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Children look into a tide pool alongside the ocean.

5 Ways to Best Use a Travel Professional

Article by Kat Johnson 09.07.2018

With years of experience assisting busy travelers, this expert concierge offers deep connections and expertise for seamless, memorable travel experiences.

There’s a reason we use the term “travel professionals” when referring to those in the trip-planning industry. Far more than “agents” focused merely on logistics, these multifaceted advisors handle a surprisingly wide range of services for their clients. These intuitive service specialists are extraordinarily well connected and known to move mountains — at any hour of the day or night. Alexis Romer, vice president of sales, luxury travel industry for Marriott International Luxury Brands, shares why and how to leverage this indispensable, yet often under-used, resource. 

 

1.  Spend More Time Traveling and Less Time Planning

A family hikes through a shallow river in a narrow canyon.

Yes, travel professionals can save you money and provide access to exclusive perks and experiences. But what about the most valuable resource of all? “Time is the one thing you can’t get back,” Romer says. Most travelers simply don’t have the time to sift through all the options available — from stringing together a seamless itinerary to securing transportation and special access to events and attractions. “Sure, you can almost find anything you want on the Internet,” Romer says. “But dissecting the information is arduous. A good travel professional can cut through that in a nanosecond.”

 

2.  Expand Your Network

A couple sails on a yacht at the sun sets.

Relationships reign supreme in the travel industry, a close-knit community with a surprisingly noncompetitive vibe that’s a boon for travelers, especially busy business executives that spend a lot of time on the road. “These are among the most connected people in the world, especially those that concentrate on luxury travel,” Romer says. “If they don’t know someone in a particular area, they will reach out to another travel professional who does. This group of professionals is very connected to each other and is always happy to share information and contacts. It’s truly a unique industry. If you have one friend, you have hundreds.”

 

3.  Access Lesser-Known Locales with Ease

Women walk near a jungle shrine as sun streams in through the trees.

When you’re embarking to new destinations, from secluded enclaves like Langkawi, Malaysia, and Phulay Bay, Thailand, to Middle East hotspots like Oman and Ras Al Khaimah, a travel professional can eliminate the stress and legwork of traveling somewhere remote or unfamiliar, from what to do and how to get there. Romer remembers a couple who wanted to enjoy both The Ritz-Carlton, Bali, at the island’s southern tip, and Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, nearly a two-hour drive north in Ubud. Their travel advisor arranged for a helicopter to be on-call during their stay so they could seamlessly hop between properties.

 

4.  Have a Hyper-Local Experience

A healer performs a soul purification ritual on the beach.

Travel professionals help you stay like a well-connected local. They’ll uncover the best local food, from impossible-to-get reservations to hole-in-the-wall gems that can’t be found in a guidebook, and shopping — think private meetings in designer showrooms, or an in-room fitting with a sought-after tailor. “I’ve known travel professionals to source a local vendor to make a custom rug in Istanbul and arrange a meeting with a blind healer in Bali,” Romer says. Her own travel advisor even set up a dinner for her at the home of a local professor, for an evening of lively intellectual discussion.

 

5.  Design the Perfect Getaway for Your Group

Children look into a tide pool alongside the ocean.

No two trips are alike, even to the same destination: A Colorado ski trip, for example, is quite different for a family vacation versus a corporate retreat. Travel professionals can help make the most of a leisure opportunity, plan a girls’ trip or romantic getaway, or curate an itinerary for travelers with special needs. And they are ideally positioned to assist with family travel, as they’re intimately familiar with programs like Ritz Kids, Romer says, that offer unique activities and education for all ages. “Families want their children to understand our world, and The Ritz-Carlton does a great job of providing opportunities to expand the experience beyond just the hotel.”

 

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Plan Your Stay in these Destinations


  • Langkawi

    Location Langkawi, Malaysia

    Experience Rainforest retreat overlooking the sea

    • Island’s only overwater spa
    • Beachfront, vitality and adults-only infinity pools
    • Batik painting, wildlife photography and other activities
  • Muscat, Al Bustan Palace

    Location Muscat, Oman

    Experience A luxury resort overlooking the Sea of Oman.

    • Set on 200 lush, waterfront acres
    • Private, .62-mile beach
    • The only remaining palace in Oman
  • Phulay Bay

    Location Krabi, Thailand

    Experience A luxurious spa sanctuary with an aura of serenity and surrender.

    • 5-day retreats led by wellness experts 
    • Full moon and candlelight yoga
    • Meditation & Pilates overlooking a lavish jungle
  • Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach

    Location Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach

    Experience A beachfront oasis offering both tranquility and adventure.

    • Located on a secluded beach with boat arrival
    • Intimate Private Pool Villas with direct access to a pristine beach
    • Destination dining in beach private cabanas
  • Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert

    Location Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert

    Experience Romance and relaxation, adventure and natural beauty.

    • Located in a unique 500 hectare nature reserve
    • 101 private luxury pool-villas
    • Local and International cuisine, destination dining experiences
  • Bali

    Location Bali, Indonesia

    Experience Beautiful cliff tops overlooking the Indian Ocean and white sands.

    • Tropical paradise with lush landscapes
    • Spacious cliff top villas with private pools
    • Exotic dishes made with local flavors
  • Bali, Ubud, Mandapa

    Location Bali, Indonesia

    Experience A sanctuary set among rolling hills, a river and rice terrace.

    • Discover hidden templates and lush forests
    • Romantic, private dining experiences
    • Wellness programs for mind, body and soul