How much risk are you prepared to take?

Diners hanging onto a table over a long drop because they are prepared to take a risk

Diners hanging over a long drop – an acceptable risk?


I am sure we can all recall pictures of people taking a risk – the famous one of the irish navvies sitting on a girder while they are building The Empire State Building or the latest ones of all the people trying to walk over the glass bridges they are building in China, and thinking “why do they do it?” If you “google” the phrase why do people take risks or accept risks it’s normally because they like living on the edge or the risk is acceptable (like investing in stocks and shares) or it’s a one off opportunity (like when I set up Langford Travel 29 years ago with a state of the art Amstrad Computer and the Government backed Enterprise allowance of £ 50 per month.)

Generally speaking the easier the job the less risk there is and the more often we do something the more confident we feel about it. My daughter is learning to drive and I am sure we can all recall (with varying degrees of horror) the first time we overtook another vehicle. Have I misjudged distances? Am I in the right gear ( and I don’t mean wearing the right clothes)? What happens if a car appears out of nowhere coming towards me? After we have managed overtaking a few times we get confident but then we have to transfer that skill and judgement to overtaking on the motorway when the risk is from a car coming up behind or coping with cars “undertaking” on the inside lane.

So what is it that you risk when you arrange travel. There’s the obvious one of booking the wrong date or the wrong destination (I am aware of the story of someone who wanted to go to San Jose, Costa Rica and ended up in San Jose, California) but then it becomes more complicated when you consider Visa requirements, hotel gradings and conditions, co ordinating transfers to meet you or deliver you back to the airport and so on. If you go to the same place every time or are confident that the web site you have used before to book is a good one then you will probably want to book the trip yourself. However if something has gone wrong before either through your fault or a problem happened that you were unable to cope with. then you might use a travel agent.

Our Business cards say “don’t risk disappointment” and that’s what we try to do at Langford Travel – we manage expectations. Generally those people who use us are either going out of their comfort zone ( a vastly different type of destination or amount that they are spending is much more than normal) or it’s a one off special occasion like an anniversary or Honeymoon where the risk is your partner will forever hold it against you that you booked a hotel where there was a big noisy hen party staying the weekend or the romantic view was of rotting vegetables in the rubbish dump.

You cannot legislate against all risk but you can mitigate the risk. It’s not always more expensive to use a Travel Agent and any extra you might pay can be offset with peace of mind, less hassle and sleepless nights and the assurance of sharing the risk with an agent who has experience of research and weighing up the situation……and here’s another post of a risky situation.