On the Road with Motivation Excellence: August 2021

Motivation Excellence

Things are changing quickly when it comes to travel. At Motivation Excellence, our goal is to keep our followers and clients informed on the latest protocols, trends and tips. In our On the Road series, we’ll highlight our own travels for leisure and business, as well as report on current client trends in the incentive industry. Look for the latest On the Road post at the end of each month. If you ever have travel questions during this uncertain time please reach out to us at ME@MotivationExcellence.com. We’re happy to be your virtual shotgun or plus one!

Taking it Easy in Aruba

Traveler: Brad Hecht, VP Travel
Destination: Aruba for Leisure

This was my first trip back to Aruba in more than 25 years, and I was pleasantly surprised! It wasn’t as windy as I remembered it and the area has grown nicely with great options for activities and dining. Service was great, every meal was excellent and the sun and sea were brilliant!

Traveling to Aruba with the current safety protocols was straightforward and reasonable. U.S. travelers need proof of a negative COVID PCR test within 72 hours to board the plane. Once on the island we needed to show proof of our negative test a few more times and proof that we purchased the mandatory Aruba supplementary health insurance. Airport personnel also needed to give us “clear to check-in” cards for our hotel stay.

Once we jumped through all the COVID protocols, our time on Aruba was unencumbered by the pandemic.

Coming back to the U.S. was a little more involved (read painful). An antigen or PCR test was required before checking in for our flight. These are often offered right at the resort. With all the extra stops and checks at the Aruba airport, it’s suggested you get there four hours pre-flight, which makes for a somewhat wasted travel day.

Key takeaways:

  • The stay was worth the extra travel precautions
  • The stray cats were not concerned about COVID at all

Experiencing American History & Sights

Traveler: Rhonda Brewer, VP Sales
Destination: Multiple states on the East Coast for leisure

Taking a trip to the Northeast in August could not have been more perfect; History, a beautiful coastline and scenic mountains, all in one trip! Add in being with great friends and working toward completing my goal to visit all 50 states, it was a bucket list moment for me.

Places we visited include:

  • Boston, Cape Cod and Newburyport, Massachusetts
  • Newport and Jamestown, Rhode Island
  • Cape Neddick and Ogunquit, Maine
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • Mt. Ascutney area, Vermont

We hiked, biked and ate our way through this amazingly beautiful part of the United States. A couple noteworthy highlights include eating at a “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” restaurant called Red Arrow Diner (fabulous breakfast!) and seeing Zac Brown at a sold-out concert at Fenway Park (we’ve all missed live music!). Toasting to friends at the Cheers bar was a treat too!

Key takeaways:

  • Tourists were out in full force enjoying great sights right here in the USA
  • Self-guided tours are pretty easy in this area
  • I’d highly recommend this area for business groups or leisure travel – lots of education, activities and venues
  • Check masking and vaccination requirements for the states and counties you plan to visit ahead of time – where we visited, we had no issues, but we all know how quickly things can pivot.

Client Trends

Currently, we have multiple clients running end of the year incentive programs to capture Q4 growth potential in markets like veterinary and dental. Some are using lifestyle upgrade packages from our MaxRewardsYourWay offering, while others are rewarding increased sales with bonus award points to use in our online award options. Reach out to us at ME@MotivationExcellence.com if you have needs for a Q4 reward solution.

Coming Up Ahead

  • We have a client taking 250 top customers to Wynn in Las Vegas for an incentive/appreciation event in September. Check back for our next On the Road blog to get an update on how it went!
  • We’re also looking forward to industry events in San Diego and Paris this fall with SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence). We’ll give you the recaps in future On the Road posts.

Buckle up and enjoy the ride with Motivation Excellence as your guide!