It used to be that you’d walk into a storefront office with posters of cruise ships and the Bahamas on the windows with hopes of walking out with new plans for a vacation! Bookcases of brochures covered the walls and jet airplane models sat on top of file cabinets with airline logos. Then, came the internet. We were all given access to the cheapest flights, the best deals at hotels, and a litany of travel blogs and articles offering travel advice, tips, experiences, and where to get the best perks. Well, soon, this space became very overcrowded and less trustworthy. We’d spend hours online only to realize we are down a rabbit hole and still don’t know where to stay or the best ways to book it. Eventually, we arrived at the place we are now, saying “can someone just tell me the best places to go and the most reliable way to book my trip” again. And the travel agent is back. Better than before.
Having spent my career in the travel industry, I’ve watched the changes unfold. I’ve planned my own trips and had glitches happen and nobody to call about them. I’ve sat on hold through multiple prompts only to eventually get disconnected. I’ve heard stories of friends traveling to far off destinations only to return and hear about something they missed. From the inside of the industry, I’ve been witness to hotels and tour companies going above and beyond to provide added perks, benefits, and upgrades to the clients of their preferred travel advisor partners. They realize their preferred travel advisor partners are experts in the business and will be an extension of them, communicating their best features to their clients. These relationships, between top tour companies, hotel brands, cruise lines, and travel advisors have become a reliable, strong force, with the clients being the benefactors.
What a Travel Advisor Provides
There are some fantastic advantages to booking with a travel advisor. The tour companies, hotel brands, and cruise lines realize the business advantage of taking very good care of travel advisors and their clients – MORE business! They offer perks, advantages, upgrades, VIP treatments, and sweet thoughtful in-room amenities. They flag these guests as very important and go above-and-beyond to make sure their stay in memorable and managed well. Sometimes lower rates are offered to the advisor, or a special add-on value that the public doesn’t even know about. Commonly, breakfast daily will be added, which may not sound like a big deal, but in a 5-star hotel, this could run you over $100+ per day for two people. After a 5-night stay, you’re looking at a savings of over $500! Another big reason to book through an advisor is the expert advice provided by someone passionate about travel who has learned the ins and outs of a region or destination. If you’ve never been on a ski vacation to Europe or Canada and would like to take the whole family, it would be best to speak with someone who knows it like the back of their hand and has relationships with the hoteliers and ski resort management. She can give you “insider” tips about a destination including restaurant recommendations or when is a good time of day to go to an attraction. She can also notify her hotel and resort contacts so they’re expecting you.
Plus, if something ends up going “bump” while you’re traveling, you have an advisor in your corner. Chances are, their strong relationships with airlines and hotels will be beneficial in quickly resolving the issue. Plus, you won’t need to deal with it personally.
Working with a travel advisor is also a timesaver. Travel research takes time, designing an attractive itinerary takes time, making sure the resorts selected are perfectly matched to the needs of a traveler takes time. Travel advisors will craft some options for a client to review, and then a back-and-forth discussion will take place. It becomes a collaborative effort to create the most seamless trip possible. Then, once everything is buttoned up, the hotels, tour companies, and cruise lines will receive notification from the travel advisor that you’re coming and your preferences.
Why did I decide to become a travel advisor?
I have always believed travel to be very good for the soul. Personally, it has been my go-to for healing, restoration, rest, and de-stressing. When I get off a plane with a new place to explore and experience, my mindset changes. My stress eventually dissipates and my mind and body rest. I love being a resource for people to achieve their own travel goals. They might be interested in reconnecting with loved ones, learning a new cooking style, understanding a different culture, improving their skiing skills, yoga practice or another activity. Or, they simply want to spend time with friends they haven’t seen in a long time, laughing and enjoying the sun together. My goal is to lean on my passion and expertise to set them up with the experiences that best match their dreams, make it easy for them, and be their trusted go-to for travel. To me, travel is very important to a healthy, fulfilling life. My goal is to make sure my clients take the trip, make it memorable, and that they value travel more and more in their own lives.
Would you like to discuss a trip? Get started here.