5 Ways to Best Use a Travel Professional
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
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
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
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
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
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.”
Other Articles You May Like
Experience the true essence of travel with immersive experiences that connect you to the most intimate corners of the world. Set sail to discover curated adventures that are sure to spark new passions and curiosities.
Plan Your Stay in these Destinations
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