Why work with a travel advisor/agent?
When I tell people that I am a travel advisor/agent, I am often asked, “Do travel agents still exist?” After all, with all the booking engines you can find on the internet, most people are capable of booking travel themselves.
Travel agencies do still exist but have evolved since the pre-internet era. In fact, because of the proliferation of travel information on the internet, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the options. The preferred name for our profession has become travel advisors rather than travel agents because we do much more than making reservations. We are advisors that take the time to understand your particular needs and craft a personalized travel experience for you. A travel advisor provides consistency throughout the planning process—you talk to the same person every time. And in the unfortunate event that you should run into problems during your travels, I’m here to help you resolve those problems.
While there are still some brick-and-mortar travel agencies around, 70% of travel advisors work from home. Our clients don’t necessarily live in the same town as us. This arrangement allows today’s travel agents to specialize in different niches. Travel agents can specialize in a certain demographic, a type of travel, specific destinations, or something else. Read more about my niche here.
Some people hesitate to use a travel advisor because they fear it will cost too much, and asking about fees is sometimes uncomfortable. I hope to remove some of that awkwardness by discussing my fees here.
Big Rock Travel is a client-centric company. It is not the kind of travel agency that sells only those suppliers who pay commission. Instead, as your personal travel advisor, I put the needs of you, my client, first. Because of this approach, it is sometimes necessary for me to supplement supplier commissions with a Non-Refundable Planning Fee in order to be fairly compensated for my time and effort. The amount of the fee depends on several factors, including how detailed the itinerary will be. I will quote the fee after a free consultation.
Some trips will not require a planning fee. These trips, however, require a Refundable Planning Deposit. If you decide not to book the trip with me after planning has begun, or if you cancel the trip after it is booked, Big Rock Travel keeps the Planning Deposit as compensation for my time. The Planning Deposit is refunded upon completion of your trip.
Big Rock Travel is focused on delivering value, not necessarily the lowest price. I seek to find the most value for my clients based on their needs. While there are several suppliers available to me, I use only those that I know and trust to take care of my clients. I look out for my clients not only during the planning process, but also during the trip in case there are problems.
HOW THE PROCESS WORKS
Step 1: Contact me to set up a free consultation. During this consultation (approximately 20 minutes), we will discuss the needs of your trip and you can ask any questions you have.
Step 2: I will send you an invoice for a professional planning fee.
Step 3: When you are ready to proceed, pay the invoice, and complete the Client Profile Form.
Step 4: I begin planning your trip. We will communicate over email, text, and phone as needed until you approve the itinerary.
Step 5: If applicable, I will send you an invoice for the balance of the planning fee.
Step 6: I will book all reservations in the approved itinerary and send you your travel documents.
Step 7: Enjoy your trip!
Any questions? Contact me.