Advocating for the Traveler and Providing Expert Advice
With the advent of the internet followed by the onslaught of online travel booking sites, travel information and ways to book has become ubiquitous. While that may make travel planning appear easier and more fair, it’s become more cumbersome and divides our buying power, ineffectual to enforce consumer rights.
Personally, I’m pleased to see a resurgence of advisors, and the need for real travel expertise, just like an accountant for tax season. As a travel advisor, I find clients exhausted by the time they’ve reached me. It’s unfortunate, since we’re the first line of defense and offer many services that save time and money.
Below is a list of some of the important services we provide, which are free.
- Bringing the world into perspective: An advisor is a student of the world through ongoing education, time-consuming familiarization trips, collection of customer feedback and advisor community insight in order to be the travel expert for our clients.
- Investigating and supplying competitive information: A single supplier will provide information for their service rather than an overview or better fare on a competing company that would better serve the traveler.
- Timely promotions: As advisors, we are the first to receive advisor-only offers, webinars on the latest information, and perks as a result of deep industry relationships. And the cheapest isn’t always the best, so the experts will read through the clutter for the best option.
- Clarifying the fine print, such as cancellation penalties and restrictions: Again, the benefits of a professional’s experience can save a traveler money and headaches. Your time is money, so think of us as your asset managers.
- Making recommendations for travel-related needs: Travel advisors share what to pack, necessary Visas and other insider tips as the full package.
- Simplifying the research and subsequent transaction: Like a personal shopper, advisors can provide one-stop shopping for travelers who require air arrangements, rental cars, cruise accommodations and hotel stays – with suggestions that are in the best interest of the client, not the supplier.
- Enhancing the trip with value-added benefits and amenities: Advisors can add to the client’s experience with access to exclusive venues, sold out tickets to shows, providing a special land package, a specific escort or other customer amenities.
- Using their clout to obtain the best possible outcome in seemingly impossible situations: Whether it’s airline seats, hotel rooms or cruise space, the travel advisor has more buying power than the consumer.
- Problem Solver: The advisor serves as the consumer’s advocate in the event something inadvertently goes wrong.
When it comes to limited vacation days and investment of thousands of dollars, it makes sense to use a professional.