What does the process of working with a travel advisor typically look like?

People, at large, love to travel – be it for work or for leisure. Thanks to the internet and travel supplier call centres, DIY travel is very commonplace. But planning travel on the internet is ridiculously time-consuming and just plain overwhelming.  There is a better way to travel. While travelling to new places, many people think of opting for a travel advisor, but are nervous about reaching out. Many might have never worked with a professional travel advisor and are curious about how the process works. 

With the assistance  of a professional travel advisor, a traveller would get an extra edge, especially in three things that one might not receive by booking direct:

1) a curated travel experience
2) value
3) service

If one is seeking a truly bespoke, personalised travel experience, top-quality value for the investment, and dedicated, personalised service, he might want to seek out the best.

A few things to keep in mind while approaching the travel advisor:

       1. Ask about industry affiliations and accreditations – The company one chooses matters in this business. Thus, the travel advisor’s industry affiliations should demonstrate their ethics, expertise, support, and connections. Membership in Travel Adviosr’s organisations of repute, and some accreditation by some renowned Travel Institutes are signs of an advisor’s professionalism and would ultimately benefit the client, the traveller. It is also a fair question to ask whether the advisor who is being considered is licensed and insured.

  1. Check out reviews and testimonials – It is better to check what other travellers’ experiences have been with the advisor he is considering. This can be easily done to do with just a bit of light online research.


  1. Schedule a consultation call – Scheduling an initial call with the prospective travel advisor is an excellent first step. It is an opportunity to see if the two are a good fit, both for the type of travel the traveller is envisioning and the personalities of the two.

    One should have a clear idea about the kind of vacation he might be looking for and be ready to answer some questions about the likes, dislikes, travel goals, and travel style.

A good advisor would want to know the client thoroughly to tailor the experience and connect with him personally. This conversation should be a get-to-know-each-other kind. At the end of that first call, for many of the clients, the stress they were feeling about their vacation planning melted away. If that happens, then he is the perfect find for the client.

Sometimes, it happens that the travel advisor is not able to take on new clients or does not specialize in the type of travel the client is looking for. That is also okay as they might still give some great tips or a referral to a trusted colleague.

When one schedules a complimentary travel consultation call, it is a chance to have a low-stress, friendly, no-obligation conversation about the travel. This consultation call can last about fifteen minutes or longer if need be. One can roughly break up the conversation into three parts-  talking about the client and his travel style, talking about the travel he has in mind and talking about the service, process, and planning package options provided by the advisor. Of course, if the client has any other questions about the travel or the service he is seeking, he is free to ask away. The conversation should be an easy one with no pressure whatsoever.

  1. Discuss the budget – Even if one is not sure what the precise budget for a particular trip should be, that is also okay, but it should be shared with the advisor. Whatever estimate the client might be having for the trip should be discussed clearly with the advisor at the very first meeting. 
  2. Get clarity about the process planning to be followed – Information about the process that the advisor is planning to follow, his planning fee, and timelines should be discussed clearly. A professional travel advisor is expected to clearly articulate the steps of their travel planning and booking process so that the client knows what to expect and when to expect it. The great thing about having a smooth, established process is that the joyful anticipation of travel starts early, along with the peace of mind.
  3. Feel free to ask about the benefits against the planning fee – Many professional travel advisors charge an upfront planning fee for their service. Much like a fee-for-service financial advisor, a fee-for-service travel advisor should inform the client about those fees upfront and also explain the value, service, and benefits to him as an informed client. 

A true ethical travel advisor would work as the clients’ unbiased, dedicated travel advisor and should dedicatedly work for them, and not for the airlines, cruise lines, or other travel suppliers. They should carefully select the travel supplier partners for the clients’ travels based on the quality of their offerings, service levels, and overall value, not on commissions. 

  1. Discuss deals wisely –  When planning travel, it is important to distinguish between deals and value. The travelling public is subjected to so many creative travel marketing campaigns and ever-changing confusing promotions that it can be difficult to discern true value. One just learns to cut through all that clutter. A good travel advisor would know the inclusions or, conversely, additional charges that can add up to the total cost of the travel. They also know how to recognize good value. Such a travel advisor should be chosen whom the client can trust, and who in turn respects the travel investment and understands the travel experience he might be seeking.
  2. Asking questions give clarity – The professional travel advisor is here to advise on travel. The client should feel comfortable asking questions about the travel itself –  for example, what is the dress code for dinner, what can be a typically a good season to travel to a particular country – the list is limitless, as well as about the planning or booking process. They might not have the answer to every question, but they can help by leading to whom to reach out to. Here also comes the importance of industry affiliations and relationships of the travel advisor.

In conclusion, working with a travel advisor offers several advantages that one may not receive when booking travel directly. A travel advisor can provide a curated travel experience, value for the investment, and dedicated service. When approaching a travel advisor, it is important to consider their industry affiliations and accreditations, check reviews and testimonials from other travelers, and schedule a consultation call to assess compatibility. Discussing the budget, understanding the planning process, and clarifying the benefits of the planning fee are essential steps in the process. Additionally, a trustworthy travel advisor should prioritize the client’s interests over commissions, distinguish between deals and value, and be open to answering questions and providing guidance. By selecting a professional travel advisor who aligns with their needs and preferences, travelers can enjoy a personalized and stress-free travel experience.

Travel Motivations is an exclusive Luxury Concierge and Lifestyle Management Service, with a dedicated team to design bespoke personal experiences and implement them on your behalf as your heart wants them to be. They step into your life and do everything you don’t have time to do and save the most important thing for you – Time.

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As a Startup Specialist and the founder of Aditya Group, Thailand, Ande Aditya is often hired as a Business Advisor to assist business owners to execute their vision.

17 Industries | 22 Startups | 6 Countries | 12 Awards

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