In Spite of COVID-19
Everyone needs a break once in a while, but none of us thought we'd get the break we're getting with the COVID-19 situation. While we're each trying to manage our travel businesses and personal lives, there are a few tips I want to share with you to help make the unknown a little more bearable.
Stay Healthy: Our mental and physical health are important throughout our lives, but increasingly so while we experience this prolonged "social distancing." Now is a great time to start an exercise program, even if it's walking around the neighborhood or riding a bike. The key is: just get moving. Also, cook a healthy meal at least once a week. Need a little inspiration? Try a cooking class with The Tour Guy My friend Effie recently purchased this class and her meal looked amazing! I need to do this with my own family -- it has great bonding potential.
Learn Something New: Why not? We have time on our hands and none of us should ever stop learning. Take the opportunity to learn as much as you'd like during this unprecedented downtime in our industry. I earned my CTA through through The Travel Institute
and am now completing my CLIA certification. I highly recommend both programs to assist you with your professional training and development. ASTA is another great resource to explore (I am a member, but have not taken their VTA training. Yet.). Look at your preferred supplier and destinations trainings as well. These are free and worth your time.
Set Aside Some Time: Sure, our time may seem endless, but make time for yourself. It's okay to slow down. Enjoy the outdoors, read a book, take a nap. Reach out to an old friend through a phone call or a letter to recharge and feel good. Do whatever it takes to stay mentally sharp and content. I'm taking some time to watch TV (I just started Big Little Liars... not for the kiddos!) and getting my pool ready for the summer season. It feels great to step away from the office during times I'd normally be working, and I feel healthier for it.
Work on Your Business: We're never really done perfecting our businesses, and this is a fantastic time to review our processes, invest in a CRM, create client forms, etc. Is your business running efficiently? What can you do to streamline your business? I'm in the process of changing CRMs, even though I'm not convinced I'll have it completed by the time travel reconvenes. Your project doesn't have to be large -- or costly -- just a little bit of your talent now will pay off later.
Volunteer: Yes, volunteer. Doing something nice for someone with no expectations of getting anything back is such a wonderful way to feel good about life in general. And, let's face it, we all need to feel good about ourselves in this unknown time of Corona. So, what can you do? Contact your local agencies to learn their needs. Maybe it's making masks, providing monetary donations, organizing a scavenger hunt for the neighborhood kids (you can do this through social distancing!), or something else. Be creative, and know the community always needs great partnerships.
We're all in this together, from our local communities to our states to countries around the world. Keep on keepin' on by doing what feels right for you, your family, and your business. There's no judgement, and there's no one size fits all. Just know that I believe our businesses will flourish again because of what each of us contributes to our industry. Stay well, be safe, and live a life you love.