Depending on where you’re traveling, a travel advisor can be a great addition to your trip. There are also circumstances where it may notbe wise to recruit an advisor. This is a comprehensive breakdown of the good, the bad and ugly when it comes to making your decision.
Save Time and Gain Value – An advisor can easily cut your planning time by more than half. You can minimize worry regarding selecting places that could be questionable or sketchy. Although there are fees and commissions, it can easily be balanced out with all the perks and discounts that an advisor has access to.
They Are Well-Connected – The network that a professional travel advisor has is extensive. Be sure to find one who belongs to a well-known/trusted consortia (for example, Virtuoso), host agency (for example the Gifted Travel Network), and/or franchise (for example, Dream Vacations). Once you provide your advisor with your ideas and needs, they will meet and perhaps surpass your travel requirements. When going out of the country, this can also be a safer option rather than selecting sites yourself that you are not familiar with.
They Are a Phone Call Away if Something Goes Wrong – Once you are out enjoying your vacation, it is comforting to know that someone has your back. Sometimes things don’t go perfectly when you travel no matter how well-planned the trip is. Your advisor will be available throughout your entire trip to remedy anything that may surface. Most have relationships that give them clout in certain areas. They can solve any issues expeditiously and without costing you time away from your vacation. Besides….that’s their job!
Finding the Right Advisor Can Take Time – Not every advisor is legit or has your best interest in mind. Some can be quick to throw an itinerary together to sell you on just to get their commissions and be on to the next customer. Keep in mind that MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) travel advisors typically have the worst packages and a limited network. As mentioned above, you can shorten the search for a reliable agent, by consulting organizations like Virtuoso and the Gifted Travel Network.
They Can Miss Details that You May Not – If you have the time to do all the research, it is possible to find deals and discounts that an advisor may not know about or is not in their network of providers. Plus, you know what you desire better than anyone. If you have very specific ideas or requirements for your trip, be sure to communicate them to your travel advisor so they can research and plan for them.
They Typically Don’t Provide up Front Quotes – When travel planning, cost can be a primary concern. Though it would be fantastic if travel advisors just posted their rates on their website, this is not often their method. Many travel advisors prefer you to visit or do a phone consult, so they can really get to know you, your vacation vision, and your needs. Most professional and specialized experts will also require a travel planning/research/itinerary design fee/retainer before they do a significant amount research and create an itinerary/quote for you. As with any attentive and professional service, one expects to pay a fee to receive the value-added from the years of education and experience of the professional advisor.
Considering both the pros and cons of working with a travel advisor is important. The end result will always be based on your specific needs, timeframe, and budget. If you aren’t sure, it never hurts to reach out to a travel advisor and ask if you might be a good fit to work with each other!
Speaking of…if you’d like to get started planning your next vacation and want to get matched with an expert travel advisor (Virtuoso-affiliated, Gifted Travel Network-affiliated), fill out our Kinship Vacations trip-planning form and we’ll schedule you for a complimentary trip-planning session.
In the meantime…
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