Fam Trip? Two simple words that are not terribly significant, unless of course you are lucky enough to be part of the travel industry. For us, these two words bring sparkle to our eyes and get the adrenaline pumping.
If you are anything like me, one great balm for what ails us now is memories of the places I’ve visited and people I’ve shared these destinations with. Aren’t we the fortunate ones, whose career catapults us from the comforts of home to foreign lands, sharing their unfamiliar and often exotic components with new people who bring with them a similar passion for the – to us at least! – unknown. So it is not only some abstract vision in my mind’s eye of places I long to see again, but memories of sharing a birthday in Cusco, snorkeling with sea lions alongside agents on my Albatross team, early morning game drives with a few not particularly early risers, sharing jokes while freezing in the dark awaiting the arrival of the Northern Lights, and celebrating Mother’s Day in Queenstown, New Zealand with a group of fantastic mothers and grandmothers. Yes, in times like this, we remember the great fam trips that afforded us the knowledge we share with our clients.
But those amazing memories don’t just make themselves. There is an art to a great fam trip. I have always looked at it as a three-pronged endeavour, one of Purpose, Participation, and Partnership.
There is a great amount of work and expense involved in building a successful fam trip. Beginning with searching and working which agents have shown interest in the company by their booking record. This is essential in determining whose fam will lead to more bookings. Communicate with those interested in participating to determine the purpose of their interest. Do they have clients that have shown interest in booking? Or perhaps they want to up-sell to clients that are open to reaching for something new.
With a great fam comes the bonding of great professional travel agents. Participation is paramount. Making time for self-examination, to acknowledge whether or not you are physically fit for the activities in destination is also very important. Small groups need 100% cooperation and participation to ensure everyone is getting the most out of their fam.
Finally, there’s Partnership. Friendships are built during these journeys. Guides and drivers are long remembered for making the trip memorable in a personal way. But I find great satisfaction in the working relationship forged between company and agent as a result of the experience. This is the end game for companies that put great effort into the preparation and execution of their fam trips.
So, while we have some time to ponder about the places we’ve been, the private promises made while in an ancient cathedral or under a star-studded sky, keep the focus on the future and all that we can do to sell travel experiences together.
Stay tuned for the new fam schedule, planned for release in fall. Gowayagent.com and our Facebook page will keep you posted on the latest and great post-Covid-19 plans.