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By: Casey Carr

12/15/2020

A Year of Gratitude

In 2019, Sharon Carr Travel celebrated our 50th Anniversary, and we spent the year looking back on five decades sending Texans around the globe, and looking forward to five decades more. On February 2nd of 2020, my 2nd son was born, and a few days later what turned out to be my last group overseas in 2020, departed for Israel. I took a few weeks of leave, and emerged into a world that had completely changed. 

By mid-March we were canceling reservations through May & June, and would cancel thousands more throughout Summer and into Fall.   I am very proud of our devoted staff; Julie, Robby, Ivette, Bianca, Jill, Kirsten, and of course Sharon.  During this time they worked tirelessly processing cancellations & refunds, living in quarantine and sometimes enduring hold times of 8+ hours until every reservation was resolved.

We are grateful to our partners in the travel industry – Airlines, Tour Companies, Cruise Lines & more – who bent or broke every rule & policy possible to do the right thing for our clients, most of them at great financial sacrifice. 

2020 was the most challenging year we have ever faced or are likely to ever face again. We lost some close friends to Covid, most recently our beloved friend & client Nancy Martin. We felt the same pain that so many around the world did in 2020, and of course, the travel industry was hit especially hard.

We were fortunate.  We were in a good position to survive something like this, only by the skin of our teeth, but many others were not.  Many stalwarts in the travel industry, decades old companies like ours have had to close their doors. This is true of too many industries to count, but as 2020 comes to a close, we have so much to be grateful for.

Our timelines & TV’s were filled with examples of people behaving badly in 2020. But here in the real world we mostly saw people being very good to each other, extraordinary kindness, generosity, patience, fellowship and support from our friends and neighbors.  

Our relationships with all of you grew. So many of you called us throughout the year just to checkin, talk about a brighter future, make plans for trips after this is all over.  Thinking back to March, quarantine, empty shelves, mass cancellations, we all shared the same experience and bonded over it.  We are so grateful for your patience and calm during those months while we worked to resolve everything. 

Our relationships with our own friends and families grew, for the same reasons.  We talked more, played more games at home, checked in on each other, had staycations, road trips, group zoom parties, we learned to bake together.  In April my wife and I started a movie club with four friends.  All of these experiences brought us closer together.

By July the #KLUVWorldTour was able to return, and we managed to safely send many of you on self-contained vacations to beautiful destinations in the Caribbean and right here in the USA.  We sought out wide open spaces in Jackson Hole & Yellowstone, Sedona & the Grand Canyon and Montana’s Glacier National Park to name a few.  We have an incredible slate of trips planned for the #KLUVWorldTour in 2021, with more in the works. I haven’t been in studio to see the sweet faces of the morning show since March, but that will come back soon.

Afterall, 2021 marks 50 Years On-Air for Sharon Carr Travel, stretching all the way back to 1971 when my dad & Ron Chapman schemed to fill the empty seats that Braniff had going out to Honolulu every week. The original flyer for that trip hangs in our office – a week at the Sheraton Waikiki, flights included, for $294.  I look at it sometimes to remind me of our core mission.  Sharon, Ron & Dad wanted to provide trips to listeners that they may have never considered possible, at a price that makes it possible. We carry that on into 2021, and Sharon is busy finalizing a return to the Sheraton Waikiki to commemorate 50 Years!

 

The Vaccine is here!  As I have said before, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of this news to the travel industry, and everyone expects a dramatic rebound. Even as recently as this week we are seeing a substantial uptick in phone calls, business travel returning, people planning their vacations for Spring & Summer and even booking cruises.  There are other indicators that a rebound is nigh, the day after the first vaccine was announced the number one search on google was travel.

There are bargains to be had, but they are happening right now, for travel now and into Spring.  There are incredible deals on beach vacations in Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and other destinations. You will continue to see these deals until the rebound is at full steam, I predict sometime between Spring & Summer.

So buckle up for an amazing 2021!  Don’t be afraid to get the vaccine, I am so excited to take it I don’t care if they have to inject it into my eyeball. Lets get back to living and exploring the world.

Your business is more important to us than ever.  We are well known for planning group tours, cruises, honeymoons and everything in between but even if you are just booking a flight, car, hotel, homestay, villa etc., please give us a call or email

Remember it doesn’t cost anything to use a travel expert!

In the meantime, below is a teaser for all we have upcoming:

Any of these trips that interest you, please let us know below with your name and email and we will get right back to you.  Some of these are still in negotiation, but we can take your name and alert you with details when they are open for reservations, you’ll be the first to know.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all of you, on behalf of all of us at Sharon Carr Travel!

~ Casey

 

Trips – UPDATED 12/14/2020Dates# DaysStatus
NCL GreeceJune 21-July 1, 202111 daysReady to book
Spring Break Caribbean CruiseMarch 6-13, 20218 daysOn request
Uniworld Tulips CruiseMarch 24 – Apr 2, 202110 daysReady to book
Italy & Italian LakesMay 1-8, 20218 days10 seats remaining
Oceania Greece-Istanbul to AthensJuly 30-Aug 9. 202110 daysReady to book
South Africa Safari -Sharon Carr hostMay 22-30, 20219 days8 seats left
England/Wales With Highclere CastleAug 8-15, 20217 days2 seats remaining
NCL Bliss AlaskaJune 5-12, 20218 daysReady to book
Oberammergau Passions Play tourAug of 20229 daysPending
KTBB IrelandMay 12-20, 20218  days10 seats remaining
Rocky Mountaineer Train TourSept 30-Oct 6, 20217 days20 seats remaining
Eastern Canada/Niagara FallsOct. 2-8, 20218 days20 seats remaining
Tanzania  SafariNov 12-20, 202110 days15 seats remaining
Finland & Northern LightsDec 2-9, 20218 daysReady to book
Uniworld Vietnam/Cambodia-Sharon Carr hostNov 5-17, 202113 days5 cabins remaining
Southern Italy & SicilyFall 20219 daysPending
Uniworld Christmas Markets CruiseDec 4-12, 20219 daysReady to book
Tauck Morocco Tour10/31-11/9/2110 daysReady to book
HAWAII – KVIL/KLUV CELEBRATES 50 YRSTBA –  2021Pending
KTBB Uniworld Burgundy/ProvenceOct 9-17, 20218 daysReady to book
Uniworld River Cruise BordeauxMay 9-16, 20218 daysReady to book
Uniworld River Cruise Castles on RhineMay 23-30, 20218 daysReady to book
Uniworld River Cruise Paris & NormandyJune 20-27. 20218 daysReady to book
Uniworld River Cruise Enchanting DanubeJune 27-July 4, 20218 daysReady to book
Uniworld River Cruise Portugal & Lisbon-DuoroJuly 25-Aug 4, 202111 daysReady to book
Uniworld River Cruise Delight Danube & PragueJuly 26-Aug 4, 202110 daysReady to book
Uniworld River Cruise Venice & Swiss AlpsOct 24- Nov 4, 202112 daysReady to book
Azamara Scotland – Military TatooAug 3 – 16, 202114 daysPending
Oceania NYC-MontrealOct 21-31, 202110 daysReady to book
Oceania Tropical Retreats – Miami-MiamiFeb 19-26.20227 daysReady to book
Oceania transatlantic – Miami to RomeMar 19-Apr 4, 202216 daysReady to book
Oceania ItalyApr 14-21, 20227 daysReady to book
US Rocky Mountaineer-Rockies to Red Rocks15-Aug-21Pending
Dates do not always reflect travel days

 

 

 

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