Here are 15 benefits of using a professional travel advisor.
I'm sure there are many more!
1. You already hire experts to get the best results.
We are all quick to call an expert when we are in a jam or out of our skillset; mechanic, accountant, attorney, dentist, or plumber.
From cutting our hair to preparing our taxes, there are just some tasks that are better left for the pros.
Travel is one of the biggest three purchases you’ll make in your life after a home and car (or college tuition if that’s in the cards for you).
You use experts to save yourself time and stress, but most importantly, to get a better outcome. In this case, a better vacation.
2. Travel is complex.
Of course, booking a cruise online yourself is easy… or is it?
You need a stateroom from category 1D, 2D, 5D, or 7D.
Wait… maybe a 1E or a 2F.
There are dozens of stateroom categories on the one ship and every cruise line has different categories too.
Now you can see why 75% of cruisers hand the job over to a professional travel advisor. They still get amazing value and they also benefit from our in-depth cruise knowledge, ship savvy tricks, and tools, and of course, we are able to offer great perks, amenities and at times, upgrade opportunities.
3. There are too many options on the internet.
- There are 323 cruise ships to choose from. And that's just cruises. What about land packages? Millions.
- This year alone, 28 new cruise ships will be launched. Do you know what all of them are, and what the perks and differences are?
- There are over 2200 ports of call around the world to cruise to, of which almost 600 are by river only, and the other 1600 by oceans. And that's just cruises. What about land travel? Unlimited almost.
That is a LOT of options.
There is quite literally a ship and a land itinerary for every style of traveler, BUT not every ship or itinerary is for everyone.
We are experts at matchmaking travelers to the perfect ship and the perfect itinerary.
4. Navigating the fine print is overwhelming.
Navigating all of the date changes, and schedule change fees and rules can be a nightmare.
The good news is… we’re really good at it. You can trust that we have checked the fine print - and understood it before we lock in your travel bookings. If you want flexible travel arrangements - we'll make sure to book it that way.
5. Choosing a destination for your vacation is different now.
The current travel requirements are different than they were pre-pandemic. Have you thought about mask-wearing, social distancing, whether restaurants, businesses, and the big attractions are open (and at what capacity)?
Will you need to be vaccinated? A negative Covid-19 test? What type of test will be accepted?
The rules are shifting constantly, and it's our job to stay on top of them.
6. There are a lot of moving parts.
The average 7-day vacation to the Caribbean or Europe has up to 15 separate bookings in it.
Accommodation (maybe 1-3 properties)
Flights (perhaps a few booked separately with different airlines (for better value and logistics)
Airport transfers to and from your home, accommodation, and the airport (between 2 and 6 of these)
Travel insurance to match exactly what you booked
A few day trips or excursions with the same or different tour companies
Museum, gallery, or social attraction tickets to avoid waiting in line
Did you know that each of these separate bookings comes with its own rules and fine print? Why put yourself through the stress of researching and planning all of these bookings when you can rely on a professional travel advisor (like me) to do it for you for one low planning fee.
7. We are connected to the right people.
It’s not uncommon for travel advisors to go to several conferences and training events each year and meet with the CEOs and Presidents of the biggest travel companies in the world. We have email addresses, phone numbers, and most importantly open lines of communication with decision-makers and problem solvers at many cruise lines, resorts, hotel chains, and airlines. We won't hesitate to call them when we need their help making your vacation a success.
8. What you see is not always what you get.
Have you ever arrived at a hotel to find that your room is nothing like what you thought you had booked? It happens more often than you know.
And it’s so disappointing.
Not only will we make sure you don’t end up at the wrong hotel, in the wrong room, or in the middle of construction or closures, but we also have access (that you can’t get) to upgrades, perks, and amenities.
9. We know about new and rare experiences.
That feeling of wanting to go on vacation, of needing a vacation. You know it right?
When you’re so fed up with the monotony of day-to-day life that you just need a break?
As professional travel advisors, we hear about new destinations and experiences before they go to market - that new overwater bungalow hotel in the Caribbean? The new all-suite hotel with Eiffel Tower views on the and private balconies? Or maybe that new state-of-the-art river cruise ship in Egypt sailing on the Nile River.
10. Do you ever feel like you need a vacation from planning your vacation?
Are you the person who always ends up organizing everyone, researching everything, collecting everyone's payments, and making sure everything is booked?
It is stressful and time-consuming to book travel. You don't need to do that anymore. I'm sure there are other things you'd rather do with your time.
11. Emergencies happen.
Sometimes life will throw you a curveball when you’re on vacation - it could be a family emergency back home, a border closing, Covid-19 protocols changing, civil unrest, an airline strike, or Mother Nature getting sassy.
When you a professional travel professional (like me) manage your travel, I can support you and advocate for you no matter where in the world you are. I can jump on the phone to airlines, tour operators, and tourism boards. I can change your plans or make new plans. I'm only a click or a phone call away.
When you book travel on your own or through an online travel website, you don’t get that. You are left on your own to troubleshoot everything - often in a foreign country, language and currency.
12. You'll end up down a rabbit hole.
Have you ever tried to find a really quick answer to a really simple question? And it turned out that hours later you had no clarity and no answer, despite having 45 tabs open on your computer?
Just because you read something on a travel chat forum or social media thread, doesn’t make it accurate. If it even was accurate, it may have changed since it was written.
One of the many benefits of using a professional travel advisor like me is that we often have direct contact with travel industry partners like cruise lines, hotels, resorts, and tour operators. When there is big news, they often let us know first.
13. Avoid scams.
Over the past year you may have seen on the news, a continuous stream of reports where hard-working people just like you have been scammed out of thousands of dollars.
Scammers pretending to be travel companies are rife. Their websites look and sound real and they often have great deals and discounts, or availability when everything else seems fully booked.
When you use a professional travel advisor like me, you can have 100% trust and peace that you won't get scammed. You won’t lose your money and you won’t be taken advantage of.
14. Stick within your comfortable spending limit.
Recently a friend of mine told me that she thought you had to be rich or spend tens of thousands of dollars on a vacation in order to use a professional travel advisor.
Myth: A professional travel advisor will always try to upsell you and make you spend more than you have or want to so that they earn a commission.
Truth: FALSE. Big fat lie. Big fact misunderstanding. Here’s how it works…
1. Qualified and certified professionals like myself often charge a one-off planning fee (just like if you went to see an attorney or tax specialist. For that one fee, we do all of the planning, research, verifications, and bookings. We then put together all of the individual elements into one set of easy-to-follow travel documents.
2. We ALWAYS work inside your budget. If your budget is $1000 or $10000, all you have to do is let us know. We will present flight and accommodation/cruise options that fit that budget. We may suggest adjusting the length of your vacation or the style of accommodation, or perhaps a different flight to help your budget.
But know this… our goal is ALWAYS to get your next best vacation booked just the way you need it.
15. Nobody is going to thank you for putting in all those hours of work.
If I asked you to find 20 hours of time that you can dedicate (next week) to plan your next vacation, I think you’d look at me like I’m crazy.
Who just has 20 hours of planning time to look at, compare and book flights, cruises, hotels, transfers, resorts, tours, and travel insurance.
Well, actually we do. Because planning vacations is my profession (one that I trained and certified in) it takes me much less time to find what you need. It takes me less time to know what will work and what won't.
I don’t have to plan your vacation around anything else because it’s quite literally my job.
Consider it as attractive as handing over those other time-consuming tasks that no one will thank you for - doing laundry, cleaning the house, or mowing the lawn.
If you'd like a pdf copy of this to share with someone, shoot me an e-mail and I'll be happy to give you one!