When you go on vacation, like many people you are looking for something special for you and your family. Some people are looking to explore new places. Others are looking for adventure and thrills. Some are looking to relax and recharge. Whatever you are looking for, there are certain things that make the difference between ooh and aah. On certain occasions maybe even ugh!
As a travel agent I work with a number of people and realize that no two trips are ever exactly the same. Everyone has different expectations. For the purposes of this post, I desire to make it clear that none of the brands or chains mentioned are to be thought of in a negative way. I will not mention a brand that I would not consider as a possible travel partner, but hope to point out a few things to consider that may make the difference in your next vacation.
So you have chosen a vacation destination. Congratulations! Where do you begin to plan your vacation? Typically you look for recommendations. Many people head to the internet. After all, everything on the internet is true isn’t it? While there is a lot of good information out there, there is also a lot of irrelevant information as well. It is kind of like pulling off at the exit ramp and choosing your lodging based on the signs along the road. Maybe it is a brand name you recognize. Maybe it’s the location, but definitely not a personal recommendation.
Maybe you consult with your friends. As much as you may dearly love your friends, there is a high probability that you do not have exactly the same needs and preferences as they do. The hotel they loved may be completely inappropriate for you.
If you really want random opinions with no regard to what you want or need for your vacation, you can always solicit recommendations from a chat group. No sooner do you post the question with no knowledge of who you are, you will receive endless options for you to choose from.
You can use a travel agent. Do they listen to your needs or do they simply promote a destination? That is something you want to notice early in the process. A good travel agent works with you and for you, not just pushing product, but filling your needs.
Consider your needs. What type of accommodations do you need? Will your needs be met with a quality value hotel or motel such as a Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express? Maybe a budget location such as a Motel 6 or Days Inn would fit your needs. Have you considered a higher quality accommodation such as a Westin or Sheraton? Is a resort a better fit for your stay? Would the price of a suite make a difference in the quality of your vacation? What amenities are included in your accommodation? Is there an upgrade available within your chosen location? Can you maximize your value with your stay with loyalty programs? These are areas where a good travel agent can truly make the difference between ooh and aah.
The typical travel agent does not charge additional fees for their services if you are looking to work with them to plan and book your entire vacation. They are continuously receiving the very latest opportunities and special offers from many of the best travel partners in the world. Additionally, they are continuously going through a wide variety of industry training and have the opportunity to network with other travel professionals as to where they would recommend and places that are not currently as high of a recommendation. They also have an ongoing interest in developing a relationship with you and understanding your needs and have the ability to match you with potential opportunities that match your needs.
If you are a frequent traveler, one of the best things you can do is to develop a relationship with a quality travel professional. Find out what they like and let them know what you expect. It could be an important part of making the difference between ooh and aah.