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I Book Travel for a Living

Welcome back to Philip James Travel and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I am a professional travel advisor. You might recall I opened Philip James Travel less than 6-months before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic changed the global landscape. Great timing, right? Well now as the turbulence begins to subside, I feel like this is a good time to share some of my realities with you.

The hospitality industry has been my livelihood for 3-decades and I totally enjoy what I do. I have the pleasure of helping and sending people on all kinds of journeys. I work with folks to fulfill bucket list dreams. I offer advice. I provide access to travel suppliers that aren’t available to DIYers. I help when things don’t go exactly as planned. And if may say so, I’m good at what I do. I’d like to reemphasize the key phrase, “I do this for a living”. This is how I support my family. It is not a hobby or a side gig. This really is what I do, 9-to-5 Monday through Friday (and nights and weekends when you’re traveling).

Why am I telling you this now? If you’ve been reading my weekly newsletters, you probably have a good sense of what I do. And even though it’s glaringly obvious to me, it may not be all that clear to everyone else. Occasionally I have clients and friends who call and ask for advice and then go and book their trip on a website. Sometimes my fee structure might be off-putting, or maybe people think they’re getting a better deal on their own (Spoiler: probably not!). Maybe it’s simply because people “don’t want to bother me” with something they feel they ought to be able to do online on their own. Shameful plug: “This is what I do for a living, and I’m good at it”. Please know you are not bothering me. Even if we don’t end up working together, I still welcome your calls and the opportunity to talk travel with you. It’s only through these conversations that we can determine how best to proceed, or not.

There’s no use beating around the bush when it comes to 2020, the truth is the pandemic has been a big problem for my business and my industry (which employs one-tenth of the global population), and I have been working for the last 12-months to reschedule bookings and get people refunds and future travel credits while keeping my business going forward. Clients now are indeed beginning to call to book trips for this year, and next year and even into 2023! Assuredly there is light at the end of this tunnel, and there are destinations where you can go and good experiences to be had. Now is not too early to call for anything.

I could list the many reasons to use a travel advisor, and there are quite a few, but I will speak of only two here: If something goes wrong while traveling, wouldn't you rather have someone you know you can count on instead of an 800 number that may ring forever? And, would you rather support a business where you’re just an IP address and a dollar amount, or wouldn't you prefer to support a person whom you know, who treats you like the VIP that you are?

I am not in this business solely to make money. I am here to share my passion and my knowledge and my connections to help make authentic travel experiences your reality.

And now in keeping with St. Patrick's Day, how about a little inspiration from IRELAND and particularly I’d like to commend to you ASHFORD CASTLE in County Mayo, one of 20 outstanding gems within THE RED CARNATION HOTELS COLLECTIONS

And from none other than Saint Patrick himself, Fifth CenturyMissonary Monk and Bishop in Ireland

“I arise today

Through the strength of heaven:

Light of sun

Brilliance of moon

Splendor of fire

Speed of lightning

Swiftness of wind

Depth of sea

Stability of earth

Firmness of rock.”

Thanks for reading once again, and for considering Philip James Travel for your important travel needs.


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