Thankfully, with vaccine rollouts earlier this year, travel has begun a steady rebound. My own re-entry into travel mirrored the experiences of many other travelers. At first, I felt the safest driving to the Smokey Mountains National Park for fresh air and plenty of social distancing. With a vaccination, I had the confidence to fly domestically again, and, ultimately, to visit Europe.
Much about traveling hasn’t changed — that excitement you feel when you finalize your plans, second-guessing your packing strategy and the fact that every seat on the plane is full. But many things have changed, from simple mask mandates to changing testing requirements and border controls. These days, travel is much more complex. Call me biased (spoiler alert: I am!), but whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, you need the services of a professional travel advisor.
Planning stages: We travel advisors are passionate travelers ourselves. We can give you first-person experience and insight to create a customized vacation plan suited to your needs and budget. We’ll listen and help you sort through the plethora of choices to make your travel dreams come true.
Most importantly, your travel advisor will also ensure that you know all the current protocols for travel, relieving a great deal of stress.
Making reservations: Travel advisors will save you time and money. And possibly your sanity. If you’ve ever spent hours researching and attempting to book anything even remotely out of the ordinary online, it can be infuriating. Got questions about an exotic honeymoon or complex business travel? The internet doesn’t call back, but we are real humans who are happy to answer your questions. Airlines and cruise lines don’t make any effort to advise you if your price goes down after your purchase, but travel advisors do. We truly care about our travelers.
We also develop relationships with our travel vendors and can often secure exclusive amenities for you. With travel advisor connections, you might get a room upgrade, a resort credit or a complimentary late check out. We can use our insider access to secure a private museum tour or an authentic visit with a local family that you could never arrange on your own.
During travel: Booking reservations is just the beginning of the process. Your travel advisor is looking out for your interests from the planning stages until you return home. It’s not just numbers and money to us. It’s about you having an exceptional experience. You get to travel with us in your back pocket, just in case.
Again, we use our network of contacts to make sure things go smoothly, and if something does go wrong, we are your advocate and fixer. If your hotel says your Oceanfront Junior Suite isn’t available and puts you in a room overlooking the parking lot dumpster, we’ll call the person in charge and work out an acceptable solution.
Why use a travel advisor? Travel is one of your most important investments of time, money and life experiences. You may be able to cut your own hair, represent yourself in court or stitch up a cut, but you probably don’t. You leave the important things to the professionals. Your travel should be on that list. For your next trip, do yourself a favor — contact your favorite travel advisor.