10 Ways Travel Agents Will Enhance Your Summer Vacation

by Marilee Crocker
10 Ways Travel Agents Will Enhance Your Summer Vacation


It’s summer vacation planning season, and that means professional travel agents across North America are hard at work making sure their clients have the best experience ever. Yes, travel agents book cruises and tours and make hotel and airline reservations. But they do so much more.

We asked five travel professionals how they enhance their clients’ vacations. Here’s what they said they do for their clients.

1. Deliver top value for their money
“We have access to systems and tools to quickly research and compare vacation options and find the best value. An example is international air packages that include accommodations.––they are frequently less costly than air travel purchased separately. We have access to specials and negotiated extras that enhance our travelers' experiences.” – Connie Corbett, CTC, president, Ambassador Travel, Evansville, IN

2. Connect travelers with insider experiences they wouldn’t find on their own
“Our luxury designers come up with ideas of where to go that you might not have thought of or even know about. We’ll make dinner reservations at new, hot and hip spots and arrange in-the-know experiences.” – Jack Bloch, president and CEO, JB’s World Travel Consultants, NY

3. Spare travelers hours of frustrating online research
“Clients come to us all the time saying they are overwhelmed by searching on the Internet. We save clients a lot of valuable time. We tour over 100 resorts a year to be able to provide firsthand comparisons.” Dave Cook, owner/wedding specialist, Love to Travel, Overland Park, KS

4. Use their intimate product knowledge to recommend the right vacation for you
“I visit resorts on different islands and get on cruise ships to touch and feel them and study age demographics and know if that resort or cruise ship is up to par. I’m making sure the guest is going to be comfortable. I tell them, ‘I’ve been there, this is the perfect location for you, or not.’ I describe the resort and where they should stay at the resort based on what they like and don’t like.” – Shari Marsh cruise and land vacation specialist, Cruise Holidays, Raleigh, N.C.

5. Help travelers make the most of their vacation time
“People want to do so many things and they’ve only got a set amount of time in a destination. I look for the best ways to give them as much as they can within their frame and their budget. So if it makes sense to do two excursions in the same day, it might cost a smidge more, but it’s better to do that. Sometimes it’s buying an upgraded package to get the better value and use their time more effectively.” –­ Trish Gastineau, luxury travel advisor, Simply Customized Travel, Naples, FL

6. Let you know when paying a little more is worth it
“If I see that a certain room upgrade is going to enhance their trips, if they’re going to have a breathtaking view for a couple hundred dollars more, I’ll tell them about that. It will make a difference when they get up in the morning and open their blinds. I want them to have a full sensory experience.” –­ Trish Gastineau

7. Book you on fabulous shore excursions
“I describe the shore excursions and explain which bring the most excitement and the most expanded experience, which are most popular at each port, and why it’s worth spending more for a helicopter glacier tour with dog sledding. Especially if you’re going on an Alaska cruise, you want to get out there and do things.” – Shari Marsh

8. Make sure your hotel satisfies your special needs
“We communicate with the resort prior to our clients’ arrival to confirm details such as room preference (high floor, first floor, close to particular area), food allergies, special celebrations or milestones and more.” – Dave Cook

9. Give you useful information to enhance your experience
“We provide detailed information about the destination and resort. We share excursion recommendations based on our experience and feedback from clients. We provide printed documents for the client to carry with them, including tip sheets about traveling––not just what to pack, but tipping recommendations, how to avoid timeshare presentations, and more.” – Dave Cook

10. Are on call when you need them most
“We’re there for you 24/7 to take care of any issues that arise, so while you’re on vacation you have a worry-free experience. If there are flight delays or cancellations, we can guarantee you a seat on the next flight or another airline––without you having to wait on line with everyone else. We’re only a phone call, email or text away.” – Jack Bloch

  0
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Travel Tricks Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

1. Have a System for TSA Security.

2. Prepare Electronics for Continuous Work.

3. Pack for Success.

4. Plane Etiquette.

5. The Best Credit Cards for Travel.

Source: Forbes

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=45d3fb43-bb5a-e811-ba59-782bcb66a2f2

How Travel Agents Can Stay Relevant When the World Thinks They're Not

Sponsored by Travel Planners International

Stop trying to change consumers' perceptions of what a travel agent is or does. Instead, focus on changing the perspective of who you are.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Lufthansa to Offer Basic Economy Fares on Transatlantic Flights
Lufthansa to Offer Basic Economy Fares on Transatlantic Flights

Lufthansa, and other Lufthansa Group airlines including Swiss, Austrian, and Brussels, will open the fares for booking later this summer.

Travel Still Largely Unaffected in Hawaii After Kilauea Volcano Erupts Again
Travel Still Largely Unaffected in Hawaii After Kilauea Volcano Erupts Again

Thursday’s eruption sent smoke and ash some 30,000 feet in the air on the Big Island.

Near-Record Numbers of People Will Get Away This Memorial Day Weekend
Near-Record Numbers of People Will Get Away This Memorial Day Weekend

A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to take to the road and the airways for the holiday weekend.

JetBlue Adds Flights from U.S. to Cuba, Mexico City
JetBlue Adds Flights from U.S. to Cuba, Mexico City

The new slate of flights includes the first nonstops to Cuba from Boston and additional daily nonstops to Mexico City from Boston and New York.

TSA Asks Foreign Airports to Tighten Electronic Screenings
TSA Asks Foreign Airports to Tighten Electronic Screenings

The TSA’s stricter domestic screenings may be heading overseas, as the agency attempts to raise the global aviation security baseline.

Southwest Taps Four California Cities for New Nonstop Service to Hawaii
Southwest Taps Four California Cities for New Nonstop Service to Hawaii

The low-cost carrier will fly direct out of Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento and San Diego, as well as offer interisland service.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line