Booking through a travel consultant is an efficient way to save time, money and ensure a meaningful vacation, but as in selecting anything in this day and age, you have several choices, and they will vary greatly in quality and what they have to offer. Which one do you select to provide you the best booking and travel experience? Read on for our Travel Consultant Identikit, and discover the most important traits that the best of the best will offer.
A good travel consultant….An agent will help you plan (and pack) smartly for your next adventure!
Has experience and training not only with the location to which you are traveling, but, equally importantly, with booking all legs of your trips, such as transportation, food, museums, excursions, and lodging.
Exhibits stellar communication skills that can shift with culture and language. This agent can read your wants and needs as much as she or he can read and respond to the desires of the local supplier with whom you are trying to book. Consider it an ability to be a “cultural chameleon” if you will; this aspect is probably one of the most important, resulting in both your and the people supplying your services’ happiness as well as ultimately an optimal experience.
Can adapt to different cultural environments (going along with the previous point). This person has an uncanny ability to listen and to question his or her own assumptions and methods, exhibiting modesty and a perceptiveness that allows an adjustment of his or her assumptions depending on the (or your) situation.
Is honest. The abilities to adapt and change must come with honesty and transparency, or their attributes are lost.
Has knowledge and respect of the laws and cultural expectations of the county, as well as how they are implemented. In places where these are not always rational or abided by, your consultant can bridge the gap that would otherwise leave you in a confusing or potentially grave situation.
Is practical.The proposal that they present to you should not only be full of exciting adventures, but should take into account the pragmatics of the journey, such as realistic timing and allowing for downtime, particularly a small space to catch your breath and relax, in your itinerary.Whether your love is shopping, food, or art, your travel agent should listen and tailor your trip to you!
Respects your expectations and does his or her best to fulfill them. Although they might suggest alternatives or changes to your initial plan, good travel consultants have solid, logical reasons for doing so and all is being done in your best interest.
Listens. This may seem like the most obvious, but is not always the case when a consultant has been pushing one itinerary for years before you come along. The person you want to work with comes to you with a blank slate and has you fill it with what your dream trip looks like, then uses their knowledge and experience to craft a specialized itinerary that realizes your needs and expectations.
What other must-have attributes does a great travel consultant exhibit? Share below!