There are many people that have come to me and said, “Why would I use a travel agent? I’ve never used one before.” I would love to take an opportunity to tell you how a travel advisor works and why we are important, especially in times such as now.
If you have planned your own vacation before, you may have felt overwhelmed with the number of choices, stressed about researching all the choices, and invested a lot of time. On average, people planning a vacation look through about 140 travel sites, spend about 23 hours researching, and overspend by about $495. Wow!
Booking online: Many people that book themselves online do not realize they are using a travel agent. These sites (Travelocity, Hotwire, etc.) are online travel agencies (OTAs). It’s like you pay them even though you are doing the work of booking your vacation. Not only that, but if you have a question about what to do on your vacation (excursions, tours, etc.), you are on your own to find all this as well. Some people think this is worth it because…
Travel agents are expensive. This is a MYTH! Travel agents/advisors often do not cost extra. In fact, because of connections with travel suppliers, they are often able to save you money (in addition to precious time!) on your sought after travels. There are sometimes exclusive offers through agents that you are not able to get directly.
Whether you book yourself online, through a company direct or through a personal travel agent, a commission is built in. Therefore, regardless of how you book, you are still paying the same amount (sometimes more if you aren’t aware of all the discounts). Why not get customized planning on your hard-earned vacation?
Please note, some travel advisors do charge a planning fee, especially on complicated trips. When considering a travel advisor, be sure to ask if they have fees. Even when fees are charged, you will find the savings in time and stress and added value in personalized expert advice you receive.
Customized planning: This is a key benefit of working with a travel advisor! We know the questions to ask, where to look to find a trip best suited for your desires, and extras that may be available to you. Travel advisors help you take several hundred (or thousands) or options and narrow it down to the best ones for the wants and needs you have for your vacation. They get you a full package so that you have all you need from the time you get to the airport until you arrive back home.
However, this does not mean you lose control of planning your travel! Quite to the contrary, a travel advisor enhances your planning, allowing you to be as involved (or uninvolved) as you wish. It is always advisable to research your next destination and learn more about it before you go.
Expert advice: This advice can vary based on where you want to go, what you want to experience, and/or your traveling companions. Travel advisors research many destinations in person, through trainings, and with their travel partners. Use their knowledge to make your trip the best it can be!
Flexibility for payments: Planning with a travel advisor for a trip a bit in advance allows you to take advantage of specials with lower deposits and payment plans. This can vary based on your travel dates and the plans you have chosen. However, this usually provides a nice way to pay it off as you go without adding interest.
In summary, travel advisors save you time, stress, and often times money on your ideal travel. This is valuable when you are planning a vacation for yourself, family, and especially with a big group! Working with me as your travel advisor includes my customized service to find great options for your travel desires, helping you plan your time while on your vacation, and offering flexible payments if you would like to plan ahead. I strive to offer you the best value for your desired vacation. My services extend beyond travel planning to include support after booking, while traveling, and any unresolved issues when you return.
This means in times such as now, my services to you are even more important. If you had a Spring Break vacation planned, I hope you were able to get your travels refunded or credited for the future without much hassle. I heard from a several people in my circle of friends that getting their vacations changed or refunded was not easy! It took them several hours and, in a few cases, days to get through and talk to someone that could help.
My clients only had to contact me to get their reservations moved or cancelled. No waiting on hold for hours or being transferred to different people. They were able to talk with me to know all their options and figure out what was best for their reservations. I took care of the rest. It is horrible that so many amazing trips have been cancelled or delayed. My heart breaks for those affected. However, it was great to know that I could make the process as painless as possible for my clients.
How does a travel advisor do that?
These are just some of the many benefits of using a travel advisor. Maybe it’s time for you to consider hiring a specialist for your next vacation post-quarantine. I would love to discuss the benefits of a travel advisor with you further and help you make your next dream adventure a reality! Contact me to schedule a phone consultation or tell me what you are looking for in your next adventure!
Stay safe and let’s plan ahead to when we can all roam around the world again!