It’s Travel Tuesday and we’re looking for a little bit of travel inspo to get us through these long weeks of isolation! We’re thrilled to welcome travel agent, writer and expert, Renee Tsang to the blog today to inject us with some new travel anecdotes and recommendations!
You have a lot of different hats in the travel industry! Tell us about yourself.
I actually started out as an independent travel advisor, planning and booking vacations for clients as an introduction into the travel industry. I wanted to have an online space to document my travel entrepreneur journey and started a blog, to write about travel experiences to help clients through personal experiences, and as an avenue to share knowledge and expertise. Writing opportunities that came about were intended to help to share my knowledge and experience with clients to bring awareness, share ideas and opportunities as well as knowledge and expertise in order to build my travel advisor business, expanding my client basis and helping them plan and book the vacations they wanted. Through my experiences, knowledge, expertise, and my travel supplier network, I hope to inspire families to travel more, to create unique travel experiences that form unforgettable memories that families and parents will always have. I hope to share advice and expertise to clients by breaking down information with clarity and relevance to help them realize their travel dreams.
Is your travel usually business-related or do you make some room for relaxation too?
I try to fit in at least one work trip and one personal trip each year, and the personal trip is usually somewhat work-related to ensure that I can maximize any opportunities to learn and explore during personal trips as well. I would love to travel more during the year, but as a single mother of two teen/tween-age children, school is more of a priority so I try to travel with my kids during school break times, and limit the time I am away during the school year to ensure that I am around as a parent, as that is my life priority right now.
Do you have a favourite corner of the globe (or a few faves) that you can share with our readers?
When I first started my travel business, my kids were six and eight, and I felt they were at the perfect ages to begin travel adventures where we could really take in opportunities to travel more and we started with Disney vacations. It became the perfect opportunity for us to travel to Disney destinations to explore, enjoy the adventures as a family, and for my travel business to specialize in Disney destinations all over. As we are based in western Canada, visiting Disneyland is logistically easier, plus I have always loved California and the west coast.
Another place that I feel is just as magical is Hawaii. Through the spirit of the islands, the tropical paradise provides an ideal getaway for every type of traveller. The peace, the serenity and the hospitality of the people make it such a welcoming place that is both familiar yet exotic enough, offering culture, history and unique experiences that will satisfy all traveller types.
Do you have any travel tips you can share?
A few things that I have learned along the way from travelling regularly is to have a small travel bag ready to go for unexpected trips! I have an extra travel-size stash of all my essentials so that I can just grab what I need quickly when a spontaneous travel opportunity comes up!
Packing cubes have been a life-changer to organize what you need and to help you pack less. Keeping things simple and packing less, makes it easier to stay mobile during your travels, especially if you are not staying long in one place. And having colour-coded packing cubes for our family makes packing and unpacking a breeze! Each person has a different colour and we can easily identify each person’s belongings just by colour.
Less is more. I used to be guilty of packing more, and taking more than I need to because “just in case”. But now, I pack less to keep things as simple as I can. Take only the essentials that you need. Everything else can be replaced in the destination if needed so no need to take any extras as it takes up extra space and weight in your bags.
Always bring an extra pair of shoes to have alternate shoes to wear. Even the most comfortable pair of shoes cannot alleviate tired feet so having a change of shoes is a lifesaver!
What’s next on your bucket list?
So many places I would love to visit now! I would love to go to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands, particularly French Polynesia. I would also love to visit China and Japan someday too. As of right now though, I’ll settle for anywhere but here! So even if it’s a bit closer to home, I wouldn’t even mind exploring certain parts of the United States, places that I have not been to yet would be just as exciting to get away and explore.
How do you think travel will be affected by COVID in the future?
I think the landscape for travel has changed but overall, the changes will be for the better. For travel suppliers, hotels and resorts, tour operators, and airlines, best practices will be improved to instill consumer confidence in their policies and procedures to ensure client and employee health and safety. I think that the health and safety protocols that will be introduced may be more involved and more time-consuming at certain checkpoints, it will be a new reality that travellers will understand that it is for the better that will just become a part of the travelling process. Similar to extra security measures introduced after 9/11, these measures are now expected and travellers understand it is a natural part of travelling.
Depending on when the world will begin to open up its doors to travel again, each country will open at different times so I think it will all open up in stages. But travelling is such an innate part of us, and a large part of our lives that people will not stop travelling. They may travel differently, or may travel closer to home at first, or perhaps may take more time to plan their travels because of the initial uncertainty. But people will travel and there will be a pent-up demand for travel as more times passes.
Travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance will be a much more important consideration for travellers to evaluate and should be an important factor in their ultimate decisions related to travel because this COVID situation has shown that so much can be out of our control and that having travel insurance plans can help protect their travel costs without worry should plans change and affect their travel plans.
Thanks for joining us Renee! Be sure to check out her website for all of her social links and blog!