What is a travel consultant?

Travel consultants are a growing niche in the travel industry. I offer all the services of a traditional travel agent and more. I look at client relationships as collaborations, and I work to fully understand my clients' needs, criteria and preferences. My goal is to develop long-term relationships with my clients so that they have wonderful trips and come back to me year after year.

I work for you, not my suppliers, and I am with you every step along the way. As an experienced traveler myself, I know the ins and outs of the industry and can make recommendations that result in trips that are easier, smoother and more enjoyable. 

What's the difference between a travel agent and a travel consultant?

A travel agent... A travel consultant...
Makes bookings. Collaborates with clients to research, plan, and book trips. Looks out for his clients to make sure all goes smoothly both before and during their trips.
Can look up clients in a computer profile. Gets to know his clients.
Focuses on the transaction. Focuses on the client relationship.
Suggests options that pay the highest commission. Suggests options that best meet the client’s needs.
Is a specialist in booking travel. Is a specialist in travel, based on extensive personal experience.
Finds deals.
Finds the best options to meet the client's goals and preferences.
Expects clients to know what they want. Is available to help clients make decisions.
Books whatever room or cabin is available in the computer system.
Attempts to secure upgrades or other perks when possible.
Is an agent for his suppliers. Is an agent for his clients.
Paraphrased from Richard Turen in Travel Weekly.

What services do you offer?

I work with clients on all stages of the travel process, including research, planning, and booking. Click here for more details. 

Why should I work with you when I can book a trip myself online?

It's more efficient than doing it yourself. The number of websites offering advice and information can be overwhelming. I do the research for you and only show you options that make sense. Some people don't like to do the work themselves, don't have the time, or don't know how. I take care of the hard part, making travel planning much easier for my clients.

My experience as a traveler and trip planner. I've traveled extensively and have planned hundreds of trips for others, so I know what works best, what to look for, and what to avoid. I look for opportunities to help improve a travel plan and don't hesitate to recommend an alternative if I think something doesn't seem right. I'm there to help think of things in advance so that your trip is smooth and stress-free.

One person to call who cares about your trip. I get to know my clients and their preferences. My clients have a have a real person to call who values their business. That also means I respond to emails quickly, am available on a Sunday morning when they have a last minute question, and am basically there for them when they need me.

My relationships and contacts. I have a network of contacts, throughout the travel industry and around the world, that I can reach out to for my clients. Whether this is to try to get someone an upgrade, a birthday cake delivered on a cruise ship, to negotiate a cancellation penalty, or just to find out which rooms in the hotel are most quiet, my relationships are extremely useful.

I advocate for my clients. Even with the most carefully planned trip, things go wrong. When they do, it's crucial to have someone to call. Whether it's a cancelled flight, a broken air conditioner in a hotel room, tracking down a refund from a cancelled train ticket, a lost passport, or anything else that might come up - I'm there.

Working with me is like an insurance policy. Travel is expensive. I do my best to ensure that my clients are making good choices and spending their money wisely.

Perks and upgrades. When you book travel on your own, you’re just an individual. But if you book through me, you’re a VIP. As a Virtuoso consultant, I can often confirm preferred rates, availability, and perks like complimentary daily breakfasts, room upgrades, early check-in, late check-out, and welcome amenities at top luxury properties. These are made available only to travel professionals that are affiliated with Virtuoso.

What companies or organizations are you affiliated with?

Virtuoso
I'm proud to be a Virtuoso agent. Virtuoso is the travel industry’s leading luxury network with more than 7,200 travel consultants in 20 countries around the world. Virtuoso provides preferred access to the top hotels, cruise lines, and tour companies around the world, and these companies provide perks to customers who book with Virtuoso agents. Virtuoso also gives me access to a tried and tested network of local guides and experts in 75 countries that can help plan adventures anywhere in the world, often including exclusive activities that would be difficult to plan on your own.
Read more about Virtuoso here.

If you would like to book your own Virtuoso hotel, or just look up some options on your own, you can do so using this self-service Virtuoso link. Bookings through this link are assigned and credited to me, so I'm happy to provide support if you need any. Please feel free to use anytime and share with friends. If you book a hotel using this link, you get all the same perks as if it was booked by a Virtuoso travel consultant.

Protravel International
One of the largest travel agencies in the country, Protravel has more than 20 domestic offices and 1000 employees, travel agents, and travel consultants. I affiliate with Protravel for back-end support, technology and invoicing. As one of the largest travel buyers in the country, Protravel, and it's agents, have preferred partner relationships with the top hotels, cruise lines, airlines and tour companies around the world. Read more about Protravel here.

What are your fees?

I charge a service fee which is based on the complexity and amount of time it will take to plan your trip. 

Do you work with groups?

Yes. I’ve planned and managed group travel programs for more than ten years. Read more about my experience and the group services I offer.