I would like to introduce my friend Kerstin to you. Kerstin and I met when we both started working for Steigenberger Hotels on the same day back in 2007. Same team, different countries. She was (and still is) based in Munich and I lived and worked in London at the time. We had a great time and worked in a great team and stayed in touch ever since.
Today, I still work in hotels and Kerstin swapped “sides” after she had her first daughter. She was brave, took the plunge and started her own business. Kerstin did what she knew and loved best and opened her own Travel Agency “Hofbauer Familienreisen”. Helping families to plan, organise and book their holidays and most precious time of the year. She used her own professional and personal experience to assist families in planning the best time of the year and take the stress and pressure away.
Kerstin and her family are passionate travellers themselves and this first-hand experience is used when talking to her clients about their travel dreams and wishes. The planning service is free of charge and Kerstin is happy to tailor-make exactly the holiday her clients are looking for. There are no set office hours when to reach her. She is available when you are, and her great expertise is just a phone call or an email away.
The current pandemic situation has obviously not been an easy time for her and her business, but she said during our recent catch-up that she remains cautiously optimistic. Kerstin and I had a discussion about our shared passion, travelling and the current state of our beloved tourism industry. Here are some questions I asked her:
Me: Tell me, are your clients looking to travel again in 2021?
Kerstin: Yes, they are very much looking to travel this year if at all possible. Families in particular have been challenged a lot in the past year and had to juggle many responsibilities at the same time. The compatibility of work and childcare, home-schooling and home office – to coordinate all of this is exhausting. I think everyone longs for a break, for a vacation, more than ever. But of course, many are also insecure, because nobody knows when what will be possible again.
Me: And will you and your family be travelling in 2021?
Kerstin: We are indeed. We are planning a week in the “Allgäu” area of Germany in June and if everything works out, we will spend two weeks in Crete in the summer. We have such a strong desire to travel, although luckily, we were able to travel three times last year.
Me: What are the popular destinations in 2021? Do you have something like the top 3 destinations you are being asked for summer/autumn/winter 2021?
Kerstin: Greece is definitely a favourite, followed by Germany, Austria and Italy. But Spain is catching up, the travel warning to Mallorca was recently lifted for Germany and the Spanish infection numbers are developing very positively. That gives hope.
Me: Compared to the time before the pandemic, in what way have your clients’ priorities changed when choosing a travel destination?
Kerstin: There is for sure more demand for earthbound travel, i.e., travel by one's own car, in one's own country or into our neighbouring countries. And sustainable vacations are much higher on people´s agenda and it becomes more and more important. Long-distance travel is currently only possible to a very limited extent. Ultimately, however, the most important thing is that you can travel with as little risk and restrictions as possible, no matter where really.
Me: And lastly, what is the big advantage for customers in using your service instead of booking the trips for their families themselves? What would you say is your biggest benefit?
Kerstin: I would say the biggest plus point is that I try to find the perfect vacation for each of my families individually. I relieve them of the often tedious and time-consuming Internet search. Personal recommendations and feedback from me and from my customers on travel destinations and hotels are always incorporated into the offers, as there is no better feedback. In addition, I am available as a personal contact person for all questions before, during and after the trip. Of course, I also provide information and advice on current entry requirements, quarantine rules and compulsory testing and keep track of the currently somewhat difficult situation of what is currently possible in terms of travel technology and what is not.
Thank you so much for letting me introduce you to my readers on this blog. If you would like to get in touch with Kerstin for her to help you plan your next family vacation, do get in touch with her firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on her Facebook or Instagram