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Why Use an Expert Travel Advisor

· Travel News
What I wish you knew

I get a lot of interesting responses when people find out what I do. The extremes range from those who think my job is completely obsolete to that one friend or family member who keeps asking me to hook them up with an extremely discounted vacation. Contrary to what my friends think, I'm not necessarily fielding calls from an over the water bungalow in The Maldives. I put in my time and sweat, earning my place in this challenging industry over the last 20 years.

1. Travel Advisors are not extinct.

Many people are surprised to know that travel advisors still exist and are, in fact, growing in demand. Approximately one-third of travel from the United States is booked through a travel advisor and, according to ASTA, this route is considerably more popular among younger travelers. As the travel industry grows in complexity and diversity, travelers are recognizing the need for knowledgeable, up-to-date professionals to guide them through the planning process.

2. “Booking it yourself” is not as easy as it sounds.

Booking a vacation online sounds easy, but ultimately ends up costing you a lot of time and money you didn't anticipate. Many online booking sites are not upfront about hidden fees and regulations. Sorting out a change or booking mistake will often require travelers to spend hours on hold with a call center, finally reaching someone who really doesn’t care how their experience turns out. I'm personally invested in making sure your trip goes smoothly. I'm here to assist and advocate for you before, during, and after your trip.

3. I have access to deals and info that you don’t.

I work hard to establish relationships with my vendors so you can enjoy the benefits. The access I have to hotels and other travel suppliers is not something that can be bought; it develops through relationships, time, and experience. Suppliers are much more likely to cater to the needs (and maybe toss in some fun extras) of travelers booking through advisors who have long-standing relationships with their brand.

4. Flexibility can help save.

My clients often come to me with some very specific parameters about their itinerary — dates, times, airlines, and airports. I know that departing one day earlier or later can make a difference of hundreds of dollars. Or that choosing an alternative airport can result in savings that surpass the cab fare to drive a little further. I work my best travel advisor magic when my clients can clearly express their travel goals, but value my judgment & knowledge on the specifics on how to reach them.

5. I'm working even when on vacation.

Every time I travel I'm scoping out hotels, restaurants, and local attractions. I ask questions, attend trade shows, and try every new experience available to make sure you can offer your best recommendations.

6. I have my clients’ best interests in mind.

Many travelers mistakenly believe that travel advisors will try to steer them towards packages and vendors that will give them the largest commission. Not true, Great travel advisors like me want to develop long-term working relationships with you, designing vacations and travel experiences that always exceed expectations.

7. I love what I do, really.

I don’t have some kind of secret “get rich quick scheme.” I work hard and love it! I'm in this industry because I love travel and everything related. I'm passionate about sharing my skills and knowledge and making your travel dreams come true!

Derek Schemonitz

Luxury Travel Advisor

Avenue Two Travel