Did you miss our Facebook Live with our travel advisors Stephanie and Aimee? Here is a recap of their conversation on the benefits of using a travel advisor. If you’d like to view the video, check it out here.
Can you, as travel advisors, get the same rates as I can online?
We can see the same rates that you can see but we look at from a different perspective. We can see the hidden costs and how flight schedules really match up. It’s important to understand that a lot of the bookings you can do online are really selling distressed merchandise. What that means is you’re going to get the smallest rooms, you might not have views and in fact they don’t even guarantee the view you’re going to get. A travel advisor is going to understand the layout of the resort and know the best place for you. You won’t see what fare class you’re in on the airplane, but what travel advisors can do is help you get your seats in order. If there is a flight change, travel advisors are going to be able to get those seats back. Another big thing is the customer service and giving you the experience that you deserve when you’re going on a vacation since you deserve a wonderful experience on your trip. After saving for years for your dream vacation, it’s an important aspect and we want to arm you with all the necessary tools. Travel advisors can give you a lot of perks that you can’t find online. We build relationships with the suppliers that we work with because we work with them every day. We can get you room upgrades, a lot of times we can get free parking and we can get special gifts in the room. If we know it’s a honeymoon or anniversary, we can arrange for a bottle of champagne upon arrival. There are a lot of benefits – spa credits and dining credits – a lot of extras! Travel advisors are there to help you with a restaurant reservation at your hotel.
Don’t travel advisors cost a lot of money?
Not at all! Wouldn’t you be surprised? For example, if you want to go to the Caribbean for an All-Inclusive package – round-trip flight, accommodations, transfers, tours – all for $15 per person is what we start at for a package to the Caribbean. In return, you get all of our years of experience, our trainings, relationships, connections and resources. It’s a huge value. When our advisors travel, we do site inspections and look in all of the corners, engage with the staff and see how friendly everyone is and how accessible everything is. We dine in the restaurants, check out the beaches and views to gauge the quality of the resorts first hand to pass on this knowledge to you.
I can get the same options as a travel advisor without paying a fee, so why would I use an advisor?
People are using travel advisors more and more. In fact, last year we saw a 50% increase in people using travel advisors, instead of trying to do it themselves. The largest group of travelers using travel advisors is millennials. Millennials are really good online, yet they’re choosing more and more to go to a professional to give them more of what they want. It’s going to save you a lot of time. It can be really challenging to book yourself – from air to hotel to transfers/car rental and excursions. Let us do the work for you! That’s another value – we’re a one-stop-shop so you don’t have to seek out all of those different sources to book pieces of your vacation. We package it so that it’s seamless. Planning ahead allows you to put a deposit down and then pay in increments based on what you can pay.
Planning a vacation is exhausting. What can an advisor do to help?
Take the stress away from you and let us take that and bring it to you for a wonderful trip. Travel is all about the experience. Have you ever thought about going on vacation and not gotten excited? You would not believe how many calls we get from people where they have tried to piece it together themselves and they’ve gotten to a point of such frustration and the excitement is gone. They don’t know which direction to go and they don’t know who to trust. There is just no need to do that – we can do it for you. It’s easier because we do this every single day. We’re in the know and up-to-date. We’ll still completely customize it, but you just don’t have to put in the time or the stress. This is a big one for cruises – you just want to get out there but you’ve never taken one before so you don’t know where to start. Each cruise line offers different things for different people. Where on the ship is a good place to stay, where are you going to get the largest stateroom? We know these answers from our extensive research and experiences. A lot of us will train specifically with suppliers and we suggest specific cruise lines because they offer more than others. We’ll easily be able to answer what’s included once on-board.
What does a travel advisor do when something goes wrong in my travel plans?
It’s always possible that something could happen to disrupt your travel plans. Weather is a big one and unfortunately no one can control that. We’re here to have your back. We’re going to take care of everything that we possibly can – before, during and after travel. If you’re in the middle of a trip and need assistance, we have contacts on the ground in your destination so it’s great for you to bring those issues to our attention so we can take care of it on the back-end. Let us know because we’re here to advocate for you to have a wonderful trip. We’re able to track your travels and if there is a delay we can call the transfer company ahead of time to alert them to adjust the time they pick up our clients.
Are they truly experts? Have they traveled to these places they recommend?
We are very well traveled and take several trips per year. If we haven’t been there, chances are we know somebody who has so we have a lot of resources at our fingertips. We tend to specialize in certain areas and we have a good size agency and we’re very diverse in terms of our skills. If somebody wants Disney, we’ve got a couple of Disney specialists. If someone wants a destination wedding, we have a couple of advisors who do that all the time. Some of our advisors work with specific cruise lines or resorts so when people ask about it, they’re very knowledgeable about it and they’ve been to all of them – active and adventure travel, family, reunions, LGBTQ+, active duty and destination specialists. If we don’t know, we will refer you to the advisor that specializes in that type of travel. Since we have traveled to these places, we’re able to customize your trip based on the experiences that we’ve had and that can make or break a trip. We want to make sure you’re not going to get taken advantage of.
What do you want clients to know when booking?
Always give us your name as seen on your passport and birth dates! It’s very important.
Book early! Supply and demand dictate pricing. If you book early, you’re going to have the best choices at the best cost. We want you to be comfortable so giving us your budget ahead of time helps us to know what kind of accommodations you’re looking for. With that knowledge, we’re able to get you the best value so knowing that ahead of time is important. We want clients to understand the value that travel advisors provide and that we really hear what you’re saying so that we can assemble what’s going to be your ideal vacation. We put a lot of time and research into that. We’re listening to every detail you’re telling us and we’re narrowing it down to what’s the most important to you so that you’re excited.
What if you don’t feel comfortable traveling alone?
Consider your safety. Talk to your travel advisor about where you want to go and what kind of experience you’re hoping to have. There are specific suppliers that cater to solo travel. You can join a group to meet other people to travel with or you can travel on your own and your advisor will walk you through every step of the way.