Like you, all week I've received COVID-19 update emails from seemingly every list I've ever been on, but I have a different sort of business message to share with you this week. Coronavirus has not changed a thing about how I do my job. I am always looking after my clients' best interests. I work with you from our first consultation until you arrive safely home - for every single trip we plan together. When it comes to travel, please don't ever DIY - or let anyone you care about do it that way either. You deserve better. Anything can come up when you leave home, in the best of times. Do you want to sit on hold for hours to reach an airline? Do you want to waste a second of your vacation time working out an unforeseen issue yourself while on the road? In the wake of recent travel bans I've seen reports of people stranded, stressed, and out of pocket thousands of dollars in change fees because they used an online travel site - that's when they could even reach someone at the site. Instead when you work with Nine Muses Travel, you can call my cell phone, tell me what you need, and let me handle it while you go on with your life. You work with me because you need expert, informed guidance and support - always. If any situation arises before or during a trip, your status as a valued Nine Muses Travel client brings a swift and fair resolution, with great care and attention.
Lately a lot of kind people have asked me how my business is doing. Despite the troubles of the world, I can still be excited about Nine Muses Travel because my business is nimble by design. I already work remotely from a home office with very little overhead, and I don't exclusively sell one region or style of travel. That makes it effortless for me to pivot and help sell the kind of travel that makes the most sense for my clients at any given time. In the meantime, I've been fastidiously attending to my clients' travel needs, proactively providing updates and helping them make informed decisions such as rebooking impacted trips to future travel dates and taking advantage of change fee waivers and future travel credits. People are still exploring, and we're just looking at dates later in 2020 and into 2021.
As ever, I'm grateful to have access to a global network of trusted, responsive suppliers who are doing the right thing by guests and are mindful that how they treat guests now will be remembered long after. My inbox has been flooded with revisions to policy from suppliers all striving to take the best care of travelers. I also benefit by belonging to incredibly supportive communities like Gifted Travel Network (GTN) and Virtuoso. Who are they again, you ask? GTN is my host agency filled with other brilliant travel advisors, all with our own travel niches. If only you knew how this diligent, conscientious, caring community has risen to the challenges facing us with breaking news affecting travel plans by the day, hour and minute. We've rallied together and offered each other help and support during this week's litany of WTF moments in travel-related news, before calmly carrying on to work with our clients. I couldn't imagine last week without our private Facebook forum to safely vent and lift our spirits too.
And Virtuoso is a highly-coveted, invitation-only network of over 2,000 travel advisors who specialize in luxury and experiential travel - including over 1,800 of the world's best hotels, tour operators, cruise lines, vendors, and more. Virtuoso's suppliers are some of the superstars who help me realize the vision for your trips, then beautifully enhance your itinerary with unique experiences, thanks to their in-depth local knowledge and inside contacts. Every hotel in the Virtuoso portfolio offers my clients exclusive amenities and VIP treatment like complimentary breakfasts and WiFi, and (per availability) free room upgrades and early check-in / late check-out, plus at least $100 in other amenities.
One of the most valuable things about Virtuoso for me as a small business owner is how thoroughly and regularly they vet the finances and solvency of the suppliers in their network. I've never been more proud to be associated with Virtuoso, and that particular partnership is how I can remain confident that when you're ready for your next trip, we'll be working with stable suppliers we can fully rely on.
Until then - be well, stay safe, and as you start to self-isolate, be kind to yourself in the days ahead. Stay in touch with your loved ones. You're not alone. We're all in this together. There's a piña colada on a sandy beach or a glass of Port on a hillside vineyard waiting for you at the end of all this.
Contact me to work with an advisor you can always rely on!