Whatever it is you think travel agents do, we probably do….and so much more. But how we do it, that is what has changed. In light of a global health and economic crisis with COVID-19, we must all band together as a collective to do what is necessary for the greater good and the light will shine through in the end.
I firmly believe that once the dust settles, our roles as travel advisors are forever changed. I am grateful for the continued support of all my clients, and travel suppliers who are working around the clock to help us serve our clients to calm their fears and recoup their financial losses and continue their dreams (albeit postponed) while absorbing the cataclysmic effects of doing so.
If you don’t already know what we do, we book vacations. It might look easy enough so that you can do it on your own. But what this whole “infinite crisis-level catastrophe” has proven is that a disruption to your travel plans can bring in crisis-level stresses!
What travel agents do:
We research, we plan and we refine travel plans and itineraries specifically for you. Even if it is a pre-packaged travel product, there is more to it than simply inputting your passenger information and credit card info and then pressing the “book” button.
But since this COVID-19 situation has erupted, I’m going to brag about what I’ve also been doing:
✔️I’ve been available “almost” 24/7 to my clients. Yes, there is a little sleep thrown in there but it hasn’t been continuous or restful but more along the lines of exhaustion-induced black-outs only to be up at 6:00am to try to get through to supplier phone lines to get into the queue.
✔️I have been updating all my clients on their options as it becomes available to them (the good, the bad and the not so good), and advocating on their behalf on the not-so-good news to help bring about a good news result wherever I can.
✔️I have mitigated the cancellations and changes so that NONE of my clients lost any money for their change in plans (including non-refundable options thanks to our trusted travel partners who play an equal role in our mutual client’s satisfactory experiences before, during and after their trips).
Through the last couple of days, the travel industry community has banded together in a way that proves the success and worth of the travel agent advisor and I am so thankful for our community, for the support we have amongst each other to help our clients..
Now that we have more answers than we had before, we have better ideas on how to move forward when the current climate allows us to. And we continue to wait and watch as the days go by.
The ultimate lesson in this whole experience?
Book your travel with a travel advisor.
And trip cancellation insurance is worth its weight in gold for the peace of mind that it can bring you during unexpected events.
Think that nothing will stop you from travelling on your trip? Um, this week has certainly changed our perspective on this from so many angles!
Once things have settled down and the climate allows safe travel again, please consider booking your travels with a travel advisor, a travel expert that can help you – save you time and money, supplementing your experience with advice and expertise. As an independent small business owner, we are going to need all the support we can, and will be happy to book your next travels!