If you are like many people, you have never used a travel advisor and don't understand the point of it when you can go to your favorite cheap travel website and book whatever you need. That is understandable! Those sites are know as online travel agencies (OTAs), and when you use them, they are getting commission. Would you rather have that commission go to a soulless website or a human who cares about you? Here are 5 reasons why using a travel advisor is a good idea right now:
A Better Experience for YOU--We have experienced so much isolation in the past year, and working with a human to do anything for you can bring so much more pleasure than spending more hours in front of a computer screen. A relationship with a travel advisor can open your mind to new possibilities when you travel, and as you work together, they can always be on the lookout for opportunities and promotions that are a good fit for you. It's like being a regular at restaurant and having your favorite server suggest a new dish, or a new wine, that they know you will like. I listen to my clients and find what they ask for, and I am constantly networking so that my connections can benefit my clients.
Support Small Business--It seems like most people, including myself, want to support small business, but when it comes down to making the purchase, we are so tempted by convenience and possibly saving a few dollars. Most travel advisor are independent contractors, which means that if they don't book travel, they don't get paid. Also, a travel advisors' success is measured by annual sales. You might think that your $300 hotel reservation is a waste of time, but it might be what someone needs to meet a monthly goal. It might also make their day, in a time when business is like a roller coaster.
Added Perks & Benefits--Get VIP treatment! Most agencies are part of a consortium, so many travel companies (hotels, cruise lines, etc.) offer some special perks (credits, upgrades, etc.) to clients who book with a travel advisor. Travel advisors also like to give gifts to loyal clients, so you're likely to be greeted by a note, or even a bottle of wine, in your hotel room. Small, personal touches may not make or break your vacation, but they certainly help. At the very least, these things will make you feel like a VIP and bring a smile to your face. That website you used to visit would not do this.
You Need an Expert--COVID has changed or affected nearly every aspect of travel. It is a travel advisor's business to stay on top of the changes or at least be resourceful enough to know where to find answers. Cancellation policies, testing requirements, insurance policies, CDC guidelines, etc. vary greatly from one destination to another. If anything goes wrong, it's so much better to have someone you can text or call to solve the problem for you.
It Doesn't Cost You More Money--Even if a travel advisor charges a fee for their services, remember the old saying "time is money." I can only speak for myself when I say that my #1 goal is for my clients to have excellent travel experiences. I also want you to get the greatest value, so I search numerous places to find the best match. There is no centralized database for us to search. Sometimes we use our favorite industry-specific websites, and sometimes we draw on the help of individuals with whom we have relationships. These relationships can be huge in exceeding expectations and making the impossible possible.
Ready to talk about travel? Whether you are looking to travel next month or next year, NOW is a good time to start planning. Visit this link (or email me) to schedule a call to discuss your travel dreams and start making them a reality!