Walt Disney said, “It takes people to make the dream a reality”.
Now that you’ve realized the benefit of using a travel advisor, how do you do it? A good travel advisor serves to help you build the trip you desire and then takes care of the details.
Like any good relationship, the first step is chemistry. By that, I mean that you need to feel comfortable and open with this person.
Clear communication is key to any strong relationship and a travel advisor is no exception. The more openly you convey your vision of the trip, the more effectively it can be matched to the multitude of options possible.
I think of trip designing like doing a jigsaw puzzle; there are numerous pieces to assemble to form the picture. Doing a puzzle is far more effective when you know the picture you are forming, which is why I probe and question.
Some of the pieces are basic, like the puzzle edges. Personally, that’s where I start in doing any puzzle – with the edge assembled. That includes:
- Who is traveling.
- Where you want to travel; this may not be exact destination(s), but an idea of the world region you are targeting is fundamental.
- Dates of travel; these can vary within a time frame but an open-ended “any time” won’t work. Dates of travel dramatically affect pricing, so narrowing the options from 52 weeks in a year is essential. If you don’t know more than the season of travel, provide any dates that are not possible so I don’t waste time on those.
Those are just a few examples of the questions that we might review while discussing your trip desires. The more clearly I see what you are thinking, the closer I will come to matching that.
Typically, I will provide 3 or 4 lodging suggestions as a starting point. Especially with new clients, part of what I’m seeking is to gain feedback and learn what appeals to you and what does not.
The essential thing to remember is that I’m not emotionally attached to any of my suggestions. I’m offering ideas but will not be offended if I’m not yet on target. Tell me what you want changed or what you do not like, and I will be able to obtain it. Looking at the jigsaw puzzle, I want to be certain I’m fitting the picture you also have; if not, we need to clarify and be sure we’re working on the same image.
Once the basic trip design is in place, there are the last pieces, which are sometimes the hardest to fit. But without them, the picture is incomplete, so the travel advisor role is to ascertain those are in place. These include the excursions, events and details like destination information, airport details, etc.
In finalizing the picture, our travel advisors will provide a document packet with all your applicable paperwork and vouchers. Also included is an itinerary overview, with an at-a-glance detail of your daily plans. This is also an opportunity to assure that your trip is turn-key, taking you from your front door and back again.
With that completed puzzle, our clients have an individualized plan to provide a memorable trip. As one couple with whom I just completed a honeymoon said, “this was the simplest part of the entire process of getting married, thanks to your hard work”. If we can help you ease the process of trip planning, contact me at: [email protected] .