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STEP 1- Choose the Software

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4 Reasons You Should Use a Travel Professional and 1 Reason You Shouldn’t

Use a Travel Professional because:

1.We know more than you do

We live in an age where access to information is both instant and readily available.  There are a million websites out there where you can find information, reviews, personal opinions, rates, and on and on.  If somebody has a thought or an opinion on something there is a corner of the internet where you can find it.  Travel is one of those things people like to talk about and everyone has an opinion. Unfortunately their own experiences may not translate into useful information for you.

So here you are with access to all this information and you have to decide not only what’s real but also what’s applicable to you and your situation.

The very best way to cut through all the nonsense is to talk to somebody that knows the industry, and that’s where your Travel Professional comes in.  Our whole life revolves around sales seminars, industry propaganda, and competitive market share.  Suppliers want us to sell their products to consumers.  The only way we can effectively do that, is to know our clients and what our clients needs are.

We listen to the sales pitches so you don’t have to.

2. Suppliers rely on us for sales

As with everything in this world, if you’re willing to pay for something, there is always someone willing to sell it to you.

The problem is how do you know what suppliers sell what?

Air Canada wants to sell seats on their planes, Trafalgar tours wants to sell seats on their tours, and Holland America wants to sell staterooms on their ships.  They certainly sell direct to consumers, however the most effective way to get people to buy their product is have knowledgeable Travel Professionals sell it.

If you aren’t sure where you want to go, or what kind of trip you want, your Travel Professional can find the right supplier for you.

3. People are weird

Most of the time in the retail industry there is a concrete tangible product you hold in your hand at the end of the transaction.  You walk out of the store with something. Travel is an intangible product.

We are selling you something that doesn’t really exist.  Sure we can book you a plane seat or a hotel room, but that’s not why a lot of people travel.

People travel for the experience. As soon as you’re working with someone to help them create an experience, you have to do a lot more investigative work and that’s what we live for!

One of the things that always blows my mind, is what becomes most important to people on a trip.  Bed type is always a popular one, especially in hotels. I was constantly surprised that people cared about the type of bed in the room as much as they did.  As a Hotel Employee my biggest concern was that if a room had two people in it, and there were two beds in a room, then it shouldn’t be a big deal.  There were more people than I thought that were not happy that we had taken them from a room with one bed to a room with two.  Logistically it makes perfect sense, however the guest’s experience is a factor that you can’t prepare for in quite the same way.

You never ever know what is going to be important to the guest that you didn’t think about. A Travel Professional helps manage your expectations, and ensures all the suppliers know if you have special request.

4. Insurance, Insurance, Insurance

Okay, quick poll, who here has ever bought Travel Insurance? Let me guess as soon as you read "Travel Insurance" your mind went to one of these statements:

"I have Travel Insurance on my credit card, so I don’t need anymore."

"I’m going not matter what”.

"He's trying to upsell me to make more money."

In most cases people think Travel Insurance is optional.  Would you drive your car without insurance? Not likely. Travel Insurance is just the same.

Consider this: when was the last time you had to book a last minute plane ticket?  Was it a domestic ticket or an international ticket?  How expensive was it?  Last minute airline tickets are often full fare tickets which means a simple flight from Edmonton to Vancouver that is almost full could cost you $600.00 one way, and if you have to go, you have no choice but to pay the full fare.

Imagine that you’re on your last day of vacation and your flight gets cancelled and the airline tells you they can’t get you on a new flight for 3 days.  Without travel insurance all of those expenses over the 3 days you’re waiting to get home are your responsibility.

Now let’s say that you’ve spent 2 years planning your dream vacation, and you’re going no matter what.  3 days before you go, your Mother falls breaks her hip, is going into the hospital for surgery, and will be on bed rest for at least 3 weeks. She’s going to need your help.  I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t get away with telling my bed ridden mother “I’m going no matter what”.

Travel Insurance is there to cover you for the unexpected. Whether you need it in destination or before you go there’s a package to cover you and your Travel Professional is there to help select the best choice for your trip.

Don’t use a Travel Professional if:

You’re only interested in the price.

As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. Going to a Travel Professional should never be just about the price.  Price is certainly an important factor in the process, however it’s also about what’s best for you. What kind of experience you want, what perks are going to matter to you, where is your best location to stay, should you be renting a car or using taxies, do you need a travel visa etc etc etc.  There are a million things your Travel Professional takes into account that you might not have thought of.  It is never ever just about the price.

Kevin Buxton is as Certified Travel Counselor with more than 20 years of experience in the Hospitality/Travel Industry. He enjoys working with our clients to help them manage their travel expenses while doing his best to meet their individual travellers needs.