Romance Travel During a Pandemic
We’re delighted to see that people are feeling more comfortable now to rebook their long awaited honeymoons and destination weddings. We were curious to see how the pandemic has affected that planning, so we turned to one of our Romance Travel experts, Lisa Sheldon CTIE, President, DWHSA, Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association.
Join Lisa and take advantage of the critical and practical advice she has to share with you during the FREE Webinar, Romance Travel Endures During and Beyond Covid, on June 10 at 11:30 am EDT. Register now – this one will be popular!
When specializing in romance travel, travel advisors have learned to handle some of the usual concerns that affect destination weddings and other romance travel trips. Hurricanes, flight cancellations, resort closures due to renovation, and the occasional volcano spewing ash to neighboring islands are just a few. Now throw in a pandemic with travel restrictions, closed borders, and ever-changing Covid-19 safety protocols, and your bingo card is full!
Working with honeymoon, vow renewal or anniversary, and destination wedding couples during a pandemic has taken on a whole new meaning for romance travel specialists. The loss of commission, shifting dates, new contracts, and sometimes a lost sale were just a few things travel advisors have dealt with. A honeymoon or anniversary trip usually can be moved to new dates relatively easily because it is only the couple traveling. Destination weddings usually have a group of people traveling, so new dates might mean that not everyone who originally planned to attend can travel on the new dates. Then there is finding availability for the new wedding date and moving the room block.
With the vaccine rollout, most U.S. states and countries lifting strict gathering policies, and what hopes to be the worst of the pandemic behind us, romance travel couples with pending trips hopefully will be able to move forward with their plans. Romance travel couples always bring that extra emotional component added to the trip; this is their wedding or honeymoon and the first trip they will take as a married couple, and Covid-19 restrictions may add additional stress. It is okay for the couple to be overwhelmed by emotions and decisions relating to their travel plans. That is another reason to work with a romance travel specialist who is there to help them navigate the changes.
Here are a few tips to consider when working with destination wedding and honeymoon clients while the pandemic continues to affect travel plans.
- Help your clients understand that their group size may not be as large as they anticipated. Some guests may not be comfortable traveling yet and will opt out of attending a destination wedding, especially if it is outside the United States. Make sure you clarify all the policies and attrition dates with your tour operator or with the resort (if booking directly), so you can cancel any rooms or airline seats that are not reserved. Resorts, hotels, and venues may not be as forgiving or lenient when room numbers fall below the contracted amount.
- Staying current with travel restrictions and vendor policies is imperative in keeping your clients informed. As always, learn as much as possible about travel protection/insurance, so you can recommend the right product to your clients.
- If your couple’s dream destination is not open for travel, suggest a mini-moon: a shorter trip right after the wedding. A quick getaway can help them relax and connect with each other, while still knowing their dream honeymoon will take place within the year.
- Book now for 2022! Space and availability are filling up fast as a result of postponed dates and the pent-up demand for travel.
- Remind your couples—especially if it is their destination wedding—that, regardless of the Covid restrictions, their day will come!
Thank you, Lisa!
Don’t forget to sign up for Lisa’s Romance Travel Endures During and Beyond Covid today! And, very importantly, look for our news on the Honeymoon and Destination Weddings Course!