Last week I escorted my first group to the Dominican Republic. It was something I started working on just 6 months after I started with The Travel Store. It was a challenge for me. Could I actually pull this off?
In the beginning I was hoping for 10 passengers – because that’s the minimum number of people you can have for a group South. When I got 10 (which happened very quickly) I was pleased.. yeah me….but then the little voice says ‘can you do better? Challenge accepted.
The group began to grow and grow – possibly like a bad weed – but that was yet to be foreseen. I knew a lot of the people booking, but there were many I didn’t know either. Let’s face it – nobody wants to travel with Bah Humbugs! It’s an anxious thought.
We met at the airport where I had secured us a private reception. Might as well start drinking right away, loosen everybody up :) A little Wine has never hurt anyone. The flight was good – uneventful, but I always love flying for Leisure travel. Everyone claps and cheers when the plane graces the arrival runaway. Yeah, Thank you sweet Pilot for a job well done.
We had a private transfer to & from the airport. Those of you who know me (and the rest of you will now learn) that numbers have never been my strong point. I’d rather write (or sing, dance, floss). Once we got on the private coach, I start my head count. I’m short a passenger. I start to panic…how is this going to look? It would sound something like this: Umm, yes…Travis? (he’s our Operations Manager) we’ve landed safely and have been in the beautiful DR for about 10 minutes now…however, it appears that I may have lost a member of our group’. This would not be cool.
I start to sweat (it’s really warm, and I’m panicky. You would sweat too). I recount. I get off the Coach – look around. Has anyone left to buy beer and not returned? (Yes, it was only 10 minutes and people were buying beer for the 30 minute transfer! This was going to be an okay group after all). Just as long as I didn’t lose somebody before we made it to the resort. I take a deep breath. Climb back onto the Coach and say ‘ We have 28 in our group, and I’ve only counted 27…does anyone know who we are missing’? Silence. Then from the back of the Coach….Joanie – did you count yourself?
Didn’t count myself.
I then passed the torch of ‘head counter’ to someone else. Maybe I had to much Wine at the Airport reception?
The rest of the week was perfect. Hot days, warm nights. Pools, beaches, laughs, drinks & good food. We had sing songs that ran late into the night. Well, that’s a lie….we had sing songs that lasted until the morning. Friendships were formed. Friendships were solidified. We had no complainers. No bad weeds, no Bah Humbugs. Just a group of people with the same expectations. Sun, Sand, Siesta 2013.
I’m already working’ on our group for 2014. You coming? Maybe you can be my ‘head counter’.