Choosing a Travel Advisor Who is Right for YOU!!
Updated: Jun 3, 2021
Once you have decided that you are ready to work with a travel advisor, how do you choose one? How do you know that your hard-earned vacation time and money is in the right hands? I recommend that you consider the following:
Travel advisors aren’t regulated in the United States in terms of their expertise or their knowledge. So wise consumers should check to make sure that their chosen advisor has training and certifications and even belongs to professional organizations. Start with the American Association of Travel Advisors (ASTA). It’s the world’s largest association of travel professionals with a code of ethics for members. Check to see if your advisor has certifications or training. The Travel Institute has a Certified Travel Associate program that trains advisors in destinations and specialties. ASTA also has a Verified Travel Advisor certificate that confirms that an advisor has specialty training in all aspects of the business. You can also ask your advisor about the consortium that they partner with. Consortiums give advisors VIP connections with all of those components of a trip.
2. Interview the Advisor
A good travel advisor should arrange an interview with you before booking. If they don’t, ask for one. This is the time for you to get to know each other and see if you are a good fit. Travel planning is very personal and it’s important for your advisor to understand more than your budget. Ask your travel advisor about their travel experiences. Find out a little about them. While we don’t have to have visited a place to plan a great vacation, a Travel Advisor should have traveled themselves. Ask about their fees. Travel planning is an art and like any professional, it comes with a price. Most travel advisors will require a fee in order to book your holiday. Remember all those components? Those take time. Lots and lots of time. And since it’s time that your advisor is spending, that means you aren’t! Be clear about the fee and what it gets you.
3. Get a referral
Ask your friends. Most travel advisors get much of their business from referrals. And if you hear someone talking about an amazing trip they took, ask who booked it. A good travel advisor is a gift that’s meant to be shared! A good travel advisor has something that the internet can’t give you. They know you. They know what you want. They speak your language. And they will be there for you should you run into trouble.