Are you considering taking a vacation but don’t know where to start? I’m sure you’ve spent time googling if using a travel advisor is better than doing it alone. Or you’ve been looking at deals on an online travel site, wondering if the deals are too good to be true.
Like hiring a contractor to build an addition to your house, working with your CPA each year for taxes, or taking your car to a mechanic, using a professional travel advisor is one of the best things you can do for your vacation.
Below I’ll outline why you want to work with a professional travel advisor and help dispel some myths I commonly hear from new travelers.
Keep reading to find out how a professional travel advisor can help you have a fabulous vacation.
We remove the stress of planning.
Planning a vacation is extremely stressful, especially when you’re trying to do it while also going about your daily life. Beyond picking your destination, you need to consider the best of the time year for the destination, how you’re going to get around, what you’re going to do, entry requirements, how to remain safe while in-country, and a dozen other considerations.
When you work with a professional travel advisor, we offload the stress and ensure you’re prepared to travel. We have connections with travel partners around the world and leverage them for our clients to help answer questions and bring the extra wow factor from when you set out until you return home.
Speaking of connections, we have them.
If you’ve ever remodeled your home, you know how much detail goes into picking the right sub-contractors. You want to make sure those coming into your home are respectable and do quality work. Instead, you research general contractors and hire one to work with their connections. They’ve spent years building relationships with sub-contractors, so you don’t have to.
The same goes for when you take a vacation. You want to make sure that the promises made online are what you will experience. Online reviews only tell part of the story and rarely honestly give a complete picture of the type of experience you’ll have on your vacation.
When you hire a professional travel advisor, you gain the network of travel partners we have spent our career building. After every vacation, we ask our travelers to provide candid feedback about their resort, cruise line, excursions, transfers, and every other element to make sure our partners are maintaining the standards that we have come to expect. If one starts to slip, we talk to them about our concerns to give them a chance to improve. When they improve, they stay on our list of trusted partners because we work for our travelers rather than our partners.
Myth: Booking online is just too easy not to do.
With the advent of the internet, online travel agencies brought travel within reach of millions of people who felt too overwhelmed to plan everything on their own. While booking your travel online is easy when it’s just a hotel or finding a great deal on flights, there are significant drawbacks, and the more complex a vacation, the more significant these issues become.
Online travel agencies have bulk rates that are hard to pass up, but because they’re such a great price, the hotels, airlines, and cruise lines make those travelers the first to get bumped. If a hotel has ever walked you, you know how frustrating it is to arrive at your resort and be told there’s no room in the inn.
Your Rainbow Getaways Travel Advisor works with partners to minimize the risk of being walked and can even help score upgrades that are otherwise not offered when you book with online travel agencies. We do this by choosing our travel partners wisely, and many of our partners have no-walk policies for bookings made through the advisor.
Myth: A cruise is simple enough to book on my own
On the surface, a cruise looks pretty straightforward. You choose the cruise that fits your budget and travel dates. But that are just the first two things you must consider when choosing a cruise.
Over the years, I’ve worked with many travelers who have already cruised but didn’t have the experience that they expected. The prime reason is that they chose the wrong cruise line for their wanted vacation type. Cruise lines are not created equal, and ensuring we pair our travelers with the right option is vital when planning a cruise vacation.
Plus, when you book your cruise with a Rainbow Getaways travel advisor, we make sure you’re ready for the cruise, helping you plan your air, pre- or post-cruise hotels, and excursions that will leave you bragging about your vacation for years to come.
Myth: Using a travel professional travel advisor costs a lot.
We work within your budget when you hire a Rainbow Getaways travel advisor.
While miracle worker is often in our job description, we will have a candid conversation about your budget. Often talking about what is possible within your budget and how we can stretch it as far as we can.
Sometimes, we can even get our travel partners to price-match the great deal you find online. The key is to make sure we are comparing apples to apples and looking at identical offerings. That super low rate you find online is often a “mystery” category that allows the resort to assign whatever they have left over at check-in (if they have space for you).
Our travel advisors charge a travel research and planning fee because we want to work for you. Some travel advisors do not charge professional fees, but when you work with them, they work for their travel partners. This creates a conflict of interest as they work as agents, chasing the highest commissions and making them resistant to fully customizing the itinerary.
A travel advisor is always working for you.
If the pandemic taught us anything, changes happen, and when it does, your connections mean more than the price you paid for your vacation. At the start of the pandemic, those who worked with professional travel advisors got home faster, received their refunds quicker, and were able to replan sooner than those who booked on their own or with an online travel agency.
We are the ones who sit on hold for hours at a time to talk to cruise lines, resorts, airlines, or other travel partners. We are always available to our travelers to make changes before and during their vacation, even in the middle of the night. When you check in at a hotel that doesn’t meet your expectations, we will work with our travel partners to find you a new option. When you get sick on vacation, we will start the claims process with your travel insurance to ensure you get the care you need.
The long and short of travel planning is that you have a lot to gain by working with a Rainbow Getaways travel advisor with very little expense.
I fully acknowledge that there are DIY’ers who have the time and energy to do all their travel planning. If you’ve gotten this far and are still considering hiring a Rainbow Getaways travel advisor for your next vacation, schedule a consultation to discuss it. The initial consultation is when we’ll discuss where you want to go and your budget; plus, we’ll answer your questions.
Rainbow Getaways proudly help travelers of the LGBTQ community (and our allies) research, plan, and book incredible vacations where you feel confident and comfortable enjoying and exploring your destination. We plan each vacation to meet your specific needs, so you'll have an experience just as unique as you.