Why Should I Use A Travel Advisor When I Can Book Everything Online?

Your vacation is too important to risk. Hiring a travel advisor is a personal decision, absolutely. It’s much like hiring an attorney, or an accountant… It is a significant consideration. You don’t want your vacation dollars and memories to be left to chance!

Online Booking Engines:

The necessity of hiring a travel advisor is even more evident than ever before, thanks to the pandemic. Travelers were left stranded in foreign countries when borders suddenly shut down in 2020. If they booked their trip on their own using an online booking engine, do you think they could get someone on the phone? Travelers that lost their vacations during the “Great Pause” were left floundering without a travel professional advocating on their behalf. According to a CNBC story by Marla Mercado, travelers had less than a 50% chance of getting all their money back.

Even prior to the global crisis, often if you book your hotel room through an online booking engine, what you see is NOT what you get. Hotels might put you in the least desirable room, like the noisy one near the elevator, or the room with “a view” … that looks out over a parking lot. And if something derails your vacation — like a canceled flight — it can be nearly impossible to talk to a real, live human to help you out if you’ve booked online.

Travel Insurance:

Can we talk about travel insurance for a moment? I highly recommend travel insurance to all of my clients. Travel insurance will assist you if you have to cancel for a covered reason, experience an injury, sickness, or death in the family, lost baggage, travel delays, and trip interruption.

Having travel insurance helps protect your financial investment — and picks up where your regular medical insurance leaves off. Did you also know that most medical insurance policies in the U.S. only cover you for medical emergencies in the United States? Travel insurance will protect you if you are injured while outside of the country. It’s worth it for the peace of mind alone.

I will recommend a travel insurance policy that best fits your needs.

24/7 access to ME while traveling:

Yes, you read that correctly! It might get scary being all alone in a new country or destination. Or maybe you are fascinated by being somewhere strange and unfamiliar, but it helps to have someone who is just a phone call away should something go awry. Canceled flights, missed connections, the hotel room isn’t what you were promised…

I have personal relationships with my travel partners. I can get help directly from them if the need arises. There are some problems that are impossible to solve without that extra help. Because of these connections, my clients have next to nothing to worry about. And, I will be following your progress in the background so there are no surprises.

Juggle logistics:

What’s a vacation for? To relax, right? Planning vacations can be a headache, to be honest. From handling luggage to getting the best hotels to the general advice on a new destination. Doing all this could put a damper on the fun of your vacation.

I can do everything from your flights to your transfers, from the minute you leave home, get you to the airport on time, get you to your destination, help you have all of the amazing experiences that suit your travel style, then bring you back home again! I LIVE for that stuff! Why don’t you let me help you alleviate the overwhelm and plan all the elements of your next trip?

Access to “WOW” experiences:

Ever wondered why there are some people you meet while on vacation who get better services? Yeah, you might think they paid the premium fee, but not always. Most times it’s because they hired the services of a travel planner who negotiated the best value for them.

You can be confident the amazing preferred partners selected to serve you will give the best treatment possible! There is something to be said for deeply established relationships with partners known for their years of providing outstanding services! Through these contacts, I have access to experiences most people are unaware of. Usually, if you can dream it, I can make it happen.


Last, but not least, the dreaded C word — COVID. With the ever-changing rules of entry into destinations, re-entry into the United States, and the “what-ifs” — illness, quarantining, etc., I will research your options with boots-on-the-ground contacts.

When should I NOT use a travel advisor?

Yes, there are circumstances when I recommend booking your travel yourself!

If your travel is time-sensitive, often it will be more beneficial for you to use an online booking engine. You can quickly pick flights, hotel rooms, and car rentals with these powerful websites.

Are you needing minimal elements of travel? For example, all you need is a domestic flight… An online booking engine or simply calling your air carrier of choice may be the easiest and most cost-effective route to go.

If you prefer non-traditional accommodations, such as Airbnb, home-exchanges, or hostels, you are better off handling that yourself. However, if you need a hotel while visiting your son at college, and you want the added amenities that are available through Virtuoso advisors, you can always visit HERE to book it yourself!

Do you wish to use reward miles or points on your travel? I am unable to use your points for booking. However, most airlines and hotels will allow rewards to be added after travel, so you will be responsible for following up.

Finally, if cost is the driving factor and not value, consider handling the trip yourself. Many promotional offers must be booked directly with the supplier. Travel advisors are unable to book some deals you find on your own.

Thinking “Why should I hire YOU as my travel advisor?”

I will save you time. All you have to do is show up and your dream vacation will unfold!

I build relationships with my clients, so I get to know what will improve their getaways. In my time of planning travel, I’ve learned that my relationship with you, my client, is the most important. Why? It helps me know what you like and how I can best serve you…

I specialize in planning travel, where the logistics can get complicated fast. If you’re yearning for an escape with your family, your friends, or your club’s members, let me take care of coordinating all of the travel details for you. That way, you can simply enjoy your time together, without the worry!

If you are ready to talk about your next vacation, whether it’s to Mexico or Russia, or anywhere in-between, or if you have any questions about travel at all, reach out to me today!

I look forward to planning a vacation that “checks all the boxes” for you!

Erin Smith, Travel Advisor

Cultivating Connections Travel Planners


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Erin Smith — Travel Advisor

Erin Smith — Travel Advisor

I plan effortless group travel crafted around your passions. Connect with the interests — and people — you care about most! Custom getaways + guided tours

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