Sahara Rose De Vore is a Wellness Travel Coach and the Founder of the Travel Coach Network. After finishing university and finding herself unhappy with the lack of travel career options, Sahara bought a one-way ticket to Ireland which led her on a decade-long journey backpacking across 84 countries. Sahara is a TEDx speaker who has been in over 140 media outlets including Forbes, Travel Weekly, and Condé Nast Traveler, and she was named one of 2023’s Most Influential Women in Travel by TravelPulse.
We discuss how agents can get out of their comfort zone, be vulnerable, and use a human centric approach to better connect with their clients, because with so many different options available to book travel, it’s never been more important for agents to set themselves apart by sharing their unique stories and perspectives.
Ep. 32 | 7/27/23
Being a travel agent often feels like trying to do an infinite number of things in a finite amount of time. If you ever find yourself thinking or saying, “I’m too busy,” then this simple 4 minute video can help you gain more time.
Ep. 31 | 5/10/23
I discuss the importance of us focusing on what we can control, ways to become better at sales, and the importance of asking for the things that we want (the sale, the review, and the referral).
Ep. 30 | 4/19/23
In this Wednesday Rant, I argue that value must be demonstrated rather than asserted. It’s not enough to tell people they should use a travel agent. You have to show them why they should use an agent.
Ep. 29 | 3/22/23
This is the first episode of Wednesday Rant where I go on a lighthearted rant about what’s on my mind in the travel agent world. If you ever find yourself complaining that your clients don’t read, then this episode is for you.
Ep. 28 | 3/22/23
I cover how to deal with imposter syndrome early on before you know everything you need to know. I give my top two pieces of advice for new travel agents, and I explain a few ways you can reduce the likelihood of your clients ghosting you.
Ep. 27 | 3/21/23
Here are the top 4 reasons why you should send your clients to the 454 suite, adult-only, Forbes recommended 5-star TRS Yucatan Hotel.
Ep. 26 | 3/3/23
25. Delegation as the Key To Growing Your Travel Agency | Tiffany Wade & Tami Campbell, Tailored Assistant Services
In this episode, Tiffany Wade & Tami Campbell of Tailored Assistant Services explain how using their well-trained personal assistants for your travel agent business can help you manage your time more effectively. By delegating routine tasks and responsibilities, you can free up your own time and resources to focus on your most important tasks and projects; and how much could you grow your business if you only had to do your absolute most important tasks?
Ep. 25 | 12/2/22
Stefany Jones, Director of Retail Affairs for Palladium Hotel Group, has 18 years of experience at prominent travel providers with a focus on account management, marketing and business development. We discuss the unique selling points for each different Palladium Hotel Group brand and resort including the Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre at the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, the Chic Cabaret experience in Costa Mujeres, Riviera Maya, and Punta Cana, and the open-ended promotion, “two kids 17 and under stay free in the Family Selection” of Grand Palladium properties. We also discuss the strategic partnership with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, upcoming renovations and refurbishments, and how the Palladium Connect platform can help agents earn more from their bookings
Ep. 24 | 10/19/22
23. Record Arrivals in Dominican Republic, Hurricane Fiona, Secrets Impression Moxché Delayed Opening, Pilot Program for Online Passport Renewal, New Leadership at the Top of Apple Leisure Group
On this episode of the Modern Travel Agent podcast, I cover some of the latest and most relevant travel news from the past few weeks which includes: Record numbers of arrivals in the Dominican Republic, some temporary and more long-term closures and renovations due to Hurricane Fiona, the removal of Covid testing in some major Caribbean Islands, a delayed opening for a brand new resort in Playa del Carmen, a pilot program for online passport renewal in the US, two different strategic partnerships between some of the biggest hotel brands in the industry, and new leadership at the top of Apple Leisure Group.
Ep. 23 | 10/14/22
In order to have a successful travel agency business, you have to be able to open, close, and scale. You have to open the opportunity, typically with a pitch explaining how you can solve your client’s problem. You have to close the sale, because the longer you wait, the more likely they’re going to fall off and take their business elsewhere; and you have to scale, because you can’t run your business the same way with 500 clients that you did with 5. This episode is a quick look at how you can improve at opening, closing, and scaling.
Ep. 22 | 8/16/22
On this episode of the Modern Travel Agent Podcast, I sit down with Daniela Ocampo Morales and Stefany Jones of Palladium Hotel Group. Daniela is Regional Weddings Sr Manager América, and she has 15 years of experience in the wedding industry. Stefany is the Director of Retail Affairs, and she has 18 years of experience at prominent travel providers with a focus on account management, marketing and business development. We discuss destination weddings, including some of the top wedding venues at their properties. We discuss wedding trends and how agents can better sell destination weddings, and we discuss Palladium Hotel Group’s wedding optimizer which is a great tool that enables agents to check wedding availability online in real-time.
Ep. 21 | 8/15/22
We can all be set in our ways, but when it comes to business, being rigid can mean losing customers and money. In this episode of the Modern Travel Agent Podcast, I discuss some of the most common ways I was leaving money on the table by being stubborn, but more importantly, I share how I started to make more money in less time by realizing my mistakes, changing my mindset, and adopting a more flexible approach when working with my clients.
Ep. 20 | 8/10/22
The first thing I tell every travel agent starting in this industry is, “It’s all about relationships,” and because this industry is all about relationships, it’s all about reputation. In this episode, I focus on how you can grow your reputation the right way, with your clients, with other agents, and with your suppliers and partners, so that you can take your business to the next level.
Ep. 19 | 7/27/22
The most common challenge for travel agents and travel agency owners is getting new clients, and while there are a million different ways you can market your travel agency, the most consistent and proven method I’ve found is word of mouth. It’s all about giving your clients a great experience, and then having them refer their friends and family to you. In this episode, I’m going to share a three step process you can implement to increase the number of referrals you receive for your travel agency business.
Ep. 18 | 7/9/22
17. 10 EXPERIENCES YOU CAN RECOMMEND IN PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC | CHRIS DEHNER OF MODERN TRAVELWORKS
This episode of the Modern Travel Agent Podcast covers 10 experiences that you can recommend to your clients visiting Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. We all have clients who visit a destination but never step foot off the resort, and ultimately, it’s their vacation and their choice; but as a travel advisor, if you’re not pushing your clients to get out and experience what the destination has to offer, then your clients are going to end up missing a huge part of what it means to visit that destination.
Ep. 17 | 6/30/22
For those of you who struggle to set boundaries with your clients, I’m going to share some simple ways for you to frame your boundaries to your clients, which will make it easier for you to do and make it less likely that they’ll try to bulldoze. I’m also going to share some examples of specific situations where you might find yourself setting boundaries like work hours, availability, or number of destinations and resort options that you send, so that you can apply these strategies directly to your process.
Ep. 16 | 3/30/22
15. IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION WITH CLIENTS (SHOW & TELL METHOD) | CHRIS DEHNER OF MODERN TRAVELWORKS
Communication is everything, and using the “Show & Tell” Method of Communication is a great way to insure your clients can envision your product and service in a tangible way and understand why each component is relevant specifically to them. I discuss the “Show & Tell” Method of Communication and how you can use it to help grow your business on Episode 15 of the Modern Travel Agent Podcast.
Ep. 15 | 3/29/22
This episode is all about streamlining the process for how you and your team reply to emails and inquiries. Whether you’re answering questions about passport requirements, safety while traveling internationally or you’re explaining the value of your services, you’re probably answering many of the same questions over and over again. This is why I recommend that you create an FAQ document of frequently asked questions, where you and your team share your answers to the most common questions that you receive every single day.
Ep. 14 | 3/1/22
If you’re interested in a simple system that will help you improve your process and save you time, then this is going to be a great episode for you. Every agent wants more time, but when you’re in the whirlwind of replying to emails, returning calls, making reservations, and dealing with travel emergencies, it’s hard to set aside the time needed to look at your process and figure out ways to improve it. That is why this system is so helpful, because it works whether you have 20 minutes or several hours.
Ep. 13 | 2/27/22
12. How To De-escalate Negative Situations With Unhappy Clients | Chris Dehner of Modern Travelworks
One of the most challenging parts of being a travel agent is de-escalating negative situations with unhappy clients. After 12 years in the industry, I’ve interacted with a lot of clients, some of which were unhappy, to put it mildly, and I feel like I’ve learned a ton throughout this process on what works and what doesn’t work, so on this episode, I’m going to share with you some of the tips I learned on how to de-escalate negative situations with unhappy clients.
Ep. 12 | 2/22/22
If you’re sick of getting ghosted by your clients, then this episode is for you. I’m going to share a six step process I implemented that made a huge difference in increasing my closing percentage and reducing the number of my clients who disappeared throughout the travel planning process.
Ep. 11 | 2/17/22
I cover antigen Covid testing policies for the major resort brands that we book in Mexico and the Caribbean including Palladium, Posadas, Blue Diamond, AIC, AMR Collection, Sandos, Karisma, Playa, and Atelier. I cover two primary questions for each resort brand.
1. Is the Covid-19 antigen test included at no cost by the resort? If not, what is the cost of the test?
2. What happens if you or your clients test positive in destination?
Ep. 10 | 1/3/22
Ep. 9 | 12/22/21
The ALGV Ascend Conference returned to Cancun, Mexico in a big way this past October with over 400 travel agents, 200 representatives from over 100 partner companies, and 65 ALGV staff to make sure everything ran smoothly, and I recap just a few of my key takeaways.
Ep. 8 | 11/7/21
On this episode, we speak with Nuit Hernandez who is a Director of Sales with Marival Resorts. We discuss the region of Puerto Vallarta, the importance of agent education, of qualifying clients and putting them first, and keeping perspective during difficult times.
Ep. 7 | 9/16/21
On this episode we speak with Todd Kirlik who is a Senior Director with Sunwing Travel Group. Sunwing Travel Group is a 17,000 employee vertically integrated travel company with brands at the level of tour operator, airline, hotel, destination management, and retail.
Ep. 6 | 06/21/21
On this episode we sit down with Charlie Thompson who is the regional sales manager at Norwegian Cruise Line. Charlie was born into travel and offers a wealth of knowledge on building long lasting business relationships.
Ep. 5 | 05/14/21
We interview Luke Majewski who is the Business Development Manager for AIC Hotel Group. Luke shares his insights on how agents can maximize their social media and referral programs to drive new business.
Ep. 4 | 04/21/21
We interview Mary Jo Salas who is the Central Southwest Business Development Manager for AM Resorts. Mary Jo shares what she believes the most successful travel agencies are doing differently and she gives her advice on how travel agencies can set their agents up for success.
Ep. 3 | 03/25/21
2. How to Level Up Your Destination Wedding Business | Itzel Rodriguez of Modern Destination Weddings
We interview Itzel Rodriguez who is the Director of Weddings at Modern Destination Weddings. Itzel shares with us what she’s learned over the past twelve years in the wedding industry, assisting with over 700 weddings.
Ep. 2 | 02/25/21
An introduction to podcast hosts and brothers, Chris & Tim, as they discuss the importance of travel agents and the lessons they’ve learned over the past 14 years of running a successful travel business.
Ep. 1 | 01/19/21
About the Podcast
We’ve created this podcast to help grow and strengthen the travel agent community. The more value we can provide to our clients as travel agents and travel advisors, the more advocates we’ll have on our side, the more people we’ll be able to impact and help, and ultimately, the more opportunities we’ll all have as a result. We will be sharing our insights, bringing on industry experts to share their knowledge and experience, and engaging with the travel agent community.