Black Travel Summit weekend webinar brings together travel pros and leaders

Monet Hambrick, the Miramar-based founder of the travel blog The Traveling Child, and her husband James, create content to encourage families to travel the globe. Monet will speak at the Black Travel Summit’s virtual conference, which runs from Oct. 17-18.

Monet Hambrick, the Miramar-based founder of the travel blog The Traveling Child, and her husband James, create content to encourage families to travel the globe. Monet will speak at the Black Travel Summit’s virtual conference, which runs from Oct. 17-18.

Traveling with kids, taking care of your mental health on the road, traveling while Black – these are some of the topics an upcoming webinar hosted by the Miami-based Black Travel Summit will highlight this weekend.

The two-day virtual event will bring together 26 speakers from around the globe, including content creators and a director for the Seychelles Tourism Board. The event runs from Oct. 17-18 and is sponsored in part by the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, which will deliver a keynote address Sunday.

“This is a celebration of people of color in the travel space,” said Anita François, founder of the Black Travel Summit. “We’re trying to create a connection between us and the travel industry by fostering collaboration with influencers and encouraging partnerships.”

Attendees can register online at blacktravelsummit.com. General admission is free, but up to 500 VIP tickets ranging from $20 to $70 dollars include vendor discounts and a lifetime membership to the Black Travel Summit. Part of the proceeds will go to Dream Defenders, a social justice nonprofit.

VIP tickets come with a curated gift box containing samples from Black-owned brands.

The conference, titled “Movement,” will include breakout sessions featuring yoga and a cooking demo, as well as presentations about living as an expat, building a brand and travel writing.

Other sessions include a presentation by a mental health professional who will target self care and a historian who will talk about Black History Month in the United Kingdom, which is celebrated in October.

Black travelers are a valuable and untapped audience for the industry, according to Mandala Research, a tourism and travel research firm. Black Americans spent $63 billion on travel, according to the firm’s 2018 report, and the number is expected to grow to $90 billion in coming years.

But representation is lacking, said François. She founded the summit about two years ago, encouraged by her own experiences as a British expat in the U.S. and a lifelong traveler born to an east African mother and Haitian-American father.

“When you don’t see yourself in the mainstream travel media, or on a billboard or taking a cruise you almost feel like, is this for me? Is this something I can do? Is it safe for me as a person of color, because I know how America views people of color but how do other countries view people of color?” François said. “Black people have always been traveling, but now the world finally has the opportunity to have a glimpse into what it looks like when people of color travel because of social media.”

In recent years, content creators have carved out a niche for themselves, agrees Ernest White, creator of the blog Fly Brother and host of the travel docu-series “Fly Brother with Ernest White II,”

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Lifestyle Vacation Club, Pros and Cons of a Lifestyle Vacation Club

We all want to travel, some of us may not admit it to others but I find that’s more because they don’t want to admit it to themselves. They feel they can’t travel for whatever reason, so they tell themselves they don’t want to so they don’t feel they are missing out. I’m letting everyone know they can. Whether it’s finances holding them back, or not knowing how to go about setting up a great vacation, or just fear of going on their first trip outside of their comfort zone. And I’m going to explain it through talking about lifestyle vacation clubs. I’ll be talking about this from the experience I have in travel that I have done and the lifestyle vacation club I have knowledge about.

First pro of a lifestyle vacation club.

The first, and probably biggest, pro for a lot of people is the value. A lot of people want to get as much value as they can out of the money they spend. It makes sense, we work hard for our money so we want to get as much out of it as we can. The lifestyle vacation club that I have knowledge of does just that. They give a lot of bang for your buck. All the vacation packages available are located at 4 and 5 star resorts or hotels at 2 and 3 star prices. They guarantee the lowest price or they will refund you the cost of the trip and send you on the vacation anyway. Pretty powerful statement. There is always inclusions in the trip which adds so much value to the money you are spending as well. If your trip is to Disneyland, they include tickets to the park. A skiing trip, they include the lift pass during your stay. A day at a car race, great seats that include pit passes. A lifestyle vacation club has value.

Pro #2 of a lifestyle vacation club.

Worry free. Let’s face it, our lives are busy. Setting up a great vacation is time consuming. You have to find a resort in the area you’re wanting to go. You need to confirm vacancy during the time you want to go. Then you need to set up things to do in the area you want to go. You can avoid this buy doing it while your on your vacation, but who wants to do that? I’ve done it and it was added stress… while on vacation trying to get away from stress!! Then you have to pay for it, ahead of time or while on vacation like I did on one of my trips. Either method is a hassle and time consuming. With a lifestyle vacation club the hassle is taken away. You can set filters for the type of trip your looking for making it extremely easy to find the trip you want with the inclusions you’re wanting to experience, book the trip and you’re done.

The 3rd pro of a lifestyle vacation club.

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Hotel Wedding Receptions: Pros and Cons

The reception venue is the most important choice you will need to make about your wedding celebration. The location will set the tone, influence the menu, and of course determine the cost of the reception. Hotels are among the most popular sites for weddings; this is a look at the pros and cons of hosting your wedding in a hotel.

Pro: Easy to Plan. A hotel will have all of the tables, chairs, linens, china, and so on that you need for your wedding reception. Some hotel ballrooms have special features like grand chandeliers, which are great if you plan to wear a formal ballgown with crystal bridal jewelry. You will not need to worry about any type of rentals, which makes both planning and day of wedding logistics much easier.

Con: Cookie Cutter. It can be hard to personalize a hotel wedding. You will have little control over the decor, the menu, and the timing of the reception. Since you will be required to use their restaurant for the catering, the menu options will be limited, and may be fairly predictable. If food is a priority for your wedding, the hotel experience may not be for you. It is also not the best choice for the bride who loves wedding details with a handcrafted charm like unique bridal jewelry and DIY centerpieces.

Pro: Very Convenient. The best thing about a hotel is the convenience for you and your guests. After the reception, the newlyweds can just head upstairs to the honeymoon suite. If the guests want to keep the party going, they can hang out in the hotel lounge or bar. Sometimes the parents of the bride or groom opt to rent a suite where a drop in after-party can take place. You can reserve blocks of hotel rooms for your guests, saving them money and eliminating the worry about drinking and driving. And in the morning, the post-wedding brunch can be held right there in the same hotel. Most hotels even have free shuttle service to and from the airport for out-of-town guests.

Con: Multiple Weddings. A hotel generally hosts more than one event at the same time. Having two receptions going on side by side can tend to detract from the intimacy of your wedding. You may hear their music, you might run into another bride in the ladies room, and if your party is better, you may even have guests from the neighboring wedding wander into yours. There is also something less than elegant about the event board in the hotel lobby that lists your wedding as one of many events. It can make it feel less unique and special.

Pro: Experienced Staff. Since hotels routinely host weddings, conferences, and other functions, the staff is highly experienced at organizing large events. If you want to greet your guests with welcome bags when they arrive in town, the hotel desk can hand them out at check in. They will also have the large kitchen needed to handle …

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The Pros and Cons of Discount Travel Clubs

If you love to travel, but can’t seam to do it as often as you would like, you should consider looking into a good travel club.

My wife LOVES to travel the world as I am sure many of you do, but it was always so expensive. I am here to tell you, it does not have to be.

This is how travel clubs work.

When you think about it owning a resort property is just like any other business. They need a steady flow of customers to be profitable. Their unique challenge is, they also need a consistent flow of customers preferably evenly spaced throughout the entire year otherwise many issues start to become problems for them. To many customers all at once is lost business, probably to your competition. Not enough customers means empty rooms and lost business and revenue, which makes staffing as well as many other things VERY difficult.

The challenge is to keep a steady flow of customers, preferably evenly spaced all year long. But how do they do that?

One way resort owners have discovered to help with this is by affiliating with travel clubs to offer club members unreserved rooms at deep discounts. This helps keep a steady flow of customers all year long, and helps the owner keep a properly staffed business running.

Think about it from their perspective, would you rather have an empty room and NO income, and have a staff to pay with no customers to serve or income being produced? Or, to keep a good quality staff busy, have customers that may only be paying enough to cover your expenses with little or no profit?

It does not take long as a business owner to figure out that “when possible” you sell at full price, when necessary you take a discount and less profit, and when push comes to shove at least cover expenses to avoid taking a loss.

Even taking some loss is acceptable if it helps with staffing issues, inventory, food shelf life, advertising, budgeting, exposure and many other business issues. As long as it is not the norm, obviously.

Now, keep in mind, all travel clubs are NOT created equal.

The owner of the travel club is also doing business. He wants to provide his members with an attractive offer to build membership, but also wants to make money in HIS business, which IS the travel club. If the owner is more concerned about profit, than they are about giving value to their members, that club has a limited future.

The saying that just popped into my head was “It is better to have a little bit of something, than a whole lot of nothing.”

The resort owners are constantly negotiating deals (level of discount) with hundreds of travel club owners.

The owner of a particular travel club may have negotiated with the resort owners the best prices for his club, but if he is trying to make to much profit with his travel club, …

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Buying a Travel Trailer – The Pros and Cons of New and Used Travel Trailers

Are you thinking about buying a travel trailer? There are so many decisions to make.

* Do you want a new or used trailer?

* Is this going to be a cash purchase or financed?

* What are you willing to spend?

* Should you get a 5th wheel, toy hauler or tongue pull travel trailer?

* What manufacturer are you interested in?

* What floor plan is best for your requirements?

If you are undecided, you should start out by considering the pros and the cons of buying used vs. buying new. Take your time when buying your travel trailer. Do your research and avoid spontaneous buys.

PROS of Buying a Used Travel Trailer

* More Bang for Your Buck. A used travel trailer will hold it’s worth longer than a new trailer. A used trailer is the way to go if you are on a looking to save money or don’t want to be stuck with making payments for 10 years. You could get a used 252 with all the bells and whistles cheaper than a NEW 202 plain jane travel trailer.

* Do Your Research. Visit travel trailer forums and read what owners are saying about particular travel trailers, both good and bad, this information could save you a bunch of future headaches. Remember the greater part of travel trailers that are purchased new rarely see any camping action, a large amount of trailers are either put in storage or parked at peoples houses. Its not unregular to find a used travel trailer in showroom condition, even older travel trailers from the 70’s can be found in great condition.

* Second-hand travel trailers hold their value! If you get a good quality bargain on a used travel trailer and decide to sell it a few years later you have a great chance of getting all your money back.

CONS of Purchasing a Used Travel

* Potential Problems. Buying a used travel trailer is a bit of a gamble, there could be minor problems or major problems and if you are lucky – no problems with the trailer. In most cases the warranty will have long ago expired, so expenses will be out of your pocket. Do your homework right so problems won’t be a surprise.

* Elbow Grease. You will need to give your new used trailer a good cleaning, no matter what condition it’s in.

* Less selection of ideal floor plans. Floor plans are limited by what’s currently for sale.

PROS of Buying a New Travel Trailer

* Nice & Sparkling. It’s new, fresh and all yours!

* Warranty. If there are problems, take the trailer back to your dealer and they’ll have to repair them for free!

* Maintenance Free. You do not have to be bothered with purchasing new tires, new battery, or any other part for at least a year or until the warranty has expired.

* Floor Plans. Lots of floor plans and interior colors to choose from.

CONS of Buying

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Hotel Franchises – Pros and Cons

Here is a quick review of the basic pros and cons of buying a hotel franchise. Every investor is different. Depending on who you are some of the “pros” may really be “cons” and vice versa. Consider this a starting point in your assessment of hotel franchise opportunities.

Starting with the good stuff, let’s look at the Pros:

Reduction of startup risk – you are working with someone who has done this before successfully.

Turnkey operation – again no reinventing the wheel on processes, procedures or procurement. Your franchisor has built the system already.

Standardized systems – backend accounting, IT and financial systems already in place so you aren’t spending your time implementing reservations systems.

Buying power – as part of a larger whole, you get the benefit of volume buying.

Consulting readily available – experience counts and your franchisor has been around the block. Ask for as much help as they are willing to give.

Marketing – the brand image and marketing is out there already. You aren’t chasing one-off travel reviewerers to get your name out.

Financial assistance – some franchisors are willing to help you with funding these high capital projects.

You are your own boss – the glory of that goes without saying!

Now let’s take a look at the downsides:

Less Freedom – You are married to your franchisor – for better or worse!

Royalty Payments – as a franchisee you pay for the supports above.

Costs – Hotels are high capital and operating cost businesses.

Lack of Support – if your franchisor doesn’t help as you expect, you may be out in the cold.

Inflexible Systems – even if you have a better way to manage reservations, you are using their method.

Unbalanced Contract – all franchising contracts, not just for hotels, are tilted toward the franchisor.

Dependent on Franchisor – their performance is your performance.

These are all things to consider as you step toward a decision about buying a franchise or hotel business.…

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