Welcome to our new monthly series: Advice from our Advisors. Each month, our network of luxury travel advisors will answer your questions on all things travel, sharing their expertise and personal experiences to help make your travel dreams come true.
In this inaugural article, we dive into a topic that often arises: the role of travel advisors in today's digital age. It's not uncommon to hear people express surprise at the existence of travel advisors, assuming that online booking platforms have rendered their services obsolete. However, as seasoned travel advisors, we are here to assure you that we are far from being on the outs.
Let us set the scene. You are finally ready to start planning that trip to _________(use your imagination here). You're thinking about everything imaginable from the flights you need to purchase, to the hotel, food and activities. This is something you have always only dreamed of, until this point where it is a reality.
As you are in the early stages of planning, you are realizing that no matter how much research you do, and recommendations you receive from others, you aren't exactly the expert on this destination. That's okay! The planning process can be overwhelming and you truly dont know, what you dont know. Have you thought about asking an expert to plan your trip? After all, this sounds like something you have been dreaming about for quite some time now... But is it worth the money to pay a travel advisor to do the leg work to plan this trip?
We asked our network of GTN advisors for how they respond to potential clients who ask them this very question and got some fantastic insight!
GTN Advisor Nicole Shipper of Trips By Nic shared, with her, it's personal.
I always tell prospects and clients that with me it is personal and they have a direct line to call/text me with questions or any issues that come up. With Amex or another online booking tool- they’ll be calling a generic number and speaking to someone different each time. Also, online platforms are not able to make recommendations based on the client specifically and only offer generic one size fits all options. Everything we do is unique and custom to that client! Oh and the perks and VIP treatment at 5 star hotels are just the cherry on top and bonus of working with us!
GTN Advisor Ajanaclair Wise of Ajanaclair Wise Travel stated: with her it's collaborative.
Travel is enriching and fun, but putting it all together is very time consuming, unless you just want to wing it. However, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation if you didn't want some type of plan. That is where I come in. I am your travel advisor, designer and consultant. We collaborate to create an itinerary that suits you. I make recommendations for hotels and tours based on the experience you desire to have on your vacation, so you can experience the place and not just go there. I only recommend places where someone on my team or in my network has been or has otherwise been properly vetted. So you know the place exists and lines up with your desire for your vacation. Same for tours and experiences.
I save you countless hours of going down the trip advisor and other review site rabbit hole. I structure your itinerary so that your trip is efficient, and you are not zigzagging all over the place. When a problem arises, I am the one on hold and making the behind the scenes phone calls, so that you can still enjoy your vacation. This is all stuff you can do for yourself, but the question is do you want to?"
GTN Advisor Stephanie Goldberg- Glazer of Live Well, Travel Often shared: with her it's all about sharing her experience.
I actually get this a lot. And then, after a few minutes of conversation, they realize how vast my experience is and how l can help and add value. People read headlines about OTAs or AI planning trips and have no idea that if you use someone knowledgable and empathetic, you can have a much better trip, you can potentially save money, and you can certainly save a whole lot of hassles. Working with one of our preferred partners, two separate sets of clients were in Greece when a ferry strike occurred. Our partner booked them on flights, called us for the payment information, sent us what was needed for their insurance claim, and got the clients on their way with zero interruption to their plans.
GTN Advisor Dianna Hetzel of Mer Bleue shared: with her, it's all about the details.
The one-on-one attention, expert insight into the destination, established relationships with suppliers, being in your corner to handle travel hiccups if they happen, our access to other destination experts, piece of mind so you can enjoy the trip, and we bring value to the trip by saving time, stress and frustration. It’s just like other service such as hair, nails, interior designers, etc. You can do it yourself, but the time and outcome of using a professional results in a better experience with less time and effort. Time and energy, both during planning and while traveling, are all money!
GTN Advisor Wendy Chambers of Victory Travel shared: with her, it's all about adding value.
A travel advisor is very different from a travel agent. An advisor is experienced focused, hence why they are normally out in the world visiting new places with highly vetted travel partners. They want to experience the 5-star hotel before advising a client of where they should stay. A travel agent is usually office bound, task orientated with limited access and involvement in the trip itself. I am very passionate about this subject as I love to share the true value a travel advisor brings to each and every client.
In a world where technology has made booking travel easier than ever, the role of a travel advisor might seem obsolete to some. However, the insights, expertise, and personalized attention offered by travel advisors are invaluable. They go beyond generic recommendations and cookie-cutter itineraries to create unique and customized experiences tailored to individual preferences. With their dedication, industry connections, and problem-solving abilities, travel advisors prove time and again that their services are worth the investment.
Remember, you deserve a journey that exceeds your expectations. Let a GTN advisor be your trusted guides in crafting unforgettable travel experiences.