#LeanonUs Blog

Lean on US


This Week's Events

June 2, 2020

It is not easy to articulate the flood of emotions that course through us when we think about what is happening to the world around us. We try to keep this community space sacrosanct and free of any discussions outside of what we love: travel. But what is travel but the exploration and discovery of new ideas, cultures and beliefs?

I could go on and make this a diatribe about many things, but I won't.

What I do want to do is share with you something that is fundamental to us at Classic. At Classic, we have 4 major core values built around the following values: BUILD, DELIVER, WIN, CARE. As you can tell, the first 3 values center around our business philosophy; the last concept of CARE details how we do it. We at Classic believe that we must "care about customers, our community and each other."

The CARE core value is something we live day in and day out WITHIN our company. But more recently it is important to express our CARE for our community. The recent protests remind us that although we can live in idyllic world of selling fantasy vacations to affluent customers, there are many in our communities who do not share in the same basic human rights. Now, I don't know how to solve for many of the social injustices that face our world, but what we can do, as a company, is take a small step in becoming an ally.

What does that mean?

Being an ally doesn't necessarily mean you fully understand what it feels like to be oppressed. It means taking on the struggle as your own.

Confront racial injustices even when it's uncomfortable.
Be aware of your implicit biases.
Do your research to learn more about the history of the struggle.
Do the inner work to figure out a way to acknowledge how you participate in oppressive systems.
Amplify (online and when physically present) the voices of those without your privilege.
Be more than "not racist" but actively "anti-racist."

We at Classic will commit to continuing to CARE, but also be an Ally within our company but also to the community. We hope all of you can do the same.

When the vacation ends, the journey continues, since we return home with deeper understanding and compassion for people everywhere. That's the power of travel.

Thank you,

P.S. in our first step to being an Ally, we will be observing #blackouttuesday


For the Love of Learning

May 29, 2020

By nature, I consider myself curious and inquisitive. I love learning and am fortunate to attend industry conferences and events, picking up new tips and stories along the way. The goal is to surround myself with smart and successful people, so by osmosis, I’ll also be smarter and more successful, right?

During a recent Star Performer incentive trip, I had insightful conversations with several advisors who were open and willing to share their insider secrets to success, dreams of where they want their business to be in the future and even embarrassing mistakes they made along the way. One advisor stated how “refreshing” it was to have another agency owner share such personal insight so candidly. As a result of these conversations, in the pool, under the Cabo sun with tropical drinks in hand, a concept began to form: we need to continue these conversations and help others succeed. Essentially, Collaboration over Competition.

This concept was the blueprint for Learning Lounge, a virtual conversation series without a Classic sales commercial or product message. We interview successful business owners and learn from third party experts on specific topics in an open dialogue and live video conference call. These events have been well received as advisors are grateful, inspired and motivated to learn, share and grow with others. Just this week, multiple attendees shared that they immediately made changes to their website or contact forms after watching “How to be More Magnetic Online”.

I’m really looking forward to upcoming topics myself, including “How to Create Purposeful Goals” on June 23 with Tia Graham, a personal friend and entrepreneur, and the July sessions with Cindy Novotny of Master Connection Associates, to refine our sales skills. I took this exact training over a decade ago, and I still refer back to her prospecting and objection handling tactics.

We hope you’ll join us each Tuesday at 9am Pacific. Register now to be a part of the conversation!

Posted by: Lynne Chomicz, Director of New Business Development


Growing Community

May 28, 2020

Hi friends, Classic Clara here! Can you believe how much the Classic Community Facebook group has grown? We started this group in 2016 as a place for you to more easily connect with our team. In 2020, we hope the community is providing that and so much more through daily, high-quality education from the entire Classic family designed to boost your professional growth.

From online workshops about destinations, group booking tools, increasing sales and branding, to quick facts on Classic, big industry updates, social media marketing guides, and more – the educational opportunities within the Classic Community are endless.

If this community has helped you, please help us spread this valuable resource to more travel advisors during this tough time. The easiest way is by clicking the button below and using the Invite Members section within the group to invite three friends to join. We've got broad shoulders, and we look forward to helping more travel advisors to #LeanonUS. Thank you for helping us do so!

To those of you who have yet to join, click the button below to submit a request and explore all the community has to offer.

Posted by: Classic Clara, In-House Social Media Guru

Dave’s Bright Spot

In the Know

May 27, 2020

Have you seen Classic’s Know Zone? We now have a dedicated landing page for all things education. This has been on our radar for quite a while and now its live! We’ve always been committed to professional development but now, with the Know Zone, you can clearly see all our learning opportunities in one place to help you do more, be more, and sell more successfully.

If this is your first visit to the Know Zone, let me show you some “must see” activities:

• Webinars – we recently launched shorter, more product-focused webinars to help you navigate demand destinations. As we move through this C19 crisis, we’ll be using this program to keep you in the know about where to send your clients next.
• Learning Lounge – this fabulous conversational series of Zoom calls focuses on personal development. And, what better time than quarantine to do a little self-reflection? Two upcoming conversations I’m looking forward to: “How to be Magnetic Online” and “How to Create Purposeful Goals”.
• Podcasts - I’m especially excited about our new Podcast program recently launched on Spotify. Listen in on my conversation with Hawaii industry leaders as we talk about property updates from some of our top selling Hawaii brands. You’ll also hear how they’re preparing to welcome visitors back to the islands while maintaining the Aloha spirit.

At Classic Vacations, education is the path to a better future for all!

Posted by: Dave Ferran, Head of Sales


More Than Words

May 21, 2020

For as long as I can remember, my mother always told me “you are the company that you keep”, so it makes sense that at Classic Vacations our most valued and successful relationships are those we have and grow with suppliers, customers and colleagues who share our philosophies. LEAN ON US, while a new campaign, has really been a deeply embedded mindset and a ‘why we show up every day” reason within Classic’s culture since day one. Hearing variations of this from suppliers and customers is actually the very thing that drove me to join our company seven years ago. And I cannot imagine a more important time than now to be in business with partners who are doing their very best to care for loved ones and customers.

Over the weekend, we had a chance to catch up with the Barbachanos, owners and founding family of Mayaland – and clearly a shared philosophy partner. With over 600 employees throughout Mexico, the Barbachano family has continued to supply fresh fruits, vegetables and basic essentials to their staff and their immediate families. With their overabundance from their plantation, they have been further able to provide for local hospitals and nunneries. As an early adopter of “stay at home”, Mayaland has not had a single employee suffer illness – and they continue to stay in touch to make sure they are ready to welcome us, when we are ready to travel to Mexico.

Luxury is not external; it is within us, built into our genes, and in everything we do. We want you to have the luxury of knowing that you can count on us and our suppliers always. #LeanonUS

Posted by: Melissa Krueger | Senior Director and General Manager, Groups

Dave’s Bright Spot

Staying Connected

May 19, 2020

For forty-two years, Classic Vacations has been a people to people business with deep customer relationships, and I’ve been fortunate to be part of it for 29 of those years. Our Strategic Account Managers are well known for being supportive of “their” advisors, for being present and able to assist, and for developing true friendships along the way. That’s a big part of our Classic Difference.

However, in recent years we’ve recognized a shift in our community. More advisors work at home, far removed from their agency’s physical location. As the industry changes, we need to change too.

Last week we emailed you a survey asking you to share your ZIP/POSTAL CODE – your physical location. Our plan and commitment is to ensure our Strategic Account Managers can work with all of their local advisors, not just the ones associated with their territory agencies. We want to serve and support you right where you’re at! Local events, 1:1 meetings (or Zoom calls during COVID), let’s put faces to the names.

Posted by: Dave Ferran, Head of Sales


We will be there with you post-COVID-19

May 18, 2020

We hope this message finds you and your family safe and healthy. Like everybody in the travel industry, we know it has been a turbulent and trying last two months. One minute we were trying to complete a good Q1, and the next our entire life was turned upside down.

In the beginning, our sole focus was to take care of you and your clients. Our mantra was to “Stay Strong, Stay Together, and Stay Calm.” We worked hand-in-hand to do just that, and together, we tackled each and every booking.

But, as we get past the virus peak and the economy starts to slowly come back to life, the question becomes, “what happens now?”

As an Expedia-owned company, Classic Vacations is in a strong financial position, which means we have the real ability to come out of this crisis stronger. We have already begun to focus on planning for the future, and our priority, at this time, is to help our advisors become more effective in the age of COVID-19. In the coming weeks, you will see us launch our “#LeanonUS” campaign, where we will announce new resources, new educational opportunities, and new tools and products to help prepare you as business resumes.

We will be here for you to lean on, and we hope our actions will remind you why Classic has been YOUR partner for the last 40+ years.

We were with you pre-COVID-19

We are with you during COVID-19

We will be there with you post-COVID-19

We know none of this is easy. No doubt, we still have a long road ahead filled with turbulent times, but I could not be more confident about our future together.

All the best to you and your family!

David Hu


President, Classic Vacations


Monday Feels

May 11, 2020

A salute to all who have shown us that the human spirit is stronger when we are there for each other. Grammy winner, John Legend serenades us with his emotional rendition of “Lean On Me”.

"Lean on us, when you’re not strong

And we’ll be your friend

We’ll help you carry on..."