How to use a Travel Professional
Travel has changed phenomenally in the last 15 years. Consumers started booking their own travel on-line which was a detriment to many brick and mortar agencies at the time. The agencies either closed or the front-line agents and owners started working out of their homes. Travel professionals started to become more “specialists” instead of “generalists”. Prior to the Internet the travel agency was the only way to book travel. Or calling direct. 9/11 changed how the world travels. The evolution of the Internet makes it easy for a consumer to go on a website, book a flight, a hotel room, and a car rental within minutes. Whether or not that is a good thing remains to be seen, in my opinion. But, lets bring booking travel into the now. I just went to Google and typed in “Costa Rica Honeymoon”. Google gave me 2,070,000 options. I can tell you that there are not 2,070,000 hotel options in Costa Rica. Google has given to me every website, every blog, every picture, every activity, etc. that has to do with Costa Rica or a honeymoon. Who has the time or even wants to deal with going through all that?
This is where the expertise of a travel professional can be important. The Internet has become its own worst enemy. Travel professionals have made a comeback as not only “agents”. We are experienced, knowledgeable and in some cases, experts, in our field. Finding a travel professional that “clicks” with you is a good start. Does he/she understand where you want to go and do they have experience with this destination? But besides that, what questions are asked to make sure that you are a good fit for the destination?
Every travel professional works their business differently. Some may charge a fee or a deposit to start planning your dream honeymoon or vacation. Some may have contracts and authorization forms. Trusting in your agent and knowing that he/she has your best interests in mind is a large part of a business relationship. Maybe you would feel comfortable at least meeting first before you started planning? If you don’t live near each other then have a long conversation. Personally, I do have clients in other states and we have never met. We had conversations over the phone (several) or they friended me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to better know me. For me and how I run my business I am perfectly fine with that. Again, it’s all about “clicking”.
What are the business hours? Do they work in a storefront or do they work out of their home? When do they stop doing business for the day, which means no emails or phone calls past a certain time?
Have they discussed with you cancellation policies and how that can effect you financially if an unforeseen event happens?
Lastly, but certainly not least, use a travel professional as a guide and advisor. We are here to help you plan your getaway, make suggestions, plan activities, etc. What happens if an emergency happens when you are traveling? Who will you trust more: a call center that may or may not speak English and that doesn’t know you or your vacation or a professional that has been there since day 1?
I always want my couples to be informed on their travel options because there are so many out there! Do you have questions about how I work with my couples? Please contact me here.