This journey from my training in Accounting and Finance to my passion for travel has been a wonderful adventure of discovery. Along that journey, I have had a lot of people ask me why would anyone need to use a travel consultant. My short answer is this: time, money, and expertise. My longer answer is something like this:
#1: Get to know you. Why is getting to know you important? We want you to have your dream trip! Everyone's dream trip is different; some by a little and some are worlds apart (pun intended). During a free consultation call, we take the time to listen and understand your desires and because of this we are able to create the experience you are looking for on your vacation.
#2: Educated in the Travel Industry. The travel industry is an ever-changing industry and professionals in the industry, like myself, take education very seriously. We go to conferences, listen to webinars, visit sites, tour boats, read (a lot), and research (a lot) all to ensure your trip is the best for you!
#3: Money. During our initial consultation, one thing we always talk about is your travel budget. This is so we know what you are expecting and then we can piece together your trip to fit you. We research and find the best option to make your travel dollars go the farthest.
We also have relationships via our consortia for additional amenities and upgrades for our clients. This, again, helps your travel monies go farther.
#4: Time. Researching, planning, booking, confirming, reconfirming are just a few things that we do for you as your travel professional. It can take hours and hours to just research one city like London or Paris just for the activities. Many more hours will be spent researching hotels, transfers, and plane tickets. The list doesn't stop there. Do you want to see a play in London? Research that, too. Do you want to visit Vatican City? Research that, too. This is just the beginning of where your precious vacation hours can be saved. We will not only research, plan, book and confirm everything for you, we also get you through the lines so you are not waiting for 3 hours in line in London to go up in the Eye. Your time on the ground is precious and we want to make every moment count.
#5: Dedication to our Clients. This is true of all the travel professionals I know: we all want you to come back from your trip with a feeling of being swept away by all the wonderful adventures you experienced on your trip. We have many suppliers to choose from and because of that we are able to match you with the one that suits your needs and wants. It is all about you.
# 6: In the Know. In the South, we have a saying that goes something like this; "we keep our ear to the ground." That simply means we are aware of what is going on. That is what we travel agents like to do, as well. We pay attention to what is happening in our industry and at specific locations. We know the best times to go to your destination based on weather, crowds, and overall price. We will go over all of this with you. If you are looking to book a condo in Hawaii, we are not going to book you at the one that is currently going through a renovation, unless the sound of jackhammers relaxes you. We stay up-to-date on the latest FAA rules to make security a breeze. We will let you know what to expect at customs and how to get through the lines on your next trip. We keep you "in the know."
#7: Advocate. This is arguably the most important reason to use a travel professional. We work hard to ensure your trip goes perfectly, but the reality is that life is not perfect. When something does go wrong, we are here for you. As a travel professional, we are "on call" for you 24 hours a day for the duration of your trip. We will immediately, day or night, go to work to get your trip back on track. We assist you with everything from a lost passport to a missed connection and everything in between. Most of the time we can take care of your issue quickly and everyone is happy. Occasionally, an exception occurs and backup needs to be called in. As travel professionals, we book hundreds of trips a year and build a relationship with our suppliers. Our consortia as a whole, books thousands and thousands of trips a year. Simply put, if something goes wrong, we can get to the person with the authority to make it right much faster than an individual. The best part is you can stand back and relax. You know we are only a phone call away.
Strategies and Tips For Using a Travel Professional
Don't be afraid to give your travel consultant a budget. We want to make sure we are looking at the right location and amenities for you.
Every trip is different. Some are for special occasions. Let us know if you are celebrating a special moment in your life. We would like to do something special for you, as well.
If you want something changed on a presented itinerary, let us know. We are here to serve you. If you love something, let us know that, too. We want your trip to be special for you!
If you need more clarification, simply ask. We are always happy to answer all your questions.
Please give feedback after you arrive back home. We love to hear about your trip! We want to know what you loved and what was not your favorite. This will help us plan for your next trip!