Please see below frequently asked questions I receive about working with me.
What’s a travel advisor?
You’ve no doubt heard of travel agents, and perhaps you thought they had gone the way of the dodo. Well, you’re half-right. The old travel agents who simply took your order like at a fast food joint are gone. In their place, though, have emerged travel advisors who get to know their clients personally, their likes and dislikes.
A travel advisor acts as a concierge, planning unique experiences you can’t just find on the internet. If you want to see the main attractions in your destination, a travel advisor can set up a behind-the-scenes or after-hours tour with a private guide. A travel advisor makes suggestions based on the type of traveler you are, often opening up experiences you didn’t know were possible.
A travel advisor is your advocate, working on your behalf with trusted partners on the ground in the destination to ensure your journey is unforgettable and goes smoothly so you can focus on enjoying yourself and planning your next adventure.
How do you get paid?
I am compensated in three ways. First, I charge a planning fee to bring my resources and expertise to your trip. Just as your leisure time is valuable (hence why you hired a travel advisor to make the most of it), my time is also valuable. To give your trip the full attention it deserves, I will spend valuable hours doing research, making bookings and sketching every last detail. The fee also ensures that I am working for you, the traveler, and not simply steering you to whoever will pay me the most commission. And on occasion I will book an experience that doesn’t pay commission if it’s what will make your vacation perfect.
I do also receive commission from suppliers. The suppliers I work with are trusted partners I have known for years and spend precious time getting to know them and their products so that when you come to me for expertise, I have plenty to offer. I only work with partners I trust. Most are those I’ve had wonderful relationships with for years. When a new supplier comes on the scene offering intriguing destinations and tours, I take my time to research and vet them so I am confident they’ll care for my travelers as well as my years-long partners do.
Lastly, referrals are the lifeblood of my business. If you loved the trip I planned for you, you’re sure to tell others about it. If you hated it, you’re sure to tell others about it. So it’s in my best interest to make sure you come with lasting good memories eager to tell all your friends what a great time you had.
What is your specialty?
Rather than focusing on a particular country or continent, I specialize in you, the traveler. I get to know what’s going to make you happy. Then I bring my knowledge of the world to propose an adventure that will accomplish just that. Sometimes clients have a specific destination in mind, but when we get down into what experiences they want to have, it becomes clear there’s another destination that would be a better fit. Even the countries you’ve been to, several are ever-changing and evolving. Even though I’ve traveled all my life, I can’t claim to know everything about everywhere. Rest assured, though, I have trusted partners in the Virtuoso network who live and breathe the place.
What’s it like working with you?
At our initial consultation, we’ll discuss how you like to travel, your favorite things, favorite places and experiences from the past. We’ll talk about your travel goals, who you’ll be traveling with and things you absolutely must see and do. Once we’ve established a rapport and choose to work together, you can be as hands-on or off as you want. If you’d like input on every detail, that’s great. I’ll help make sure your vision is realized. If you want to sit back and let me work my magic, that’s great too. I’ll still be sure to run things by you so there are no bad surprises on travel day. I’m with you every step of the process, from making reservations to making you have everything you’ll need, monitoring how the trip is going and debriefing when you return to ensure your next trip is even better. The better I get to know you, the better I can plan your perfect getaway.
Can’t I just do this all by myself on the internet?
You can certainly book your trip on your own. There’s a lot of information online. Probably too much information, though. It’s tough to filter through everything and know what will be best for you. You might find that it takes a lot of time and effort to research everything, and your relaxing vacation can soon become another source of stress. Working with me takes that stress out of the equation. I also have access to things you can’t find on the internet. Even if you book yourself in a five-star hotel, you can’t VIP yourself. Through the Virtuoso network, I can give you amenities in the world’s finest hotels and resorts and on the finest cruise lines simply because you’re working with me. I also use my personal relationships with those suppliers to ensure you’re well taken care of. Should something go wrong, you can always reach me or my team to set it right as quickly as possible. To an online travel agency, you’re just another angry customer on hold for hours. To me, you’re a respected client whose happiness I’m well invested in.