Is using the services of a travel advisor for everyone? Absolutely not. In fact, I get questions all the time where I’m more than happy to tell someone they would probably be better off not using my services. At the end of the day, if what you value doesn’t line up with what I provide, we aren’t going to be a good fit. Here are six of the top categories where I think it makes sense not to contact me.
If you have traveled extensively and you enjoy the research and planning yourself.
There are people out there that know far more than me about traveling, and have visited a destination enough times to make them a mini expert. I would probably turn to them for advice. If that’s you, AND you like the research, planning, and booking of it all, then you certainly don’t need me.
If the "Top 10" things to do on Trip Advisor is sufficient.
There is nothing wrong with the reviews on Trip Advisor . But there are many ways that these type of websites fall short when planning customized vacation itineraries. So, if tailor-made is not for you, these will give you all you need to know about what is popular in your destination of choice. My services differ because I create itineraries based on client's interests, not just the touristy activities that are on a top 10 list.
If you're only interested in getting the cheapest price on everything.
The race to the lowest cost is not one I am trying to win. If price is the first and only thing that matters to you, then you are probably looking at your travel advisor to provide some sort of discount. There is a place to find that online, as long as you realize that there are many factors that aren’t considered with a cost only approach. I want to help you get the best value for your vacation, and the itineraries I design will reflect that. But if there isn’t an appreciation for work being done that you would enjoy, as well as not be able to do yourself, then a relationship with a travel advisor might not be best for you. Online is great for finding lowest cost (i.e. Groupon, Priceline, etc.) but my next point is something to keep in mind when you choose that option.
If you don't mind getting stuck with the worst hotel room available.
One thing I don’t think a lot of travelers realize is that hotels know how you booked your room, and the type of room and level of service you receive will reflect that. When you book on Orbitz, Expedia, or through a Groupon for instance, a hotel will see what you paid for the room, and not consider you a loyal customer. Basically, you get what you pay for. That dark, corner room that has a view of the dumpster? It’s not going to be given to a client I’m sending to a property, because there are relationships that exist in this industry that are valued on both sides. Additionally, in anticipation of your arrival many travel advisors, like myself, reach out to the property directly to ensure the details of your stay are as they should be.
If you hate free stuff.
Just kidding- I know you don't hate free stuff, but you might not realize that using a travel advisor can help you gain added benefits or a little extra special attention. Is it always this way? No. But often we leverage our relationships and connections to the benefit of our clients. Why? Because we want you to feel special when you travel, and we will do our best to help you get that early check-in or upgrade when possible.
If attention to detail and thoughtfulness isn't that important to you.
I treat my client’s travel as if it were my own. That means I am thinking of the little things that I know will make a difference. I always want you to feel that working with me made your experience better.
Working with a travel advisor is not a one size fits all. Understand what you value, and take a good look at whether or not what I do helps get you there.If you didn't find yourself on this list, feel free to contact me when it's time to plan your next vacation!
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Ann Jones, CTC, MCC