The other week, I had the opportunity to speak to several business professionals in my market. They were high dollar prospects and very savvy in the technology world. My topic was “Why a travel professional?” Of course, I know the answer to that; but I needed to drive it home with this tough crowd. Judging from the reaction I got after my minute long presentation, I succeeded. I wanted to share it here.
Travel professionals are not that different than financial planners. When you are planning your vacation, you are investing your hard earned dollars in hopes of having a dream trip. When investing money, you want the best rate of return. There are numerous places on the Internet to help you plan this investment on your own, but do they have the knowledge and experience to do it? There is also the issue of credibility. How long has this company been in business? What is their success rate? How hard are they to reach if you have questions about your investment? Will they offer you advice or just read from a canned response? Are they looking out for your best interest or are they just after the sale? Most clients of a financial planner want guidance and someone with knowledge of the market to assist them with planning their future.
Travel professionals do the same thing, only withvacations. They sit down with you and discuss your vacation dreams and desires and try to plan your perfect vacation. How often have you gone to a financial planner and not heard from them for months or years? Have you invested on your own and just neglected your investments? Has time run out on you; and now you are trying to play catch up, so your investment can be where you want it when you retire?
Too often, you do the same with your vacations. You miss details or are unsure of new security procedures, documents needed to travel, recommend items to pack, etc. Then you hurry around at the last minute trying to correct details or make changes, only to find the costs of these changes are expensive or, more often than not, simply cannot be done in time for your trip. A good travel professional takes care of these details. They make sure you have the proper documents; they advise you of schedule changes or changing travel conditions. They offer advice on how to get the most out of your vacation. Travel professionals follow up with you before you go to make sure you are prepared and follow up with you when you return to make sure your dream vacation (investment) was what you expected.
You go to a financial planner, as you want someone you can trust; who has integrity and has your best interest in helping you with your investment goals. You do not want to have an Internet computer planning your future, nor should it be planning your dream vacation. When planning your vacation, find a travel professional you can trust and build a relationship with and then your travel dreams will always be fulfilled.
Tim Richmond is a 20 year veteran of the industry and owner of Craig’s Travel in Southern California. The agency is affiliated with Nexion and TSI and specializes in customized vacation planning. The agency is 100% leisure. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.craigstravel.com