Why You Should Use a Travel Advisor

Why use a travel advisor? With the internet right at your finger tips why would you hand over your travel plans when you can book it yourself? You can scour the internet and read 1000’s of online reviews and guides, price compare and then call directly or book on your favorite booking engine. Phew! It’s rough out there and if you have the time and the thrill of the hunt then go for it, but if not, if you are craving that personal connection in this virtual, information overloaded world, then you need a travel advisor.

Travel advisor? Yes! Travel advisors have many tricks up their sleeves to get the best value for you. A great travel advisor will leverage their global connections to get you experiences that you wouldn’t be able to get on your own or with any  online booking engine, and suggest itineraries that take you waaaay off the typical and beaten tourist path -if that’s what you are looking for.

A travel advisor is a valuable asset for making the most of your time and money.

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Getting to your “Why”

A great travel advisor seeks to understand your ‘WHY’ – your reason(s) for being, for working, for vacationing… because they work for you. And oh the rewards when you collaborate together! Having your favorite bottle of wine waiting for you in your room that faces north-west, just because. The travel advisor will adjust to your style, whether you are completely hands off or wanting to discuss every aspects during the planning phase, and every personality type in between.
Making your trip a memorable experience is a joint effort between you and the travel advisor. The travel advisor will recommend and curate experiences that aligns well with the reason you travel, whether its for fun, deep cultural awareness or to check off a bucket list item.

Are you a good match?

This is completely personal. What do I mean? Some people will do an online search for a travel advisor and book with that person while others will ask for referrals. However you meet is not quite important, what matters is whether you are a perfect match for each other? Just as you have that sense of hitting it off with your real estate agent, financial planner, tax advisor or anyone that provides a service to you, you should have that connection to your travel advisor. But equally important to being a good match for you are their work ethics and knowledge base. If you don’t click, or if the travel advisor isn’t trying to get to know you better in order to offer personalized suggestions then move on, your perfect travel advisor is waiting.

What does a great travel advisor look like?

So now you get it, you should use a great travel advisor that is right for you, but how do you evaluate their capabilities?  Here are a few things to check for:

Technical Skills

Knowledge – deep knowledge of the geographical, political, cultural aspects of multiple destinations, as well as travel requirements, activities and accommodation options, etc.

Expertise – solid understanding of the travel industry with a global network of relationships to bring local insights, tips and a few surprises to your travel experience.

Computer/Internet literacy – the world is indeed flat. Gone are the days when a travel advisor could get by without technology. The leveraging of the latest apps and social software sites can greatly enhance the travel experience and the travel advisor must be savvy in this regard.

Soft Skills

Listening skills
Keeper: Recommends a few tours that give back to local charities (you once mentioned your children volunteer at the local shelter).
Move on: Did he just recommend a rooftop restaurant even though you mentioned your acrophobia?
Communication skills
Keeper: Ensures understanding of the nuances and only call, never text, between the hours of 3 and 6 PM, because that’s what you like.
Move on: Talks too slow, or too fast or not at all, and call when they should text, etc.
Crisis management
Keeper: Hurricane is heading your way and your travel advisor already have you on the phone discussing options and securing you a seat on the first flight out.
Move on: You arrive at the hotel only to be told your reservation was cancelled because you did not communicate your late arrival (due to issues beyond your control you arrive a day later). A good travel advisor should always be on it!

Rethink what a travel advisor can do for you!

A great travel advisor will help you think creatively about where to go, when to go, what to do once you get there and how to do it all for less money (high possibility) than if you were doing it yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, the main benefit of a travel advisor is not the money they will save you, but rather, the value they add, especially if working with a luxury travel advisor.
Think of that for sale by owner house vs the real estate agent listing. Do you really want to be expending your valuable time researching and searching and, maybe, ultimately booking a good vacation when you could have leveraged the expertise and connections of a great travel advisor to experience an exceptional vacation?

Gift yourself a travel advisor

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Want to learn more about the difference a great travel advisor can add? Contact me and let’s collaborate on your next travel adventure.

 

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