How Travel Advisors Benefit The Traveler November 21, 2017 / One of the biggest lesson I’ve learned about my job is that people have a common misconception about travel advisors and are unaware of the benefit to working with one to plan their travels. In this day and age, there is a wealth of information on the internet at our fingertips so a lot of people plan their own travels. Which begs the question: “Why pay someone to plan a trip when you can do it on your own?” Believe me, I was asking the same question less than two years ago so when I was looking for a job, the title of “Luxury Travel Advisor” didn’t appeal to me until I started doing my research. Not only did I find that it is an extremely fun and fulfilling career to have, but I also learned that Luxury Travel Advisors benefit the traveler in a number of unknown ways. First-hand Knowledge Twenty years ago, travel advisors weren’t traveling. They were sitting in front their computers day in and day out booking hotels and flights. Jump forward to 2017 and Travel Advisors are flying all over the world to site visit luxury hotels and work with on-ground operators to personally see what their clients can experience. When a client calls to ask about a specific hotel or destination, myself or someone in my office has most likely been to that destination. We can offer you our personal impressions and expertise because we know the destinations through our own personal or work travels. Amangani in Jackson Hole, Wyoming On-ground Connections If I need more support for a specific destination, my company has contacts on the ground. We know who to call at specific hotels to get you the answers to your questions. We know the ground operators. Together, myself, other travel advisors in my office and on-ground contacts work to provide you with the most up-to-date information, and ultimately the best trip. This also means that when you are on the trip, you’ll meet many of our contacts who worked to make your trip so special. Clients are provided with VIP treatment, and upgrades where available. You’ll also have many people helping you if something goes wrong. I recently spoke to someone who had planned a trip to Croatia on her own. She said she struggled communicating with hotels, restaurants and tour guides throughout the planning process. She couldn’t take the time during her work day to call these companies and responses via email were always slow, often didn’t provide enough information or were not returned at all. Working with a Travel Advisor means we do this work for you! Personalized Planning Made Easy Through working with a Travel Advisor time and time again, you’ll build a working relationship together. As a Travel Advisor, we want to get to know our clients because it helps us to understand what will make their trip special. For instance, if we know our clients are major foodies, then we know a street food tour in Vietnam will be one of the highlights and therefore, has to be included in an itinerary. Authentic Experiences One of my main goals as a Travel Advisor is to plan an authentic trip that someone else can’t copy by booking something they read about online. For example, I was recently in Uruguay on a work trip and discovered that Uruguayans love their red meat and fire and that there are a ton of horses in Uruguay. So while many travelers will eat plenty of red meat at local restaurants on their trips to Uruguay or ride a horse at their hotel, I’d like to plan an authentic open-fire asado (barbecue) after a horseback ride down the beach at sunset. Viña Vik in Chile Added Value At No Extra Cost This is always one of the biggest surprises for clients planning their first trip with a Travel Advisor. Some travel consultancies charges a one-time initial consulting fee to protect their time; however, the fee is not high and clients always find that the value of the trip far outweighs the consulting fee. Beyond the consulting fee, a trip planned by a Travel Advisor will always be equal to or less than what a client would spend if they planned it on their own. Additionally, through our connections, Travel Advisors can get upgrades for their clients, free breakfast, perhaps round trip airport transfers, etc. so on top of not costing more, clients will receive “extras” that add to their trip. Interested in planning a trip together? I just launched my Travel Planning page on Sunkissed Suitcase to help us get started working together. The page will further educate you on the benefits of working together, how the process works and you can also read testimonials from happy clients! Pin me for later!