Planning a trip from start to finish can be exciting, but it also takes a lot of time and work. While you’ve likely dreamed up all kinds of travel adventures, turning them into a reality is another story.
The challenge of travel planning is the details: sticking to your budget, figuring out where to stay and eat, booking activities and tour reservations. Plus, there’s the particulars you might not be thinking of, like currency exchange, transportation and travel insurance. Now, especially with the ever-changing travel landscape, it can be hard to know where to begin.
That’s where AAA travel advisors come in. If you haven’t used their expert services already, what’s keeping you from scheduling an appointment? Maybe you think they’re too expensive or that they’ll take control of your trip. Chuck Nardozza, managing director of travel sales for AAA Northeast, and Anne Lischwe, travel sales manager, have heard it all. Here, they set the record straight on 10 of the top travel advisor myths.
Myth: Travel advisors are unnecessary.
Fact: Travel advisors can offer a level of expertise, convenience and peace of mind that simply can’t be matched by booking travel online. While some travelers may prefer to be at the helm of their own travel plans, those looking for personalized advice and support should consider working with a travel advisor.
Myth: Travel advisors are expensive.
Fact: Not if you’re a AAA member! Access to thousands of travel advisors is part of your membership. We don’t charge any fees for booking your travel packages or cruise vacations (though, there is a service fee if you are booking air only.) Working with a AAA travel advisor can actually save travelers money; we have access to exclusive deals and packages that are not available to the general public. Moreover, travel advisors can help you maximize the value of your travel budget by providing insider tips and tricks.
Myth: Travel advisors only book luxury travel.
Fact: Travel advisors can help with all types of travel, from budget-friendly options to high-end luxury experiences. Simply tell your advisor what you’re looking to spend, and they’ve got you covered from car rentals to world cruises and everything in between.
Myth: Travel advisors only book packages.
Fact: “We do book travel packages and cruise vacations, but that’s not all. We can help with flights, hotels, car rentals, activities and travel insurance, too,” Nardozza said.
Myth: Travel advisors only work with large groups.
Fact: Travel advisors can help plan trips for any size group, from solo travelers to large groups, providing valuable advice, support and expertise along the way. As a matter of fact, group travel, multi-generational trips and destination weddings are booming. While these trips can be complex, travel advisors can provide personalized advice and support to ensure travelers have a seamless and enjoyable experience.
Myth: Travel advisors are for your grandparents.
Fact: Many thought the internet would shut down travel agencies for good, but that’s not the case at all. Today, there’s such an overload of information online, people are turning to travel advisors to sift through all the noise.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a return to travel advisors, even for younger generations. Some studies have shown that millennials like working with travel advisors more than boomers do, partly because booking travel is not always an easy digital experience. Millennials and Gen Z are used to one-click and done, doorstep delivery. When it comes to the many nuances of planning a trip, a travel advisor is just about as close to that as you can get!
Myth: Travel advisors only book popular destinations.
Fact: Travel advisors can help with travel to any destination, whether it’s a popular tourist spot or a remote and off-the-beaten-path location.
Myth: Travel advisors don’t have access to better deals.
Fact: Your advisor will help find you savings wherever possible. They often have access to hot deals, exclusive member perks and discounts.
Myth: Travel advisors take control of your trip.
Fact: Travel advisors are exactly that – advisors. And together, you are a team. They ask questions to understand your preferences and budget to create your perfect custom, never cookie-cutter vacation, even if all you know is that you want to go away. “Advisors are there to find your best trip,” said Lischwe. “Don’t know what you want to do or where you want to go? Tell your advisor what you like to do and what you’re interested in, and they can make suggestions and find the best option for you.”
Myth: Travel advisors work only with certain travel suppliers.
Fact: Travel advisors work with a variety of travel suppliers, including hotels, airlines, cruise lines and more, and can help you find the best options for your trip. AAA has preferred partners that cover every continent, travel type and budget to offer our members exclusive perks and unmatched service levels.
Have a question for our travel advisors? Ask away!
What do you think of these travel advisor myths? Tell us in the comments.