A Travel Planner (also known as a Travel Consultant, Advisor, or Concierge) could be just the thing you need before your next trip. This new breed of travel agent (stay tuned for our next post discussing the differences between a travel agent and a travel planner) could be the answer to your travel planning prayers. Here are eight reasons why:
1 - Time & Expertise
I like to outsource certain life tasks. My favorite thing to leave to the professionals is cleaning my home. Sure, I could do this myself, but I don't, because: I hate it, I procrastinate, I'm not good at it, and it takes me forever. Conversely, my cleaning person is cheerful, arrives on time, is super efficient and does a far better job than I could ever do because making my home clean and tidy is their area of expertise. I’d make the same argument is made for outsourcing things like tax preparation, personal training, and wealth management.
It’s time to add travel planning to the list. Working with a professional to plan a trip gives you the expertise of someone who does it for a living on a daily basis. In addition to planning and booking travel for their clients, travel planners are often passionate travelers themselves. Their knowledge comes from personalized research as well as from their own travel experiences. They have a deep passion for travel and sharing it with their clients and fellow wanderers brings them joy!
Yes, you could spend lots of time (5-20 hours on average) planning a trip on your own, but would that be the best use of your time, and would you have fun doing it? If so, perhaps you should become a travel planner. If not, hire one!
2 - Analysis Paralysis
There is an overwhelming amount of info to be found on the interwebs when researching travel. From reviews, to apps, to booking aggregators, it is hard to know which sites or providers are best suited to your needs and wants, especially if you haven't even decided where to go! And even if you have a destination in mind, or sites you like to use, the comparison of flight and accommodation options alone can be a series of frustrations that leaves you feeling confused, unsure, and indecisive.
Travel planners help you by filtering the options to only those that fit your travel style, guiding you through the decision-making process. This includes variables that often go unconsidered like transit times, schedules, cost vs. convenience, personal preferences, etc. You’ll be feeling excited and confident about your upcoming trip, not overloaded or confused.
3 - Customized Recommendations
One size does not fit all, especially when travelling. A planner gets to know you, your needs and preferences and creates an itinerary specifically with you in mind. They can help you set and adhere to a budget and suggest where to splurge and where to cut corners. They only recommend those resorts, hotels, rentals, tours, activities that are right for you, creating a vacation feel and flow that suits the personality of you and your fellow travelers.
For larger groups and families, they often help diffuse somewhat precarious situations of differing interests, opinions, abilities, etc., and can take the pressure off of one or two people in the group to coordinate everything. And lastly, they they are able to help you with as much or as little of your trip as you need. Want a detailed itinerary with every day planned out? You got it! Only want assistance booking flights and a hotel? That works too! Each trip’s scope is custom - no big box/off the shelf vacation packages here.
4 - Travel Anxiety is No Joke
Travel is amazing and I can't wait to go! But what about....
Chances are one or more of these items causes you angst before and during your trip. Working with a professional can help you navigate these logistics and explain what to expect and how to be best prepared. Their advice helps avoid surprises, calms fears, and gives you confidence about what to do if something unexpected does come your way.
5 - Big Events = Big Stakes
Major trips to celebrate the milestones in life such as a wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, birthday or retirement often come with a craving for everything about it to be both super special and absolutely perfect. These life events also frequently coincide with lots of additional planning, intense schedules, timelines, and/or stress and anxiety. Hiring a planner to take care of the honeymoon while you are finalizing the guest list, or to ensure that you make time for the amazing 10th anniversary trip you promised your spouse, despite the kids’ crazy soccer schedule, can be a lifesaver. This allows you to celebrate the special time in a memorable way, without adding to your to-do list or having it feel like a "should" versus a “want”!
6 - Other Unique Offerings
Sure, a travel planner can help you with summer vacations, family weekends and those trips of a lifetime, but they can also help you in other unique ways:
Hometown Hosting: Visiting friends/family from out of town? Avoid the "What do you wanna do?" "I don't care whatever you wanna do" back-and-forth with a well planned schedule that shares some local flavor with guests and gets you out and exploring fun places and events while catching up with your loved ones.
Wedding Weekend: Prevent Aunt Sally from texting you lots of questions about the destination wedding with a detailed itinerary and instructions for guests with events before, during, and after the ceremony.
Seasonal Planning: Don't let your favorite season pass you by without experiencing all it has to offer. We help you make the most of your nights and weekends with activities that suit your interests and goals. You can't feel bored or restless when you are having a #seasonoftheyear.
Work/Retreats/Events: Make the most of your work travel with an after business hours itinerary or get help hosting a retreat for clients of your own without becoming an expert in event planning.
7 - High Tech Deliverables
Searching emails and documents in your inbox while you're on vacation is not fun. Next thing you know, you’re on on your phone reading that Instagram notification, answering that one email real quick, and before you know it twenty minutes have passed and your travel companions have left you alone on a park bench. Okay, perhaps that's an extreme example, but… probably not that far off.
A good travel planner provides you a final deliverable, with all of the information you need to go on your trip, aggregated and accessible in one place, including booking confirmations, record locators, tickets, reservation numbers, address/telephone info, etc. Travelworthy uses a beautifully designed app that allows you to access all of your trip information by mobile phone application, web browser or printed PDF. Where to go, how to get there, and any required documentation is right at your fingertips whenever you need it, with much less chance of falling down an internet rabbit hole.
8 - Everyone Loves an Advocate
Travel can be unpredictable. When something inevitably changes, an issue pops up, or the stress mounts and you are wondering how the heck you’ll get it all done - a travel planner has your back. They have your best interest in mind and will always do what is right for you and your situation.
As a custom travel planning company, we provide the peace of mind that travelers are looking for. Hiring a planner for your next trip is smart move. In fact, we think it’s quite #travelworthy.