With summer vacation upon us – and if anyone deserves a vacation, it’s the meeting planners – now is the time to catch up on the latest resources and ideas for making the most of your vacation! For some expert advice I turned to Crystal Washington.
Crystal has a reputation for taking complex web and social media topics and making them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people and small business owners. She has been hired by companies including Google, Microsoft and GE. As a professional speaker, organizations around the globe – including those in the USA, Africa and Europe – book Crystal when they want their teams to take action online! As you can imagine, Crystal has done some travelling in her day, and as a result, has learned quite few hacks along the way.
I recently caught up with Crystal to glean some of her amazing travel knowledge, but before I was able to do so, she had already shared some of her hacks with none other than Harry Connick, Jr. Check out the videos! In this video, Crystal shares with Harry some information about the best times of year to book travel, as well as handy websites to visit and tips on finding best travel dates and fares. She was also on his show to reveal how to make the most of your carryon, learn how to roll and weave here.
Crystal has a knack for finding amazing deals for travel out of country, many times paying considerably less than she has paid for domestic flights. For this she suggests looking into Google Flights. Also check out Secret Flying, a completely free site that can save up to 80% on flights around world, including the latest deals and “error fares.”
For those of you with airline miles, she suggests using the miles to pay for hotel room nights, then using your own money to find awesome air fares. Crystal suggests that loyalty to a certain airline or hotel can really pay off, so be as loyal as possible.
She also enjoys working some leisure travel into business travel. It’s a great way to explore an area, while taking advantage of an airfare that will be purchased anyway. Plus, flexibility in travel dates may save a company some money.
I asked if she had any other tips for meeting planners, and for this she put on her social media expert hat. “Meeting planners should be using Facebook to advertise to a specific demographic. The targeting abilities within Facebook are amazing, and the costs are quite a bit less than traditional media.” She also recommends that meeting planners create sales funnels that lead to meeting attendees, keep an eye out on her page for courses offerings. Crystal also provides a great deal of social media advice on her blog.
And for vacation, if you need a few more ideas? Check out my PACK, Man Pinterest board. And be sure to plan your vacation soon, Meeting Planner! You need it and have very much earned it!