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The five stages of travel that all travel agents need to know

How often do your clients think about you? Sure, they may have you on their mind during the pre-booking excitement, throughout the reservation process, and especially if unforeseen hiccups occur during their travels. But what about when they're not jet-setting around the globe? Discover the untapped potential in staying top-of-mind even when your clients’ suitcases are tucked away. 

How often do your clients think about you? Sure, they may have you on their mind during the pre-booking excitement, throughout the reservation process, and especially if unforeseen hiccups occur during their travels. But what about when they’re not jet-setting around the globe? Discover the untapped potential in staying top-of-mind even when your clients’ suitcases are tucked away. 

Why? You’ve been busy and maybe gaining new clients hasn’t been the priority. But like all good doomsday preppers, you may need to start thinking about your marketing. And when you’re ready, you’ll know when and how to get your clients back on the books for their next trip. 

5 travel stages

DREAMING + REMEMBERING

Nothing hurts quite so much as a reminder from socials or the photos on your phone that this time last year, instead of being stuck in an overly air-conditioned cubicle, you were lying on a beach in Brač.

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How timely would it be if your clients got a reminder from you about their last holiday? And what if that reminder included some deals to somewhere similar, but better? It’s not rubbing it in, it’s constructive.

When your clients are in the dreaming stage, they’re searching for inspiration. Your goal is to be that inspiration. And your newsletters and socials are the way to do it. What you’re posting will help your clients visualise the potential of booking a holiday with you. And any deals will just help get them over the edge.

It’s in this stage that they’re emotionally driven, so you’ll want to play into that too. Lots of sunny joyous images, families frolicking together, couples cozying up in front of a fire as snow dances outside the window. You get the picture. 

PLANNING

When folks are gearing up for a trip, they’re on the lookout for answers to all their burning questions. So in this stage, it’s all about being in the right place. 

Your website needs to be like a friendly travel buddy – easy to find, loaded with helpful info, and nudging them towards making a move. Be everywhere your dream holiday planners are looking online. And that means things like having a search engine optimised (SEO) website, and a great Google business profile. 

For clients who have loved you and left you, but still get your emails and still follow you on socials, it’s all about showing off how much you know, how experienced you are. 

BOOKING

You’ve given all your knowledge and advice to your clients, how do you get them to book with you and not just take all your hard work and book it themselves? Tell them why you’re worth it. And make the whole process easy. 

To convert enquiries into bookings, you want to make things simple for your clients and automate as much of it as possible for yourself. 

You want to be able to offer security and efficiency throughout the whole process. 

EXPERIENCING

Don’t just file clients away once they’ve booked. It could be almost a year before they actually travel. Remain in touch. Send them reminders about visas and helpful packing tips. If you’ve got recommendations for pet sitters and luggage this is the time to share it. 

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And when they’re away, share your local tips and deals. Get theirs. Your clients can become your marketers at this point. Ask them to tag you on any social media posts. It’s the new word of mouth. 

SHARING

The joy of travel is that it is rarely lived once by one person. These days we live our trips over thanks to carrying around our photo albums in our phones. And when we share our travels, others get to live them too. 

Ask to follow your clients across social media and become part of their story. 

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As your clients embark on whatever stage of their adventures and share their stories, make sure you stay in the picture. Be their ever-present guide and you’ll have them for life.