I'm here to set the record straight. Google “Where should I stay on Maui” and you'll get 7.7 million results. With all that is required traveling with COVID, personalized vacation planning is one of the biggest benefits you can glean from hiring a travel advisor. There are over 22,000 Virtuoso Travel Advisors from all over the world. The lucky thing for you is that you know one already, me, waiting to make your travel dreams come true! Despite what you may have heard, we aren't trying to upsell you and no matter how well travelled you might be, Travel Advisors have way more connections, everywhere, than you do. #1 Travel Advisor is a fancy name for Travel Agent Think of Travel Advisors like your financial planner. You trust them, they have the knowledge to help you make decisions on spending your vacation dollars so that you get the most out of your investment. Travel agents are transactional, Travel Advisors are transformational. They make it their business to get to know you, and work with you to make it right. #2 Every Travel Advisor is the Same Travel Advisors have their own destination specialties and travel style preferences. We have specific interests such as family, adventure, romance, cruise travel or specialize in a destination like Italy or India. Most have leveraged our skills from previous careers to become experts in the kind of travel we prefer. If I'm not the perfect match for you, don't worry, I have over 300 colleagues that might be the perfect match to help you on your customized vacation. #3 It's expensive to use a travel advisor Travel Advisors earn commissions on the trips they plan which could be paid to us from cruise lines, hotels, and tour companies. (Almost every travel agent charges airline and ticket issuance fees.) Fees vary per trip and every advisor should be upfront about what they charge for the type of trip you are looking to take. Clients find that paying a planning fee knowing their entire trip is customized and vetted, also knowing they've got someone to call before during and after the trip is well worth it. Fees aside, travel advisors will probably save you money and provide value you can't access on your own such as complimentary breakfasts, spa credits and upgrades at hotels. On average travelers receive more than $500 worth of amenities per hotel stay at Virtuoso Hotels. #5 Travel Advisors are just trying to earn commission A trusted travel advisor wants you and your family to experience the best possible trip and we treat your money like our own. It was no different when I used to advise people about their banking when I worked in at Credit Unions.
I take pride in crafting itineraries customized for you & selecting the best hotels and experiences. It's about stretching your dollars not making a quick buck. Most often we aren't getting those commissions until you've traveled, I'd say that is commitment to doing the right thing for you. #6 I can plan the same trip faster by myself online… People are time starved across age groups and income levels – especially right now. Searching through the overwhelming volume of online content often yields questionable results, with conflicting or outdated information. I believe leisure time is your most valuable, non-renewable asset. Once it’s lost, you can’t get it back. Virtuoso advisors know the answers to questions you may not even think of – and plan things you never knew existed. Many of them spend a good amount of their own time traveling the world, researching and collecting ideas for their clients and if they haven't they're sure to know someone they trust that has. They know about the travel experiences you can’t find on the internet (and I assure you, those do actually exist). Myth #7: … and I can find the same prices and perks on my own too. Through our global connections and years of cultivating industry relationships, Travel advisors have access to special rates and offers that are not made publicly available. And beyond the hotel perks and cruise amenities available to Virtuoso advisors, there’s one more skill they have that online booking websites don’t: the ability to pick up the phone. A travel advisor can call the general manager at the Paris hotel their clients are about to check into to see if an upgrade is available. It’s definitely about what you know and who you know. If a hotel’s website says it’s fully booked, there’s a good chance a Virtuoso advisor can still secure a reservation for you. And if your flight gets canceled or delayed, your advisor can probably get you on another flight faster than you can. Advisors will also make sure you’re set up with the best car services, the most personalized tours, those impossible-to-get restaurant reservations, and the right travel insurance. Stop staring at the 73 tabs open on your internet browser and just email me. Myth #8: Nobody uses travel advisors anymore. The biggest myth of all is that travel advisors are extinct, having disappeared with the advent of the internet. That couldn’t be further from the truth: My network of 22,000 Virtuoso advisors around the globe is proof. And if the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we will never take the ability to travel for granted again. When it comes to something as valuable and important as your leisure time, it’s absolutely worth it to work with a professional who will always have you covered.