Your travel advisor is as important as your doctor, financial advisor or real estate agent. Here's w


I am asked from time to time if people still use travel agents. Typically, this question follows me telling them that I am a travel agent. Over the years I have responded to this question a variety of ways. From a simple "yes", to "the smart ones do", to more entailed explanations and analogies of how our industry actually works. The challenge has always been to educate prospective clients to the benefits of using a travel professional when planning a trip. I am going to explain why a great travel advisor is irreplaceable.

Suburban House

When I look at travel, as a whole, I am taken back at the culture of the do-it-yourself-online mind set. The thing I find strange is that leisure travel is typically one of the largest discretionary purchases we make. When dealing with such a large financial decision in any other aspect the majority of people seek out professional advice. For instance, I have access to information on homes for sale in my city. I can see square footage, price, number of bedrooms, school district and just about any other information I might need to make a decision on what type of home I would like. Beyond the information I have gathered online in regards to my interests I quickly get lost in the process of buying the home. Inspections, earnest money, financing, contracts and endless signatures all accumulate to an overwhelming task for the inexperienced, everyday consumer. To guide us through the process we seek out a well-reviewed or recommended realtor and mortgage broker to help us answer our questions.

"Information, of course, is a far cry from being able to make an educated and professional assessment of the information."


Another example would be healthcare. I can Google my symptoms; I can read about diseases, medications and homeopathic or natural treatments. The information is all there, but I do not know how to apply all of the information together, or more importantly ask the questions I might not have known to ask.


What about our finances? I can look at stocks online. I can open an E*Trade account and buy and sell stocks. I might even do alright for a while. But in the long run, I do not have all of the information needed to leverage the largest advantage so I trus