As the internet boomed, many modern travelers turned away from brick and mortar travel agencies in favor of the ease and accessibility offered online. As the DIY traveler was introduced to sites offering wholesale deals on incredible locales, the idea of a the travel advisor going extinct became common knowledge and at the time this made sense, why would anyone use an advisor when they could do it themselves? The answer to this question is simple: the same reason people don’t cut their own hair, do their own taxes or repair their own cars – somethings are just better left to the professionals! And while the internet has made it easier than ever for anyone to book their own travel in just a few clicks, do you really know what is written in all the fine print, what property will be the best fit for your needs or when is actually the best time of year to travel? Curating travel is the sole profession of the travel advisor and the good ones are extremely knowledgeable with connections that enhance their clients experiences and provide access to incredible value not available to the general public. Take a look at our top 10 reasons why using a travel advisor is absolutely the way to go!
1. We are On Top of What’s New and Exciting
If you google the word “travel”, 11 billion results populate in seconds. These results can be daunting, especially when you are at the early stages of planning a trip. This is where a travel advisor comes in. We know how to get to the core of the most general trip idea and work through broader details with you to design the trip of your dreams. We are tapped into global networks and we communicate regularly with our partners and colleagues in these networks to stay up to date on the ever changing world of travel and tourism. The best part is, while a search engine is advertisement drive, travel advisors specialize in you, the client, and you get insight tailored to your needs and preferences.
2. No Hidden Charges or Getting Stuck in a Bind
Everyone loves a good deal, but is it worth it when the deal is deceptive or locks you into something you may need to change because, well, life happens? For example, Expedia’s explanation of a “specially discounted rate” seems to deem a non-refundable rate as something saving you money when in reality, it is locking you into something that is very rigid. This rate also often hides taxes and hotel fees from the price advertised. You won’t know about this unless you click the “price details” link, or until you book the room and learn that your card has been charged a non-refundable full charge of potentially several hundred dollars.
When you book with Ourisman Travel, there are no hidden fees and we outline the hotel’s policy for you. Most hotels require little to no deposit, and the cancelation window will match the hotel’s cancelation policy. Transparency for the win!
3. Pre-Arrival Connection with the Hotel and Concierge Support
The spirit of travel itself is built around person to person connection. As travel advisors we work in an industry that is grounded in connection, building meaningful relationships and working together to showcase the best of what a destination has to offer. Through our networks and partnerships we are able to work closely with people on the ground to ensure our clients have highly personalized experiences for every trip. From organizing special welcome amenities noting a birthday or an anniversary to communicating food allergies and unique client needs, even making sure the number of pillows in a room is exact, no request is too small. Prior to your arrival, we will contact the hotel on your behalf and we are also able to personally introduce you to a concierge professional to accommodate all your pre-arrival details and requests. We’ve got you covered!
4. Exclusive Amenities and Value Added to your Stay
It’s good to have friends! Partnerships are built on trust and we don’t take that lightly. We value our partners very highly and know they will place our clients in the highest VIP status due to our close relationships with them.
We at Ourisman Travel are a boutique family-owned and operated travel consultancy affiliated with Brownell Travel ,the oldest travel agency in the US, and Virtuoso, a network of thousands of luxury hotels and tour companies that offer priority VIP services and consideration to our clients. We have many valued partnerships with vendors all over the world (over 1,300 through Virtuoso alone!) which translates into exclusive amenities and VIP status for our clients.
When you book with us, you are top of the VIP list eligible for any available upgrades and your room location will be the best of the best. What’s more, is that some luxury hotel staff will review their upcoming arrivals and will make it a point to remember your face and call you by your name. Now that’s high touch!
To learn more about all of our luxury hotel partnerships, click here!
5. Save on Time
Sure, reading about places to go is fun — but planning a trip is hard work and you never know what to believe on the internet! Travel advisors travel the world, taking everything into consideration with their clients in mind; from the size of the rooms in hotels and cabins in cruise ships, to the dining options on-site and nearby, down to the friendliness and attentiveness of the staff on property. If we haven’t personally been where you want to go, we know someone who has. We can answer your questions quickly and accurately.
A personal Travel Advisor gives you many advantages over an impersonal computerized algorithm, otherwise known as an online travel agency (OTA), which is how websites like Expedia, Hotels.com and Orbitz work. We are specialists in our clients as well as our global partners and we can give personal advice based on our own knowledge to provide you a top-of-the-line experience.
6. Save on Stress
Did you know hotels sometimes overbook their capacity and have to walk guests? It’s an unfortunate occurrence that does happen and guests who booked through a third-party provider, such as Expedia, Booking.com, and Hotels.com will be the first to be walked. It is just like how people with status on an airline are the last to get bumped if the flight is overbooked.
Most of our hotel relationships honor a guarantee stating the hotel will never walk one of our clients. And if something should go wrong we will personally be on the phone on your behalf, most likely with a sales manager whom we personally know, resolving any issue. Your personal travel advisor provides you with this quality of service on top of oftentimes additional amenities and VIP status.
7. There is no do-over for a vacation gone wrong.
Life is busier and more demanding than ever, and travel time is so valuable. Travel Advisors save you hours of research to build you the perfect trip, handling all the necessary details, as well as any cancelations or changes that may need attention post-booking. If you run into an issue on property, we can fix it for you on your behalf while you are still there, because we care!
8. Travel Advisors add a human element — and an element of trust.
Travel advisors are highly invested in their clients’ happiness and satisfaction. Our goal is to ensure each and every trip is packed full of positive, lifelong memories. We listen, suggest, adjust, understand and become a friend … not just a search engine or an anonymous voice. We are with you before, during and after your trip.
Google is a great resource, but it is not a travel advisor. You can get lists of the “ten best things to do” in any destination, but that can’t substitute for local, expert knowledge. What day is the museum closed? In what order should I see things? How long should I anticipate spending at each attraction? How long does it take to get somewhere? Such information can help you pace your day. But more than this, what hidden treasures await, what authentic experiences unknown by most tourists because they do not show up on a “top ten” list…
9. Like any Professional, We Really Do Know More
You can cut your own hair and do your own taxes and diagnose your symptoms on Google, but let’s face it, a professional can do it better. You can plan your own vacation, too. But a Travel Advisor can do it better! While Google is where many people begin to plan their travel, most people quickly become overwhelmed or misled. Consider us your personal shopper for travel. We can cut through thousands of possibilities and help you plan the trip of your dreams. Whether you want an African safari or a trip that lets you experience the real South America, a driving trip through the south of France or a relaxing vacation in Bora Bora, we can help … because we’re the professionals!
10. Unique and Insightful Recommendations
Travel is the greatest human adventure, an opportunity to expand our horizons by immersing ourselves in different cultures and experiencing countless different ways of being in this world. The most lasting memories of a trip are invariably those unscripted moments when we depart the beaten path and deliberately move away from where the crowds are gathered (ex. the Eiffel Tower). Simply explore! Dare to wander off in whatever direction your curiosity leads you. Explore neighborhoods where non-tourists live, work, eat, and shop. Sure, you might get lost – but what you discover while getting lost will provide the lasting memory from your trip. We promise you will never regret expanding your horizons beyond what your mind ever imagined before!
Is travel on your mind? Learn more about how Ourisman Travel can assist by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a Travel Request Form!