What my friends think I do. What society thinks I do. What I actually do.

Leia Morales on 10 July 2020
I’ve been a travel consultant for 10 years, my friends and family think they know what I do but like the meme’s that go around there are different images of what a travel consultant does:

What my friends think I do. What society thinks I do. What I actually do.

Putting aside that I am running my own business and the day to day work that comes with promoting myself, let me run through the experience of what I do looking through the customer journey.

A customer will get in touch with me via social media, email or on the phone. I always prefer to talk to people in person (on the phone or video call) because it makes the experience more personal. I appreciate that sometimes my customers find sending an email easier during the day, which is why we can arrange an after hours chat. These phone calls can take 10 minutes to an hour depending on the complexity of what you are looking to do. Sometimes people will come to me with a destination in mind, sometimes people come to me and say they want to go somewhere hot! Through a series of questions, I can usually narrow down and exclude some hot destinations because they only want a short flight or because they want to go at a particular time of year.

If there is more than one person travelling it is good to speak to multiple travellers, because they will have different interests. If it is two friends travelling, they might also have different budgets and I can help mediate those awkward conversations!

When I have as much information as I can possibly gather, I might be able to make some suggestions to you on the spot before going off to thoroughly research and come up with the ideal travel plan.

As an independent travel consultant, I have access to a lot of travel options. I can package together something bespoke, or approach one of our retail partners if they have something suitable.

If I am looking at a beach holiday, for example, I will find the best destinations for the time of year, local attractions, facilities in the hotel, size of hotel, room upgrade options, dining options. I will look at reviews and be able to speak to my colleagues who have been there or had clients that have been. I will call the hotel if there is any information I am unable to find.

If you are looking for a multi stop itinerary, a tour or a fly drive for example, I can plan every single day of your itinerary. Each hotel will be chosen for a reason, I will plan each day of sightseeing if you need me to, arranging local guides or attraction tickets.

Once I have done all this research and put together 1-3 itineraries, we will arrange a follow up call or meeting. I will talk you through what I have found and discuss any options that I have. I will have anticipated many of your questions and will ask for feedback on what I have given you.

I will take the time to run through important things like the weather, visas, insurance and booking conditions.

You might then take some time to have a think; if there are any questions that you have, I will find the answers because I want you to make an informed choice about your travel. Once you are ready to book I will request all of the elements from our various suppliers and collate that into one perfectly packaged holiday for you, with all your money held in a trust account and with the full protection of the package travel regulations, issuing you with an ATOL certificate.

In the lead up to your holiday I will be in touch to make sure you have everything you need and to answer any questions. I will put together a pre-departure pack with all your travel documents. I will let the hotel know about any special requests or special occasions. I will check you in for your flight if you need me to, or pre-book seats. I will phone ahead to any restaurants to pre-book tables. It is my job to think of all these things so that you are free to enjoy your holiday.

When you are on holiday, I am available to you. Should you have any problems, I am at the end of the phone or email. If a flight is cancelled, a volcano erupts or a global pandemic strikes I will get you home safely.

I want to know about your holiday, I want to see your holiday photos and learn from your experiences. That way I can get to know more about you for the next holiday you want to book with me, and I can get your recommendations to pass onto my other customers.

Knowing you better means that when I come across an amazing deal for a hotel, I will call you up to tell you about it. Knowing you means I will send you a birthday card or ask you how the grandchildren are when we speak.

Booking with a travel consultant is not like booking on the internet and it has taken a global pandemic for some people to learn that the hard way. There is a reason that Travel Counsellors have twice topped Martin Lewis’ survey of the best travel companies for refunds while many of the worst performing are internet booking engines. When you book with a person you deal with a person throughout, when you book with a computer you don’t get a person when you need one. The reason we are called Travel Counsellors is because we have the experience to give you advice and solve your travel problems.

Hopefully that gives you an insight into what I do when I create your dream travel experience, and you can see why I don’t price match the internet because the internet doesn’t match me for service.

Get in touch with me if you are ready to let me plan your next holiday.