February 21, 2024

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Tips to Prioritize Your Health and Wellness in 2024

5 min read

As 2023 comes to an end, most of us look forward with renewed vigor to the fresh start of another new year. What a perfect time this is to go within to contemplate what we want to accomplish in our work and personal lives, and how we will realize those goals.

With the travel rebound continuing in full force, and with travel advisors working harder than ever to serve and satisfy their clients, we want to remind all advisors to be sure to also carve out some time for themselves … to take good care of and be kind to yourself.

Here are some tips and ideas from other travel advisors about what they will be doing in 2024 to prioritize their health and wellness, while also meeting the needs and desires of their clients.

Taking good care of yourself
“Plenty of sleep and intentional movement are essential to keeping my mental and physical health intact,” says Nichole Patrick, owner, Traverse The Earth Travel. “This includes not sitting at my desk for too long at a time; finding time to enjoy some stretching and light weightlifting; then bed before 9 pm. If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of my customers.”

Victoria Fricke, owner, Vic’s Vacations, suggests: “I think the best thing I do [to take good care of myself] is to teach myself and my clients about my intended work-life boundaries. My email signature notes a 48-hour turnaround on my response time and that I don’t work weekends. This just sets the tone for clients that I do have a delay and that they should expect it. I think it’s imperative to remind clients that just because I can check my email on my phone on a Sunday morning, I’m not going to respond then. It’s healthy, and it’s really been received well and respected by those I work with.”

Managing stress better
On the topic of managing stress, Vicke explains: “Stress comes in all levels as a travel advisor. For big problems, I’ve learned to rely on getting help and support from those who can help me solve the problem, or those who may have been in my shoes at one point. For smaller things, I’ve learned to try my best not to sweat it. I think as you get more experience under your belt as an agent, you realize you can only control so much. I do the best I can with what I’m given and what I’m able to truly control/fix … the rest I provide resources to help, I learn alongside my clients to navigate with them, but I also remind them that sometimes things go wrong in travel …  and it’s all part of the experience.”

Most clients appreciate this kind of straightforward approach. After all, we can all appreciate someone who communicates with us honestly, and understand the pervading desire to lower stress-inducing situations in our lives.

Patrick has taken a bold and interesting action to reduce her stress level. “Recently, I removed the email app from my phone. This allows me to be intentional and present when away from my desk, and not distracted. I’ve found this to decrease my stress significantly.”

Adjusting the work-life balance
Who can’t relate to the idea of bringing better equilibrium to our lives, adjusting that illusive work-life balance, especially here in America where we still tend to work hard and play hard? But the pandemic softened that for many people, and creating a better balance seems to be on nearly everyone’s radar.

Patrick’s practical rule in this regard is: “I set clear office hours. While I am willing to be flexible with customers who may not be able to connect within those hours, I do try to stick to them. Also, Sundays are my Sabbath. My customers know I’ll get back to them first thing on Monday. Emergencies are the only exception.”

And Fricke explains about how she uses intentionality in her life to sustain a better balance: “Never apologize for taking time with your family. Travel agents are notorious for late nights and early mornings, to get it done. We answer the evening text from a client. We say, ‘One more minute, let me finish this email,’ to our kids who are anxiously waiting to play.

“This past year, (while I still have a long way to go), has been my most intentional year yet. Rather than spending time over Thanksgiving booking Black Friday deals, I let my clients know that I was slowing down over the holidays to be with my family. I had an out-of-office message up over all of the Fall break, letting them know I was making memories with my kids versus being glued to my computer. Was I working? Of course. Do I still break my boundaries/rules? Of course. But I’m far more intentional about my time, and I ensure clients see that I’m taking a break to focus on my kids.” 

Setting clear intentions for 2024
Staying consistent with her work-life boundaries is a center point for Fricke in the new year: “I’ll have an out-of-office message up until my kids go back to school, letting clients know the priority was spending break with them. If I lose a client because my turnaround was too long, so be it. Your kids are only young once, and if a client doesn’t understand that, they’re not one you want to work with. Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries with my clients will be the focus of the start of 2024.”

For Patrick, “In 2024, I plan to continue finding ways to create clear boundaries between work and personal life, along with setting aside time for professional development opportunities.”

Clearer boundaries, less stress, taking better care of oneself, enjoying life more … no matter whom you talk to, these seem to be on nearly everyone’s list of changes they want to make in their lives.

With less than two weeks left in this year, what better time is there than now to consider what you will do differently to kick off the new year, so that you can experience greater personal and professional growth and satisfaction in 2024?

FROM THE SPONSOR:

As peak season approaches, ALG Vacations® is dedicated to equipping you with the tools and knowledge needed for a seamless navigation through this bustling period. Preparation is key, and ALGVPro certifications, along with marketing tools available on ALGV360°, make this process more accessible. ALGV ensures streamlined support through various channels – from Click to Chat, Click to Email, to Click to Call options – providing assistance in handling potential disruptions for your clients. Mark your calendar for January 11th to join the ALG Vacations® Education Team in a webinar, where they will share updates on news, tools, and resources, ensuring you stay primed and prepared for the upcoming booking season. ALGV is dedicated to prioritizing your success and remains committed to empowering you at every stage of your journey. Visit www.algvacations.com to get primed for peak today!

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