Yesterday for National Travel Agent Day there were quite a few articles about how amazing a travel agent is - and yes, we are completely amazing and absolutely useful in helping you plan a vacation, but we don't do it alone. There are so many pieces behind the scenes helping me put together a trusted "team" to help your vacation seamless. When I design your custom vacation itinerary, or put together an amazing journey, the experience you receive is a direct reflection of a team of people:
1. My Supplier Team
When you receive your final itinerary from me, there are usually several hotels, transfers from airports, train stations & piers, Sightseeing Tours, Cruise bookings, Airline reservations, Private guides, and goodness knows what else - All of these components are sourced based on my relationships and experience with the Tour Operators and other suppliers with whom I have established a level of trust. Anywhere from a major international hotel chain like Starwood, to a 10-room Inn on an Umbrian hilltop, to the mom & pop driver/guides I use in the Amalfi Coast who meet my clients with a chilled bottle of Prosecco in the car and know all the little hideaway spots that can make the difference between an "okay" trip and a "stellar" one. Travel providers take better care of my clients because they don't want to let me down...and I continue to support them because of it. Try getting that when you book online! 2. My Network of other Travel Professionals I spend lots of time and money every year in professional continuing education and peer networking. My host agency is made up of like-minded Niche/Specialty travel professionals who are some of the most brilliant (and fun!) people I know. If a client comes to me with a request for a custom itinerary exploring the Great Wall of China, an African Safari or a Bed & Breakfast tour of New Zealand, I may not know the immediate answers....but I sure as heck know where to find them! And we don't hesitate to refer clients among each other...because I would sure want MY trip to the Great Wall of China planned meticulously by an agent who has intimate knowledge of the area and has the supplier relationships in place to make it a trip to remember! In return, I receive referrals for their European and Hawaii clients, for the exact same reasons. We have each other's backs and the clients are the ones who reap the benefits! 3. My Team of past, present and prospective Clients I really learn as much from YOU as I hope you do from me! Everyone has different hopes, needs and dreams for their perfect vacation and it is MY job to make sure they are all met. So, if I ask you too many random questions during the planning process, or follow up before you have time to get over your jet lag - my apologies. Just understand that what I learn from your honest feedback helps me to better serve more people in the future.
So that's a quick introduction to my team and how we all work together to be successful. I hope it is reassuring to know how many people have your back when you allow me to plan your next vacation!! Where will you go next???