Choosing The Right Travel Professional For You
Choosing the perfect travel professional to collaborate with can be as much of a challenge as finding the perfect home. It can be lots of work to find someone who not only gets you and who is also client driven. Especially in a microwave speed of light culture where everybody wants everything done right now. Even a good spirit is usually aged 10 years. So what’s the rush? Are you fearful of missing out on a better choice? Or are you reacting to the culture and society in general and the demands that are made of our time? You should take your time when searching for a travel professional that will hold your families dreams in their hands. And hopefully treasure them in their heart as well. I’m here to help you with some tips of what to look for when searching for the perfect travel professional for you.
Does it matter who you work with? I mean doens’t every travel agent do the same thing? They’re all the same right? The answers are yes it matters, no they don’t all do the same thing, and they are NOT all created equal. Let me explain by using my agency as an example. My agency specializes in luxury travel - think small ships, small group experiences (tours) and boutique (hotel) properties; group travel - think 10 or more travelers, families, churches, organizations and affinity (bourbon clubs, wine clubs, book clubs, dining clubs, knitting clubs, etc) and independent travel - think “I want to travel the way I want to travel” which may include private tours, cooking classes, Eat With Experiences and exploring on your own. My agency is a small boutique agency that focuses on service - think mobility (we come to you), high levels of service with YOU in mind not the suppliers and we treat you like family because you become family through the relationship we nourish with you. We work with a limited number of clients so we have time to meet with you to ensure your experience is highly personalized without sacrificing quality. What we do isn’t transactional, its relational and very personal. We collaborate with you to achieve your travel goals.
Is my agency a good fit for everyone? No. There are travelers who have no desire for that level of service. Think about all the people you know who either enjoy doing all the research on their own or are so afraid of missing out on the “cheapest” vacation, that they will look for the lowest rates to save a dime. (I have literally had clients want to cancel and rebook because they could save $20.00. Of course this was in an old storefront life, I have since been reincarnated into the service I offer today.) Why wouldn’t we be a great combination? Usually because they don’t see the value that I offer and they aren’t really looking for value. They purchase based on price, not service. For these travelers online travel agencies are perfect as is booking directly with the supplier. It’s hard to convince someone of what you offer if they have never had a bad experience. It’s usually not until they have a bad experience that they realize that they cannot navigate the juggernaut on their own. It’s usually at that point when conversion happens. A great travel professional takes care of you. And they are available to you not just when it’s time to take your money. Or maybe you just need a little help, something that a storefront agency can do at no charge. (Yes there are agencies that don’t charge service fees for booking hotels and cars.) My agency doesn’t book piecemeal travel. We are an all or nothing type of gal. We are so dedicated to the service we provide that we don’t have time to invest in a booking that won’t yield a return (a relationship with you). You can find those one night stands elsewhere, were are your forever girl.
Some questions you should be able to answer when looking for someone to go on this life long journey with (working with a great travel professional is much like having a great marriage. It take trust, time and patience) are: Do they seem excited about my trip? Are they attentive to my needs? Are they committed to helping me reach my travel goals? Are they able to recap my needs (in other words were they even listening to what you were saying both spoken and unspoken)? Do they ask relevant questions? Do they offer suggestions? Are they honest? Are they dependable (if they can’t reach a deadline, do they tell you or do they say nothing leave you wondering)? Do they operate with integrity (if you ask them to do something questionable, do they advise you why they are not willing to do it and stand by their world even if it may cost them you as a client)? If they don’t have experience with a destination or supplier are they honest about it AND are they willing to learn about it? If they are really uncomfortable with it, are they willing to collaborate or refer you to a better qualified professional to ensure your needs are met? You need to ask these questions since chances are you will be booking all of your families travel with this person for years to come. You need peace of mind that you are in a safe space filled with trust.
Finding a great travel professional is much like finding a great spouse or partner, it takes time but the benefits are rewarding.
If you would like to schedule a complimentary 30 minute consultation to discuss your 2019 travel resolutions email email@example.com today.