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Thinking about travel? You need a travel advisor

KAY ROGERS

Boalsburg

This year National Travel Advisor Day is Wednesday, May 5.

Now, more than ever, the value of booking with a travel advisor is clear.

Last year, as borders were closing and travelers scrambling to get home, we stepped in.

When travelers spent hours on hold negotiating refunds or navigating their way home, our clients didn’t have to lift a finger because it’s our job to handle that on their behalf.

When things go wrong, we have your back. It’s our job to read the fine print and understand what’s a good fit for our clients. Like an attorney or financial advisor, we have a fiduciary duty to do what’s best for our clients. Given the overwhelming complexities of the post-COVID travel industry, I’m here to remind readers how important it will be to work with a professional like me.

While my part of the travel industry was devastated by COVID, travel interest is picking back up at record pace. As more Americans are getting vaccinated, they are thinking ahead to where they might want to go on their long-overdue vacation.

In fact, according to a study conducted by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), 44 percent of Americans are getting vaccinated so that they can travel. That is why I can say confidently that travel advisors are poised for a renaissance of their own, and the golden age of travel is on the horizon.

2020 was a year of introspection for all of us. We asked questions like: What really matters? How do I recover from a year of isolation? Where is my bucket list? Travel is the common denominator to all these questions because travel is how we heal.

As a travel advisor, I am the person behind the scenes helping us connect again. When I say connections, I’m not just talking about flights! I have relationships and industry knowledge that take a lifetime to build. The benefits of my relationships and experience are passed along to my clients in the form of free hotel upgrades if available, late check-out, spa credits, free breakfast and so much more. These are things you can’t get on your own when you book your own.

If you really want to travel confidently, use a professional travel advisor. According to ASTA, there is a 98% chance that the travel agency you work with is a small business and a 66% chance they’re female-owned. By working with an advisor you can feel good about supporting a small business, but you’ll feel even better when you see what we can do for you.

Since you can only do your first post-pandemic vacation once, I highly recommend that travelers don’t DIY something that important. As the world starts traveling again, travel advisors are here to help … and here to stay!

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