Put down the Pinterest boards. Quit crowdsourcing your vacation on Facebook from your know-it-all friends of friends or relatives. Trust in the professional travel experts and take a vacation from doing it yourself! Recent data from American Society of Travel Advisors’ study shows that you will increase your happiness delegating the grunt work to the experts and save money to boot. I certainly don’t mind having my trip and the logistics planned by someone else every so often so I can truly take a vacation from it all!
May 1st, coined National Travel Advisor Day, is your annual reminder to take a load off and meet your vetted travel advisor match at the recently re-launched www.travelsense.org so you can really take a backseat and enjoy your trip without worrying about the minute details and trying to get maximum bang for your buck. Yup, they are no more agents, but advisors to provide their best insights on your travel options and planning your trip for you. Gone are the days you walked into a travel agency in your neighborhood to only have someone completing the transaction. The travel advisor today is working from home, a remote beach, river-cruise or modern-day storefront hosting wine tastings from the region you’ll be visiting.
According to ASTA’s 2018 “How America Travels” research study, what travelers value about using an advisor may surprise you:
Here are nine reasons to call, text, direct message, WhatsApp or email an ASTA member travel advisor found on TravelSense.org:
1. Bringing the world into perspective: An advisor is an expert student of the world through ongoing education, onsite destination training, sifting through feedback and tapping into their own knowledge and advisor community insight to continuously hone their travel expertise.
2. Investigating and supplying competitive information: Understanding the big picture on individual trip elements and bringing those together for better value whether it’s the best fare, package or other travel requirements based on their knowledge of the industry.
3. Timely promotions: Advisors are the first to receive exclusive advisor-only offers, access to webinars on the latest information and additional value-adds or perks as a result of deep industry relationships and knowledge. And the cheapest isn't always the best, so the experts will read through the clutter to choose the best option for each unique traveler.
4. Clarifying the fine print, such as cancellation penalties and restrictions: Again, the benefits of a professional's experience can save you money and headaches. Your time is money, so think of your advisor as your asset manager.
5. Making recommendations for travel-related needs: Travel advisors share information regarding what to pack, necessary visas and travel documentation as well as other insider tips as the full package.
6. Simplifying research and travel transactions: Like a personal shopper, advisors can provide one-stop shopping for travelers who require air arrangements, rental cars, cruise accommodations, hotel stays and more - with suggestions that are in the best interest of the traveler, not the travel supplier.
7. Enhancing the trip with value-added benefits and amenities: Advisors can add to your experience with access to exclusive venues, sold out tickets to shows and events, providing a special land package, perks like free breakfast or late check-out and much more!
8. Using their clout to obtain the best possible outcome in seemingly impossible situations: Whether it's airline seats, hotel rooms or cruise space, the travel advisor has more buying power than most customers.
9. Problem solver: The advisor serves as your advocate in the event something inadvertently goes wrong, from weather related impacts to the rare and unexpected civil disruption – the advisor is there to support you all the way.
When it comes to a limited number of vacation days, precious time away during business travel and the investment of many dollars in travel-spend, it makes sense to use an expert rather than fumble through hundreds of sites to book a lukewarm experience. At the end of your busy day, take one time consuming task off your plate and leave trip planning to the experts. I’ve worked with a travel advisor a few times and scored deals and perks I didn’t even know existed to begin with. So go check out the site and maybe try working with an advisor to see if this is a travel arrangement that helps your planning go further for you. Have a favorite travel advisor you work with? Let me know in the comments below – we all love someone that can get us the best deals out there when it comes to travel perks!
Sharing a few products that I love. Some are affiliate links, some are not, some I was introduced to and some I happened to chance upon. Enjoy!