This has always been such a popular over the years when people hear about what I do for a living. It also comes up often in our Facebook group when families are getting ready to plan their next vacation. So I figured I would lay it ALL out on the table for you today and answer the question, “What does a Travel Planner/Agent actually do??”.
These days there is plenty of free travel planning advice online. There are hundreds of third party travel websites offering some type of discount for your next trip. So what could a travel planner do that you can’t do yourself?
Well, why would you hire a Wedding Planner or an Accountant to do your taxes? These things you could do yourself but it feels too complex or stressful so you want an experts help. Same thing goes for planning your travel! There will be times you don’t need an agent, like those quick trips to the beach or those short weekend trips to a city near you. When it comes to more complex things like Honeymoons, Disney Destinations, Large Group Trips, or just a trip to an unfamiliar country, you will want to work along side an expert to make sure you plan everything just right!
It’s important to point out that not all Travel Planners are created equal. Please do your research prior to working with just anyone. Most agents will specialize in a specific type of travel such as Cruises, Disney Destinations, or European Travel. It is typically best to work with an agent who specializes in the specific type of travel you are attempted to plan.
Let’s say you are planning your next Disney Vacation, you want to go to Walt Disney World, but you aren’t sure when to go, where to stay, or how much this would even cost.
Sure you can start doing a bit of research on Google, Pinterest, or Facebook Groups, but guys… That gets SO overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with all the things that go into planning a complex Walt Disney World Vacation.
So you reach out to a Travel Planner who specializes in Disney Destinations! Look for their client experience, certification, and knowledge from their own travels.
Same goes for those planning a Honeymoon, Cruise, or Group Trip. Search for an agent that specializes in that specific type of travel. Most agencies are made up of planners who are experts in different areas such as our friends at Jolly Holiday Travel Company.
What does the process of working with an agent look like?
First, you are going to fill out a quote form that is submitted to an agent. These quotes are free and requires no obligation from you. However, please be courteous and don’t submit quotes to several different agents just in hopes to shop pricing. Do your research first then submit a quote form.
Once the agent receives your quote request they may have a few questions. They will provided you with a few package options based on the initial information you gave them. They will also introduce themselves and explain how their personal planning process works.
When you receive those first few quotes keep in mind that you need to fully communicate your wants, needs, and expectations to your planner. So if you receive quotes that don’t fit what you are looking for then let them know! Even if it is a budget issue, don’t be afraid to tell them something is over budget. That will open up the discussion for other options such as smaller packages or payment plans.
Once a package is decided on then the planner will book this on your behalf. You will submit your payment securely online or while on the phone with your planner and they will process it with the supplier you will be traveling with.
But wait, your aren’t done there!
Your planner will let you know what your next steps are or will send you a questionnaire regarding your ideal trip itinerary and any additional reservations that may need to be booked such as dining, transportation and excursions.
If this was a Walt Disney World vacation you just booked then your planner will be sending you important dates and information on when and how to book dining, Fastpasses, MemoryMaker, and which park you should go to when!
During the entire planning process your planner will be your go to for ALL communication and travel needs. Want to change your flight? Extend your hotel stay? Book a spa day? Let your planner know!
The goal of a Travel Planner is to provide their clients with a customized experience that feels stress free and less cumbersome than if you were to book it all yourself. Your Travel Planner already knows the best places to eat, things to do, and when to visit! So why waste your time searching Google and trusting what you see online and not really being sure if you are making the right choices??
As mentioned before, you may not need a Travel Planner for every trip you take. The internet as opened the doors to the world and made it so much easier to book things, however, it has also made things so much more complex and confusing. So for those big trips that you can’t afford to get wrong, you need a travel planner!
Interested in becoming a Travel Planner?
The Jolly Holiday Travel Company is currently accepting applications to join their team of travel planners!
No experience required as training, mentorship, and coaching is provided to you! Are you ready to start your next adventure?
Hey friend! Real quick before you go, I just wanted to say thank you for stopping by and supporting our little place on the internet!
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Hoping all of your days are magical!
Mouse and Moore