Jamie Biesiada

Jamie Biesiada

In the past few weeks, just about every travel advisor I’ve spoken to has had one thing in common: They’re busy.

Despite potential headwinds, like the price of gas, clients are booking and traveling, and their advisors are hard at work. For an industry so hard-hit by the pandemic, it’s great news.

With that in mind, I’d like to share some insider tips that are especially applicable to traveling to Europe. These all came up during a recent episode of the podcast, Trade Secrets, that I co-host with Emma Weissmann of TravelAge West.

The first episode of our second season was focused on selling Germany. Our expert guests were Sascha Mayerer, CEO of Historic Highlights of Germany, and Sandra Weinacht, president and founder of Inside Europe.

Get clients excited

Have clients who like wine? Gift them a bottle from the country they’re traveling to.

Germany, for instance, is often thought of as a beer capital. While it undeniably is, Mayerer also pointed out that its wine is impressive in its variety. The country is home to many vineyards that are also tourist attractions.

So, why not send a bottle of German wine to clients? Weinacht recommended working with your local wine bar — they normally have relationships with smaller distributors — to acquire a special bottle. For Germany, in particular, she also recommended German chocolate (who wouldn’t like that?).

On inter-Europe travel

“The biggest advice that we can give as Germans and also travel professionals, having worked with individual clients and groups over the last few years, is maybe consider taking the trains … or having a private driver that brings your clients to the destination,” Weinacht said.

She encouraged advisors to coordinate with their hotel partners to arrange private cars for clients.

“It takes a lot of stress away,” she added. “It is sometimes also just as cost-effective if you add up renting the car, the insurance to rent the car, pumping gas.”

Mayerer recommended advisors arrange a main hub for clients exploring a particular region, like the Black Forest. It gives them a home base to explore without the hassle of packing and unpacking multiple times.

Don’t schedule too much

“The magic happens when you allow your travelers to have a little bit of time in each place,” said Weinacht.

She was specifically talking about traveling along the Romantic Road in Germany, but it applies to any place in Europe. 

Try not to overschedule, especially in towns and cities where there’s a lot to explore. Find the right mix of guiding your clients to local attractions and letting them discover some on their own.

For more from Mayerer and Weinacht — including their answers to our listeners’ questions, ranging from traveling the Romantic Road to where to go in the Black Forest — check out Season 2, Episode 1 of Trade Secrets.

And if you have a question about anything travel related that you’d like us to tackle in a future episode, please get in touch by calling our hotline, 201-902-2098, or via email at [email¬†protected].

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