Many travelers enjoy researching destinations and experiences for their next trip. That’s truly part of the fun – learning about and anticipating what you’ll do in person. But with the profusion of online sources touting “expert” status and “deals,” the options can quickly become overwhelming. You need a professional travel advisor to cut through all the propaganda and arrange a memorable journey suited to your specific interests, time, and budget. In recognition of National Travel Advisors Day (the first Wednesday in May), here are nine specific things your travel advisor does to make that happen.
Bring the World into Perspective
Travel advisors are perpetual students, constantly continuing their education about the world. We travel ourselves to gain first-hand experience that we can share with our clients. We get feedback from our clients about their travel experiences and network with colleagues to gain destination insight.
Investigate and Supply Competitive Information
When you inquire with a single travel supplier, for example, one airline or one cruise line, they will only offer their own travel options. There very well may be other airlines with a better schedule or another cruise line offering a better value, but you can’t know unless you contact each one individually. Travel advisors work with a multitude of suppliers so we can find the right product to match your personal travel needs.
Access to Timely Promotions
Travel suppliers understand and appreciate the power of a knowledgeable travel advisor and we develop deep industry relationships. Suppliers ensure that advisors are well-trained on new products, often releasing advisor-only promotions and perks. Covington advisors enjoy a weekly training webinar or in-person presentation from vendors, so we are always in the know of the latest opportunities.
Clarify the Fine Print
The devil is in the details, as they say. Not understanding cancellation penalties, promotional restrictions, and blackout dates can cause headaches and cost money. The benefit of a professional’s experience and navigation can save you time. Your time is money, so think of us as your asset managers.
Provide Recommendations and Tips
Your travel advisor can guide you on any number of travel-related needs, in addition to making the actual reservations. Do you need a visa? What should you pack? What’s the best way to get around the city? Again, because travel advisors are passionate about their work, their knowledge seems to know no bounds. And if we don’t know it ourselves, we’ll find out from a reliable source for you.
Simplify the Research
Working with a travel advisor is like having a personal shopper to put together a fashionable look including the perfect shoes, handbag, and accessories to go with your outfit. We arrange plane tickets, as well as hotel, cruise or tour when you get there. If you need a rental car or train tickets, we’re your one-stop shop. And all arrangements have the best interest of you, the traveler, at heart.
Enhance with Value-Added Amenities
Travel advisors are often able to add value to your experience through exclusive perks that you could never obtain on your own. Think sold out tickets to shows, after-hours access to world-class museums for private viewing or a family cooking class with a kid-friendly focus in a private home.
Use Clout to Fix the Impossible
Travel agencies have more buying power than individual travelers because of volume. Advisors develop relationships with suppliers and are often able to leverage those relationships to open doors. When a hotel is sold out to an individual traveler, we may still be able to get a room. Sometimes we can get a no-show hotel charge waived or get an airline seat upgraded. There is never a guarantee, but your travel advisor’s chances are immeasurably better than your own.
When something inadvertently goes wrong, as can happen during the most carefully orchestrated trip, we’re there as your advocate and fixer. Those same professional relationships go a long way in getting a favorable outcome in situations where resolution appears hopeless to the traveler. Whether it’s a weather event causing airline rescheduling or a bad case of shingles that forces you to postpone your vacation, we’re there for you.
When you invest your most precious asset – your time – as well as thousands of dollars, it just makes sense to use a travel advisor.