FAM Trip Checklist for Travel Advisors
As we head into the fall, we look forward to things cooling down a bit – the temperature, and maybe even your workload! If fall is a slower season for you, this might be the optimal time to plan a FAM trip. A FAM trip, or a familiarization trip, is a vacation exclusively for travel agents that is either free or deeply discounted by travel vendors, hotels, resorts, or cruise lines. The purpose of a FAM trip is to help a travel agent become familiar with the products and services travel vendors offer so they can help their clients choose the perfect vacation package.
FAM trips are one of the many fun parts about being a travel agent. But what many of your friends may not realize, is that it’s also a work trip! In order to make the most of any FAM trip travel agents ask questions, make notes, and take any learning experience that comes their way. If you’re getting ready for an upcoming FAM trip, make sure you’re checking off a few important to-do’s.
➡️ Related: 8 Ways for TA’s to Stay Productive During a Slow Season
Get Ready for Your Next FAM Trip
1. Set goals for yourself
Don’t leave home without writing down goals for your trip! What do you hope to learn, try or see? Once you have your goals, figure out how you will accomplish them, whether it’s adding something to your itinerary or connecting with a vendor you want to work with.
2. Try new things
Even if you have a narrow target demographic, your clients represent a diverse group of interests and preferences. Put some unique experiences and outings on your itinerary. Try a wide range of activities that will cater to all of your clients.
3. Take trips that fit your niche
Of course, take some trips just for you to enjoy! But make sure you are also staying up-to-date with the ins and outs of your niche. Take a trip (or multiple!) specific to your niche each year. There will always be something new to learn!
4. Take notes
Keep a little notepad with you for taking specific notes you might be more likely to forget when you return home. When taking notes, think about some of the most frequently asked questions you get from clients and jot down info you think would benefit them the most.
5. Let travel frustrations be learning experiences
Rather than be frustrated with a travel delay (problem), look at it as a learning experience. Any problem you run into is one you can now help your clients avoid. Any problem you experience (and survive!) just gives you that much more credibility to advise your clients.
6. Network while you’re there
A good industry network is PRICELESS to travel agents. This is because relationships with travel vendors is one thing your clients do not have and cannot buy. A FAM trip is a great time to do a little networking!
7. Ask questions
Good questions – the best way to learn! Ask vendors specific questions about their properties, tours, excursions and whatever else your clients might need to know.
8. Take photos and videos
You don’t have to be the world’s greatest photographer. But you can still improve your photography and videography skills! Travel marketing is 90% visual so you cannot overlook the skill of getting some high quality photos to share with potential clients. Take some time to learn photography basics, then make sure you are capturing some good stuff while you’re traveling!