The one thing that is constant in the travel business is CHANGE! What you think might happen, won’t and what you hope will happen will usually look very different than expected.

Below are 4 ways to reduce risk when planning your next retreat… all things I’ve had to learn the hard way and I hope I can help you avoid!

Gather Travel Documentation

When working with a group it’s important to keep a working spreadsheet of everyone’s information. The things I like to have are contact information, emergency contact, flight information and copies of travel documentation in either printed or electronic form to where you can get to it easily. Travel documentation should be obtained when your initial deposit is received. This way you can double check spelling of name and expiration dates. Many countries have a 6 month past expiration date policy. Keeping a spread-sheet of everyone’s information give you easy access to their flight information and can help you keep up to date on any delays.

Pay Attention to Weather Waivers

Another tip we offer are weather waivers. Weather waivers are something the airlines will put in place if your departure or arrival city is under a weather advisory. These are posted at the top of each airline’s website should they be necessary. Once these are in place you can make a one time complimentary change to flights to avoid weather delays. I find it helpful, especially in winter weather months to inform clients about this and have them be prepared to leave a day early should they need to catch an earlier flight to avoid weather. Of course, if you’re working with us or another travel agency we would take care of these situations for you and make sure everyone is arriving safely and on time.

Purchase Travel Insurance

With this brings up another issue and that is travel insurance. I find that travel insurance is always a good idea. So many different things can come up, someone gets sick, a family member gets sick, work commitments, and what if someone needs to see a doctor while in travel, does their primary insurance cover them? Sometimes not, especially if they are outside the states. Travel insurance can supplement their primary insurance and be a life saver as many countries will only take cash or credit cards for their medical services. Did you know that if you had to be life flighted out of a country this can cost upwards of thirty thousand dollars? If you have purchased insurance be sure and save all receipts and any diagnosis reports – these will be very important when filing a claim and can be very difficult to get after you’ve returned home.

Invest in An In-Destination Assistant

Another helpful option, especially if you have a group of 10 or more, is to have an in-destination assistant. An assistant can help you with many of the logistics and keep everything on schedule. Things will always come up and if you have someone there to help you stay focused on your message this will ensure everyone is still getting what they came for and your energy can stay focused. We offer this type of service and can help you make sure your retreat runs smoothly.

Retreats are a worthwhile venture and can be a wonderful experience. Especially when you’ve taken cautionary measures to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being. We strive to make every retreat a magical and memorable experience for retreat leaders and participants. We hope these helpful points will ensure that your next retreat is a very memorable Breakthrough Journey.