Frequently Asked Questions
Travel Advisor vs. Travel Agent – Is there a difference?
The difference between a travel advisor vs. travel agent is being of service vs. providing a task. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the term Travel Agent was first used in 1885, and is defined as: a person engaged in selling and arranging transportation, accommodations, tours, or trips for travelers. In other words, an order taker/fulfiller. Communication between an agent and client was based on individual transactions and largely reactionary. An agent was more like an extension of the travel supplier, e.g. airline or hotel, and not a valuable counselor to the client.
The relationship I have with my clients, as a Travel Advisor, is
much different. I work for you. I advocate exclusively for you. I do not
represent nor am I an extension of a particular hotel, cruise line, etc.
My role as an advisor is to get to know your likes and dislikes, your needs, your dreams of travel—this builds a full picture upon which I can be proactive in my suggestions, anticipate concerns, and continue that work for the next generation as well. My goal is to create a long-term relationship for you and your family.
What do Travel Advisors do that is any different than the deals on the internet?
A Travel Advisor is not a tool. The Internet is. As your Travel Advisor, I use the tool to assist in creating a robust proposal for your future travel, and then I use my extensive personal relationships with hoteliers and other suppliers around the world to deliver a VIP experience to you.
I will pick up the phone or send a text message or write an email to you during a pandemic, hurricane or other time of need. Artificial intelligence has not yet learned to replicate these human behaviors.
The internet is useful for me to:
- communicate speedily and accurately with clients and suppliers all over the world
- research options through proprietary web sites not available to consumers
- share consumer-directed sites that will benefit your own research, if you choose to
Describe the collaborative process of working with a Travel Advisor.
Step 1: A Conversation
The first and most important step in trip planning is a comprehensive discussion between a potential client and me. We discuss everything trip-related, from trip location, goals and interests, to must-haves and deal-breakers. I estimate the potential fees associated with the booking. If it seems that the client and I would be a good fit, I collect the non-refundable travel planning & support fee and begin my work.
Step 2: Proposal Collaborative Refinement
Based on our ongoing conversations, I create an initial proposal for your journey. We continue to work on the finer details of the proposal until you feel that it’s exactly what you envisioned.
Step 3: Booking and Anticipation of Travel
I’ll make sure that your pre-departure travel documentation is complete and provide it to you in digital (or paper, if you prefer) format so you have easy access to it before and during your travel. I’m here to answer any and all of your questions, and I will keep close watch on your future journey in case there are any additional opportunities to add additional benefits to your plans.
Step 4: Travel
While you’re away, I’m here for you—just a phone call, email or text away, and I’ll give you local contact details so you don’t have to wait on hold in destination. That’s my job to listen to music. It’s also my job to provide you direct access to me for emergency support. When I am away from the office, I have the full backup of my colleagues at Largay Travel.
Step 5: Returning home with feedback
I want to hear all about what worked and what might have been better. This feedback enables me to make necessary adjustments for your future travels.
Do you specialize in any particular destination or type of travel?
I do have my favorite destinations, like Australia and New Zealand, but I am a client specialist, not a destination or transportation specialist. My role as your Travel Advisor is to understand the nuances of your preferences. I have been fortunate to have traveled extensively, via land, sea, and independent touring. At my disposal are the vast resources of the Virtuoso supplier network as well as the accumulated knowledge of my Largay Travel colleagues, and my superpower is planning/logistics. I am a Certified Luxury Specialist.