Travel Advisor FAQs
As a new member of BE The Travel’s team, I’ve been asked a plethora of questions from friends and family about the travel industry and what services we offer as Travel Advisors.
What do you actually do for your clients? Does it cost more for me to use your services? How do you make money? Why should I use you instead of booking on my own?
For many travelers, their idea of a Travel Advisor is still the pre-internet agent who worked in brick and mortar shops, offering an array of brochures and a limited list of pre-planned, cookie cutter vacation options to choose from. And now, in a time where our iPhones are constantly within reach and people have access to infinite amounts of information at the click of a button, you can understand why many travelers have little experience using Travel Advisors and might wonder if there is any benefit in having an Advisor book a trip for them.
It’s time to clear the air on these questions — so if you’ve ever wondered about any of these same FAQ’s yourself, keep reading!
What do you actually do for your clients?
In short, we help our clients to design and book unique and customized travel itineraries and manage their trips around the world.
But in reality, it’s much more than that. From the beginning of our engagement with a client, we build a relationship with them so we can really get to know them as a traveler — what they like, what their travel experiences have been, what their goals are, what type of trip they’re looking to have, and so much more.
From there, we go to work on our end. Using our experiences, resources, and relationships with partners all over the world, we craft a unique itinerary designed just for our clients.
We make sure you’re getting the best for your travel dollar, and create a trip that meets your needs, preferences, and goals. Plus, you can rest assured that all of the accommodations, transportations, and activities we recommend for you have been vetted and have our full confidence.
After you’ve provided any feedback on the initial proposal and we’ve reached the perfect itinerary, we take care of making all reservations for you, and ensure everything is all set well before your departure.
PLUS, as soon as you begin the planning process, your Travel Advisor is there to take care of any hiccups or issues that happen before or during your trip; things like flight delays, bad weather, unsatisfactory service, gate changes, lost passports, etc. We serve as your one point of contact throughout the entire process, so you can leave the management piece up to us!
Does it cost more for me to use your services?
In most cases, the answer is no — it actually costs less. Travel Advisors have contracted rates with preferred partners and suppliers that the normal buyer does not have access to. Additionally, we have access to unpublished fares on hotels, resorts and activities that the normal person cannot find on the internet. However, at the end of the day, Travel Advisors are offering a service and the value we add to a vacation goes far beyond finding our clients the cheapest price.
We spend quality time crafting the perfect itineraries; utilizing our professional expertise and connections within the industry to make sure that you and your family are getting the best of the best. And because we understand the value of the service we provide, most Travel Advisors will ask you to pay a service fee that simply goes to cover the time and effort put forth to ensure you are getting the greatest products and services during the travel planning process. The added value travelers get in return from their investment with a Travel Advisor is worth far more than the actual cost of the planning fee itself.
How do you make money?
In addition to the one-time planning fee discussed above, Travel Advisors often receive commission from hotels, suppliers, tour operators, and other travel partner groups that we work with to plan and book travel. The commission percentages are previously negotiated, so when we utilize our partners’ hotels, activities, or services, they give that percentage of the booking back to us in exchange for bringing them business. The total cost is not inflated in anticipation of agent commission and our partners do not increase their prices to cover their payment to us.
Why should I use you instead of booking on my own?
There are SO many reasons you should utilize the services of a Travel Advisor for most of your trips, and SO many ways to get added value. To name a few:
Without a Travel Advisor, you’re simply on your own to comb through the thousands of online booking sites and paid advertisements fighting for your eye. With so many options, it can be overwhelming and impossible to really know the value of what you’re looking at, and whether or not it’s the best option or the best price for what you’re booking. By using a Travel Advisor, you’re allowing a professional to take point on that process — using resources and relationships that you, as a traveler, don’t have access to. We can often recommend destinations, hotels, resorts, and tours that we have either personally experienced, or know someone who has. We can vouch for what you’re going to get because we rely on industry professionals rather than online reviews from strangers around the world (that often are not even legitimate).
Our relationships with our travel partners give us access to opportunities that our clients would not normally be able to have on their own, and we can offer special perks that are only attainable when using a Travel Advisor. Who doesn’t love a free room upgrade, spa treatment, early check-in, late check-out, or just $100 to spend on food and drinks? You simply cannot become a VIP by yourself!
You’re also left to manage all of the ins and outs of booking and managing your trip when you don’t use an Advisor: making reservations, managing your itinerary, and ensuring everything goes off without a hitch, which - trust me - without a Travel Advisor, it rarely does. But when you trust a Travel Advisor to be your point of contact for a vacation, all of that responsibility falls on us. We happily take care of everything for you, including any issues that come up before or during your trip. Your Travel Advisor is your person for anything and everything related to your trip, and we are always available to help with anything you need, to answer any questions you have, or make adjustments to the plan on the fly if needed.
If you still have questions or are skeptical about why you should use a Travel Advisor — feel free to reach out to us! We’d love to help ease your mind, and get started on helping you book your next great trip.