Why should I use a travel advisor? I get this question a lot, especially from my friends when they learn that I’m now working with my daughter as a luxury travel advisor. It’s a valid question, especially if you’ve been used to planning your own travel arrangements, whether you purchase directly on-line or with a large travel agency such as Costco or Expedia.
Most people assume that there are extra costs when working with a travel advisor, and this is a myth I’m always happy to dispel immediately!
Here are the top reasons to contact a travel advisor when planning your next vacation.
1. Travel Advisors Can Save You Money
There are so many ‘secrets’ to getting the best price and value when planning your vacation and good travel advisors know these tricks. For example, did you know that when you book airfare for multiple people, airlines have tiered pricing and if the number of people in your party exceed the quantity of tickets available for the lowest price, they will charge your entire party the higher price? So, breaking up the number of tickets can potentially save you hundreds of dollars. We can manage that entire process and work with the airline to secure the best pricing and then make sure your bookings are linked together.
If you’re traveling with a larger group of people, a travel advisor will get you a better deal than if you were to book it yourself, especially with cruises and hotel rooms. We can also negotiate special perks, such as included breakfast, excursions, etc. Advisors are very helpful when buying in bulk.
Another way we save you money is that we have access to multiple travel agency networks and know which ones to use depending on your needs. A lot of these networks offer special amenities only available to travel agent bookings. For example, as a travel advisor belonging to the Virtuoso network, I can offer my clients a hotel room at the same price offered by the hotel website, but it will include daily breakfast, a $100 resort credit, and room upgrades. Breakfast alone can save you over $50 per day!
2. Travel Advisors have global expertise & connections
Since Advisors are also travel junkies, we’ve traveled extensively and are experts in travel planning. We know passport and visa requirements, cultural customs, transportation options, for example. We’ve most likely been to many of the destinations you want to travel to and know the inside track on getting the most of your vacation. When we travel ourselves, we purposely meet with hotel staff, tourism companies, and other travel professionals. Not only do we learn more about the destinations we’re traveling to, we are also making connections with the very people that can help us when planning your vacation.
Since we make connections with hotels and cruise lines, we know how to secure the right rooms for our clients, thus avoiding rooms that overlook parking lots or cruise cabins set right below the nightclub.
Travel Advisors often attend educational seminars and cultivate large network of contacts all over the world. For instance, I recently attended a full week in Las Vegas meeting with over 200 hotels, cruise lines, tourism boards, on-site tour and adventure operators, and other industry professionals. I now can easily contact any of these people I met when making plans for my clients.
3. Travel advisors help when issues arise
Every trip seems to have its share of hiccups, from smaller issues such as a dining reservation mix-up to much bigger ones such as a cancelled flight. Whether small or big, they are unexpected and can change the mood of your vacation, a time you wanted to relax and enjoy. Just in the last few weeks, we’ve experienced 3 hurricanes in the U.S. and Caribbean, along with 2 large earthquakes in Mexico. If you watched the news, you saw countless stories of stranded tourists fending for themselves.
Do you want to handle these situations alone, especially while stranded in a foreign country? Or do you want the peace of mind knowing that your travel advisor is already on top of it because we are monitoring your travel plans the whole time you are gone. Many times, we know about potential issues and fix them without you ever knowing there was going to be a problem.
Have you ever tried to contact the airlines when you have a flight issue? The number you have access to is the same one all other customers have. But, we have a direct line reserved just for travel advisors and we know the options available to you. What if you’re stuck midair on a delayed flight and you are going to miss your connection? While you’re in flight, we’re working with the airline to get you a new connection that is the most convenient for you – not the airline.
Other common issues that we help with are:
- Lost luggage
- Insurance claims
- Last-minute hotel stays
- Replacement documents
Working with a travel advisor gives you peace of mind. It’s good to know that we can handle situations that may arise and know the best way to handle them.
4. Travel Advisors create your dream vacation
Besides being knowledgeable about destinations and travel requirements, we also are knowledgeable about each of our clients. People have different priorities and ideas about what makes their perfect vacation and we work hard to understand your specific needs. We ask questions about what you liked and didn’t like on your last trip, what’s on your bucket list, do you want to relax or do you want adventure? We want to know everything about you so we can plan the dream vacation.
We then build a long-term travel plan that is designed just for you. It’s customized to your personality and desires.
Think about it – your most valuable asset is your leisure time, so why not invest it as carefully you would your financial assets?
5. Travel Advisors cut through all the information overload
With the glut of travel information on-line, including booking sites, reviews, and blogs, it’s overwhelming to sort through it all. How do you know if what you are reading is accurate or up-to-date? Review sites can be extremely biased and sorting through 3rd party booking sites to get an accurate price (without hidden fees) can be next to impossible.
Travel advisors are perfect for people who don’t want to spend hours upon hours researching for their vacation, are not experienced in travel planning, or are traveling in a large group.
Contact me to help you plan your next dream vacation!