By David Barclay | October 19, 2022
We all utilize the services of many professionals in our daily lives. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, and general contractors just to name a few. But you may not have thought to use a professional to help you plan and coordinate your leisure travel.
Yes, it is possible to plan travel without the assistance of a professional. But I could say the same thing about remodeling my kitchen. I’m sure I could remodel my kitchen on my own. So why would I hire a professional instead? There are a multitude of reasons:
- I am not familiar with the current building codes
- I don’t have the specialized tools that professionals use
- I don’t have access to quality contractor supply stores
- It would take me significantly longer to complete the work compared to someone who does this day in and day out
- I would likely make costly mistakes that I’d need to correct
- It wouldn’t look as nice as a professionally managed remodel
The same logic applies to planning travel. While you can plan your own travel without using a professional, you may not want to, especially if it’s a complex trip or you have a large travel budget. Unless travel is part of your job, you are probably not up-to-date on all of the changing travel restrictions and requirements, don’t have direct access to the best travel suppliers, will need to devote a large portion of your valuable time to planning your trip, may make costly mistakes, and probably won’t plan something as unique and memorable as what a travel professional can deliver.
Here are my Top 8 reasons for why you should work with a travel advisor for your next vacation.
Good travel advisors have a wealth of expertise and knowledge, both from their personal travel and their connections with other travel experts. They know the best times to visit specific regions, to get the best weather and access to accommodations while avoiding peak periods with overwhelming crowds. They know the best properties in the best locations, to ensure you are close to the things you want to see and do. They know the popular attractions, but also can suggest “under the radar” activities and other hidden gems to add a little bit of “wow” to a trip.
2) VIP Connections
Looking for unique experiences that aren’t available to everyone? Want to tour the Vatican Library in the early morning with the Key Master as he unlocks the doors? Want to take a private helicopter tour? Want a tour of Normandy with a guide who has a PhD in WWII history? Want to run with the bulls in Pamplona? A good travel advisor has the connections to add these memorable experiences to your trip.
The VIP connections also mean hotels and travel suppliers take exceptional care of the clients of a good travel advisor. It is not uncommon for the hotel manager to greet guests by name at check-in. And many advisors have a “no walk” guarantee with their hotel partners, which means in oversold situations, clients of a well-connected travel advisor will never be transferred to a different hotel (conversely, DIY travelers are likely to be the first guests “walked” by a hotel that’s oversold).
If you hate waiting in lines, an advisor’s connections can get you VIP access to many popular attractions, allowing you to skip the lines and make better use of your limited vacation time.
3) Extras & Perks
The connections that a good travel advisor has can also provide extra benefits for their clients. These extras can include preferred access to the best rooms, complimentary upgrades, access to insider promotions, resort credits, exclusive cruise excursions, complimentary meals and more. These extras are only available through the connections of your travel advisor, so don’t expect to see them online if you try to make reservations yourself.
4) Help Navigate Changing Travel Conditions
As the COVID pandemic highlighted, travel is challenging and the rules are always changing. Staying on top of these changes can be a full-time job and missing a critical requirement can result in travel delays, extra costs, or worse, the termination of your trip as you are sent back home. A full-time travel advisor has the tools and resources to stay on top of the ever-changing travel requirements and can make sure your trip proceeds without any travel glitches.
5) Saves You Time
One of the true benefits of using a travel advisor is the time you will save planning your trips. A quality travel advisor uses their expertise and network to cut through the plethora of options and present a limited number of recommendations that align with your vision for your trip. Once decisions have been made, your advisor works to coordinate your accommodations, transfers, and activities into a seamless itinerary. A good advisor will also understand the degree to which you wish to be involved in the planning process and will bring you into the process at the right time, while letting you focus most of your time on the other priorities in your life.
6) Takes the Stress Out of Planning
The job of a good travel advisor is to make a trip experience seamless, from the initial discussion outlining the vision for the trip until you return home after many memorable experiences. Your advisor is always keeping ahead of the details, so you can rest easy knowing your trip is being managed by an expert delivering exceptional and personalized service.
7) Better Trips
A good travel advisor is exceptionally creative and has a large toolkit of travel ideas. This allows them to create one-of-a-kind travel experiences uniquely customized for their clients. Travel advisors also rely on their travel experiences, the experiences of their colleagues, and the experiences of their other clients to assess and rate the best travel suppliers. Especially when considering 5-star properties and bucket list experiences, you don’t want to rely on Yelp reviews, you need the opinion of a travel expert to help identify the best options that align with your travel vision.
8) Help with Travel Issues
I left this reason for last, because with a good travel advisor, your trip will be designed to mitigate most potential travel issues. But even with the best planning, travel issues do happen periodically, and this is where having an expert in your corner provides meaningful value. The best travel advisors are not only experts in problem solving, but they will also have a strong support team with local in-country team members who can act immediately to address any issues.
Owner, Barclay & Company Travel
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