Hi, I am Stacy, I am #NOTYOURAVERAGETRAVELAGENT and I get asked this question on a daily basis. And, after 15 years as a luxury travel advisor, I am always readjusting my responses depending on who is asking.
To me, it's pretty much as simple as this:
If I am not a lawyer, would I attempt to do my own legal work? NO
If I am not a realtor, would I do my own home buying transaction? NO
If I am not an accountant, would I do my own taxes? NO
You get the picture. Not to oversimplify the scenario, but why would I spend my time and energy researching things and trying to do something others are way more skilled and experienced in than I am? And trust me, I get that there are a lot of "NOT GREAT" luxury travel advisors out there, and I've heard from many clients that they've had experiences with "typical" travel agents that pushed them away from trying another.
I get it. I wouldn't work with some of the lawyers, accountants, Realtors that I've worked with in the past again either.
All of that aside, choosing a luxury travel advisor that best suits your needs is a personal decision that shouldn't be made too impulsively. For the past decade, at least 90% of my clients are referred to me by existing clients. It is my favorite way to "get" new clients, as it signifies that my existing clients are happy with my services and trust recommending me to their friends, family and clients. However, sometimes these new clients are totally NEW to working with a travel advisor so I get the opportunity to show them how I can make their travel experiences levels better than if they tried to book on their own.
This week alone, I've worked a little "magic" and done the following things for clients (some are just in the name of a day's work, others were more along the "miracle worker" path):
1) Cleared space on a flight that showed SOLD OUT in first class online
2) Wow'ed clients with an unexpected "babymoon"-themed welcome amenity
3) Handed five clients' reservations at the hottest table on Maui and the toughest reservation to get this summer
4) Figured out how to book a car rental at a decent rate when they showed sold out online
5) Set up a client for a special bday last-minute getaway at a hotel that didn't appear available online
6) Booked private jets "on the fly"
7) Got breakfasts added into the rate for more than the allotted 2 pax for a larger family booking a "villa"
8) Answered 6AM texts that revolved around changing flights/hotel dates on the fly
9) Found a client a "3rd night free" option at a luxe hotel for his 15-nt biz trip this fall saving him thousands
10) Made a new client's day by texting her the "italy is open to vaxxed ppl" news that broke this week
Honestly, to me, none of this is all that crazy or difficult. BUT, if you're trying to book your own travels, trying to figure out WHICH hotel is the best for you and your family and/or friends, and how to find the most value in a market when demand is starting to outpace supply, it starts to feel overwhelming pretty quickly. Why wouldn't you turn to a trusted, experience travel advisor to help spend your most valuable asset---your time?
That's why I am here. And truly, if I don't feel we are the right fit, I will do my best to steer you to someone who I think is! After 15 years in this business, I know I am NOT the right travel advisor for everyone. I specialize in high-end, luxury travel around the globe. I know General Managers at hotels worldwide, as well as the BEST local operators and chefs and store owners and others who can always enhance pretty much any trip you will take. Feel free to email me for a consultation email@example.com or message me 808-476-2462. As I have been saying for 15 years now, #YOUCANTVIPYOURSELF !!
PS Since so many people are still asking..............NO, I am NO longer baking gluten-free cookies. I mean, I am, for fun and to share with local friends but NOT as a business as I am back to LOVING changing lives through travel for fascinating people worldwide after a nice long sabbatical.