What to Do When You're Not Sure What To Do
By: Sandy Saburn, CTIE

Perhaps you’ve heard, “Physician, heal thyself.” Today my advice is targeted to our profession: “Travel agent, heal thyself.” Right now, many of you are tired. And rightfully so. You want to be planning trips. You want to be traveling yourself. Limbo can be exhausting, can’t it?
During this downtime, you’ve probably taken lots of training. You’ve cleaned off your desk and cleaned out your files. I hope you’ve audited your brand and marketing and done some dreaming about what you want your business to be like. Those are all great things to do.
But if you are like many travel agents I talk to, you are exhausted. You’re tired of keeping up with the news. You’re tired of trying to guess when travel is coming back and what that is going to look like. You’re tired of hearing about how bad things are in the travel industry. You’re just tired.

So, what is a travel agent to do?
I don’t say this to be flip, but you need a vacation.

You need to close the door to your office, walk out, and go do something else. Take a week – at least. Two weeks is even better. Put your out of office message on and take a proper vacation.

You know vacations are good for your mental and physical health. You probably tell clients that. Or you hear their stories about how much they needed the break they took. You’ve heard clients talk about how they come home from vacation as a changed person.

My thesis in grad school focused on why Americans don’t use their paid vacation time. One of the things I learned is that there is copious research on the benefits of vacations. It resets your mind, attitude, and body. Lin-Manuel Miranda was considering leaving theater and took a much-need vacation to figure out his next step. During his vacation, he had the inspiration for Hamilton – one of the most successful theater productions in history. Good thing he went on vacation and took a good book with him!

I’m not encouraging you to book a trip – everyone has to determine their own comfort level with travel right now. But even without a traditional vacation, you have options. Find things to do in your neighborhood/town/city. If you live in a city, create a walking tour each day around your own town. If you live in a smaller town or out in the country, take day trips each day. Go for a drive and picnic. Visit your State Parks and National Parks. If you have a guest room, sleep there instead of your own room. Do anything you can to change things up.

Taking a vacation from your business will give you a chance to recharge your batteries and reset your attitude. Take at least a week – or two. Just a day won’t do it. It takes at least 2 days for your brain to change gears.

Those of you who are employees who have been furloughed or working reduced hours probably think, “I’m already taking time off, but I want to go back to work!” I understand that. You too need to make sure you have really disconnected, doing something new and different, and not just waiting to come back.

If you take a break now you will come back in a better place to move forward. None of us knows what is ahead. Now is the perfect time to recharge those batteries so you can come back and be ready to move forward. Walking away really is the best way to be better in the future.