And most importantly, should you get one?
Times of travel agencies are long gone. Those days when people were ripped off to fly around the corner and stay at a crappy 2 star hotel. Sometimes you got a good deal but mostly on last minute trips, when operators weren’t able to sell all of their packages. They have to fill those charter planes somehow, right? Unfortunately most of us don’t have the luxury of leaving on short notice and vacations need to be planned months ahead.
Agents were substituted for online travel agencies and people started to plan everything for themselves. That’s totally awesome… if you have the time and energy to do the needed research yourself.
But what if you don’t? Here comes a travel advisor, designer or whatever fancy name they use for their profession, skills. See an agent will give you a flight and a hotel recommendation matching your budget in minutes, it only takes a few clicks. There isn’t much work behind. A good travel designer works with you as he/she would be the one taking that same trip. Looks at every single detail, spends hours browsing through hotels just to find the one that fits you the most. Doesn’t matter if it’s a short hop to Paris or an around-the-world trip. You’re paying to save both time and hassle, you have the right to expect the highest level of service possible.
There are quite a few of us out there. So, how do you pick one? One word: EXPERIENCE! And I’m not talking about the one who sent the most people here or there last year, I’m talking about the one who was the one being here and there the last 10 years. Nothing beats first hand experience! You need someone well-traveled, someone who knows the difference between transferring in Heathrow or Hong Kong, someone who knows the difference between one business class and the other, someone who sat both in the last row of a 30 year old ATR72 and the first row of an A380, someone who stayed everywhere from little countryside lodges to luxurious Amans, someone who can give you the best advice because he/she lived it! Doesn't matter if your budget is $10,000 or $50,000 you still want to get the most bang for your bucks. You want someone who goes out of the way to make your trip memorable, You want expertise!
Is this a shameless self-promoting post? Absolutely not, it's just a short explanation of those services but since you ask, it's a pretty good reason to contact me… ;)
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