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Honing Your Travel Planning Skills

Do you have the essential skills to succeed as a travel planner in 2024?

Group travel is as challenging as it is rewarding. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure out its finer points alone. On our podcast Gather and Go, I share insight from industry experts to help you plan, promote and lead better trips.

Here are some helpful tourism skills you can sharpen by listening to recent episodes of the podcast.

Booking a Motorcoach

Transportation is a critical part of any group trip, and choosing the right motorcoach provider is one of your most important jobs as a travel planner. There are a lot of things to consider when booking transportation, from selecting the right size vehicle to ensuring driver safety. Get advice from insider Luke Busskohl of Arrow Stage Lines in our episode How to Book a Motorcoach.”

Taking a Cruise

Cruising is one of America’s most popular methods of travel, and people in your church may have expressed interest in taking cruises together. There are a ton of options in the cruise market though, and knowing where to start arranging a group cruise can be intimidating. That’s why we dedicated an entire episode to the topic. Check out Taking Groups On Cruises with Anne Davis of Cruises and Tours Worldwide to learn all about it.

Purchasing Travel Insurance

Travel is full of uncertainty, and mishaps that interrupt or delay a trip can cost you a lot of money. Travel insurance helps guard against those risks. But like other insurance products, travel insurance can be complex, multifaceted and difficult to understand — especially if you’re interested in offering insurance for group trips. To help you make sense of it all, we interviewed Kelly Sahner of TripMate for our episodeUnderstanding Travel Insurance.”

Giving a Travel Presentation

You can plan and organize the most amazing trips, but unless you understand how to promote them, your church travel program will fall short of its potential. Whether you have one-on-one conversations or hold travel presentations for a larger group, knowing how to talk about travel in compelling ways will help make you more confident and successful. That’s why we did a whole episode called Travel Presentations That Get Results with public speaking expert Eva Daniel.

In addition to these great interviews, each episode features travel news, tips and hacks from veteran road warriors, and my hot takes on issues impacting tourism every day. You can listen by searching for Gather and Go on any podcast app or by visiting

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.