You've seen it on bumper stickers: "If you can afford to travel
first class and don't, your heirs will."
Such is the wisdom that begins longtime travel agent Theda
Kessler's booklet titled Practical Travel Tips.
Kessler, who has been in the industry for about 30 years, first
published her tips in 1985 on the assumption that you can't travel
as much as she has without picking up some know-how along the
Topics range from help for the disabled, packing suggestions and
insurance to traveling with children and the intriguing chapter
Kessler, who these days works as an independent contractor for Wide
World Travel in Morristown, N.J., is a generalist with more than a
passing knowledge of cruising. She recently spent four months on an
around-the-world cruise in the southern hemisphere lecturing on her
Here are a few favorites:If you have a close connecting flight and feel your luggage
might not make it, ask for "door storage," which means that your
bags are loaded last and unloaded first.Make your complaints loud and clear in the event of lost
luggage. Your demands for monetary compensation will probably be
subject to negotiation. The kind of action you get depends in large
part on the way you go about complaining.Always make your car reservation in the U.S. before you leave
for your trip. Get a confirmation number and be sure to take your
car rental voucher.String Cheerios on a string and use it as a snack necklace to
appease hungry children.You do not have to itemize purchases for customs if you have
spent $400 or less per person. If asked to show your purchases,
pack everything in one case and keep all your receipts
together.Never pack all your medication in your luggage, and never carry
it all in your purse.Consider carrying a pocket-sized medical passport including
personalized medical history.
If you are on regular medication, carry a typewritten
prescription from your doctor.Many car rental firms now have hand-operated cars and vans (for
travelers with disabilities), so reserve ahead.
Kessler's travel tips booklet is available for $3 a copy,
including postage; bulk rates are available. Call (856)
All about Eve
M uch has been said about how it is women who
are buying leisure travel for themselves and their families.
Take even a cursory glance at the travel industry and it becomes
obvious that women are doing the selling as well.
A new book called "EVEolution: The Eight Truths of Marketing to
Women" written by Faith Popcorn with Lys Marigold, says it's time
to wake up to this trend.
The book's purpose is to shake up suppliers into understanding
that those who successfully market to women will prevail in both
the retail and service industries in the future.
The eight truths have mystifying titles, such as "If She Has to
Ask, It's Too Late," and "Co-Parenting Is the Best Way to Raise a
"With the economic power and independence that women have gained
over the past few years, we're seeing them demand more respect and
status in the marketplace," Popcorn wrote about the book.
"Traditional marketers need new thinking, new direction."
Blasting traditional brick-and-mortar retail establishments as
woefully out of touch with women's concerns, Popcorn singled out
the airline industry as being particularly unaware of what women
What they don't want, at least while in the air, are "bitter
flight attendants, dirty bathrooms and endless delays," Popcorn
The book is available from Hyperion Press.
Taking note of music
Let's try to roll out a few current cliches in one sentence. Are
you a brick-and-mortar, click-and-call niche player, trying to
score market share from boomers or seniors, who have "too much
If you are at work right now, is there music playing in the
Sometimes I think we separate ourselves too much from the rules
that run the retail world. It is nice to occasionally consider the
fact that we are in sales. I want to suggest that
when I walk into your "store," music says who you are.
Perhaps you have to concentrate on your work, and management has
determined that there can be no music. Fine. But close your eyes
and imagine walking into a dead-quiet Gap or a silent
Did you ever notice that in really quiet stores, the customers
start to whisper so no one will notice they are there?
We sell the hottest, most colorful, most vibrant and most
genuinely satisfying product on earth. We're in the
dream-fulfillment business. The dreamer entering our store wants to
share the dream, and music only can add to the magic.
If you do lots of Europe, how about some new ballads from the
best-selling CDs in Paris or Rome? If you are into adventure
travel, and you should be, it's not difficult to transform your
office with the sound of gentle showers and a lilting flute
transporting you to a Brazilian rain forest.
Don't get angry but this isn't your parents' travel business
anymore. We are in the entertainment business, and creating the
best possible mood in our "store" is a challenge we must take
Studies show that properly prepared music can increase retail
stores' sales by as much as 20%. Why do we assume that our business
is an exception?
Richard Turen is an industry consultant and travel agency
president. Contact him at [email protected].