As a millennial Travel Advisor, I see a similar response when my job title is mentioned to other millennials...it's often something like: "Wait, travel agents are still a thing?"
Not only are we "still a thing", but a good travel advisor is more important than ever!
In the age of DIY (do it yourself) and endless internet information the use of travel advisors is imperative!
I want to stress one thing before we get into it...Not all agencies/agents are created equal!
An expert travel advisor elevates every trip. We help you get the best value for your time and money. We have important global connections which allows you VIP access/treatment at hotels, cruise lines, and more. After all you cannot VIP yourself!
There are many details in travel and things do not always run smoothly. We are there to assist when immediate action is needed to change/correct/or solve a problem.We take the time to learn about YOU and what is important to you in your travel experience. We are well traveled and always out there discovering more. This brings you educated inspiration!!
In contrast, many online travel companies are only large call centers offering phone agents with little to no actual travel experience. They sell what is important to THEM not YOU! Their goal is speed and volume – that means taking your order and moving on to the next customer as quickly as possible.
Now that you know those differences, how do you find a travel advisor?
You can rely on networks like Virtuoso to provide the best of the best travel agencies, like Brownell Travel. Being a Virtuoso member and an independent affiliate of Brownell Travel, our clients recieve exclusive access to added amenities, promotions, and that VIP status. We also receive helpful destination/brand trainings and opportunities to travel and extend our knowledge...all to better serve you!
-----In summary, no need to look any further! We have got you covered here at Red Letter Travel!
Lets bust some myths...
1. You can find it cheaper online.
There was a time where you might have been able to find it cheaper online, but if it seemed too good to be true, it’s because it was. Some flash-sale sights that have rock-bottom prices come at a cost...The rooms are typically ones that are only used for connecting rooms, if say a family was staying there. The parents would have the oceanfront suite with sweeping views, and the connecting room for the kids overlooks another building, parking lot, etc. Not a type of room the hotel typically sells on its own, and definitely not what you want for your vacation.
Even if the rate is cheaper up front, the end cost is less. A Travel Advisor can secure upgrades, complimentary breakfast, a spa or food & beverage credit, early check-in and late check,-out free wifi, and more—an added value that can be worth hundreds of dollars.
2. The fees outweigh the benefits.
If you are using a true luxury Travel Advisor, the fee is nominal in the scheme of things. Your Advisor spends hours researching and finding the destination and property that fits your unique needs, and then uses their network and consortia affiliations to get you the best value and experience.
In addition to the personalized service, you’ll also have your Advisor as an advocate throughout your trip. Flight cancelled? Your Advisor will rebook you before you could speak to an actual human on the phone. Luggage lost? You can enjoy your private tour while your Advisor tracks it down and has it delivered to your hotel. You’ll be able to enjoy your vacation to the fullest knowing your Advisor is only a phone call or email away.
3. I can do the same thing on my own.
Sure, you call a hotel or credit card call center on your own and book a room. Will you get the added benefits and amenities (see #1)? No. Will the general manager know you’re coming and make sure everything is in tip-top shape for you? No. And keep in mind, clients of Advisors in preferred partner programs are at the top of the list for upgrades and won’t face a walk situation if the hotel is overbooked.
If you’re headed out of the country or planning a longer, more complicated trip and want to research it yourself, get ready for an onslaught of information. When you google “villa in Italy”, there are over 170 MILLION results—you’ll need to take a few days off simply to sift through the results! Your Travel Advisor can edit the world for you. You’ll get a narrowed down list of villas that have been vetted (because we all know a nice photo does not translate to reality) and have the amenities that match your needs.
4. The agent just wants to book me at the hotel or on the cruise with the highest commission.
A true Travel Advisor with a passion for creating an exceptional travel experience is not focused on the commission but rather on the client. The relationship between the Advisor and the client is of utmost importance. If you call a hotel or cruise line, the person on the other end won’t tell you that another vendor is truly a better fit for you. And the person at an AmEx call center won’t know that the property is undergoing a renovation, so your ocean front view will be blocked by a crane. Your Advisor will guide you through finding what is best for you, regardless of the commission.
In an information rich society...let us edit the world for you!
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