The services of a great travel advisor have become more valuable than ever. We keep track of the fine print – all the cancellation and change policies that affect every component of your vacation. We have the contacts to provide you with unique concierge services. Want a private tour of the Churchill War Rooms in London with the director? I’m your gal. We’re willing to sit on hold with our suppliers for hours so you don’t have to. This is our job and this is what we happily do for you, our valued clients.
But, we are not machines and there are some things clients do need to know when beginning work with a travel advisor to make the process go smoothly and to get the most out of the experience.
HAVE SOME SORT OF PLAN WHEN CONTACTING US
I will be honest – it is not helpful when you call me and say you want to travel sometime between May and August and maybe in November, anywhere between 4 and 8 nights, and you are open to any destination. Before calling, please narrow down your dates. We don’t have the time to search all combinations of dates in a vast range. Also, while you don’t need to know exactly where you want to go – that’s where I come in – try to have an idea.
HAVE A BUDGET IN MIND
Unfortunately, the price of everything is going up, particularly airfare. When we speak with one another, I will ask about your budget. Having a realistic budget in mind will help me tailor your trip to your needs and not send us on a wild goose chase.
COMPARE APPLES TO APPLES
Doing your research online is fine, but please know that when you tell me you saw a deal online for X amount of dollars, you most likely aren’t seeing the full story. You most likely aren’t seeing the taxes or the full value of what I as your travel advisor can get you. Show me what you saw, and I most likely can poke a thousand holes in it. Then I will show you what the price of the package really is, and what it is when I pull together your trip with value tailored just to you.
WE ARE NOT ORDER TAKERS
This is what separates us from online agencies. The internet does not care who you are, but travel advisors do. As a result, we do more than just book the trip. We get to know you, your likes, your dislikes, your preferences. We are your advocates from the time we start working together until your return home. The creation of your dream vacation is a collaboration between us, so be prepared for many conversations in the course of the planning.
WE ARE HUMAN
As much as we want to create the best vacation possible for you, please understand that we are human. There are only 24 hours in a day and in addition to all our fantastic clients, we have families to tend to and occasionally need to step away from our computers and need to sleep. So if I don’t respond to your 2:00 am email or your Sunday afternoon text right away, please don’t take it personally. You know I will get back to you as soon as possible. I always do. Please be patient.
THE EARLIER YOU BOOK, THE BETTER
I understand that life gets in the way and sometimes it’s unavoidable to plan a last- minute trip. But if there is any way possible to plan ahead, then do so. And by planning ahead, I mean 6 months to a year. By waiting to the last minute, you run into very low inventory and very high prices, both of which make for a less than optimal vacation. At the same time, be realistic. We can’t book airfare more than 330 days out so if you want a trip further out than that, I may only be able to get you your hotel or cruise (I have cruises booked for people 2 years out) and then we work in the air later. In a case like that, pulling your whole trip together may be done over a year.
WE ARE NOT MAGICIANS
Piggybacking on the above, we are not magicians and even though there is so much that travel advisors can do for you, we still have certain parameters to work within. We cannot pull inventory out of thin air, nor do we control the prices of hotels or flights. We have a lot of contacts, but none of us can control what does not exist. So when your flight gets canceled due to circumstances completely out of our control, understand that I am not happy about it either, but there is nothing I can do but work to find you an alternate arrangement.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK
Do you have a special request for your vacation? Do you want a special dinner on the beach? A holiday meal catered? A private tour or help with a marriage proposal? Just ask!! Don’t be afraid! I have contacts with suppliers, tour operators, and destination management companies all over the world. There is so much I can help make happen that an online travel agency cannot. If I can’t help, I’ll tell you, but the answer to the unasked questions will always be a no.
DON’T ASK US TO DO ANYTHING UNETHICAL OR ILLEGAL
I will not entertain any request that involves lying about ages, sneaking extra people into resorts or hotels, or circumventing any sort of entry or exit requirement or restriction for a particular country. Do not ask (and yes, people have).
MAKE THE MEMORIES
My job is to the all the work so all you have to do is make the memories. Go ahead and enjoy!
Are you ready to plan your next amazing, beautiful vacation? I’m ready for you! Just let me know!
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