My wife and I love to travel. We travel a lot, flying, driving, cruising, you name it. In the six years since we have met, we have traveled to 48 states and 18 foreign countries. We take an average of 4 cruises, 3 plane trips, and 6 road trips of at least 200 miles each year. We are the high level tiers of frequent customer clubs with one cruise line, two hotel chains, a rental car company, and two airlines.
Everyone we know thinks that we are vacation experts, so much so that our friends and family constantly asked us for travel advice. This happened so often that we thought it would be a good idea to open a travel agency. This business cost us several thousand dollars to set up. To be a travel agent in Florida requires that you be licensed. To get a license, you must be bonded and insured. So we formed a corporation, got our license, bonds, insurance, and went through training with cruise lines, airlines, and other travel companies so we could use their booking systems.
We thought it would be an easy way to make money. Our friends and family asked for our advice already, so all they had to do was book with us and the cruise line, airline, and hotel would pay us our commission at no extra cost to our friends and families. Everybody wins.
A few people continued to ask for advice, but when it came time to book did not book through us, even though it cost them nothing. In essence, getting our advice and using our expertise for free.
We finally decided that we were losing money, so we shut down the travel business (those of you who booked, thank you- we will continue to service all of our current bookings) and moved on to other ventures.
The odd part is that the people who sought our advice but never booked through us continue to expect our help and advice. For free. They even then complain when they didn’t get the best deal possible, wanting to know why we didn’t help them book the cheapest price, get cheap upgrades, or find better deals. Again, for free.
You basically put us out of business, and you still demand freebies. Whoever you are booking your trips through is the one making money off of you. Go ask them for advice. I am done.
To my readers: If any of you provide a service, like doctors, plumbers, electricians, attorneys, handymen, barbers, etc., do your families expect your services for free?