The Monday Minute is a weekly feature in PAX that highlights the movers, shakers, leaders and rule breakers in Canada's travel advisor community. Wanna be profiled? Wanna nominate someone? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Name: Lindsey Bell
Business: Go Travel with Lindsey
Where do you live? Winnipeg, MB
How long have you been a travel advisor? Five years
What is your specialty?
I sell a lot of all-inclusives, but I also specialize in Africa and group adventure travel
What is your current state of mind?
Restored (from recent travel) and excited for the upcoming busy season.
What inspired you to become a travel advisor?
After I got the travel bug, I noticed that friends and family were regularly asking about my trips, and for advice on planning their own trips. I realized I had a great opportunity to share something I love with others and turn my love of travel into a career!
What was the first trip you ever took?
My first trip I ever took as an adult was a month-long trip to South Africa, which was planned about three weeks in advance! It was a whirlwind trip, but an amazing experience, and I was hooked on travel. I returned to Africa less than a year later.
What travel trends are you seeing these days?
I’ve noticed that people have become much more flexible with their budget. They realize that now's the time to go on the trip they’ve been dreaming about!
How did the COVID-19 pandemic change the way you do business?
I wouldn’t say COVID really changed the way I handle business on the client side of things, but it did give me the time to really take a good look at my business, improve my organization and streamline things to become more efficient, which I think resulted in improving my business tremendously.
Of all the bookings you’ve made, which itinerary are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all of them, from short all-inclusive packages to long custom itineraries in exotic places. As long as my clients are happy, I’m proud. Recently, I think I am most proud of a custom Europe itinerary I did for a mother and her young son. They had a wonderful time, and I think it really instilled a love of travel in them both!
What’s the most memorable trip you ever took?
One of the first solo trips I did was a 75-day overland camping trip across 10 countries in East and Southern Africa! Without a doubt, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life! The trip changed me in so many ways and it also really made me learn so much about myself.
Where do you see your business one year from now?
It’s so hard to say. My business has surpassed all the goals I set in the last few years. I want to continue building great relationships with my clients and work on creating more custom itineraries!
What’s one thing you would change about the travel industry?
That’s a tough one – I love this industry so much! I think my biggest frustration lately is dealing with some suppliers. Sometimes it feels like it’s making my business look bad without my control, but even that’s improved lately!
What’s the secret to being successful in this business?
I don’t know if there is a secret. To me, what’s most important to my success is building great relationships with my clients. I want them to know I’m approachable and have their best interests at heart.
What is your motto?
I don’t have a motto, but one thing I always say to friends and clients is to “always have a valid passport.” You never know when a great last-minute opportunity might come up!
What is your number one piece of advice to other travel advisors?
To travel advisors who are just starting out, I would tell them to stick with it and be persistent. It can take a while to grow your clientele, and it can feel discouraging at times. But if you stick with it and work hard, it will pay off. Also, take every opportunity you can to further your training and keep learning about this great industry!
Where are you travelling next?
California for a girls trip!