Working with a travel advisor can be a very good experience; you can pay your trip in small increments, the planning process is out of your hands, and you may even get a bit of a discount. Nevertheless, you can go through bad experiences with a travel advisor, because of the advisor and your actions. I am making this post not because of the travel advisor I work for, my advisor is BOMB, I’ll give you her contact at the end. These are the Dos and Don’ts of booking with a travel advisor:
- Do your Research. Not all advisors are the same, you may have all the money in the world available to spend on your trip, but maybe that advisor doesn’t really do luxury travel (mine does). Some advisors do moderate travel, economic travel or luxury and some are so new to the industry that they don’t even know what they are doing.
- Check the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA). This has to be one of the most useful websites for people looking to travel and want to find a reputable advisor. The ASTA website lets you fill out a form with all of the information you would like answered or looked over for your requested trip and then you will be contacted by travel advisors who are only members of ASTA.
- Have a Budget. A travel advisor wants to know how much you are willing to pay for your adventure. Yes, knowing the estimated price for certain destinations are nice, but the advisor can probably give you the adventure you’ve always dreamt about on your budget.
- Don’t Double Up on Agents. What I mean by double up, if you are already working with a travel advisor and they tell you a price for something additional to your package, but you know another advisor has a better price …DON’T DO THAT! Firstly, an advisor does so much work to make sure they make your trip perfect, their work has become a waste of time and money when you work with another advisor. Also, the other advisor will not work with you and may even tell you that you the information I just told you.
- Give your Advisor your Full Feedback After your Trip. Every business always says that they want constructive feedback on their business, but they usually don’t use it. However, a travel advisor wants to know exactly how your trip went. Many times, you may not know that the advisor may request a bit of a VIP treatment from the resort or the hotel and they want to make sure you received that treatment. It also helps the next person who goes on the same trip, it gives the advisor more information to tell others.
- Don’t Provide a Photocopy of your Passport without a Real Reason for it. My travel advisor does ask if you have a passport, she doesn’t ask for the numbers or anything else, but she does give the option if you would like her to have a copy of it while you’re on your trip just in case you lose it while you’re vacationing. Nevertheless, she lets you know that it’s just optional. If your advisor doesn’t give you a reason that makes sense to you, don’t give a copy of your passport. Also ask them how they store your information and if it is in an area that other people can get to easily.
I hope these help you when you work with your next travel advisor and as I promised above, here is my travel advisor’s information. Lisa does luxury travel and she has been doing it for almost 30 years now and she knows her stuff:
Lisa Hoppe Travel Consulting | firstname.lastname@example.org | 414.258.8715