Updated: Mar 17, 2020
If you've never heard of a Lifestyle Travel Planner, you may have been missing out.
How fabulous would it be to have a go-to person for all your travel needs? I'm not talking about someone who will just book your trips, but someone who will take the time to get to know you, your travel style and preferences, make recommendations on where to eat and drink, what to do and see, where to go and to which resorts, and all catered to your lifestyle. We have been given many names: travel agent, travel consultant, travel advisor, you get the drift. What they all have in common is the underlying factor that we are masters at creating travel experiences for those who seek it.
In a growing digital era where information is made readily available at our fingertips there is a stigma around the longevity of the 'travel agent', yet in 2018 the International Air Travel Association (IATA) reported that 43% of passengers still prefer to book through an agency, travel management company or corporate travel department. According to the American Society of Travel Advisors 55 percent of millennials are more likely to hire travel experts compared to 42 percent by Gen Xers and 28 percent by boomers. The below are some of the reasons why.
1. Value in Time
Yes, the Internet is a powerful tool for anyone that doesn’t mind spending time doing their own research, but for many, the time spent pouring over multiple websites, reviews and options can be narrowed down in no time with a lifestyle travel planner. We do this for a living, so we usually know what's best based on what you're looking for and can make recommendations that will likely be in your interest. Like an A.I. program, the more you use us the more we get to know you as a traveler; your likes and dislikes, travel style and preferences and eventually when you want to go away, we’ll know just where to send you for the perfect getaway and all you’ll have to do is pack.
Group travel, destination weddings and business conferences are also a huge time, money and stress saver with a travel consultant. Think about the complexities of your own time constraints, dates and needs, now imagine that times 10+ other travelers! Not many people have that kind of patience. Let us deal with that for you. We will make sure everyone’s stipulations and provisions are met and you won’t even need to lift a finger.
2. Saves You Money
With the amount of travel we book, travel advisors develop great relationships with airlines, tour companies and suppliers. Leveraging these relationships often means pricing will be lower with our access to wholesale rates or some freebies that we can pass on to you, if not, we can generally match prices found online. Don't be afraid to be transparent with your travel advisor - we promise we won't be offended. Like any relationship, the more open you are the more you have to gain (oh did I mention we can offer unsolicited relationship advice, too?).
3. Concierge Service
When you book with a lifestyle travel planner, you are essentially getting a free concierge. Someone who will make sure everything runs smoothly before, during, and even after your trip.
Schedule change to your flights? Or need to make changes to your itinerary but don’t know who to call? That’s what we’re here for – we will contact them on your behalf and make whatever you need happen. We usually have a dedicated agent line that we can contact to get you taken care of faster.
Maybe you are traveling for a big occasion and you want to set-up a special evening or a surprise upon arrival for your significant other. Or if you have no idea what to do but want to make sure it will be a trip to remember. Let us know and we can help in making that happen, champagne and roses in the room, a private candlelit dinner, tickets to a big game, you name it and we will find a way.
For those post-trip conundrums – you forgot something in the hotel room, the airline damaged your luggage or there’s an extra charge on your bill, we will make sure to get to the bottom of it and do everything in our power to rectify any situation on your behalf.
4. Emergency Situations
The world of travel is a very volatile environment; in the blink of an eye, flights can be cancelled or delayed, natural disasters can occur, medical emergencies can suddenly happen. These are the instances where having a go-to travel planner can literally save you. The ability to access live systems that coincide with airline inventory, save seats or put space on hold for you when everyone else on the plane are all trying to get on the next flight can be huge, especially when there are limited routes to your destination. No lineups to talk to airline representatives for you, thanks. We'll have your flights changed and a hotel close to the airport booked in no time.
5. Local Tips & Tricks
It goes without saying, people who get into this field are passionate about what they do and usually love to travel. This means destinations being recommended, we have either been there ourselves or will likely know someone who has and can give you insider tips on things to try or look out for. No matter if it is your first time traveling or 100th time traveling, there is always something new to learn from the advice of others through personal experience.
Being in the industry also means we are usually the first to know about up and coming destinations so you can get in before the rest of the world does. How awesome would it be to travel somewhere and have the whole place to yourself, free from hundreds of tourists trying to take that picture? If you are looking for a vacation that is off the beaten path, definitely reach out; these are the places that being friends with a travel professional can definitely come in handy.
6. IT'S FREE!
All of these amazing perks outlined here for you and at zero cost out of your pocket. A common misconception is that using a travel planner will cost you money. Most consultants don't actually charge a fee for their services (we are paid by the travel providers themselves) so why not reach out? We are happy to talk [too much] travel.
Have you ever worked with a travel planner before? Share your experience, good or bad, in the comment section below!
If this article has got you convinced you need a Lifestyle Travel Planner, contact me here and let's get started!