For the Best Travel Experience, Use A Travel Advisor
Remember the song “Who Ya Gonna Call? Ghostbusters.”? These are the guys you want to call when you’re dealing with unusual phenomena, like ghosts or things that go bump in the night. But when you are planning a trip — perhaps a Mediterranean cruise, a visit to see Bangkok’s amazing temples, or a trip with two other couples to Rio during Mardi Gras — you need the services of a travel expert, aka a Travel Advisor.
One of the primary reasons to use the services of a Travel Advisor is to eliminate the hassle of sorting through an enormous amount of travel information, saving yourself time and most likely money, and you’ll certainly come away with a better trip. (For example, Googling “Rio accommodations during Mardi Gras,” delivers a whopping 3.2 million results!)
Your Travel Advisor — who is a travel expert, working for you — has the knowledge and the contacts to find the best deals for you and your budget. Because your Travel Advisor understands your needs, she or he uses that information to craft the perfect vacation for you.
Travel Advisors give you an edge. They are your easy access, one-stop personal connection to the travel industry. Most Travel Advisors have been in the business for years and have developed relationships with hotels, cruise lines, tours and airlines. Because of those connections and their insider knowledge of destinations, they know which accommodations will be most suitable for you, know all the best place to dine and shop, can sort out the attractions you’d like to visit, and arrange for both air and ground transportation.
Travel Advisors also provide a safety net. You can call, text or email them if you have questions during your trip or have an emergency — a flight that has been cancelled, a weather event that disrupts your plans, or a medical problem. Travel Advisors are passionate about travel and want you to have a successful trip so they are exceptionally responsive to your needs. It’s a good feeling when you are far from home and encounter a problem to know that someone is on your side and looking out for your best interests and has the resources to solve your problem.
What are your responsibilities as a traveler using the services of a Travel Advisor?
First and foremost, have an open-ended conversation with your Travel Advisor, providing them with information about why you are travelling, expected dates of travel, number of people in your party, and your budget. You should also let your Travel Advisor know if you’ve already done some research about your trip as this helps them eliminate destinations/activities you are not interested in and helps them factor in those things you’d like to see and do as they create your itinerary.
Along with that basic information, let your Travel Advisor know your likes and dislikes. For instance, where did you vacation the last time? What did you like about that vacation, and even more importantly, what didn’t you like about it?
It’s also useful to let your Travel Advisor know about any hobbies or special interests you have. Maybe you are a library fiend or love donuts. Your Travel Advisor might be able to arrange a tour of an unusual book collection at a library at your destination or scope out the best donut shops in the city you will be visiting! Chocolate sprinkle bacon donuts, anyone???
Travel Advisors usually do not charge a fee when you book through them. Cruises and hotels are all inclusive with the Travel Agent receiving a commission from them. If there is an additional fee from the airlines for the booking, your Travel Advisor will alert you to that upfront. So it just makes sense to use the services of an expert. This is their full time job, and they have the professional connections, the time and the expertise to create an amazing itinerary for your trip. And once they have your information on file, it will take you even less time on the phone with them next time you want to book a vacation!
Tip: Ask friends or family for a referral to a Travel Advisor they’ve worked with and liked.
Tip: The more information you provide, the better equipped your Travel Agent will be to match you with the best deals and find the best activities that will give you the most memorable vacation.