It is the key for Stress-Free Adventures
In a world full of DIY options, you might wonder, "Why choose a travel advisor?"
If you find yourself shocked that using travel advisors is “still a thing”, you may be surprised to learn that 50% of travelers reported that they are more likely to use a travel advisor post-pandemic and ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors) has also indicated that 68% of travelers have reported that travel is more complex in a post-pandemic world.
While online booking platforms may promise travel deals and convenience for self-planned trips, there are numerous compelling reasons why opting to work with me can elevate your entire travel experience.
Let me take a moment to shed light on the invaluable benefits I can bring to the table.
Building a relationship with me as your travel advisor can be extremely beneficial, especially when it comes to personalizing your travel plans.
From flights and accommodations to activities and dining, I will take care of every detail, creating a tailored itinerary that maximizes the value of your budget. I will take the time to get to know your preferences down to what seats you prefer while flying. I will also pay attention to the details, including whether you're a sunrise or sunset person, and make sure to reserve a room with a view that matches your preference.
When you book travel independently, especially when searching for deals, you often get the basics without any consideration for your specific travel needs or preferences. Large companies will often suggest “cookie cutter” itineraries to you without any room for personalization.
Our relationship with each other goes beyond just convenience, it's also about creating a personalized experience so you can have a more enjoyable and meaningful journey.
Expert Destination Knowledge
Navigating through the endless options of destinations can be very overwhelming. I possess in-depth knowledge of various destinations, including the best times to visit, local customs, where to eat and must-see attractions. Whether it is being trained as a specialist or having been there in person, I have spent a lot of time getting to know the places you want to travel.
Your trip should be completely tailored to your desires. That’s why I combine your preferences with our destination knowledge when building your itinerary. My destination knowledge also allows me to match you with the perfect destination, giving you the best value for your vacation time and budget.
Often, I have firsthand experience and can give you tips and advice from personal experience instead of knowledge you may have just read about. This type of knowledge can be extremely helpful and possibly even make the difference between an average trip and an amazing trip.
Imagine the peaceful feeling you will have when you free yourself from the stress of research and utilize my expertise for your next vacation.
We have talked about the importance of a customized itinerary and how my destination knowledge can help you have an amazing vacation, but there is another major service I provide.
I can save you time.
When it is necessary to get on the phone to talk to a supplier, I will do this for you. This means no more time spent sitting on hold for hours to talk to the vacation vendor, airline, or hotel. I will also get on the phone on your behalf if there are any travel disruptions, determine the best possible resolution, and take care of the changes for you.
This will result in stress-free planning and a better travel experience for you. I provide these services to give you the peace of mind that a professional is at your side throughout your journey, ensuring that you can relax and enjoy your vacation without worrying about the details.
Another way I provide peace of mind is by being your advocate. Throughout the planning process, I make sure your best interest is at the forefront. I will advocate for you through every step of the way. In the unpredictable world of travel, having an advocate by your side is truly invaluable. I will be here to address any concerns, navigate unexpected challenges, and provide support throughout your journey.
Focused on Value and Exclusive Perks
It may surprise you to know I am not searching for the best deal for our clients. Rather, I am searching for how to get the best value for your budget.
Through industry connections and insider knowledge, I have access to exclusive travel resources, partnerships, and perks that you won't find elsewhere. Additionally, I will spot hidden fees and provide transparent pricing, preventing unwelcome surprises. Imagine enjoying upgrades, special amenities, and unique experiences that elevate your travel experience to a whole new level.
From time-saving expertise to personalized itineraries and cost efficiency, the benefits of working with me are more evident and essential than ever before.
So, the next time you plan a getaway, consider partnering with me for a personalized, stress-free, and truly memorable experience. Your adventure awaits!
If you would like to learn more about how I can personally enhance your travel experience, fill out our contact form.
Ocean Cruising 101
First-time cruiser? I’m sure you’ve got a million questions, but there’s no need to lose sleep wondering about how it will all go. We are here to help! Here’s what you need to know about getting on and off the cruise ship.
This is the process used by cruise ships to verify everyone who will be sailing with them. Most likely, you will have a time slot at which you will be scheduled to arrive. Drop off your luggage with the porters. It will be scanned by security and delivered to your cabin. From there, go to check in. You will need all of the documentation required by your cruise line.
We recommend that you bring a carry-on bag. It will hold medications, valuables, your laptop and other electronics, sunscreen, and a change of clothes.
Once you are cleared to board, smile for the cameras (there are many) and walk the gangway onto the ship. Your vacation has officially started! Don’t expect to go to your cabin right away. Instead, find a place to eat lunch and grab a drink.
Before the ship leaves port, there will be a mandatory muster drill. This is a safety exercise designed to familiarize all passengers with the location where they are to assemble in the unlikely event of an emergency. When finished, the cruise ship horn will blow as people gather on the lido deck to wave goodbye to dry land.
From there you will be free to enjoy your cruise and all the ship has to offer. If you have any questions, you can visit guest relations. They will also be able to help you with any services you did not schedule prior to the cruise such as specialty dining reservations, spa treatments, and shore excursions.
Preparing to leave the ship will actually start on the last full day of your cruise, and your cruise director will hold a briefing to go over disembarkation procedures. We highly recommend attending this meeting, especially if it is your first cruise. They will share any forms which may need to be filled out prior to clearing customs. They will also explain options that are available for taking your luggage off the ship.
If you are going to have the cruise line carry your luggage off the ship, you will pack your bags, and set them out in the hallway between 10:00 pm and midnight. They will be picked up and carried down for disembarkation. You won’t see them again until you are off of the ship, so be sure to hang on to anything you may need overnight. The stories you’ve heard about passengers leaving the ship in the same clothes they wore the night before are true!
Early the next morning, your ship will be cleared by the port authorities and disembarkation will begin. It will take about three hours for all the passengers to leave the ship. If you opted to carry your luggage off the ship instead of having the crew move it for you, bring it with you when you leave your room. You will be responsible for your luggage and will not receive any help with it.
You will likely be assigned a group and time for disembarkation. Once your group is called it will only take about 15 minutes. While you are waiting, you may grab a bite to eat or take advantage of any last-minute sales happening on the ship. Be mindful that most of the crew are helping with disembarkation or preparing for the next group of passengers so many public places and restaurants may be closed.
The final step is to go through customs. Porters are not available to help you with this process. You may be required to show the immigration official your passport and forms. Some passengers may be required to meet with immigration officials prior to leaving the ship. Because rules change based on the country of disembarkation and nationality of the passenger, it is best to follow all the instructions given onboard.
Cruising is so much fun and is truly a great way to see the world. Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to get you on a ship! Let’s set up a time to discuss your first cruise.
Do you enjoy traveling to multiple destinations but just hate the thought of having to unpack multiple times? Perhaps an ocean cruise is for you? Except for river cruises, what other type of travel allows you to visit different countries/destinations while only unpacking once? However, many people will not consider an ocean cruise due to misconceptions they have about them. These are the typical reasons why travelers won’t give an ocean cruise any consideration.
1. Cruises are for old folks.
Perhaps in the earlier years of the cruising industry you would find mostly senior adults aboard a cruise. However, apart from some cruises that cater to senior adults, most cruise lines are very family-friendly. Therefore, you will find passengers of all ages.
2. Cruise food is terrible.
One of the things many cruisers enjoy is the endless food found aboard. While some cruise lines do prepare better food than others, in general the vast culinary experience is nothing to balk about. Even the pickiest of eaters can find something they’ll enjoy aboard a cruise.
3. There isn’t enough to do on a cruise.
If you cannot find something to do aboard your cruise, then you must not be looking very hard! Whether you want to relax at the spa, enjoy some sun by the pool, play trivia games, learn to dance, enjoy quality entertainment and much, much more, there is something going on throughout the entire day. You can stay as busy or be as relaxed as you want aboard an ocean cruise.
4. I don’t want to get seasick.
If you are prone to getting seasick, then yes, you may want to stay away from the smaller cruise ships. However, you are not as susceptible of feeling much movement on large cruise ships. Your stateroom location is very important if you are prone to getting seasick. So, be sure to talk with your travel advisor to help find the best location on board your ship that will help minimize the effects of motion sickness.
5. Too many people on a cruise.
There is no denying this, particularly when talking about the mega ships. However, the various cruise lines do a good job at keeping everyone entertained and moving around to minimize the feeling of being crowded. Your travel advisor can help find the right cruise ship if large crowds aren’t your thing.
6. Cruises are bad for the environment.
Cruises have received negative publicity over the years regarding pollution, destroying sea life, etc. However, cruise lines can no longer afford to ignore the environmental issues. From minimizing single use items such as straws and plastic bottles, to recycling, using natural fuels and other initiatives, the cruise lines are doing their part to help protect the environment.
7. Cruises are expensive.
There is a cruise for every budget. For those willing to go last minute and don’t care about the location of your stateroom, you can catch some great last-minute deals. Like airlines and hotels, cruise lines want every stateroom sold. So, they will deeply discount any unsold rooms within a couple of weeks of sailing. While you might want a nice balcony room, but your budget says otherwise, consider an Oceanview (with a window) or an interior stateroom (no window). Be up front with your travel advisor about your budget so he/she can help find the right cruise for you.
Most passengers who get past the misconceptions they have about cruises and sail on one will find they had a great time and are ready to sail again. So, if you still have some reservations about ocean cruising, be sure to talk about it with your travel advisor. You might be surprised and ready to book immediately.
Four Reasons why travel advisors are more relevant than ever
There have been a few major events in history that have impacted the travel industry. Things like 9/11, the invention of the internet, and the Coronavirus pandemic have caused travel agencies to make changes in order to stay relevant and serve their clients well. What are those changes, and how do they affect you? Let’s look at a few key items so you can see why using an advisor is more relevant than ever.
#1 Travel Insurance Is Vital, It’s No Longer Just a Suggestion Prepandemic, it was common to chance traveling without travel insurance. But now, with all the changes and requirements of travel, it’s more important than ever before. To accommodate, agencies and advisors have taken necessary steps to learn great products in order to make recommendations based on your needs. This also goes for testing, documentation, and ever-changing requirements. When you work with an advisor, they will be able to recommend the best travel insurance for you, as well as monitor any destination and/or testing requirements so you are prepared and ready to travel without the added hassle or risk.
#2: Planning Travel Is Complicated!
There are so many moving parts to travel though that hasn’t always been the case! Booking a vacation used to be far less complicated than it is now. Thanks to technology and ongoing learning, many advisors are adopting a new way of taking care of their clients. New school methods are client-centric and are about crafting a trip for you, rather than just picking a pre-made trip package. Technology has also allowed advisors to have better, more accurate information than what is “Google-able” by you as a consumer.
#3 Booking with A Travel Agent Is Not Transactional, It’s Relational No one likes to be ghosted, especially when you’re shelling out your own hard-earned money. Nowadays, advisors tend to establish a working, ongoing relationship with clients. That’s why many in the industry are no longer just called “agents” (someone who creates bookings) but now go by something more effective like “advisor” or “consultant” (implying a deeper level of service). They are there to take care of you.
#4 Advisors Have Access to Systems That the General Public Does Not Travel advisors have an entire world of systems and tools at their disposal, far beyond what you can see as a consumer. What’s more, these systems and tools give advisors access to virtually anything. The trips advisors can create for you are so much more than you could create for yourself. Additionally, advisors make a point to build great relationships with vendors and other advisors, as well as continually learn, train, and network to bring you an even greater experience.
With so many changes overall to the travel industry, it is best to rely on experts for your travel planning. Most people hire an accountant to do their taxes or a mechanic to fix their vehicle, simply because there are too many unknowns and too many risks that come from doing it on their own. Apply this same concept to travel and leave planning to a true expert in the industry. We challenge you to put us to the test! Schedule a complimentary vacation consultation to see what we can do for you.