Why Use A Travel Advisor?

The million-dollar question that people ask all of the time is “Why should I use a travel agent/advisor?”  Well, I will answer that for you.

 

People have unlimited access to online travel agency websites like Expedia or Priceline.  People can book directly with cruise lines or can book directly with the likes of Disney or Universal.  Have you booked a vacation with any of the above?  If so, I have questions!

How was your experience?  

Did you have an issue while trying to book online or have a follow-up question that you couldn’t find in their Frequently Asked Questions on their website so you made the dreaded phone call to customer service?  

How many prompts did you have to go through after reaching an automated machine when you called?

How long did you wait on hold or how many people were you transferred to and then given an answer that you didn’t really understand?

I don’t know about you, but based on my own personal experience, I despise dealing with those large travel companies.  Especially online travel sites like Expedia, Priceline, and the list goes on.  You can barely reach a live person to speak to and when you finally do reach a live person, you might be transferred a number of times having to repeat yourself over and over.  Then you might speak to two or three different people who all give you different answers to your questions.  Leaving you completely stressed and not knowing what to do.  Who wants to go through that?  Definitely not me!   

Those issues just scratch the surface of why using a travel advisor is by far your best bet.  By going through a travel advisor, you will not have to go through any of that added stress or frustration.  Here’s why:

 

  • Saves You Time On Planning – When you initially reach out to a travel advisor, they will set up a consultation with you.  This could be a phone call, a virtual meeting online, or a detailed questionnaire for you to complete.  During this process, the advisor is trying to obtain as much information as possible to ensure that they find the perfect vacation for you, your family, or your group.  Once they have all of the information needed, they begin researching your vacation based on your needs, preferences, and interests.  This is what saves you an abundance of time!  Researching the destination, the resorts, restaurants, things to do, and so on all while ensuring that the vacation stays within your budget takes quite a while.  While your travel advisor is spending the time matching what you are looking for, you get to go about your normal routine.
  • Experience And Training – Travel advisors go through an unbelievable amount of training.  Training can be specific to destinations or travel suppliers (cruise lines, resorts/hotels, etc).  They visit their specialized destination to gather firsthand experiences of the location to supply you with tips and recommendations for the best beaches, local restaurants, and things to do.  During their training, they may go through a certification process as well.  Advisors will board cruise ships that they’re certified in to have firsthand experiences to pass on to their clients.  An important thing to review on a cruise ship is stateroom layouts.  For example, which staterooms can hold a family and for how many people, and which have connecting doors.  Most advisors have a love of travel, so they have plenty of their own personal experiences in their arsenal to reference for their clients.
  • Someone To Have Your Back And Be Your Advocate– Advisors are not employed by travel suppliers.  Advisors work for and service their clients.  You are their main concern and priority.  They want to ensure that you are taken care of every step of the way and that your vacation goes beyond your expectations.  If you need specific accommodations, wheelchair access or have a vision/hearing impairment for example, your advisor will ensure that important information is relayed to the travel supplier to best accommodate you while on vacation.  If you have an issue, your advisor will be there to have your back and be your spokesperson.  
  • Problem Solver – Your advisor will be there for you before, during, and after your vacation.  If you have an issue before your trip even starts, your advisor will work through the issue for you.  For example, if you need to switch your vacation date, your advisor will be the one to take care of that for you.  You won’t have to sit on hold or be transferred to three different people to actually get assistance.  Let’s say that you’ve arrived at the airport to return home and you just found out that your flight has been delayed or canceled.  One of two things will happen; your advisor is already reaching out to you or you call your advisor directly to let them know.  Either way, you can grab a coffee or a drink once you’ve spoken to your advisor and let your advisor handle the next steps.  No matter what you need, no matter how big or small, your advisor is there to take care of you, your family, or your group.

  • Deals And/Or Perks – Advisors have inside access to special promotions, deals, and/or perks.  Whether that be a discounted price promotion, an onboard cruise credit, a resort credit to be used at the spa or specialty restaurant, or a bottle of champagne with chocolate-covered strawberries in your suite.  Deals and perks are never a guarantee, but always a possibility.  In addition, advisors have direct access to travel suppliers and the managers that they work with continuously.  Meaning that they have connections to reach out to where the traveler does not.
  • Personalized One-On-One Service – Your advisor will get to know you, your family, or your group.  They want to ensure that each and every person traveling is taken care of and will enjoy their vacation.  If grandma and auntie want to have afternoon tea while the parents and kids go snorkeling, your advisor can arrange that.  If you want a romantic beach dinner for two, your advisor can arrange that too.  Your advisor will go above and beyond to ensure that your vacation runs seamlessly and stress-free from start to finish.  When you call your advisor, you will not be greeted with an automated options menu, nor will you be transferred to multiple people.  A great advisor will seem like your own personal concierge.  
  • Free Service – Travel advisor services are generally free to clients.  You do not pay more for your vacation if you book through a travel advisor.  The advisor’s commission amount is already factored into the vacation cost itself regardless of who you book through.  So when you book directly with a travel supplier or with an online travel agency, you are paying for a service that you will never receive.  What am I getting at, you ask.  If you book directly with a travel supplier like Carnival, Disney, Hyatt, etc, the commission money goes right back into their pocket.  The same is true if you book with an online travel agency like Expedia or Priceline.  You are not saving a dime by booking directly with a supplier or a big online agency.  You are just a sale to them.  –  I stated earlier that advisor services are “generally” free and I wanted to touch on that quickly.  You may come across an advisor who charges a planning, service, or professional fee directly to the client.  The reasoning behind this is that advisors are not paid for the time spent researching and planning your vacation.  It may take them three hours to research and plan for one thing, but then you change your mind.  The advisor then has to go back to the drawing board which takes more time.  The commission paid to an advisor from the travel supplier does not factor in time spent researching and planning a vacation.  In addition, if you cancel your trip, your advisor does not receive a commission at all.  Therefore, any and all time spent on your vacation planning was done for free.  Who wants to work for free?  By charging a service fee, the advisor is guaranteeing themselves compensation for their time.  Rest easy, because the majority of advisors do not charge a fee.  However, you may find a fee common when planning a large group vacation because it is much more time-consuming and there are more details to ensure are accurate.

  • Support Small Business – As you read above, you do not pay any extra to use a travel advisor.  Rather than book directly with a travel supplier or large online agency and put money back in their overly sized pockets, help a small business out by using their services instead.  A small business owner might be a family member, friend, friend of a friend, or neighbor.  They are doing the same thing that you are.  Working to pay their bills and support their family.  Advisors get into the business for their love of travel and wanting to give people memorable experiences.  So, why not help them when you can by supporting them?  Again, it will cost you nothing to use a travel advisor.  It will also cost you nothing to refer a friend, pass out a business card, or share their page on social media.  

 

 

I could go on about the benefits of using a travel advisor, but I’ve hit the main reasons already.  Ultimately, it is in your favor to have access to one person who truly values you, your family, your time, and your money.  To your advisor, you are not just a sale or a number.  You are a person who works hard for your money and your time is valuable.  An advisor takes that into consideration when researching and planning your vacation and servicing your needs.  All in all, you have nothing to lose by using a travel advisor, but so much to gain.

 

-Happy Traveling!