Why You Should Use a Travel Advisor
Updated: Jun 3, 2021
If you want to fly across the US to visit your family, stay with them, and attend your family reunion, you probably don’t need the assistance of a travel advisor. But if that family reunion is going to be held on a two-week Mediterranean cruise, then you DEFINITELY need one.
The travel landscape has changed. Information overload, thousands of new hotels every year, all sorts of new cruise ships, passport and visa issues, weather, transit strikes, political unrest, natural disasters, travel insurance, travel providers going out of business, and all of that BEFORE there was a global pandemic. To avoid all of these landmines, you need to work with a travel advisor.
Every trip is built from multiple components. Oftentimes, people don’t even realize the level of detail that goes into planning a trip. Take that Mediterranean cruise as an example; you need to choose the cruise line that will have something for everyone in the group. Does someone get seasick? Do some people need to be closer to the elevator? Are there families that will need more than one cabin? You will need to arrange the transfers from your home to the airport, airport to cruise ship and the same in reverse. If you arrive to your embarkation port a day early (which I always recommend), you need to add a hotel and transportation there. You need to choose dining times. You need to arrange excursions in each port, and it would be great to know which ports are better done on your own. What if someone gets sick and can’t travel? What about travel insurance? And don’t forget you need to purchase the airfare! Even though you could probably book all of these components through websites and apps, do you really want to? Each of them has rules and conditions. Each of them has pitfalls that you may not be aware of until it’s too late. Have you ever seen an airfare that just looked too good to be true, so you hit “purchase” before it was gone? Did you get to the airport to find that you had booked a basic economy ticket that didn’t allow you to choose your seat or carry on a bag? Or maybe you realized after you purchased that your ticket had a nine-hour layover at a tiny airport? Or what about those flights that have minimal connection times with only one flight a day to get you to your final destination? Travel advisors aren’t the same as the travel agents that you might remember from the past. In the days before the internet, agents primarily booked airline tickets and beds. Today, travel advisors are experts in the field. We get to know you, your likes and dislikes. We have certifications and training. Most of us have an area of expertise. And most of us have industry contacts that are crucial in helping us stay updated on current travel trends. You can cut your own hair (and plan your own travel) but that doesn’t mean you should.