You decided on a trip to Europe. Congratulations. You’re halfway there. Now what?
The internet is great, but sometimes finding your way through the abundance of choices can be time consuming and confusing. What, where, when, and how are common and important questions. That’s where travel experts really shine, by guiding you through the maze of price, quality, location, and time combination. A good travel expert is your partner and will listen to your needs. Together they work with you to plan your trip on your terms, created your way. Some of the pitfalls/questions that a professional will address might be the following:
Q: When is the best time to travel? Spring, fall, summer, or winter?
A: Seems like a simple enough question, but when to travel can have a profound impact on your travel experience. Weather, local events, and seasonal pricing (just to name a few) can affect your trip in different ways. For example, did you know that wonderful little village you want to visit is hosting a major international trade show? Did you know hotels can markup their rates 100%, 200% or more during that time?
Q: Which areas should I see?
A: This depends on your time, budget, and travel ambition. Are you trying to see one major city per day, or stay in a local resort for a week? Do you want to see several countries, or just one? A professional will provide the pros and cons by helping you narrow your best choices.
Q: Which areas should I skip?
A: See above answer.
Q: Which route do I take?
A: This is one of the most important aspects of booking any trip. Do you want to take a scenic route, or one that is more direct? Can one route save time versus another? What about local delays, strikes, or construction? Are there any stops we should make along our route? I think you get the point.
Q: What is the best timing if I only have so many days?
A: Having a few precious days to see the sights makes effective trip planning even more important. The wrong mode of transportation or picking the wrong route will lead to missed opportunities and frustration. This is a very general overview, but you see where this is going. Details matter.
Q: How do I get from place to place? Car, train or plane?
A: This is one of those questions that must be carefully weighed based on the amount of time you have to spend, and your own personal preferences. A travel professional can offer insight into the best choices based on your itinerary and budget.
Q: Where do I stay, and in what kind of hotel?
A: Where you stay can make or break your trip. Online reviews and Google Maps are nice tools, but is parking your car a major and expensive hassle? Is it convenient to the train station? Is it a modern 3 star hotel, but you expected a charming 3 star hotel? The list is endless, but once again, you get the point. Say it with me this time: “Details matter.”
Q: Do I book entrance tickets in advance, and which sights do I see?
A: It depends. Not specific enough for you? For starters, picking the wrong tour can cost you time and money. Waiting hours in line isn’t why you came to this location. Some tours are very popular and are worth paying a little extra to skip the line. Some are small groups that operate on frequent time schedules – so long lines aren’t an issue. A good agent can help you decide which tours are worth your time, and which ones should viewed as a private tour, guided tour, or group tour.
A good travel professional will help guide you through the clutter, line up events, and use local contacts that stand by their products. Their job is to help you solve any problems that might arise and make your travel experience a good one – from the beginning of your trip to the end
Generally speaking, you should look for the following when choosing a travel professional:
- Ideally, someone that has traveled to the locations they sell or works with suppliers that have expertise in that area.
- Will listen to you and offer guidance that is unbiased and insightful.
- Add value to your travel package by paying attention to the small details that can make the difference between a good trip, and great trip.
Planning your trip should be exciting and fun. Using a travel professional adds extra value by handling the large and small details that keep your travel plans on track.