The customer may come first, but perhaps that isn't always a
good idea for home-based travel agents.
By not putting themselves first, they can easily burn out,
says Anita Pagliasso, president of the California-based Ticket to Travel host
agency and a member of the Travel Institute's Professional Educators Program. In a Friday Five blog post for the institute's members,
Pagliasso wrote about the need for home-based travel agents, particularly those
who are independent and are running their own business, to take care of
themselves so that they don't become cynical, stale and burned out on the job.
“As the marketplace becomes more and more demanding, the
pace more and more relentless, it becomes especially important to bolster the
renewal process,” she wrote.
Pagliasso's tips include finding a moment during the day to
step aside and gather thoughts. It can be a coffee break at a local cafe or a
walk. Or, a trip to the gym for a workout or finding a quiet place for a
“Sometimes, a change of scenery does wonders to get your
life back in focus,” she said. “All of a sudden, you will find clarity and
order in the enormous task list as you sip your second latte and breathe in the
Doing some cleaning may also help home-based agents feel
renewed. Shred paper and throw out files that aren't needed, Pagliasso
suggests. “There is great merit in inducing a feeling of order and creating a
Make sure to take the time for industry seminars or workshops
that give you a chance to meet and mingle with other travel professionals, she
Finally, she said, agents should reward themselves.
“Corporations spend millions of dollars on perks and
incentives to boost employee productivity,” she points out, adding that
independent agents need to do the same for themselves. It could be a spa
treatment or a beautiful vase of fresh flowers.
“Care is what your customers want to see from you. If it
shows that you take the time to take care of yourself, you will take the time
to take care of them and that is why they will keep coming back to you.”