The travel experience is very personal. Working with a professional you trust is tops when considering hiring a travel advisor. In my experience planning trips, after a client has hired me, we have an in-depth call about their trip plans. During this call, there’s often a pause when I ask certain questions. I’m sure my clients are thinking, why on earth does she need to know that? It’s just a vacation! So, what are these secrets you need to share?
1. What you hate. Yes, you read it right. I need to know what you hate. It’s not about being negative or nosy. If you had a prior unpleasant experience or if you have certain pet peeves about how you like things, then I need to know. Help set up your trip for success by sharing what you hate. It’s not always about what you want, sometimes it’s about what you don’t want that makes the difference. Really. I won’t think you're complaining at all.
2. What you are afraid of. Seriously, this is a big deal. Aside from knowing your activity level when we are in planning mode, I need to know what you won’t do. What is totally unpleasant to you that would make for a miserable time? Heights, elevators, water, birds, flying, rooms without windows, confined spaces, and the plethora of other things that we humans might not like are just naming a few. I care and trust me; it will make all difference in your experience.
3. Health Issues. This one is very personal to me for several reasons. Mainly since my husband has Parkinson’s, I must plan our trips and activities considering rest time, distance to walk, standing time just to name a few. There isn’t a trip that’s worked out badly yet. I can chalk that up to my incessant planning abilities, luck and quest for asking the right questions of the partners I work with. I am a certified Special Needs Advisor and occasionally planning can include clients that need to fly with power wheel chairs, need a recliner for a bed on cruises, ordering Hoyer lifts for hotel stays, having scooters waiting at the dock for someone recovering from knee replacement surgery, and even a more common need of making sure rest rooms are always close by on any tour. Food sensitivities are also a bog one. The more pre-planning we can do to cover all the things, the less tension you will have thinking about things at the last minute when you have other more pressing issues, like packing!
Being sensitive to the needs of my clients while protecting their confidentiality is something I've done in both my careers (banking and travel). If your travel advisor knows about these details, working that into the planning will make your experience much more pleasant. I may book trips for a client months and sometimes more than a year ahead. Should you think of something before your departure, please, it's worth the call or email.