I’ve been in business for 2 years now as a personal travel planner, aka, travel agent. I remember when I started Wander Your Way some folks asked me, “Does anyone use a travel agent any more?”
The answer is YES! And, there are times when I’d highly recommend using a travel professional and other times when you might be fine planning your own vacation. But, everyone has their own comfort level. So, when should you consider using a travel agent?
- You’re not sure where you want to go – A really good travel planner can ask you the right questions to help you figure this out. Are you into the outdoors and want an adventurous trip? Do you love trying new food? Do you want to stay in one place? Or are you okay to move around a bit more? A travel agent knows how to steer you to the right destination to fit your wants, needs, and your personality.
- You’re traveling internationally – This is the one I hear the most. A lot of folks here in the USA are okay planning most domestic vacations. But, when it comes to traveling abroad, it becomes more complicated and more daunting. This is a great time to find a personal travel planner. She will know all the ins and outs of international travel – from whether or not you need a visa to helping you skip the line for those long waits at popular sites. And, she will be able to put together the perfect itinerary for you which means you get a trip personalized to suit your travel style. She will set you up with the accommodation, tours, and transportation that fits your wants and needs. And, she will even recommend restaurants, pubs or sites that often, she has personally visited.
- You’re traveling with a group – If you have a small or large group, you definitely want to use a travel planner. Groups can get unwieldy. A travel agent will help keep everyone on the same page. And, if your group is large, she will be able to get those group discounts.
- You don’t have the time – This is another one I hear a lot. In our busy lives of work, family, friends, hobbies, etc., taking the time to wade through all the information on the internet can take hours upon hours. Most folks don’t have the time to do all the research. This is what a travel agent does – research. And typically, we can do the research far quicker than you – no offense. We simply know where to look and who to call and, most importantly, how to get the most value from your dollar.
- You’re planning a special trip – Maybe it’s your honeymoon or maybe it’s a special birthday or anniversary. This is an excellent time to use a travel agent. I’ve booked quite a few of these vacations. I love to put that personal touch on these types of trips. Honeymooners have enough on their plate without adding in the stress of planning a trip. So why not have a travel agent take care of this for you? And special occasions? Often, a travel agent will have more clout (again, no offense) to arrange for a unique surprise. They’ll know how to work their network of travel professionals to make that trip truly memorable.
- You want someone there “just in case” – Let’s face it – the world is imperfect. Flights get cancelled, passports get lost, reservations get mixed up. Shit happens. A travel agent will be there for you, 24/7. I always tell my clients to call me if they need anything along the way. My phone is always with me and I am always aware of when my clients are traveling, especially on those days when they are moving from point A to point B. A good travel planner will be able to resolve any issue that may arise. And, give you the peace of mind as you travel.
- You want something different – An skilled travel planner will be able to assist you in finding those out-of-the-way places, those unique destinations, that interesting place to stay or those uncommon experiences. I know for me, I truly strive to find something out of the ordinary for my clients. Often, people who come to me want to go somewhere “off the beaten path” – something that is not on the typical tourist trail – or they want to have uncommon experiences. I pride myself in being able to give my clients what they want. Travel agents who specialize in this type of travel will be able to create that one-of-a-kind vacation just for you.
The final point I want to make is this – travel agents, travel advisors, travel planners – we are the experts. Trust us. We are not out to charge you more money. Often we can save you money. More importantly, we give you the best value for your money. And we create that vacation you’ve been dreaming of. I like to say that I help create travel experiences that you’ll remember for the rest of your life – not just memories, but experiences that touch your heart and soul. Experiences that transform you. For me, it is truly personal. I want to assist you in writing your own unique and personal story through travel. To help you have those “travel moments” and make those deeper connections. To me, this is what travel is all about.