Travel Agents

“Personal experiences are the best sales tool”: MTA advisor on how she achieved work/TRAVEL/life balance

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

We all know the importance of achieving a good work/life balance.

To keep your head in the right place, you’ve got to find that sweet spot of satisfaction in your work and having the freedom to make time for the things that matter to you, whether it be family, friends, hobbies or a side hustle.

But for travel advisors, this often looks a little different: to stay ahead of your game, you’ve got to be well travelled enough to provide your clients with sound advice which often means having a calendar bursting with famil trips, conferences, roadshows and brochure launches.

Jet-setting around the globe is a fantastic job perk, but it tends to throw a spanner in the works when it comes to maintaining that all important work/life balance, which tends to become work/TRAVEL/life balance.

To get some tips on the best way to keep your balance, we had a chat with an agent who has been on more international trips this year than many people achieve in their lifetime. Kathy Thomaidis, a home-based advisor for Mobile Travel Agents (MTA), travelled overseas a whopping eight times in 2018, but with the support of her agency, she didn’t have to sweat the small stuff.

IMG_7549

Here’s what she had to say.

Travel Weekly: How has your agency helped to facilitate a good work/travel/life balance?

Kathy Thomaidis: I have been a part of MTA for three years now and being a home-based agent allows me the flexibility to create my own working hours.

I could never go back to working 9 to 5 in an office, I love the freedom it gives me to plan my working day around what I have on. I never have to miss out on a lunch with friends or an event. I catch up on work when it suits me.

When I go away, the MTA Assistance team is there to look after my clients, it is a relief to know they are in good hands.

TW: What made you decide to become a home-based agent?  

KT: Having been in the industry for over 17 years, I was looking for the next step in my career.  I knew I wanted to run my own business, choose my own hours and increase my earnings. Having done my research, the MTA business model was a perfect fit

IMG_8212

TW: You went on a lot of trips last year, how were you able to balance this with your work requirements?

KT: Yes, it was a big travel year for me in 2018. Eight international trips.  I had to make sure I was super organised before I went away. My laptop usually comes with me, as I like to keep on top of things and check emails.

I call on the MTA Assistance team when required and they are fantastic. It also enables me to switch off completely if I need to.

TW: Eight trips is huge! Where did you go and how did you come by so many great opportunities? 

KT: The trips I took last year were made up of famils, conferences, personal holidays and prizes I had won at various roadshows, brochure launches and travel functions.

I do a lot of the online training that is available to agents through the National Tourism offices for various countries, they have great training platforms. As a result, I got invited to Japan, New Zealand, Austria and Canada. I was also invited to attend the Japan Luxury Showcase by the JNTO and took part in a wonderful fam trip prior to attending the event in Tokyo, ANTO invited me to the Austrian Destination Summit in Vienna, I took part in the 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist Fam of the North Island, I attended Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas and took part in a post-conference fam trip to Mexico. From there I took the opportunity to add Cuba on as a personal holiday.

8db5b925-63e1-4d12-8e25-e54028dbc401

On top of all that, I attended an exclusive MTA luxury fam trip to Los Angeles and I was invited on the Canada Specialist Program Winter Fam!

After all those trips I needed a personal holiday, so I went to Cyprus to visit family and got to travel to Malaysia with my mum thanks to winning a prize at the Shangri la Sales mission.

TW: Jealous! Why do you think travelling is such an integral part of your job? 

KT: It’s a common question asked by clients, “Have you been there?” and I love it when I can say yes! It gives my clients the confidence to put their trust in me.

Sharing my personal travel experiences is the best sales tool. I am in this industry for my love of travel, and I want to keep learning and experiencing new places.

TW: What sets MTA apart from other home-based agencies?

It’s been said before, MTA is a family and I have felt that from day one. We have a wonderful support and assistance team at head office, with afterhours support and IT support included.

I love the fact that there are no surprises when it comes to fees and charges. It’s all very transparent and you get to choose your own GDS, which makes life much easier!

There is training readily available via the MTA Professional Plus platform which was released last year.

I feel I am part of an elite group of agents, with so much knowledge that is shared through our closed Facebook Group, there is never a question that can’t be answered.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Aviation

Fight breaks out on plane as Delta passengers face seven hour delay

It appears a Lord of the Flies situation has broken out onboard an Airbus A320 after passengers were allegedly stranded with no food or water. Luckily, passengers managed to post footage to Twitter.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wholesaler wrap: G Adventures’ big Antarctica sale, new AAT Kings tours, Wendy Wu to set sail down the Mekong + MORE!

If there’s one thing we love about Mondays, it’s seeing several gobsmackingly good deals on tours around the world. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in this week’s wholesaler wrap.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

WATCH: Virgin Galactic showcases new Spaceport passenger lounge

by Christian Fleetwood

With designs marrying Earth and sky, Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport lounge aims to serenade the one per cent that can afford a trip to space in style.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air New Zealand pokes fun at Wallabies’ poor Bledisloe Cup record with cheeky full-page ad

by Huntley Mitchell

Are you still getting over the Wallabies’ weekend flogging at the hands of the All Blacks? Well, it’s probably best you avoid reading this.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

Three reasons why you should enter The Travel Awards

The deadline for entries to The Travel Awards is under two weeks away now, but if you’re still tossing up whether or not to throw your hat in the ring, we’ve just made your decision a whole lot easier.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aussie tourist hotspot in Bali dramatically shut down

A favourite haunt for Aussie tourists in Kuta has been shut down amid claims of unpaid tax and increased crime.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Cathay Pacific CEO resigns as airline investigates anonymous staff letter supporting Hong Kong protests

by Christian Fleetwood

In further proof of China’s power comes these pieces of big news out of Cathay Pacific HQ.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

23-year-old charged with shooting Aussie tourist in New Zealand

A Victorian man was shot while he slept in a rented campervan next to his fiancée in a small New Zealand surfing town.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Crown Resorts scores win against NSW government over Sydney Harbour views

The casino and hotel giant can rest easy knowing its soon-to-be-built Barangaroo property will have views of Sydney Harbour after the NSW government retreated from further court action.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Destination wrap: Germany on the rise, Vanuatu kicks off Tok Tok tradeshows + MORE!

Keep on top of the where’s where of travel with all the latest news and events in this week’s bumper destination wrap.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Wholesalers

Join Collette for a night of food, drinks and freebies!

If there’s one surefire way to entice travel agents into attending an event, it’s food, drinks and freebies.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

What every travel agent can learn from actor Samuel Johnson

by Huntley Mitchell

Actor and charity founder Samuel Johnson had plenty of takeaways for travel agents at a recent conference, which you take away here.

Share

CommentComments