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Hey guys my name is Mitchell. I am the vice president here at Friends Tours and Travel. Today I just want to first thank you for signing on with us to be a host. We are just really excited for you guys to be traveling with us. Today I just want to kinda help out a little bit. If you haven’t done this before it can be a little bit intimidating, maybe there is things you don’t quite know about. So I am just here to help if i can.
So right off the bat probably the first thing your thinking is “oh my gosh how do I organize this”. There is so many things to think about, I don’t want to get overwhelmed. Just know that you definitely have a lot of help here. We are fully equipped to handle all the details for your trip. Every thing from payments to passports to the flights to the ground information, dietary restrictions. Whatever the detail is we can handle it for you, so just don’t get overwhelmed. Definitely rely on us to help you do this process.
So the first big thing to really start thinking about and organizing is the interest for your trip. Before you can do anything else you gotta get signed up to come. So I always recommend my hosts go ahead and sign up or get attention for an interest meeting. Whether you’re a pastor at a church or a teacher or professor at a school definitely have a meeting. Put dates on a calendar and advertise those dates. You want as many butts in seats as you can so that people have information. They want to be put in front of some information so that they can make solid plans to attend.
So in order to get your started with your meeting we have resources like videos, slideshow presentations, handouts that we give you. All of this in addition to the brochures that you’re going to get no matter what. So definitely lets us know here at the office if you need any other promotional materials. We are equipped to do facebook advertising for you if we need to, whatever the case is we are happy to help with the advertising just definitely put those dates on a calendar.
So as soon as you have your interest meeting signed up and ready to go the next thing you are looking at is getting people to register for your trip. Now our agency doesn’t set a deposit deadline, however i would encourage you to do one independently. The reason that I say that is because it generally gives people a target to start with. A 90 day payment deadline can seem like its really far away especially if you’re planning your trip a year in advance, which is my recommendation. 90 days is only 3 months before the trip leaves and thats a long time from a year out. So typically I recommend a six month deposit deadline so that people have kinda something to shoot for, something to look at as a first step.
After that, I usually recommend you stay in communication with your travelers. One of the ways we equip you to do that is through your host portal on our website. Our website is equipped for our hosts to keep track our their travelers, contact information. If you would like to do an email list or a call list what ever the case is, or even a snail mail list their address will be included when they register for the trip so I would strongly encourage you to do that. Our most successful trips are the ones that have consistent communication from their hosts. Your travelers want to hear from you more than they want to hear from me, so definitely make that something to do.
So as I mentioned before the only hard deadline we set is that 90 day payment deadline. So once you start getting close to that usually about a month before so 120 days we will invoice all your travelers. That comes from our office and you don’t have to do a thing for that. You don’t have to worry bout those invoices those are handled from us you don’t have to worry about a thing. Its usually at that point that I recommend you start communicating with your folks again if you haven’t already so that they know whats happening so they know why they are being communicated with from us and they can kind of see whats coming. Now, within those 90 days, this is where it gets important this is crunch time. So within those 90 days a couple different things will happen. First that 90 day patient deadline tags the big one, after that is the ticketing deadlines we will go ahead and take care of all your flights. At that point all of your reservations are made with the hotels all of that happens within those 90 days. At 30 days, so a month before your trip, roughly around that time is where you will receive packets from us. In side those packets is just a bunch of goodies from us just as a thank you fro traveling with us. Also, a couple key things that you’ll want is the flight itinerary if you’ve opted in to get insurance your insurance information will be in there and a document called be in the know before you go. That document kind of outlines some if the things that are in another video that we have. But those are just some tips on packing and getting ready to leave.
Now the reason I mention that 30 day mark is because that is typically when I recommend you schedule your second meeting and this is your informational meeting. Now this meeting is simple to get information to your travelers before they’re ready to travel. They are amped up, they are a month out of their trip. This is exciting, but they are probably still waiting on a couple answers probably a couple of things that they don’t know yet, so go ahead and equipped them with as many answers as you can. Ultimately guys the thing that I want you to take away from this is communication communication communication, between you and I and between you and your travelers, if it needs to happen us and your travelers. We are always happy to help in any way we can but ultimately as I said your travelers want to hear from you so please stay consistent about communication with them. If there is anything you can’t answer we are here to help you.
Now guys once again we are really excited that you are goin tot be traveling with us. My name is Mitchell again I am here to help any way I can. Please reach out to us by email or by phone here at the office and we are excited for you to travel with us.