In the age of Expedia, Travelocity, Trip Advisor, and all the other online self-booking sites, why would anyone work with a professional travel consultant on their next trip?
The short answer is that travel consultants are better connected, have access to benefits you don’t, and can match (or often beat) any prices you’ll find on your own.
Five reasons to work with a professional travel consultant:
- Advocacy: We work for you. We don’t work for the cruise line, the resort, the hotel chain, or the airline. Our role is to act on your behalf, look out for you and your trip, and resolve any issues along the way.
- Expert guidance: Consultants are avid travelers. Our passion for travel plus our years of experience and training mean we have great perspectives and can navigate the endless labyrinth of information out there.
- Personalized service: Our job is to take the stress out of travel planning. To do that, we partner with you. We take the time to get to know you so we can understand what you value in your travel experience and what you want from your next trip. You’ll work with a live person and won’t be asking questions online to an AI chatbot.
- Save time: Instead of checking and comparing deals from a long list of travel websites, which may or may not provide complete and accurate information, travel consultants leverage their tools to cut through the chaos and save you from spending hours in front of a computer screen.
- Unbiased information: We don’t work for travel suppliers, so we can focus on making the best recommendations for you and your travel plans. We want your experience to be exceptional – and exactly what YOU want – from beginning to end.
I don’t need a travel consultant to book a cruise: Booking a cruise seems pretty straightforward at first glance. Create an account, login, choose the sailing that fits your budget and travel dates, then head to the checkout page and type in your credit card details. Simple enough, right? Not exactly.
It’s not uncommon for cruisers to return from their trip not having had the experience they wanted or expected. The main reason is that they chose a cruise line that didn’t provide their type of vacation. Every cruise line is different. From the general vibe onboard to the type of excursions offered to the type of cruisers they cater to; no two lines offer the same experience (even if they go to the same destination).
The consultant’s job is to know their travelers so they can be paired with the cruise lines perfect for them. Plus, a consultant will make sure you’re ready by helping plan your flights, pre- and post-cruise hotels, and finding the perfect excursions.
I can book it all myself and get the same thing: Booking your travel online is easy when it’s just a hotel or finding a great deal on flights. Plus, their rates can seem hard to pass up. But downsides exist – and they become critical if your trip is more than just an overnight or weekend stay.
The online agencies buy in bulk, which is how they get the “deals” they offer. But the great prices and steep discounts mean the hotels, airlines, and cruise lines will bump you first. Imagine how frustrating it would be to arrive at your resort only to be told you don’t have a room, despite having your confirmation code firmly in hand.
A professional travel consultant works with partners to minimize that risk and can even help clients with upgrades that are not offered to travelers using online agencies. Many of our partners have a no-walk policy for our travelers.
I can’t afford a travel consultant: You tell us your travel budget. We work with you to get the most out of it. It’s that simple. Travel consultants are looking to develop lasting partnerships with their travelers. Overcharging goes against that goal.
Some consultants charge a fee for research and planning. In those instances, the price is listed up front so there are no surprises.
Others don’t charge anything if you book through them.
Both approaches prioritize your travel needs, and your travel budget.