Saying that the coronavirus has impacted the travel industry would be such an understatement of the year. Airlines are still trying to figure out their COVID policies, and some are continuing to update theirs leaving consumers frustrated and pissed. 2020 will be the year we all remember, and many of us, myself included, were looking forward to 2021.
2020 was an eye-opener for me in so many ways! I went into 2020 as a travel agent, which means I went through an agency for my (and my clients) travel deals. Well, I was supposed to. I often found myself booking deals for clients outside the agency, which meant I made $0. When I search for deals, flights to Airbnb, I spend hours upon hours researching everything. I act as if I am traveling with you, and I have set high standards for prices, layovers, Airbnb reviews and photos, and so much more! So after a few months of thinking about it and right when COVID was at an all-time high, I quit the agency.
At first, when I made the final decision, I felt like a failure before I started the process. I was part of the agency's social media network and saw so many agents making it work even with our lives' current conditions. So, of course, I compared myself to them and find myself still comparing to this day, but now I have a different mindset. 2020 taught me that there is no normal anymore, and I am making my way at my own pace. If I can't make money through an agency but have clients, what do I do? Easy, quit the agency and go freelance. As 2020 went on, it took me some time to figure out my groove and continue helping my clients and anyone new.
Going into 2021, I am now a travel advisor. It means that I book travel deals for clients outside an agency which means I can chase that bottom line price. It also means I make connections to build relationships with Airbnb hosts, hotels, resorts, and anything around travel. I feel more hands-on being a travel advisor than I did as an agent, as I can control 100% of everything.
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While adjusting to remote learning with Leylah and working from home, new stress and challenges have surfaced in our home life. While my world was changing before my eyes, one thing I could lean towards was my obsession with watching airline flight prices. While some airlines have gone out of busy to other airlines reducing or eliminating their flight schedule, people are still traveling. I have been to Aruba twice since COVID started around March 2020 and have seen firsthand the number of people at the airport. Charlotte Douglas and Miami International Airport were packed, including the flights. (No middle seat was left empty.)
While my emotions and thoughts have been on a roller coaster ride of the year, one thing that has remained consistent is searching for flights. Not one day has passed that I haven't looked at flights. Even with countries shutting their borders to travelers, I have stayed on top of flights and learning new skills to find the lowest price. Before I go into my new skills, I want to share some of the flights I found from 2020 into 2021. I hope I get to look back many years from now and remember these times.
Atlanta to Los Angeles for only $84
Miami to Cancun, Mexico for $149
Charlotte to St. Thomas for $119
Miami to Curacao for $270
Raleigh, NC to Chile for $355
Miami to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for $184
Orlando to Montego Bay, Jamaica for $202
Miami to Morocco for only $261 (First time seeing these tickets drop this low)
Atlanta to Hawaii for $384
Charlotte to Saint Lucia for $314