Today, it’s no secret that we are all glued to our smartphones. Being bored is nearly impossible when we literally have the world at our fingertips and we feel obligated to document our every move in order to combat the ever-looming FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). When it comes to our vacations, we snap, like, filter and star every hotel room, meal and landmark we experience. Although we may appear to be expert travelers on social media, planning that journey might have taken a lot of time and resources that we don’t have, making the advice and help of a true travel advisor that much more important now more than ever.
Information on any destination in the world is easy to access; trendy hotels, local watering holes and the most popular activities can be found with a quick online search. But as the city gets bigger, the destination more remote, and the journey more specific, the traveler begins to enter a black hole of information overload. Online travel agencies (OTAs) offer tons of choices for vacation packages and “deals,” but how can a traveler tell what is best for them and what they really want? There is only one way to be sure -- by working with a travel advisor.
The profession of travel agents have evolved into a much more consultative role, and they are now known as travel advisors. Much like you would see your financial adviser for personal financing services or a style consultant for wardrobe advice, a travel advisor works with you to design a personalized vacation. Upon meeting your travel advisor, they immediately create a profile on you and your interests in order to develop your customized journey
Certified travel advisors complete extensive training and education in order to become experts on destinations, travel suppliers and types of travel. For every destination they specialize in, they have first-hand experience staying at the hotels, eating in the restaurants and trying the best tours in that city or country. Advisors not only build relationships with their clients but also with the suppliers, so when you have special requests or questions, your advisor can speak directly with the top management of the hotel, tour operator or cruise line. Along with personal knowledge and contacts, travel advisors are members of travel networks like Virtuoso, the world’s leading network in luxury travel. These networks provide advisor members’ clients with exclusive amenities to the world’s best hotels, cruises and tour operators. These amenities include private events, complimentary upgrades, food and beverage credits, and more.
The greatest gift that advisors can give you is time. They not only save you hours in searching through brochures and sites, but also help you minimize your flying and driving time to maximize your vacation time.
With all these benefits - from exclusive savings and offers to specialized knowledge and behind the scenes access - a travel advisor becomes far more valuable than any app or travel site. While the Internet may be helpful in narrowing down vacation ideas and building Pinterest boards, only a travel advisor can help you discover the most comfortable hotel bed, the most thrilling zip line, the most insta-worthy sunset spot, and more importantly, the most memorable moments that are just too special to post.
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