Travel advisors are prepared for any travel situation. But do you know the right questions to ask to make the most out of your vacation planning?
Just like with any partnership, the more you and your travel advisor know about each other the better and more personalized the results. A lot goes into planning the perfect trip, from finding the right resort to figuring out what tours best align with your interests, budget, and itinerary. Every detail you provide your advisor gives them a fuller picture of your unique travel needs, which in turn helps them create a truly customized vacation you couldn’t get anywhere else.
In this article we’ve outlined some of the most important and frequently asked questions you should ask a travel advisor when you are looking to book a trip.
The goal is to ensure that you book with someone who really knows their stuff and is prepared to help you book a trip that is budget conscious, bucket-list worthy and beyond memorable
1: Why Should I Even Work with a Travel Advisor? A great travel advisor ensures that every vacation is extraordinary. Travel advisors have first-hand experience, insider access, and expertise in customizing every aspect of your vacation so you always get access to a world of exclusive savings, extra perks, and ways to maximize your vacation value. There are many reasons why it makes sense to work with an experienced travel advisor, including:
Unique, unforgettable vacations hand-crafted to your style and preferences
Preferred partnerships with the world’s foremost travel brands
VIP experiences and complimentary privileges
Access to unique events and destination experiences you can’t get direct
Insight and insider tips beyond the guidebooks, versus just “information”
Taking care of the tiny details and important documents so plans go smoothly
2: Does Working with a Travel Advisor Make Sense for Me? A trusted travel advisor will expect the unexpected, anticipate your needs, solve problems should they arise, and exceed your expectations with every vacation. So, yes, working with a travel advisor makes sense no matter what your trip entails.
Whether it’s finding exclusive fares and extra amenities, saving your time and money, offering you peace of mind so you travel stress free, or simply answering all your questions and ensuring you have an advocate available in your corner, a good travel advisor knows that while every vacation is important, not every vacation is the same.
3: Does It Cost More to Work with a Travel Advisor? You might assume that using a travel advisor makes a trip more expensive, but that’s not true. The top advisors are well connected, highly skilled, and extremely experienced so not only will you usually end up saving money, but you’ll also get additional perks, added insights, and more. With some travel agencies and advisors you may find there are hidden fees, costs, or charges associated with your trip. Don’t work with anyone that isn’t transparent about what their services do and do not include, who won’t answer your questions honestly, or who won’t help educate you on exactly what every fee, fare, or service includes.
Health And Safety 4: What Do I Need to Know Before I Go? You might assume that using a travel advisor makes a trip more expensive, but that’s not true. The top advisors are well connected, highly skilled, and extremely experienced so not only will you usually end up saving money, but you’ll also get additional perks, added insights, and more.
With some travel agencies and advisors you may find there are hidden fees, costs, or charges associated with your trip. Don’t work with anyone that isn’t transparent about what their services do and do not include, who won’t answer your questions honestly, or who won’t help educate you on exactly what every fee, fare, or service includes.
5: What Documents Will I Need to Travel For destinations outside of the US, that might just be your up-to-date passport. However, more and more nations are requiring proof of vaccination, and some countries require a Visa even for short stays. Your advisor will know exactly what you need.
Logistics 6: Can You Work Within My Budget? One of the greatest things about booking with a travel advisor is that you’ll never need to worry about spending more than you want to, buried fees, or if you’re getting the best value for your money. (You are.) Still, you should be upfront with your budget, and make sure early on that your expectations are in line with what your advisor can provide. If the trip of your dreams seems out of reach, ask about options to make it affordable.
7: What’s Included in the Cost of My Trip? Avoid misunderstandings that could ruin your vacation by asking this one simple question. Before you book, have your advisor go over your package element by element to confirm you’re both on the same page on what is and what is not part of the price.
8: Can You Explain the Terms and Conditions to Me? Whether it’s your airfare, hotel stay, or excursion, you need to know the fine print. Are there penalties for canceling? Will you get a travel credit or cash back if you get sick? Can you apply a promotion around the holidays? Advisors will explain it all in clear and simple language.
9: How Can I Protect My Vacation? If you asked the question above, you’ll already be familiar with your hotel, airline, and other suppliers’ policies if you need to change or cancel your plans. Your advisor can go one step further, however, and explain what trip insurance options are open to you.
10: What Support Is Provided in Case There Is a Problem? Traveling in a foreign land comes with some risks. You might miss a flight, lose your passport, break some laws, or fall sick. Having a travel advisor guide you through any hiccups is the best part. But it is better to know what type of assistance they provide and how accessible they are in case of any issues.
11: How Do You Protect My Personal Information? No one likes to think about privacy policies and personal information, but in this day and age it must be discussed. From security breaches to internet hackers, how is your personal information protected? Long gone are the days of paper copies, three part carbon copies, and telephone credit card approvals. Your chosen travel advisor should have a safe and secure manner for you both to share information, including credit card information, to complete your purchase. It should be asked and answered how your information will be stored and if it will be shared. If your advisor doesn’t have a response that gives you a safe and secure feeling, move on to another advisor.
12: How Do I Pay? When all the doubts have been cleared, it’s time to check the various payment options: card, cash, check, bank transfer, ApplePay, PayPal,etc. Are you allowed to pay in installments or do you need a full deposit at the time of looking? Do you need to pay any taxes? All those questions need to be asked before signing on the dotted line.
Destination Details 13: Have You Been to My Destination/Hotel? In a given year a travel advisor might visit dozens of hotels, and just as many locations around the world. Don’t be afraid to ask if they’ve personally been to your chosen resort or region. If they have, you’ll benefit from their insider intel; if they haven’t, odds are they know a colleague who has. And if they don’t? Trust in their overall expertise to guide you, then consider sharing details of your experience after you get back.
14: What Tours and Attractions Do You Recommend? There’s no such thing as a destination with a shortage of things to do. Although interests will obviously vary from person to person, asking your advisor their favorite things to do will give you a good starting point for planning your activities. They’ll know all the must-do’s and then some, so be sure to state your specific interests. Excursions, museum admissions, and dining or spa reservations can all be booked in advance, leaving less for you to deal with after you arrive, and guaranteeing you don’t miss out.
Too many questions? Maybe. But they are all crucial to ensure that you have a safe, enjoyable, and hassle-free vacation without paying anything extra. All in all, choosing the right travel advisor to book your vacation can make all the difference in the world.
Interested in traveling somewhere? Use a Travel Professional! Contact Travel By Steph today.