The number one question we as advisors are asked in social settings is, “Wait – travel advisors still exist?!” The answer, of course, on a travel agency’s website is a resounding YES!
The follow-up questions are typically in how we work but, really, what people want to ask us is: “When will your services benefit me?” We’ve compiled a quick do’s and don’t’s of when you will find the most value out of engaging with a luxury travel agency.
DO: Use an Advisor for Big Trips & Complex Destinations
The most obvious answer on when to bring on an expert to do your travel planning is when you feel the most pressure of needing a partner and advocate on your side. Typically, that’s going to be in instances when you’ve got a lot of pressure to get it right. We’re looking at you, grooms who have been tasked with impressing your bride-to-be over honeymoon plans – and you, grandparents who are hoping to treat your family to celebrate your anniversary, but have to figure out how to entertain a guest list ranging in age from 7 months to 70 years.
Additionally, complex destinations are a great time to hire on an expert. You don’t have time to learn all of the ins and outs of your next vacation spot, and who wants to be responsible for figuring out their inter-Africa flights between safari lodges, anyway?! An advisor will spare you the time and headaches you would have had otherwise spending hours on Google trying to plan out your vacation.
DON’T: Use an Advisor if you love to DIY
Along those same lines, perhaps you’re the type of traveler who loves the thrill of that 2-in-the-morning Google research to learn all about the logistics of getting yourself from Nairobi to Zanzibar. If you absolutely live for the research and plan on continuing to research all elements of a trip even after you’ve hired an advisor, you probably shouldn’t be paying an advisor to help, as you’re now just doing double work over each other! While we do have many clients who are very hands-on when it comes to knowing and learning about their destination, the common denominator of the clients who very much enjoy working with travel advisors are those who value a professional’s time and expertise. If that’s not something you value, don’t try to convince yourself that it’s right for you – keep on DIY’ing! But, if you’re tired of trying to figure it all out and truly value a service-driven approach, consider using an advisor for your next trip and take a breather, let us do all the work!
DO: Use an Advisor for Adding Value (even on the smaller trips!)
At Epperly Travel, the majority of our clients meet us for the first time when they’re planning that big trip mentioned above, but the clients who get the most out of our services as the ones who continuously use us for all of their travels, regardless of how big or small. A great travel advisor spends a lot of time building up their network: the connections we have around the world and even around the street can add value to even a staycation or domestic getaway. We’ll always be transparent about where we can benefit you the most, but it never hurts to ask your advisor if they’ve got a personal in or even amenities at any 4 or 5 star, worldwide, even if you don’t need to plan out the rest of the trip.
Aside from those connections, simply having that partner on your side should you need anything at all makes your life a whole lot easier.
Imagine this: you’re planning a small cruise that you already have picked out and, instead of booking direct, you reach out to your trusted travel advisor book it. Instead of having to call a cruise line each and every time you have a question, you now have a dedicated individual who is managing your trip for you – makes it a lot easier to find out what time your dining choices are, doesn’t it?
DON’T: Use an Advisor if you aren’t open to suggestions
One of the goals of a great travel advisor is to educate our clients. Our very favorite client conversations are those where we get to bring value to the table by giving you great insight into a destination and, even further, great insight into YOUR trip. This might mean sticking our necks out and letting you know why a certain decision is or is not a good fit. For example, an excellent advisor is as candid as possible about the intersection of budget and quality. We’ll always take as much time as possible to inform our guests about what we believe is a realistic price point to achieve their goals. Usually, if there is a discrepancy between the price point you feel comfortable with and the quality or length of stay that you’re hoping your trip will be, we’ll take the time to educate you on why that is and what your choices are: perhaps it’s high season in that destination and we can achieve the price point by shaving off a night of the hotel stay, or scaling back the quality of the hotel.
At Epperly, our first question to our clients tends to be along the lines of, “Paint the picture – tell us what you’re dreaming of!” And our goal through the planning process is to bring that dream to life as close as we possibly can. Guests who are open to the suggestions we make understand that these are done so out of their best interest to keep that dream as in tact as possible!
If you’ve read through the above and are excited about the service, education and dedication that come with using an advisor, no matter how big or small your trip is, give us a shout – feel free to reach out over our Request a Trip form so we can get started bringing your next getaway to life!