By Susan Sherren for Couture Trips Published 7/1/21 2:30 PM CST
Dispelling Myths Travel has become more complex in the last year. Trip cancellations have been on the rise, and many travelers have curbed their desire to roam the globe. The pandemic has ravaged the travel industry. While many have flocked to Expedia and other do it yourself travel sites, is that really a good strategy in the current pandemic environment? What seems to be the resistance to partnering with an expert in the travel field? Well, let’s dispel some myths upfront. Most people would not dare fix an electrical or plumbing issue themselves. So, why is it that travelers feel so inclined to go it alone when it comes to planning and booking travel? Well, let’s examine some facts, Expedia and other independent booking engines have their place. But if you desire five-star customer service, these platforms might not be for you. Yes, their discounts can be beneficial, but you pay for what you get, as the old adage states. Often your travel advisor can match these prices but add in a bit of actual customer care and service. Computer generated travel planning/purchasing is often quite sterile and void of any real service. Basically, it's a click and pay type of dance.
Travel Experts, Yes We Are The Experts On the other hand, travel consultants are obsessed with customer service and are passionate about all things related to travel. I know travel advisors who will virtually follow their clients throughout their journey- making phone calls, emailing suppliers and double-checking their client’s itinerary, so their experience is a flawless and seamless one. You might even be surprised to find a welcome gift awaiting you at your destination. Yes, we love to dote on our clients too. Don’t forget that travel consultants are usually up to speed on the latest and greatest in travel. You won’t find yourself booked into a hotel that is being renovated or one that is past its prime. We like to book our clients into best rooms and ones preferably with a view- we love the best real estate available whether its a cruise ship or remote hotel. Plus, we can configure the most amazing itineraries that include restaurant booking or hard to get event tickets. Usually, good advisors will listen to their clients and plan accordingly. A quick tip- make sure your advisor is an ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors) certified. Only travel with the best. ASTA has a stringent certification process to ensure your advisor is a pro.
Insurance Decisions The pandemic has muddied the travel waters. If anyone thinks baulking on travel insurance amid a pandemic is a good idea, then I have some swampland in Florida to sell you. It is a foolish idea to travel without travel insurance these days, especially if you are leaving the shores of the U.S. To make matters more complex- what kind of insurance do you need? What do the specific policies cover? Does my health insurance offer add-ons for out of the country itineraries? Yes, you can now see that this isn’t so straightforward. A travel advisor has the tools to help you navigate these turbulent waters. Plus, you most likely will be able to ring them up night or day in the event of an emergency or a change in plans. Many discount platforms will keep you on hold for hours, not an excellent way to spend your precious vacation days. Just ask some of those individuals who were stuck in various countries trying to scramble home during the pandemic's border shut downs across the globe. Those with dedicated travel advisors fared much better and had a less stressful experience navigating the hairy experience of getting back home. Yes, travel advisors were up all hours- day and night advocating for their clients during this turbulent time period. We have your back and we work diligently for you.
Will It Cost Me More? The big question that looms in people’s minds is, will it cost me more? Well, that depends on your itinerary in most cases. If your advisor charges a planning fee, then you are paying for professional services. Yes, travel consultants are professionals. If you pop over to the dentist, yes, it isn’t free. But again, you pay for what you get. Most of the time, these planning fee schedules are nominal when compared to your overall vacation's bottom line costs. You might be surprised that your advisor will be able to add in complementary services or vouchers for additional perks that you would not of be able to access if you are doing it yourself. If you value your time away from the office and your family obligations, then paying a few dollars to a professional makes sense. If you want to travel with a lifeline and need a less stressful experience, then ring us up and don’t go it alone even if it appears your saving a few bucks; in most cases, you’re not. Couture Trips has dedicated travel advisors waiting to work for you anytime and yes that means night or day. Visit www.CoutureTrips.com to schedule a free complimentary consultation.