As we bid adieu to another year, it’s the perfect time for reflection and renewal. This past year has been a rollercoaster of lessons, experiences, and opportunities to grow. In this blog, we’ll explore what we should leave behind as we step into a new chapter. From ditching the confines of over-planning to redefining our approach to travel and leisure, we’ll delve into shedding the weight of travel burnout. Additionally, we’ll examine the pitfalls of blindly opting for the cheapest rates, the value of seeking professional advice, and the pitfalls of solely relying on AI for crafting personalized itineraries. Let’s unpack these notions to welcome a more mindful, balanced, and enriching year ahead!
At Ourisman Travel, we understand the delicate balance between under and over-planning a trip, and our service tiers are crafted to cater to various levels of desired involvement in the travel process. Our spectrum of services aims to accommodate different traveler preferences, ensuring a seamless and tailored experience.
Starting with our Hotel Only service, designed for the independent, DIY traveler seeking a streamlined reservation process without the fuss or extra fees, we offer value-added amenities and VIP post-booking support. This is also where our Virtuoso Booking Tool comes in handy! This tool allows you to book most of your Virtuoso hotels online, while still receiving our usual VIP process and value-added amenities. Once you’ve booked, we will receive a notification and get in touch to discuss any notes or preferences for your trip.
Moving up, Hotel Plus extends a more comprehensive range of services, providing consultations for identifying suitable destinations and accommodations based on your travel preferences, along with assisting with concierge requests.
Finally, our top-tier service, Tailored Luxury, offers a highly personalized approach to itinerary design, ensuring each trip reflects the unique travel style and goals of our clients. From customized itineraries to on-the-ground support, this tier ensures an exclusive, unmatched travel experience.
2. Travel burnout
In our quest to say au revoir to travel burnout this year, we suggest prioritizing a strategic financial approach that allows for longer getaways. We advocate for a minimum stay of three nights to truly reap the benefits of your vacation and feel rejuvenated upon returning home.
By leveraging strategic financial planning, including taking advantage of promotions like “third night free,” you can have more relaxation, for less. Embracing this approach not only ensures you can escape the frenetic pace of everyday life but also allows you to savor and appreciate the essence of each destination, promoting a more relaxing and fulfilling travel experience. To best prepare for your upcoming trip, refer to our blog post “Travel Tips from the Pros” for a full list of tips and tricks from Team O’s personal experiences that help prevent travel burnout.
3. Booking on Expedia
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.
Not only do online wholesalers like Expedia hide their fees and policies, but your reservation also gets overlooked by hotel management. Simply, you don’t have status and in high-capacity situations, your room is bound to have the worst location and most faulty room product.
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, versus an online computer chat system. Read our blog to learn about more reasons why using a travel advisor can elevate your next trip. Finally, the best part – by booking with us, you’re supporting a small business versus a corporation.
4. Choosing the cheapest rate over a better value
When it comes to travel, the temptation to choose the cheapest rate often lures us into overlooking the value-added benefits that come with booking through a reputable consultancy. Opting for the lowest price might seem like a win initially, but it often means sacrificing the exceptional privileges and VIP treatment available through our partnerships with Brownell Travel and Virtuoso.
Our commitment to providing you with the finest access and experiences in the world of luxury travel means we prioritize understanding your unique travel style and leveraging our esteemed affiliations. Through these affiliations, we secure exclusive value-added amenities for your hotel stays, ensuring you receive VIP status and benefits tailored to enhance your journey. Our relationships with top-tier vendors are built on trust and mutual respect, assuring that our name and reputation advocate for your utmost satisfaction. Trusting in us means placing confidence in our dedication to curating experiences that go beyond the ordinary, ensuring that each trip is nothing short of extraordinary. And having this type of stay is always worth the extra cost. Read our blog on the values of booking with us to dig deeper into this topic.
Pro-tip: Before booking that discounted “member rate” reach out to us first! It’s more than likely our exclusive rate is more valuable to you in the end… hello complimentary daily breakfast and a 100+ USD resort credit!
5. Taking travel advice from non-professionals
In the realm of travel advice circulating on social media, one might stumble upon viral posts seeking destination suggestions or personal travel anecdotes proclaiming the ultimate must-visit spots. Our interconnected society fosters a platform where individuals, though well-intentioned, occupy a space typically reserved for experts.
While self-sufficiency in various areas like hair cutting, tax filing, or even diagnosing symptoms via Google is feasible, the reality remains: professionals excel in their respective fields. Similarly, planning a vacation independently is possible, yet seeking guidance from a Travel Advisor yields superior results. While initial travel planning might start with a Google search, the abundance of information often overwhelms or misleads. At Ourisman Travel, we embody the role of personal travel consultants, cutting through the myriad of options to craft the journey of your dreams. Be it an African safari, an immersive South American experience, a scenic drive through the south of France, or a serene escape to Bora Bora – our expertise ensures a meticulously planned adventure because, quite simply, we are the professionals you can trust.
6. Using AI to make a custom itinerary
AI can handle routine tasks such as customer service chatbots, data processing, and face recognition technology at security checkpoints. Leave travel advisors to focus on what they do best: cultivating relationships, providing personalized recommendations, and ensuring a seamless travel experience. Similar to what we mentioned above, Google and AI are inevitably a great starting point, but they should only that: a starting point. Blindly trusting these tools will more often than not lead to disappointment. That’s because AI can’t learn your interests and travel preferences the way we can.
Further, one of the best resources we have are our partners. We value our relationships with our preferred vendors very much, and we know they feel the same towards us! They understand that your comfort is our primary focus, and we depend on them to execute your stay perfectly so that you can be sure to have the trip of a lifetime, every time. While AI serves as a great tool, it will never be able to place the value of human connection and our on-the-ground partners.
Read our blog to learn more about our thoughts on AI and the travel industry, including the good and the bad.
New Year, Better Travel Experiences
Now let’s carry forward the wisdom gained from examining what should be left behind in our travel ethos. Shedding the constraints of over-planning and steering away from the allure of travel burnout are crucial steps toward a more enriching travel experience. Acknowledging the value of seeking professional advice and understanding the drawbacks of solely relying on the cheapest rates or AI-generated itineraries allows us to embark on more mindful and balanced journeys. At Ourisman Travel, we are committed to guiding you beyond these pitfalls and helping you curate dream vacations throughout 2024 and beyond. Here’s to crafting travel experiences that transcend expectations and resonate deeply with your unique travel aspirations. Cheers to a mindful, balanced, and truly fulfilling year ahead!