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Why Use A Good Travel Planner (Show Transcript)
Hey everybody! This is Scott from Extraordinary Adventures, and you're listening to the second episode of EA Radio. Today we're going to discuss...
Why Use A Good Travel Planner
Let me start off with a great quote I found from David Liotta, of Flight Centre, on travelmarketreport.com...
He says... "Here's the Starbucks Analogy. One of the most popular and successful companies in America makes and sells something that almost everyone is capable of making for themselves at home. But people want the experience of buying from Starbucks, which includes the atmosphere and the skills of the barista. Starbucks also creates specialized products, and they are experts in putting them together. You can get all sorts of fancy, complex drinks you didn't even think of before. Sure, you can make coffee at home, but how many of us would be able to create a complex concoction, and do it with the speed and consistency of a Starbucks barista? Because of all this, people readily pay more to buy from Starbucks, and no one would ever think of demanding that they price-match McDonald's coffee or complain to the barista that they could make the same thing themselves."
Now, since you're listening to this episode and may have already visited our website (www.myextraordinaryadventures.com), I am assuming you may already know some of the benefits of using a travel planner. But, if not, here is a short list of reasons.
First, travel is becoming more complicated. With seemingly tons of new cruise ships being built, new resorts, and new airline fare categories, keeping up with the options isn't easy. Add to that, that some of you may want to plan a trip with small groups, like family reunions, bachelorette parties, corporate getaways, etc. Take the typical complexity and ratchet it up 10 fold! Now, hiring the RIGHT planner who can help with the logistics can have a significant impact on how much you spend and, more importantly, how much you enjoy your vacation.
Next up, travel ideas! Sometimes you don't know where to go, sometimes you do. And, when you don't, a good travel planner can provide insights and guidance.
Which brings me to STRESS! Imagine combining the plethora of options out there with having zero idea of where you even want to go! And you think the internet is going to help with that? Heck no! The internet will just overwhelm you more and lead to consumer confusion. And, the internet is the wild west, with, unfortunately, a lot of bad players who do not have your best interests in mind. Some of them are flat out fraudulent! So, if you hire a good travel planner for no other reason aside from removing this stress from your life, that would be enough!
But then, there is also the time saved. A good travel planner works tirelessly on behalf of their clients, freeing them to be with family, get more sleep, or simply lie on the couch and binge watch Game of Thrones! (I knew all along who would win! Not! Can you believe that ending!?)
Anyway, back to our story.
One of the best reasons to hire a good travel planner is because there are times when things go bad, things go wrong. No one wants to think about having problems before, during, or after their travels, but it is a reality. Things do go wrong. And, the online booking sites are notorious for not being there for you when you need them most. A good travel planner is always there!
Speaking of bad things, sadly some people book with the online players and wind up with a totally different experience than what they saw in the photos. Unfortunately, you can't undo a bad vacation. You can try to get your money back, but good luck with that! Besides, think of the time you'd waste sitting on hold! Ugh! A good travel planner does their homework in advance, helping to ensure the best possible vacation.
Now, I keep saying "good" - "a good travel planner." What do I mean by "good?" I mean someone who is invested in YOU. Someone who is not just competent in the mechanics of booking a trip, but one who also cares about the outcome. A good travel planner who gets to know their clients can match their client with the right destination, the right hotel, the right airline, the right activity, the right dining experiences, and more. I will try not to plug our agency TOO much on this radio program, BUT... Our clients are not customers. We do not look at our relationship as transactional. And, if we are doing our jobs well, they don't see it that way either. We are their trusted advisor. Honestly, we become travel friends. We value open and honest communication with them, because it is important to us that our clients feel as relaxed and confident as possible. They want to know that they are in good hands - that they are in the hands of someone who isn't just trying to sell them something. A good travel planner should be as invested as a client is in making sure the client's trip is packed full of positive, lifelong memories. After all, a good travel planner is not just another online booking site. A good travel planner is there before, during, and after their client's trips.
And then there is health and safety. The online booking site and the transactional travel agent don't concern themselves with that. They see that as something that's on you - your responsibility. But, a good travel planner will check the weather, the news, the State Department's travel warnings, etc. Anything that could become a potential issue for their client is a potential issue for a good travel planner.
Next, on to money! Money is always the 600-pound gorilla in the room. So, we have to address it. A good travel planner may not always be the cheapest, but is the cheapest really what you want? Or do you want the best VALUE? Paying less to stay in a hotel an hour away from your destination may seem to be cheaper, but is it? If you're an hour away, how do you get anywhere? Trains, buses, or rental cars are all possibilities, but guess what? They cost money! They also cost you something far more valuable than money - they cost you time. No matter how long your travels last - one week, two weeks, a month, doesn't matter - can you really afford to lose an hour to and from your "cheaper" hotel? Does it sound like a good value to lose 2 hours a day to you? It doesn't to us. And that's just one example of how cheap does not equal value. And then sometimes, we actually can find stuff cheaper than you can online. That is not what you are paying a good travel planner for, but it is nice when it happens. What is also lovely are perks! A good travel planner is usually a part of their industry's organizations. As such, they are often able to get their clients value add-ons, even if they can't do better on the price. So, a $100 hotel room is a lot better when that same $100 hotel room also comes with free breakfast, a transfer to and from the airport, or a free room upgrade! And don't even get us started on the perks we can get for our clients on cruises! How does a free flight to Europe sound when you're booking a river cruise down the Danube? A good travel planner has tricks up their sleeves!
Speaking of tricks, the "secret sauce" that a good travel planner whips up is definitely one of the best reasons to use them. As we say here, "Your vacation does not have to be ordinary. Let us show you what we mean by EXTRAordinary!" You simply won't get EXTRAordinary from a transactional travel agent or an online booking site, unless you yourself do the legwork yourself. But, if you have to do the legwork, what good are they?
Alright, before this episode runs 10 hours long, let me sum up. You CAN cut your own hair and you CAN do your own taxes and you CAN EVEN brew your own coffee, but you know that a hairstylist, an accountant, and a barista can do it better. And guess what? You CAN plan your own vacation, too, but I don't suggest it.
(Now, let me apologize for my cuckoo clock going off in the background. Hence, home-based agent! Anyway...)
That's the show for today. I hope you have a better appreciation now of what a good travel planner can do for you. If you're still unconvinced, head over to our website at www.myextraordinaryadventures.com to learn even more about why you should use a good travel planner.
Until next time, this is Scott from Extraordinary Adventures thanking you for tuning in and reminding you to share this show on Facebook and Twitter, and please give us a thumbs up and subscribe to our YouTube channel. This is valuable information that everyone could benefit from. So, spread the word! And don't forget to email the show with your questions or travel stories. Time permitting, we will read them on the show and give you a big shout out.
We'll catch you on the next episode of EA Radio. Stay tuned... Bye everybody!