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Travel Agent spoke with Sandy Anderson, president of travel agency operations for the newly combined Allied Continental Holdings, on how agents looking to sell their business can navigate the evolving landscape. “There are some acquisitions happening just to buy volume because this is a volume world,” Anderson says. “I want my baby, who’s growing up, to keep flourishing.” Anderson founded Riverdale Travel, which is based in Coon Rapids, MN, in 1986 as a mom- and pop-shop that grew organically over the years. This week the agency announced a merger with Minneapolis-based Schilling Travel , in which Schilling will acquire Riverdale for an undisclosed sum, organizing under parent company Allied Continental Holdings. Riverdale is part of Signature Travel Network, while Schilling is part of Travel Leaders Network; eventually, the plan is for the new company to be entirely a part of Signature, Anderson says. Together the two agencies have annual sales of over $20 million, and plans call for the combined company to continue growing with the acquisition of further travel agencies throughout the Midwest. The #1 Industry Event for Specialization | Oct. 9-11, 2018 Travel Industry Exchange is the leading one-to-one event featuring a product-focused conference, networking and entertainment. Top agents vie for coveted hosted positions to leverage valuable supplier content that will help improve personal growth and increase overall sales. Finding a partner who looks beyond booking volume to her whole business was important to the acquisition, Anderson says.
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A new app that covers all modes of travel at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority — subway, bus and rail — was released Monday, as the agency also updated its main website to make it easier to navigate. It details delays, planned work, service changes and real-time arrivals, while letting riders plan trips and find nearby stations. It’ll also track escalators and elevator outages. Riders can download the app and test out the beta version — MTA officials will be collecting passenger feedback. “This is about getting to our customers and putting information in their hands,” MTA managing director Ronnie Hakim said. Riders who use the MYmta app will be able to buy Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road tickets by the end of the summer. There is currently separate MTA apps called eTix to pay for commuter rail trips and Subway Time for train trip arrivals and disruptions. The app will also let subway and bus riders use their phones to pay for trips once the MetroCard is retired. The MTA had avoided getting into the app game — agency officials instead handed its trip data to third-party developers, leading to a proliferation of apps. “One of the things our customers have said, they like to hear from us directly,” Hakim said. “They have a sense that there is an integrity to the data we’re providing.” Nick Sifuentes, director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, was an early tester of the MYmta app.
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Travel Does Not Have To Be Stressful
When it comes to travel, whether for business or just pleasure, you should always make your plans well in advance. Here are some tips to help you.
Don't bring a lot of valuables on any trip. The more valuables you bring with you, the more chance you have of losing one or more of them or possibly having them stolen.
To assist in minimizing your travel budget, purchase arrangements far in advance. All of the things that can be purchased on a trip share one thing in common, and that is that they cost less when purchased in advance. When you budget your expendable cash wisely and make your souvenir purchases early on, you will have more available funds later on in your journey if some issue were to arise.
Even on an international flight, you should be able to provide your own needs. Bring your own pillow, blanket and headphones if you think you will need them. Perhaps you should bring some snacks if it is allowed.
When you get to your hotel, give the alarm a try. Whether by simple accident or obnoxious prank, many a traveler has been awakened early in the morning or worse, in the middle of the night, by the alarm clock at their bedside. If you want to ensure a relaxing start to your vacation, make sure the alarm is off, or at least, set to when you would like to awaken.
Hit the gym before you board your flight. Long flights are taxing on your body and nerves. Sitting the same way for a long time can cause your legs or back to cramp. Exercise or, at the least, a session of stretching prior to a flight can minimize your cramps and eliminate sore muscles.
You may want to pack up everything you have while traveling. Do not overpack toiletries, just bring what you need. Travel size toiletries and other gear are great, because space is at a premium when traveling Pack only the ones which are most important.
When traveling by air you should wear comfortable shoes which can be slipped off easily. This makes security checks easier since you can easily slip them off. Being comfortable is the most important thing. Do not worry about serious foot support; you will be doing a lot more sitting than walking when you travel by air. Your favorite pair of sandals are probably your best bet in footwear when traveling by air.
If you have a motorcycle license, this vehicle can be great for taking day trips or road trips. You can enjoy the open road, wind in your face and great gas mileage. It can be quite fun to travel by motorcycle.
Think about packing a pair of cookie sheets if you are going on the road with kids. You can use them as a table on which to draw or play a game. You can also bring magnets to play with on them.
How much preparation you do before traveling can really influence how enjoyable your trip turns out to be. You're not going to be worried or anxious when you have properly planned, and you can instead rest and have confidence as you enjoy yourself.