Monday, September 13, 2021

Why a travel advisor is more important than ever

With so much information readily available on the internet, is there any reason to work with a travel advisor when planning a trip?

The short answer is Yes.  Especially now.

If you’re anxious to go somewhere, anywhere, after a long dry spell due to the pandemic, you probablyrealize that that the travel landscape has changed significantly. And it changes every week. 

A travel advisor listens and suggests.
Countries like Sweden no longer allow Americans to visit. Others still require 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Quantas, the Australian airline, now requires a vaccination to fly. Italy began requiring a Covid test to enter the country just a week ago. Additional countries are regularly added to the CDC “avoid” list, meaning they are level 4 or higher. Navigating the changes can be tricky at best and devastating for your vacation if a requirement is overlooked.

Beyond Covid-related issues, a travel agent or advisor can help you get the best value for your travel dollar and help ensure your travels go smoothly. Here’s why you need the assistance of a professional.

If you don't know where you want to go,
a travel advisor can help with plans. 
Help with planning.  Travel agents can help you sort through thousands of options. Because they are familiar with the logistics of traveling to different places, they can help you avoid disappointment.

Say you want to go on a cruise. You’re fully vaccinated and the ship you’ve chosen requires a high percentage of vaccinated passengers and staff. But have you checked out the status of each port on the itinerary? If a destination is rated 3 or 4 it’s possible that the ship may not be allowed to dock, or if it docks, passengers may not be allowed to disembark.

I was anxious to cruise again,
but decided to wait. 

We recently cancelled a cruise because 4 of the 7 ports were level 4 and the others were level 3. We didn’t want to take a chance on not being able to visit the places for which we booked the cruise originally. This holds true also on land tours if museums, restaurants, and other attractions happen to be closed or operating at minimal levels. Ever-changing restrictions can result in disappointment if you are not allowed into a special place.

Help with cancellation or delay.  We just returned from a trip to Italy that had been rescheduled three times. The advisor company covered any additional expenses that resulted from the delays, rescheduled all activities and tours, and reworked parts of our itinerary as needed. We didn’t have to deal with the challenges of making everything fit together.

If you’re working with a third party, the agent can facilitate getting a refund or future credit. Also, you have someone to call if anything goes wrong while you’re on the trip.

Help with getting the best value. As travel picks up, many companies are offering low prices and incentives to attract travelers. Travel agents often know about special deals and will know how much your trip should cost. An advisor can sort through the options and find those with the best prices, best service, and most perks.

We wanted to visit northern Italy.

Help with personal requests.
Set tours may go to places you’ve already seen or that you have little interest in. A travel advisor can suggest an itinerary that fits your specific needs and desires. This can be especially helpful if you have dietary needs, accessibility issues, or just want to do something a little weird or off the beaten path. 

An advisor can arrange guides and/or drivers if needed as well as accommodations, so you don’t have to research all the details and then hope your information is good. Many have traveled extensively themselves and can make recommendations based on their insights and experiences.

We wanted to hike in the Dolomites (Alps).

Whether you need help from start to finish for your trip or just need someone to fill in the gaps, a travel professional can help assure that your vacation goes as smoothly as possible.

Photos from free sources.





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