Travel in the New Normal, Part 2: The Importance of Using a Great Travel Advisor
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
This is part 2 of our 4-part series on traveling in the new normal. To start with part 1, click here.
We are all navigating new terrain when it comes to traveling in the midst of a global pandemic. Even as the number of COVID cases flatten and decline in many places around the world, travel is certain to look very different moving forward to prevent (as much as possible) any new “spike” in cases.
Never has there been a time such as this when it is so incredibly valuable to have a professional helping with travel planning. Most of our clients truly love to travel and can’t wait to get back out there, but things are more complicated now. There are certain aspects and details of travel planning that we did not need to consider prior to March of 2020.
It is our humble opinion that travel advisors have become a critical part of travel planning, even for those who have never used a travel advisor before. Let’s look at why…
Planning travel was already fairly complex before the added cautions and complications that COVID has brought. There is so much information out there and some of it is conflicting. There are too many search sites, pricing inconsistencies, bait-and-switch tactics, and confusing terms and conditions. A great travel advisor will help their clients navigate this crazy environment.
The pandemic has added to this complexity in several ways. Many nations — and even some states in the US — are requiring a COVID test within 72 hours of arrival. Some are mandating quarantine for specific circumstances. Other places have a pre-travel approval process with necessary steps to follow. We can help our clients by researching what they will need to know and prepare for in order to travel.
Much like the weather, the climate of the travel industry is always...always…always changing. A great travel advisor will help their clients navigate the ups and downs. Our inboxes are subscribed to all of the best travel companies available, and we are constantly sifting through national, global, and country-specific news and updates so that we can know what we need to know for our travelers. This way, when we are asked a question about the current climate of travel, we’ll either have an answer or we’ll know exactly where to find one. This will save travelers time and, let’s be honest, a large load of unnecessary stress.
COVID has intensified the awareness and research needed in order to travel to certain locations around the world. For instance, once someone determines their travel destination, we will wade through the various rules for traveling there, knowing that they will most likely change between now and when travel takes place. Having someone looking out for shifts in the rules is critical. It’s just not worth “going at it alone.”
Preserving a Client’s Investment
A good travel consultant will advise you in the financial aspects of your trip, including deadlines and other terms and conditions that may affect your vacation investment. We look at all cancellation policies and what would happen to your money in the case of an emergency. As one can imagine, the pandemic has increased the risk that something may go awry or that a traveler will need to adjust their plans. Flexibility is critical, and a travel advisor’s job is to make certain that their clients are prepared for shifts in their travel plans without losing their money.
In addition, the sad truth is that the huge hit taken by the tourism industry this year has left many travel companies and tour operators in a precarious spot financially. Some have had to let go of the majority of their teams to stay afloat, while others have had to close their doors completely. Our job is to make sure that our clients are traveling and booking with suppliers that they can trust to protect and preserve their investment. GlobeSage Travel is connected to an entire travel industry umbrella, which allows us to have the “inside scoop” into who those suppliers are and how they are working to make sure your bookings are secure.
Advocating on Behalf of Clients
We are trained to predict what sorts of things our clients might run into when they travel. We will always do our very best to prevent these happenings. However, with so many moving parts, there is plenty of opportunity for the unexpected. Rather than our clients being left to fight on their own, travel advisors are right there to make sure they are taken care of and treated fairly by travel suppliers and tour operators.
In the recent months, we have seen the hassles that can happen with the “new normal” in travel that COVID has brought us. From getting some clients home quickly once the global pandemic was declared to aggressively pursuing refunds and travel credits for others, we’ve been there and done that. While many were on hold with Expedia or the Costco travel department for 6+ hours in March, we were on the phone with our clients or with travel suppliers on behalf of our clients. (We have even been called the “squeaky wheel” that gets results by one client!)
The point is — as we’ve said before — there’s no need to go at it alone. The small planning fee that a travel advisor charges is worth the peace of mind in knowing that one’s travel plans are in good hands. Whether it be in the planning and research, the preparation of crossing borders, the preservation of one’s travel investment, or in the pursuit for refunds and changes, a travel advisor will have your back. GlobeSage Travel has our clients’ travel needs as our top priority. We’re all learning how to navigate this “new normal”, and together, we’ll get through this and continue to make amazing travel memories!
More from this Series:
Part 1: Navigating Future Travels