Why IATA?

Last week granted me with quite a surprise: I was informed that I had qualified for my IATA Card. Now, a year ago, this would’ve meant nothing to me and honestly wouldn’t have even made sense. This year: it’s a big deal. Allow me to explain why….

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a globally recognized organization that is designed for travel professionals. There is a certain number of criteria that a travel professional has to meet before allowing to apply for their IATA ID card; he or she must work a certain number of hours per week and gross a certain amount in commission, among other things. It takes some agents several years to meet the criteria; for me, it took 11 months! I’m completely humbled by this achievement and grateful to all of my clients who trusted me with their travel arrangements. (This is starting to sound like an Emmy acceptance speech…)

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Jamaica FAM Trip: Sandals Grande Riviera

Hi! Remember me?

Yes I’m back, and I apologize for the crazy long hiatus! Life jumped in the way of my blog, which is a HUGE no-no! (smile)

When I last left you on my amazing FAM trip adventure. I had just finished drooling all over Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island and enjoyed a relaxing day at Sandals Montego Bay with my fellow agents. Our host had given us a LOT of free time on this day, more than we’d had all week, so a few of us tried to go water tubing, lounged at the beach, played at the pool; this was the day that truly felt like a vacation. We attended a cultural show that night in the theater and briefly participated in some karaoke. (No one can touch my Kris Kross impression!) Good times!

The next day was bittersweet. We had to check out of Sandals MoBay, but we were headed to Ocho Rios for even more fun and two final nights at Beaches Ocho Rios. I was excited about what lay ahead, especially knowing that we could potentially be given the opportunity to climb Dunn’s River Falls (which is TOTALLY on my bucket list).

We loaded the bus and drove one hour east toward Ocho Rios. The drive was scenic and beautiful, with looming mountains on our right and the impossibly blue Caribbean Sea to our left. We passed several other resorts: RIU, Holiday Inn Sunspree, Grand Palladium, and Couples (once we arrived to Ocho Rios).

Sandals Grande Riviera Beach and Villa Golf Resort was our first stop of the day. I was very excited to see this resort, as I sent a client and her husband to this same resort in 2012 for their 40th wedding anniversary and they LOVED it. (Hello Thompsons!!). We were told that this was Sandals’ largest property in Jamaica sitting on 100 acres, and once we arrived I could see that they were not lying. The place is HUGE, split up into three different areas for guests’ convenience.

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