How A Travel Advisor Can Save You Money

Travel Advisors Cost More Money… And Other Lies – Debunked Below

Some people still sadly associate using a travel advisor with paying more money, when in actual fact – it’s quite the opposite. From getting you the best seats on the plane to working behind the scenes to ensure your vacation goes off without a hitch – after using a great travel advisor once I personally guarantee you’ll be hooked! Read on to see how a travel advisor can save you money.

how a travel advisor can save you money

Time & Money

Ask yourself, how much is your time worth? Expedia’s research indicates the average American spends 22.95 hours booking a trip in the 6 weeks before departure. That’s one hour a night for nearly three weeks or nearly three entire workdays. Is this time you can afford to lose?

Travel advisors often have access to wholesale rates and exclusive deals that the general public does not. As such, they can pass these savings on to you – their client. Travel advisors may charge a fee for the trip planning process – remember those 22.95 hours I referenced in the paragraph above? They’re working, researching, and customizing the perfect journey for you, and some charge fees for this type of work.

Planning travel has never been more complicated than in 2021 and beyond. From quarantine restrictions to PCR testing, an expert agent will save you countless hours in research and logistics alone – that’s worth its weight in gold.

Hassles

Booking with a third-party site may feel like the obvious choice, but websites like Expedia can’t connect the dots. Sure, you could book a few nights at a hotel, but can you arrange the car service, the late-night check-in, and the adjoining rooms next door to each other? Travel advisors take the hassle out of the trip planning process and can make it fun again.

By now we’ve probably all heard horror stories of trips booked immediately before Covid, and cancellations or refunds that went awry. When you book with a travel advisor and (for whatever reason) you’re unable to go on your trip – you don’t have to lift a finger. It won’t be you waiting on hold with the airline, or trying to argue about a credit vs a refund. Your travel advisor has your back and is looking out for your best interests every step of the way. That includes when things go sideways.

Check into your hotel and your room is not to your liking? Your travel advisor often has special relationships with hotels. They can (hopefully) rectify the situation seamlessly, without you having to get on the phone and ask for the manager.

Upgrades & Connections

Everyone loves a good upgrade. From complimentary breakfast to room upgrades, most travel advisors can score their clients great perks when they book with them. In addition, travel advisors are well connected. A travel advisor’s job is to be the expert. This means traveling to countless destinations, and building relationships with hoteliers, tour operators, and even restauranteurs. Don’t discount their ability to score you that hard-to-book seat at a new restaurant. Surprise you with an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience while on a tour.

Want to learn more about what I do for my clients? How a travel advisor can save you money? Let’s talk!

Top Mistakes Travelers Make (and What to Do Instead!)

Even the most seasoned travelers (myself included) have fallen prey to travel blunders over the years. From dining at bland tourist traps to getting lost, to even tipping 50 dollars instead of 50 pesos (yes, that really happened) – mistakes are bound to happen.  Let’s count down a few of the most common (and easily fixed) top mistakes travelers make.

top mistakes travelers make

Saving Money at the Expense of Time

Don’t book a flight with three stopovers just to save $200, when it will eat into 36 hours of your journey. I always look for the most direct route for my travelers, with the least amount of stopovers, and the shortest amount of total travel time.

Think you want to take the local transit instead? Be certain you’re well versed with the directions, the stops, and the duration of your travel – it’s often far longer (and more complicated) navigating public transit in foreign countries, especially if you don’t speak the language. I make sure that you will have someone waiting for you at the airport, to whisk you off to your resort or hotel.

Having an Overly Ambitious Itinerary

I get it, if you’ve never been to Europe it may be tempting to want to hop on the Eurail and see 18 countries in 14 days, but I strongly discourage it. Not only is it exhausting, but you also don’t get the true sense of a destination without immersing yourself in it, and this takes time. Paris is so much more than the Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysee, and New York much more than just the island of Manhattan. Spend some time really getting to know a particular country, city, or region, and you’ll come away richer for it. I will help you plan your custom itinerary, so you can make the most of your visit and the time that you have available.

top mistakes travelers make

Never Leaving the Tourist Areas

Of course, when you travel to Rome you want to see the Colosseum or take a walk through Times Square when visiting Manhattan. But that doesn’t mean you need to stick to the major attractions only. The areas closest to world-famous attractions often have overpriced restaurants catering to tourists and don’t showcase local culture the same way other neighborhoods do. By all means, take in all the attractions, but take some time to explore further afield and visit some neighborhoods that are filled with restaurants, shops, and markets that locals use regularly. Together we can add some special adventures to your trip. For example, an authentic cooking class.

Never Leaving Your Comfort Zone

Great things happen outside your comfort zone, and this applies to travel especially. Sit at an old bar alone in a small town, and chat with the locals. You’ll learn far more about local life and culture than you could ever read in a travel guide. Hop on that zipline above a canopy of trees, even if you’re scared of heights. Pushing yourself out of what you would do in your day-to-day life is part of what makes travel so memorable. It gives you the stories that you’ll share for years after you get back home.

Software Slipups

If you snap away on your iPhone everywhere you go, make sure you have the photos being backed up. The cloud or Google photos are a great place to store your favorite travel images. The last thing you want is to lose all of your travel memories if your phone gets lost or stolen.

Stay connected. Consider getting a decent travel plan that gives you some data. So you can check emails, text friends or family, or even go on social media while you are away. The last thing you want is to return home to a hefty phone bill.

top mistakes travelers make

Money Trouble

This is one of the biggest mistakes that travelers make. Be sure to inform your credit card company of any major impending travel you have. You don’t want your account flagged and frozen for possible fraud charges. While you’ve got them on the phone, find out what the foreign currency transaction fees are on purchases abroad. Some major credit cards offer no foreign transaction fees; I can provide you with a list of the cards that I recommend when traveling.

Want to avoid these top mistakes that travelers make? I can help, let’s talk!

The Best Travel Apps

Let’s face it, technology has changed the way we live, work, and travel. While there’s an app for just about anything, for every useful app there are a dozen or more not-so-useful ones, simply taking up space on your phone for no good reason. Before you embark on your next trip, consider downloading these (actually useful!) best travel apps to help make your planning and the journey itself run smoothly.

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Packpoint

Travelers who hate packing, rejoice! Packpoint takes the guesswork out of packing and shows you what to bring based on the length of your journey, the weather in your destination, and the activities you have planned.

Lounge Buddy

Regardless of which airline or class you’re flying, Lounge Buddy offers access to premium airport lounges around the world. When you enter your trip details, the app advises which lounges you have access to based on the airports you pass through, and how to purchase access if you don’t have it already.

Timeshifter

Traveling through different time zones? Timeshifter will help you avoid jet lag long before you take off, as well as offer in-flight and post-flight suggestions. The app itself relies on neuroscience and circadian rhythm research and creates a personalized plan for you based on your age, gender, sleep patterns, and specifics surrounding your travel plans.

Calm

One of the most popular meditation and sleep apps on the market. Calm offers an array of themed meditations, sleep stories, and music. Meditation topics run the gamut and include self-awareness, calming anxiety, breathing, lowering stress levels, and happiness.

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XE Currency Converter

The XE Currency Converter app will keep you from getting swindled on those exchange rates the next time you’re abroad! Providing live up-to-the-minute rates that you can store and view off-line. You’ll be glad you had this techy travel companion to keep track of your funds.

Google Translate

Easy to use and navigate, Google Translate allows users to translate over 100 languages while typing. You can access 59 languages off-line, and translate bilingual conversations into over 70 languages. It’s fast, it’s free, and it’s convenient for travelers who want to get around and communicate with those around them.

TripWhistle

Safety is paramount when traveling, and TripWhistle is built around just that. Users can map their location to send to loved ones, along with GPS coordinates. TripWhistle also offers emergency numbers for firefighters, police, and medical personnel in over 200 countries. Don’t forget, 911 is just for North America.

Want to chat about all things travel, tech, and more of the best travel apps?

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