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Value in a Professional Travel Advisor

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After a recent conversation with a client I feel inspired to blog about the value in using a really good travel advisor.  I would also say that is not a one size fits all match when it comes to travel agents and clients.  There are many different types of travel agents out there and for now I will just talk about how I work with my clients.  I call myself an advisor because I am just that.  I find that the comparison to using myself and a financial advisor are very similar in nature.  Where a financial advisor helps you manage your money I help you manage your time and travel.

There are many ways for travelers to get their information now, online being the most popular, friends, acquaintances, family etc… Many times using these resources can lead you to a great time. This is not always the case though, and mostly because the people you are trusting may not have the same taste and experience in travel as you do. In cases of online you don’t always know who the person really is writing the review and if they have an agenda or ulterior motive.  For example if my neighbor loves and recommends a certain Thai restaurant that does not mean I will love it as well.  While I do not love spicy foods she probably says the hotter the better.  The longer I work with my clients and the more I get to know them, I can make recommendations based on their particular tastes and preferences.  

Just as a concierge at a hotel does, I work with clients throughout the entire planning process.   I have built my knowledge of the travel industry over the years, using my expertise I make recommendations based on what I feel is best for the client and what fits their needs.  It could takes more than a single proposal to create the perfect trip for the client, but this is what makes it a process and keeps the clients involved. 

I make my recommendations based on my knowledge, always welcoming questions.  This is how I work similar to a concierge.... I tailor experiences WITH clients to create experiences that they are comfortable with as well as experiences I'm comfortable with booking for them.  Some may not think it is worth paying a planning fee for my expertise, but I know this industry well.  My time is valuable and just as a lawyer, a financial planner, and other jobs in industries that involve time; I feel it is important for me to protect my time and my expertise.

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