Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Parody

As spring is taking its sweet time arriving, I decided to take advantage of the sunny afternoon which was foreshadowed by an extended forecast of clouds and cool weather and go for a walk. As I set out with mans best friend, I quickly realized today was 'Garbage Day'. As I walked the rural area into town I must've seen five or more different colored garbage bins and two different garbage trucks passed me giving me the "windblown" au natural look. How could so many companies be doing the same thing: collecting garbage?! Mind blowing to put it mildly but then I really began to think about it and it boiled down to one question: Why? Was it because of price? Because of the color of the bin? Could it be because one company was the first to pick up or was it because the company went the extra mile (literally) to drive down their long driveway to do the dumping vs the other company who required the neighbors with equally as long driveways to bring theirs to the curb? And to think some don't use a company at all; the DIYers who recycle and have "dump runs" or "recycle runs"!

Then it hit me: this is no different than booking your travel! For example, I Google searched "vacation"- that yields about 716,000,000 results!! So how do you choose which one to go with? Is it all about price? Or a flashy website teasing you with sales? Do you like to get it done quickly? Or are you like the people with the long driveway who look for value or service and can be confident knowing that a little more time was taken to go over the details therefore getting a unique tried and true itinerary that's not cookie cutter? Do you like to know all of the details are taken care of and you're only concern is getting to the airport and breeze through the TSA lines?

Anyone can DIY, but is it as effective, does it save you time, money and stress or do you wonder if you really got the best value? (Only 47% of Americans do by the way.) My advice would be to choose a professional and I'd encourage you to choose a local company. Your money stays local and it's a win win for the community, the company and ultimately you! Start by asking for a referral from your friends or associates at work. From there look in the yellow pages, google search, yelp or even Facebook. As they say, "The Internet is for looking, your travel agent is for booking!"

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