of things to say, start making a list of the places you want to go because there is hope this is going to get better.

And all of these countries, including our own, are going to need that travel industry to pick up again so that we can we can help restore the economy. That we can help restore the relationships that have, you know, been strained because we haven’t been able to be together with people. And so I feel like travel is going to be a huge uniting, uh, joy when all of this is over.

Mary:  Amen. 100% agree, Melanie. You’re awesome. So, if you will please share with everybody. And I will, of course, linked to this information in the show notes. But would you please share your email and again the name of the company that you work with so that if any of my listeners would like to reach out to you, they have that information.

Melanie:  I would love to. Okay. So again, I’m Melanie Lake. My email address is Melanie, and that’s M e l a n i e@sherrylanetravel.com. And that’s my agency. Sherry Lane Travel. We have got some amazing, fabulous women who work in that agency. And I am so proud and thankful to call them my partners. We have our group text going 90 miles an hour every day, all day, even when there isn’t a pandemic. And so I’m super grateful for their support, and just our friendships. But yes, that’s my information.

Mary:  Okay, great. And again, I’ll link to it in the show notes. And Melanie, I appreciate you so much, friend. Thank you for being here and for thoroughly answering all of these really complicated questions. And we’re gonna look forward to happier times. And I personally cannot wait to start planning another trip with your help.

Melanie:  Well, I would love to Mary. You’re amazing. Thank you so much for inviting me to do this. This has been a true joy. And, um, I hope I hope you’re right. I hope it is a big help. And If anybody has questions, please feel free to email me. Even if you didn’t, even if you booked on your own, I’m happy to answer your questions because I have a lot of free time right now.

While I hope you all found that as helpful as I did, I had several questions in my own mind that were answered by Melanie. And hopefully you all did, too. So, as I mentioned in the beginning, Mary:  I’ve got some resources for you, also. Let me go through these really quickly. First of all, I’ve created a cheat sheet for you all. Basically, it’s a summary, a bulleted summary of everything that Melanie talked about in this episode. I will link to it in the show notes. When you click on the link, you’ll be taken to a landing page where you have to enter in your email and then I can email you back this cheat sheet and hopefully that will help you. She gave us so much information. I think that will be a great tool for you to have printed out and sitting on your desk as you kind of figure out what your strategy is for dealing with any travel tangles that you may have.

I also am going to link to a blog post that I have written. That is, again a more detailed summary of this podcast, so that rather than going back and listening to this episode many, many times, if you would rather read it. You know, everybody learns differently, and you may want to listen to it again. Or you may want to read the information again. I have created a blog post from the transcript of this episode and so you can go back and read, and again access all of those great tips that Melanie gave us. So hopefully this is a resource that will be helpful to you.

As always, you all. I am so glad that you are on this journey with me. I wouldn’t want to, wouldn’t want to do by myself. And I’m glad to be doing it with you all. And I look forward very much to a future episode of The Curious Cowgirl Podcast. All right, y’all take care.

About the podcast

For those who love Travel.  For those who want well-researched information and tips.  For those who want to save time and eliminate the stress of planning a vacation.  And for those who love a good story….this is the podcast for you.  The perfect companion to The Curious Cowgirl Travel Blog!

Mary Denton Meier-Evans

Mary Denton Meier-Evans

Your Podcast Host

Hey y’all! Hi, I’m Mary Meier-Evans, a Native Texan, Travel Addict, Vintage Collector, and Zealous Needle-pointer, who lets curiosity chart my path. I’m also a Wife and Empty-Nester parent of four amazing people, and I gratefully embrace the twists and turns of life, because really….LIFE is an amazing gift!