By Laurie Marschall, Lakama Luxury Travel

“Do travel advisors still exist? I thought they went away considering we can book everything online these days.” This is a question I hear regularly, and yes, it’s a myth that professional travel advisors are no longer around. In fact, there are over 100,000 advisors around the country. Many of us work from remote locations, though storefronts can still be found.

These days, professional travel advisors are in high demand for several reasons. One of the top reasons is that current travel requirements and restrictions are complicated, confusing, and fluid – changing daily. Travel advisors are knowledgeable and up-to-date with the protocols and can provide accurate advice and keep travelers away from unwanted surprises.

Why You Should Use a Travel Advisor
• Professional advisors work for their clients and have their best interests in mind. We put you front and center. We are your advocate. We look for experiences that best match your style and budget because we want you to come home with the best memories. And of course, we’d love you to use our services again for another trip and refer us to friends and family.
• Professional travel advisors are often part of a consortia that provides access to extra amenities, special offers, and upgrades. More importantly, through these relationships we have connections, contacts, tools, education and added support – all important in the normal course of business but critical in the event things go wrong.
• It’s not possible for one person to know everything, however with our connections, contacts and relationships, we can always find someone specializing in a particular destination or region to get more details and accurate information. Our connections with trade organizations and local operators are quite valuable.
• The real value of an advisor is in the relationship. You are not just a number or another call in the queue. Of course, some will always use online travel sites and warehouses, but at the end of the day, none of these venues can replace the relationships we build with you. Have an issue? Good luck getting an online travel site or warehouse center to call you back.
• Some trips are longer, more complicated, or quite specialized, requiring more legwork and knowledge. For example, a trip to Antarctica or the Galapagos is far different than booking a short Caribbean cruise (although I would suggest booking easier cruises through an advisor as well).
• Access to special consolidator airfares. This is especially valuable with business/first class airfare.
• Coordinating group travel (even as few as four people) can be like herding cats. Negotiating rates and coordinating accommodations and flights for multiple parties can be quite cumbersome and time consuming. Let a travel advisor take care of all the work. That’s what we do. We take care of the details and logistics—before, during and after the trip.

An Advisor Is Best Utilized When…
• You don’t have the hours or energy to do all the legwork and take care of the logistics.
• You want to minimize the pain points of planning and travel so you can focus on enjoying yourself.
• You have never taken this type of trip before, or the trip is more complicated with multiple pieces to the puzzle. You want to make sure everything is covered.
• You want to take advantage of consortia amenities and extras.
• You want professional advice and insights.
• You want an advocate backing you up in the event an issue arises. You don’t want to have to fight on your own.

When to Not Use A Professional Travel Advisor…
• A weekend getaway.
• Domestic flight arrangements.
• You want is the cheapest vacation (that is what the internet is for).

Professional travel advisors are valuable resources and worth the investment you make in them. Consider enlisting our help on your next adventure. Call 602-540-7338 or email me at to get started.

This content is sponsored by Lakama Luxury Travel.