It’s finally happening! As COVID-19 vaccinations are being rolled out around the world and border restrictions are easing, your dreams of travel are inching closer to reality.
Of course travel will be different than it was pre-Coronavirus, and the possibility of last minute flight, border and quarantine changes will loom over us. However, if you’re someone who is just itching to get on a plane the second the green light is given, it’s easy to access a not-so-secret weapon that will help reduce the potential time-based and financial risks involved in booking travel in 2021; simply hire a travel advisor.
Back in March 2020 when thousands of flights world-wide were cancelled at the onset of COVID-19, those who had booked their trips with a travel advisor fared much better than those who had to figure it all out for themselves.
Now looking forward, it’s clear that an expert consultant who has access to direct airline updates, the ability to make quick itinerary changes and a host of useful travel related information can deliver you the peace of mind you’ll need to feel good about booking a flight this year.
Here are 5 good reasons why you should consult a travel advisor if you plan to travel in 2021 and beyond.
They will be on your side in the event of an emergency
No one could have predicted the butterfly effect that resulted from the first Coronavirus infection. It was a reminder to us all that when it comes to travel, you must expect the unexpected. As flights, travel plans and events around the world suddenly had to be cancelled or postponed, those who were able to speak with a person received the best help and experienced the greatest peace of mind.
Everything in life involves some inherent level of risk. We take a risk every time we get into a motor vehicle for instance, but we also buckle up, watch our speed and ensure we are not driving distracted. I.e. we take steps to manage the risks.
Your travel advisor is like your seatbelt. They can’t prevent the unexpected from happening, but they’re ready to spring into action if it does to ensure you’re back on track and having an enjoyable trip.
For example, you may experience a delayed flight due to inclement weather which then causes you to miss your connection, leaving you stranded in transit. In such a situation, the ability to make one phone call or send one message to someone who can correct the problem is priceless.
Airline staff can be helpful in these situations, but they aren’t always able to see the whole picture. Your travel advisor may have been made aware of your delay even before you were, and can get you rebooked on those last remaining seats first. They could even arrange a detour to your final destination that you may not have considered.
Travel advisors have a bird’s eye view of the sky, which is an incredible advantage when dealing with our new world of travel.
They know what you need to get through the red tape
The process of making travel arrangements has become significantly more convoluted since the onset of COVID-19. Border restrictions, quarantine requirements, travel exemptions, vaccination certificates and more are what we’ll be juggling if we wish to travel in the next year.
Each country will have its own requirements and those requirements will be subject change as time goes on. Even departing and re-entering your own country may require paperwork that wasn’t previously necessary.
Your travel advisor will know just what’s required for each leg of your journey and can help you put the pieces together to make sure there are no hiccups.
Save yourself the time and headache of scouring multiple government websites to figure out what’s required. Guaranteed, your travel advisor has already verified that information 3 times today. They will be happy to help you.
They can find you spectacular deals
How do travel agents get such great deals? They are privy to a whole lot of information that the average traveller is not.
Travel agencies use specialised software to search for and book travel arrangements -software that far surpasses the capabilities of any budget flight search website that you might find online. They are able to combine flights from multiple carriers providing you with options that airlines don’t list on their websites, which can amount to big savings that get passed on to you.
Plus if you’re trying to take advantage of a seat sale but need to check on a few things before you commit to booking, your travel agent can reserve seats for you for a short time without payment while you confirm your dates or other details.
Yes, they have that power.
When it comes to finding accommodation deals though, it’s about connections.
Travel advisors have relationships with excellent hotel and accommodation networks that have been built over many years. Because they bring consistent business to certain hotels or properties, they have the ability to get in direct contact with hotel owners. They can secure you VIP options, unlisted deals, preferential bookings and other perks that don’t pop up on websites.
So really it’s all about what they know and who they know.
They are skilled experts
Just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you should.
Unless you have a background in web design, you probably shouldn’t try to develop your own website. If you don’t have a background in gas fitting, you probably shouldn’t try to install a new stove in your kitchen. In both instances, you’re better off to hire an expert. It’s likely going to save you time and money in the end, and it’s the same with travel.
Travel advisors plan, arrange and book travel for a wide range of client requirements all day, every day so you can be confident that they know what they’re doing.
Going to Paris and planning to visit the Louvre on a Tuesday? Don’t do that. It’s always closed for maintenance on Tuesdays. Your travel agent would know that and prevent you from missing out.
“Look, there are cheap flights on this airline! We should book now!” Don’t do that. That airline is notoriously unreliable and their safety standards aren’t up to scratch. Your travel advisor would know that as well.
You can count on your travel advisor to not only book you the best transit to your destination, but help to make sure you check off those important items on your bucket list while you’re there.
They deliver more
A budget vacations website is in the business of delivering you a simple product. That product is an out of the box flight or vacation. No bells, no whistles and just one set price. It may be cheap, but that’s because there’s no personal service involved and very little chance for flexibility.
On the other hand, a professional travel advisor is delivering you a service. Contemplate the difference in buyer experience you receive when you purchase a product vs. a service. A service provides you with a personal experience and your agent will deliver you value by caring enough to seek out the best travel arrangements to suit your needs, budget and preferred style of travel.
Travel consultants receive a lot of business through word of mouth referrals as well, meaning they really, really want you to have a great experience by booking with them. They will go to great lengths to make sure that happens.
Plus they’re known for their ability to add special touches along the way to enhance your journey. For example: VIP tours with a private guide, special spa services, cooking lessons right in your own villa or champagne in your suite upon arrival.
When you consider all of these important points, it’s easy to understand why 2021 is the year to start working with a travel advisory service. You don’t always get a second chance on your holiday. Consulting an expert to make sure it’s everything you hoped for and more is a sensible choice that will help you save time, money and provide you with peace of mind.