Starting is the Easy Part
Starting a business is hard. Keeping your business going through thick and thin… harder. But, even though it’s hard work, I believe too much in what I’m doing to slow down with Sloan Travel.
The most common excuse I hear from people for the reason they don’t travel is either, “It’s just too expensive,” or “I just can’t take 10 days off of work.” Let’s talk about expense. Yes, travel can be expensive, especially when you’re talking about going overseas; but the good news is, it is more accessible and more affordable today. This is in part thanks to the strength of the US Dollar being at it’s strongest in 13 years, and thanks in part to guys like me in your corner, making a better path by which to travel.
The High End
My closest competition in the field I work in, private tours of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, start their tours at around $4,700 per person. My tours in contrast begin at $2,500. That isn’t just the result of me being smarter, it’s the result of sacrifice. I run things solo with Sloan Travel. From the social media management, to the tour guiding of tours, this is a one man show, which means ultra-low overhead.
The booking, planning, executing, chauffeuring, phone calls, emails, buying of tickets, renting of vans, and yes… occasionally cooking; are all done by me. That’s not a big ol’ pat on the back, but that’s what it takes to keep overhead down; because with each plate I successfully keep spinning, I am saving my groups hundreds of dollars.
The Big Bus
Now, few people will ever understand the complex pity/frustration combo that I deal with everytime I see a large 55-seater tour bus traveling around the Celtic isles. For nearly the same cost as what Sloan Travel charges, these people are traveling alongside 50 other travelers and watching things pass by through panes of glass. And all too often, in the name of efficiency, these people have had to trade-in a genuine and organic experience to connect with the country and it’s people, for an overly planned, sterile, and cookie-cutter experience as they are paraded around like cattle from one grazing field to another. It really is sad to watch in some cases.
And the hardest part is knowing deep down, that if half of those people knew that I existed, they would gladly spend the same money joining one of our private tours, then to trade it in for a big bus experience, which ironically lacks much of an authentic experience at all.
Joy in Small Beginnings
But still, joy remains in my small beginnings. All I need to do is look up at my wall where I have a folded letter in a shadow box. On that letter is just one experience of one person who had an experience of a lifetime and took a moment to let me know how much it meant. They fully understood in just 10 days, that the value of our tours goes far beyond the money they paid to be there, and that will always be true because the heart behind the operation matters.
And want to note: I value, so very much, each person that has placed their trust in my hands with their vacation, because they are way too far and too few in between to gamble with. Thank you for giving me the privilege of being your tour guide and allowing me the opportunity to show you the Celtic nations, it is one of my greatest joys.
If you, or someone you know is interested in travel to Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, I would be so grateful if you let them know that Sloan Travel exists. We may be small, but the experience is powerful. In 5 years time, I have learned that vacation can be so much more than what people thought it could be. It can be a soul reviving, fear extinguishing, uber relaxing, fun, adventurous, and life-altering experience. And I ascribe to make each and every tour it’s own unique atmosphere where each of those things are possible. Much love to you all.
Owner and Tour Guide for Sloan Travel