It's November 1, and that means we can start talking about Small Business Saturday! For me, this is the Christmas, Black Friday and New Year's Eve, all rolled up into one. Fun Fact: From my days working in NYC advertising, I know two people personally involved in the creation of Small Business Saturday ...it's a great idea and I am proud to support it!
Why Small Business Saturday? I love the fact that it reminds and encourages all of us to #thinklocal, #shoplocal and #shopsmall. When it comes to choosing a travel agent, travelers get a LOT of benefits for shopping small!
Why It's Great to Use Local Travel Agent
- Alpaca Your Bags Travel is a small, woman-owned business that also supports a military family. When you choose to book your trips with Alpaca Your Bags Travel, you keep dollars in our community, Small Businesses are the lifeblood of the United States... we all need them!
- Local travel agents have a wealth of expertise that no website can match. Proper, professionally trained Travel Agents invest years in education and complete lengthy certification exams to become experts in our niche. We travel and inspect properties several times a year. Not sure if your travel agent is accredited? Ask them about their training!
- Using a local travel agent will save you time, stress and help you get more for your money. Don't waste time with overwhelming options online. We cut through the clutter to find what works best for YOU and your unique vacation needs. Agents also have partnerships with properties and suppliers for special deals and extra values like room upgrades, resort credits and more.
- Local travel agents are problem solvers and consumer advocates. Unlike big box stores or generic websites, we don't go away once your invoice is paid. We solve problems and advocate on your behalf when extra help is needed. We also work with you to insure your trip and protect your vacation investment.
- Finally, you're already paying for one! If you book a trip online through a big corporate website, you're PAYING for the services of a travel agent and not getting a single benefit! The rates you see on vacation websites have a travel agent commission built in... if you book through them, you pay that rate and don't get any of the personalized service, attention or problem solving. Why not get the extra service that you've already paid for?
For a travel agent, finding the right Small Business Saturday promotion can be kind of tricky. Since I spend most of my days planning destination weddings, family vacations and group vacations in Mexico and the Caribbean, I would LOVE to give away trips to everyone! Unfortunately, that is not very realistic.
In the past, I have done giveaways to celebrate Small Business Saturday. The giveaways are great, but let's face it... free stuff is really only exciting for the person who WINS the free stuff!
This year, I think I have found a creative way to spread the love. I am focusing on THREE ways for you and your friends to learn and experience all the ways that working with a travel agent can benefit YOU! From now until November 19*, here's how Alpaca Your Bags Travel will celebrate Small Business Saturday!
- Reduced Planning Deposit: Travel agenting is hard work. It requires a lot of time, training and expertise. To maximize my time with the clients who want my assistance the most, I charge a small planning deposit to plan non-wedding trips. This deposit is refunded when you travel, meaning it is absolutely FREE to work with me. I am fortunate enough to be extremely busy, so the deposit is a way to hold your place in line. The deposit for most non-wedding trips is typically $100. For new trips initiated Nov 1-Nov 19", this will be reduced to $50. When filling out the quote request form, use the Code SMALLBIZ to get this discount.
- Upgraded Private Transfers: Shared transfers are a drag. After the excitement of getting up early, flying to your destination and anticipating that first moment when you will see the beach... no one wants to make umpteen stops at other resorts! For any trip initiated between Nov 1-Nov 19, I will upgrade your round-trip transportation from shared/stops to private/nonstop for FREE. This is my gift to you and is good for up to 2 passengers.
- Double Referral Bonuses: Not planning a trip any time soon? That's ok! Our current clients without travel plans can still celebrate the fun! As most of you know, we have a very awesome referral program that pays in Amazon gift cards. When you refer a new client and they book with me, you get a $25 Amazon gift card! For every new client that you refer to me from Nov 1- Nov 19*, I will double the referral credit to a $50 Amazon Gift Card when that new client books. Limit of 2 per client. Not valid on existing trips, must be newly booked
*One comment you may be thinking: "Ashley, if Small Business Saturday is Nov 25, why are you ending the promotion on November 19?" GREAT QUESTION 🙂 That is because I have Thanksgiving week plans that limit my access to internet and phone. Rather than create disappointment, I am cutting off the promo at November 19. That still gives you almost THREE WEEKS to take advantage!