Travel consultants sometimes seem ubiquitous in our world of instant gratification.
Anyone can log on to the online travel agent of your choosing and book themselves a flight or vacation package to anywhere in the world at any time. At the same time, with so many different travel options available to you all the time, how do you know that you are getting the best deal?
Suddenly, the value of a good travel consultant becomes invaluable.
Not only do I see everything that you see, but I also see the things you do not.
This means that I have access to hundreds of additional travel vendors and suppliers that are not publicly available, and can leverage greater discounts as a result of my affiliation with a larger agent consortium.
Then, based on basic trip information clients provide me, I can quickly narrow down the vendors and suppliers to build the right itinerary for clients balancing budget and overall experience. This saves clients the time and hassle from bouncing from website to website scouring for the best deal. In fact, my prices and packages are often less expensive or provide greater value than what clients can find on their own.
And perhaps most importantly, there is something to be said about connecting with a real person who really understands travel.
I mapped out my travels since 1999 and I’ve covered a great deal of territory over the last 14 years – 35 countries on most continents (with many repeats to several countries since then). My husband will tell you he has been to 41.
What this (hopefully) conveys is that this travel consultant knows how to travel.
Regardless of whether I’m headed to a war zone (which is known to happen from time to time) or a favorite vacation destination, I have found that there are some universal travel truths (like always pack clean underwear in your carry-on luggage!) that apply in any travel situation.
For clients, this means that you can expect personalized guidance on a variety of travel topics – what to do/see, packing, visas, transportation, safety and security, mileage and other travel reward programs – that your online travel agent simply cannot provide.
I have worked with clients who have never traveled outside of the U.S. before and also with very experienced world travelers who simply did not have the time (or know which resources to tap into) to put together a multi-city summer vacation to Spain or Africa.
I think that online travel agents are great tools for travelers who know exactly where they are going and what they want to do when they get there.
And for those who need a little extra help planning out that perfect itinerary or simply do not have the time to do it themselves?
There is always Curious Tourist.
Are you ready to get lost?