Here are some of the most common questions I get when it comes to my travel planning services, please feel free to email me at ane@strongtravel.com if you have any additional questions or if you’re ready to start planning your next getaway!

Q: What is a Travel Advisor? Is that the same things as a Travel Agent?

A: Yes and no 🙂 Essentially I am a travel agent in the sense that I provide travel planning services (booking flights, hotels, guides, etc), but different from a “travel agent” because I take a consultative approach (rather than a transactional approach) to the trips that I plan.  While I can book just flights or hotels, where I can add the most value to my clients is when planning an entire trip, from the flights, to the hotels, to transfers, restaurant recommendations, guides and activities, etc–especially when focusing on high end travel. The agency I’m affiliated with has an extensive network of premiere travel partners, and I’m able to leverage those relationships to create experiences that would be difficult or time intensive to find on your own. 

Q: In a world of 1000 online resources, what benefits does a Travel Advisor offer?

A: A Travel Advisor can help with the following: 

  • Quickly help you narrow down hotel options specifically based on your wishes, saving you time and stress (and 100s of useless online reviews)
  • Can help you secure insider intel and tips for your destination
  • Can VIP you at no extra cost, so you get potential upgrades, free breakfast, food + beverage or spa credits, etc
  • Can help organize all sightseeing & activities with trusted (and vetted) guides
  • Can get you the best pricing (even when comparing with online travel sites) and promos not available to all on the web!

 

Q: What type of clients do you work with?

A: I work with clients from all walks of life! I’ve worked with Grandparents planning a trip for them and their grandchildren, couples going on their honeymoon or celebrating an anniversary, families going on vacation for a couple of weeks, large family reunions, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and group retreats. I typically prefer to work with clients who understand the services I offer and value my expertise, and realize that planning an amazing vacation takes a lot of time, resources, and patience, which they may not have.

Q: What is the cost when using a Travel Advisor?

A: This will vary depending on the complexity of the trip.  If it’s a complicated itinerary with lots of moving parts (like multiple family members or group members flying in at varying times and dates and into different locations for example) a trip planning fee is involved (and would be discussed and agreed to up front). If it’s a straightforward flight/hotel booking request I usually waive my trip planning fee, especially if we’re working together for the first time (I want to show you the value I can provide first before charging you).

If you want to book your own flights and hotels using points (or Air Bnbs) but want me to help flush out the itinerary and help with activities, sightseeing, and restaurant recommendations I charge a flat fee for that. I like taking a consultative approach to trip planning so we cover exactly what YOU want, and all fees/prices are discussed up front before anything is booked and ok’d by you. *Oftentimes I’m able to save clients money on hotel bookings when I’m able to include complimentary breakfast, upgrades, and credits (sometimes airport transfers too).

When it comes to booking flights, we charge a $78/person fee ($39 each way), which allows us to monitor the flights booked for any changes that could include schedule changes, delays, or cancellations.  We will jump in and proactively book you or reroute you to try to minimize any disruptions in your travel.  We will also quote the best price for the most direct route.

Q: How are you paid? Is there a fee, commission?

A: I am compensated a few ways: 

  • trip planning fee (if there is one)
  • commissions paid by hotels, cruise lines, guides, etc.–these are already built into published rates that you can view online. When you book something online and a travel advisor is not involved, the hotel/cruise line/guide will end up pocketing the commission that would have been paid to the travel advisor.
  • ticketing fees for airfare, and occasional commissions for some flight segments (like overseas flights)

 

Q: Do you work on trips of all kinds/lengths? Like a local weekend getaway for 2 as well as a blow out group event?

A: Yep! I do it all.  Here are some examples of the trips I’ve helped clients with:

  • Last minute booking for 2 nights in Marseille for a couple
  • Helped coordinate a block of 20 rooms for a 50th birthday celebration in Cancun (and will be helping to coordinate airport transfers as people arrive, as well as group and individual activities for people to enjoy during the weekend)
  • 3 week European vacation for a family of 6 (Paris, Nice, Venice, Rome, Barcelona)–I helped with flights, hotels, car rental, train transfers, and guides
  • 3 couples on a European river cruise with pre and post stays in other cities in Europe including hotel accommodations, and guided tours
  • 10 day honeymoon to Bora Bora + Moorea
  • 10 day Scotland trip for clients who wanted to self drive, I helped create a custom itinerary based on sights they wanted to see and included the hotel accommodations and car rental
  • Hotel and accommodations plus car rental for 9 guys for an entrepreneurial retreat (2nd year in a row)
  • Honeymoon to the Amalfi Coast
  • 15th anniversary trip to Nicaragua
  • Several weekend Babymoon getaways
  • Family of 4 trip to Scotland with private driver
  • Switzerland trip via train for a client taking his two grandchildren

 

Q: How does payment work? Is it a percentage of total amount spent on trip or is it a flat fee:

A: Not sure if the question relates to commissions or trip planning so I’ll answer both.  For trip planning/itinerary building it’s a flat fee discussed up front when we talk about your trip needs/wishes and is based on the complexity of the trip and the amount of time I will be spending on building your itinerary.  Commissions from travel partners to the travel advisor are typically paid after the client travels (even if it is 6 months or a year from now), and are a % of the booking and typically vary within an industry range.  When it comes to payments, I prefer to take your payment and apply it to the travel partner directly (rather than charging you then sending payment to the travel partner), and I will always try to break everything down so you know exactly what you are paying for.

Q: Can you help plan trips for people who require wheelchair accessibility/special needs?

A: Absolutely.  I am able to get my clients booked into accessible rooms and can notify staff of any special needs or requests, and can help hire people to take care of any needs while on the trip.

 

 


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