Travel is the ultimate getaway; a way to totally unwind; to refresh the body and soul. It can provide you with knowledge of new places and the ability to make new friends. But with all of the good things that travel can provide, there are more than a few difficulties that you have to traverse before you can put your feet up & just relax.
With the ease of the internet and the plethora of choices one has in order to assemble the “perfect vacation,” it can be overwhelming to anyone. More people are turning to Travel Advisors due to two factors: lack of time and increased industry offerings. Today’s parents are short on time between work, kids’ sporting events, homework, chores & family time, it’s hard to find time to sit down and research all of the various travel options out there.
Research shows that a person who tries to plan their own trip will spend, on the average, the following researching, planning and booking a trip.
‡ Four to six weeks planning and researching
‡ Spend 20-30 hours of their own time on the computer
‡ Visit 38 different websites
‡ Spend 8 hours on the phone, most of them holding for customer services
‡ The average spent on a vacation is $1,145/per person for a land trip and $1,791/per person for a cruise. Both of these figures are ground floor averages and don’t include extra spend that one may not have been budgeted
So when you are going to spend a good chunk of money on that vacation, you want to make sure that it is done so you not only get the best bang-for-your-buck but also enjoy a vacation that is stress free and relaxing. One way to insure all of this, is to work with a trained Travel Advisor. They not only have the knowledge and experience, but have done a lot of traveling around the world to be able to provide you with solutions for your trip. Here just some of the reasons you should work with a Travel Advisor instead of trying to do all of the research, planning, and booking yourself.
1. Travel is more complicated than ever
With 24 new cruise ships coming online, never mind the new resorts and new airline fare categories, keeping with the options is a full-time job. And the growing trend toward groups of families and friends traveling together makes each trip a much more important purchase. Having a professional help with the planning and logistics can have a big impact on how much you spend on and how much you enjoy your vacation.
There is no do-over for a vacation gone wrong. Travel Advisors can help you achieve the vacation you desire because they listen, suggest, adjust, understand and become a friend, not just a search engine or an anonymous voice. “They do the work, you pack and go!”
2. Travel Advisors are on top of what’s new and exciting
The world is full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences in 2019. If you’d like to see The Passion Play at Oberammergau, the Tokyo Summer Olympics, the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, the cricket World Cup in Australia or the inaugural sailing of Virgin Cruise, travel professionals have access to the best tour packages and exclusive events, and they understand how to navigate the logistics.
3. Travel Advisors add a human element
A travel professional ensures that you are a person, not a number. They are invested in their clients' happiness and satisfaction and want to make sure each and every trip is packed full of positive lifelong memories. They are with you before, during and after your trip, kind of like "for better or for worse." Travel Advisors answer their phones and respond to their email no matter where you are on the planet.
4. They save you so much time and stress
Sure, reading about places to go is fun, but planning a trip is hard work, and you never know what to believe. Travel Advisors travel the world, looking at everything, from the size of the rooms in hotels and cruise ships to the dining options on-site and nearby. If they haven't personally been where you want to go, they know someone who has. They can answer your questions quickly and correctly.
Life is busier and more demanding than ever, and vacation time is more valuable. Travel Advisors can save you hours, not just in doing research to find you the perfect vacation, but also just sitting on hold with short-staffed airlines and resorts to make your vacation perfect.
5. Travel Advisors have your back
Everyone hopes that their vacation will go off without any problems, but 2018 was a tough year for global traveling, with natural disasters and system failures overwhelming some suppliers. But Travel Advisors have the access and the knowledge to help speed your re-accommodation, and act as your advocate when there are problems. When you book with an agent you can reach out to an actual person with whom you have built a trust relationship.
Travel Advisors can help change travel dates due to weather, or change the destination completely. They can hold cruise and air options for you and confirm your hotel before booking a non-refundable reservation. And in these weather-affected times, no client wants to sit on hold with the airlines or a tour operator for hours. Travel Advisors are at your disposal 24/7, so with one phone call they can help with any situation that may arise while you are traveling. So let your advisor do the work for you.
6. Travel Advisors can help you with the little things
Your Travel Advisor won’t be there to remind you to pack your phone charger or remember the sunscreen, but they can help head off other travel predicaments. Many travelers might not know all the rules, but a Travel Advisor has seen it all before. Some cruise ships don’t allow babies or children, so you don’t want to show up with the kids in tow. They can help you with what airlines to stay away from; what airports are better for long connecting flights without much layover between flights.
A Travel Advisor can also give you a heads-up on exchange rates. They can advise you on when and where you’ll run into the worst crowds or what is the best time of the year to travel to a certain region of the world, and oh yes, what the weather will be like. They can also remind you about what you should wear when traveling to conservative countries or religious sites. And it’s their job to know everything about travel visas, necessary vaccinations, etiquette, and the restrictions associated with your reservations.
7. A Travel Advisor can save you money
Most do not charge for their services when you book any travel with them. Even if your Travel Advisor charges a fee, the value you receive will be bigger than what you paid. Travel Advisors belong to a consortium of vendors within the travel industry, and when your advisor books through these consortiums, they can provide group pricing which the general public does not have access. Also cruise lines and many resorts get the majority of their customers through travel professionals and these vendors will pass along perks to share with you.
8. Use a Travel Advisor’s knowledge
Should you book that Rhine River cruise heading north or heading south? Travel Advisors know which hotel rooms have the best view room; they know you should renew your passport six months before it expires; they know you should bring your own road maps in Europe because rental car companies don't provide them. They can recommend a private guide instead of a ship excursion, an interesting destination along the way, a chance to get off the beaten track and see something uniquely important to you. What are the best restaurants in a particular region you just have to try.
So the choice is up to you. Spend that 20-30 hours of research and planning and all of those phone calls doing it yourself, or just call your Travel Advisor and leave the driving to them. Whatever way you choose, have fun and keep traveling.