- Richard P. Hardie II
Plan your perfect vacation
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
Planning the perfect vacation is a very daunting task for most and it is easy to get caught up in the many reviews, comments or suggestions that you find while surfing the internet looking for ideas. To make it easy for you to start the process the first thing you need to do is stop reading reviews, suggestions or "tips" from people who have no formal experience or training in planning travel. We all know that there is no such thing as "one size fits all" and that is more true to travel than in any other case. If you truly want to have the best vacation experience possible you need to find yourself a trained and certified Travel Advisor, they are a true Professional in the travel trades and they have access to resources and programs that you would never find yourself and cannot get from any of those Online Travel Agencies that promise you a price even lower than the cruise line or resort offers. These online agencies are nothing more than a platform to suck you into booking with them only to end up charging you more than you would pay anywhere else and then leaving you on your own after the booking process and payment is received. They DO NOT support you in any way if there are issues that arise during your travel and they find ways to be "busy" in the event that you need to change something or cancel your itinerary altogether. You are on your own if you don't use a Professional Travel Advisor.
During the current Global Pandemic of COVID-19 the value of professional travel advisors, agents and consultants became very apparent as thousands upon thousands of travelers found themselves in very uncomfortable situations and scattered across the globe with nowhere to turn. These travelers had booked their vacations through one of dozens of online travel agencies (OTA's) and when the world shut down travel and locked down access to things these OTA's kindly reminded their clients that their contracts were with the suppliers and not with them. Many of these travelers started reaching out to professional travel consultants for assistance only to find that the services and assistance we could offer was very limited due to their contractual relationship with their travel supplier and the method by which they had booked (through the OTA's). We weren't able to do anything for them when it came to the contracted travel but we could at least assist them with making arrangements to get out of where they were and to get home as quickly as possible. Had these travelers made their travel arrangements through a certified and trained travel professional they would have been much better taken care of because we can go to bat for you with the suppliers when things go wrong, like has been the case during the COVID pandemic, and our relationships with the suppliers and the fact that we have become your advocate gives us the opportunity to make sure that you don't find yourself in the type of situation you will be in if you decide to go it alone or use an OTA. If you are not working with a true travel professional for every vacation that you take, you are leaving money on the table, losing value from your investment, and leaving yourself to chance in the event that something happens.
Professional Travel Advisor's have spent a vast amount of time learning the intricacies and options that each travel product supplier has in their inventory and the training and certification processes are extensive and intense to say the least. As a result of this dedication to professionalism and knowledge your Travel Advisor is armed with a vast pool of options, promotions, special offers and much more that allows them access to the best pricing (better than you could even get from the supplier if you booked yourself) and the best value added options to create your desired experience. Add to that the fact that your Advisor can do as little or as much of the entire personalization process based on your wants and needs. Your perfect vacation starts with you and the amount of participation you invest your Travel Advisor, together you will be creating the entire package and to ensure you get the most out of your vacation the more you allow your Advisor to do on your behalf, the less you have to do and the more you will enjoy the results.