Top 10 tips for collaborating with a travel advisor to make the most of your time, money and travel experience.
1. Open Up
If you want a truly custom and memorable travel experience, open up to your travel advisor! They need to know more than just your destination, dates and budget. The magic happens when clients and advisors develop a relationship that includes trust and sharing of wants, wishes, dreams and hopes. Provide lists of interests, hobbies, likes/dislikes of ALL travelers in your party so your advisor can WOW you with really special, non-Googleable experiences.
2. Know Your Budget
Settle on a budget that you’re comfortable with, and then don’t be shy about sharing it with your travel advisor. When you are open about your budget and wish-list, your travel advisor can really “show-off” their skills to make the most of your wish-list — advising where you should spend and where you can cut corners.
3. Connections, Connections, Connections
“Location” may be the magic word in real estate, but in travel its “Connections.” Don’t underestimate your Brownell Advisor’s personal relationships with the movers and shakers (often the top executives, general managers and owners of the world’s finest travel companies and cruise lines.) These connections can often clear space and open doors that seem decidedly shut for travelers. Restaurant reservations at THE hot spot onboard your cruise, private tours of usually crowded attractions and shore excursions, or recreating a scene from a famous movie. If you can dream it, your Brownell Advisor can likely plan it!
4. Ask the Hard/Awkward Questions
Why do you charge fees? What “added value” will I receive by using your services? Why should I book this through you instead of through an Internet site or directly? Why is the quoted price more expensive than the lowest available rate on the Internet? By asking these tough questions, you will learn more about your advisor’s research process and your advisor will learn more about you. Brownell advisors are always happy to draw back the curtain and invite you into our DISCOVER MORE process.
5. Keep In Touch
One of the best reasons to use a travel advisor is so you have an advocate working on your behalf, both before and during your travels. Keeping the lines of communication open helps your travel advisor help you. A knowledgeable and connected travel advisor can solve problems with creative solutions.
6. Family Matters
Invite your spouse, children and the grandparents into the planning process. Your advisor will have a better understanding of what each traveler’s ideas and dreams, and the group is more likely to be pleased with the travel experience if they had a hand in planning it.
Give your travel advisor a chance to prove their expertise by listening to their advice – if they recommend Hotel A over Hotel B that you found on the Internet, there is always a good reason why, just ask! And remember Tip #4. If anything seems “off” to you, ask the hard questions!
8. Confront Your Fears
Its human nature to have unarticulated fears or concerns when it comes to travel. Think about what those are? Is it budget? Safety? The experience not being everything you dream it will be? Share these concerns with your travel advisor and can address them and help you be comfortable and EXCITED with your plans.
9. Be Patient
Brownell’s policy it to return all calls and emails within 24-hours. However, that’s sometimes an impossible goal. Our advisors work departure lists of clients leaving in 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, 1 month, 2 weeks, 1 week and Daily. It’s a juggling act of balancing client needs and emergencies. We understand that it’s frustrating when you’re excitement and anticipation is not immediately rewarded. Know that your travel advisor and his/her team is ALWAYS working behind the scenes on your behalf. Your patience will be rewarded!
10. Spread the Word
Your kudos and notes of thanks are always appreciated, but referring your travel advisor to your friends and family is the best “thanks” in the world.