Travel News is Not Always Right, But That’s Not the Point
The business of travel news has evolved into a multi-million dollar industry with hundreds of publications catering to different segments of the travel industry. Most publications, however, adhere to the same general outlook and tend to present the most popular destinations and travel vendors. They also often feature independent traveller’s reviews, tips and advice in their ‘traveller’s report’. While a travel agent might not be the best person for the job, if you are travelling solo or in an unfamiliar destination, it is good to know that there are independent publications that can provide all the information you need to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.
I was recently employed by a travel agency (that also acts as a cruise line) in Chicago. This agency hired a traveling PR specialist who had previously worked for another company. I met with her on the first day of work to discuss my job description and travel sickness. It turns out that she had spent six months shadowing a local travel agent as part of a research project and would now be working full time in that capacity at the new travel agency. She was excited about joining the agency and the travel sickness angle was fun and somewhat odd… until she shared with me that she was going to require six months of travel sickness insurance.
Six months?!? I asked. What on earth was she talking about? Unfortunately, she didn’t give me much information but was kind enough to send me the application forms and instructions she required. After I did a little investigating I found that her position actually required her to travel to a certain destination every six months.
There are some things that are universal in travel news and information. The first thing that she told me was that she didn’t want to take any trips without reading the travel news ahead of time and checking the hotel rating online (I had done this before). She also stressed that she didn’t want to get any travel sickness insurance before her trip as she wasn’t going to be able to use it when she got back. So it is very important to know what the ratings are before you book your travel plans. You also want to be sure that you don’t get any type of “fringe benefit” while you are on vacation.
My final bit of advice is to make sure that you have some level of control over the decisions that you make. For instance, if you have to go on a last minute trip, you aren’t going to have a lot of time to think about whether or not the hotel is clean, the food is tasty, or whether there are any people that need to be assisted with a problem. This can lead to you making travel news that is completely out of character and completely out of context. If you know that you won’t have 24 hours to read your travel news before you leave, then at least have someone there that can point out all of the mistakes so that you can make an informed decision.
That’s really all I’ve got for you today. Just remember that travel news is not always right, but that’s not the point. The point is to make sure that you can be smart about your decisions. And finally, make sure you read all the reviews so that you can avoid the ones that are just pushing a product.