Work with a Small-Business Owner
Here, in Letterman style is Reason #9 in our Top 10 Reasons to use a Travel Agent instead of a travel website.
No, there will not be any touching; just a warm personal touch. Most everyone wants to feel special and enjoys having someone cater to them. Even the Grinch wanted to be liked at the end of the story. Well, getting special treatment is a benefit of working with a small-business owner. To a small-business person, you are not a number. You are a key client. You matter.
When you use a travel agent instead of a travel website, you get to work with an individual, someone who values you and appreciates your patronage. You will see a huge difference in using the services of a travel professional versus doing the work alone on the web, receiving no personalized attention.
Nowadays, personal travel agents have access to homes, villas, boutique hotels and apartments. They can help you decide just which property is right for you.
And if you want to stay in a resort abroad, an agent can help you determine which ones are gay/lesbian friendly. Just because the United States has finally legalized same-sex marriage, it doesn’t mean you may not suffer discrimination while traveling internationally. If you have special needs, an agent can help you locate handicap accessible hotels in a country that may not have any ADA requirements.
Allow me to share this brief story with you. Years ago before I entered the travel business, I used a large online travel agency to book a special trip. We spent close to $10,000 on this vacation! We are not wealthy people so this was a huge investment for us to spend on one vacation. Did we receive an acknowledgement from the online travel website for spending five figures with them for our vacation? We did not.
Don’t get me wrong. We had a great time and returned with big smiles on our faces. But, do you think we got a card from the online travel agency thanking us for our business? Think again. Did they give us a special gift to commemorate our anniversary? Nope. Did they ask us about our trip upon our return? We never heard a word from them. Why? They didn’t have any interest in us after we had finished booking our trip. However, we did get lots of pop-up ads touting more trips to Europe.
Saturday after Thanksgiving
Everyone knows the day after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday. But were you aware that the day after Black Friday is called Small Business Saturday? Cities around the country decided to “take back” their shops and storefronts. The idea is to shop locally. The money you spend with small business owners stays in your community, benefiting your neighbors, friends and other locals.
David vs. Goliath Travel
When you use a travel agent firm such as Expedia, you are working with a huge conglomerate. They are no mom-and-pop business. This publicly traded company owns several other travel brands. Expedia owns Hotwire.com, Travelocity.com, Hotels.com, Trivago.com, Expedia CruiseShip Centers, CarRentals.com and Classic Vacations. And, Expedia recently closed a corporate deal buying Orbitz for the cool sum of $1.6 billion. When you use Expedia or any of their OTA subsidiaries, you are using the same corporate behemoth. Working with a small-business owner who is the agent is like staying at a boutique hotel or B&B versus a national hotel chain. Both will give you a safe place to rest while on vacation but the experience will be dramatically different.
As a small-business owner, I realize you have many chooses in planning and booking your travel. So, when you allow me the opportunity to plan and book your vacation, I treat it like the privilege it is. I do not take your trust, nor your vacation dollars lightly. You want to feel appreciated when working with someone. When working one on one with a travel professional, you get unparalleled personal attention.
I can plan and book an amazing vacation for you based on the ideas you share with me. In America, we get so few vacation days compared to other countries. I know it is critical that you have the time of your life during your one- or two-week vacation. And that is what I aim to do; plan and book wonderful, memorable vacations for you to escape the stresses of work and mounds of responsibilities.
So if you are thinking of taking a vacation or even a long getaway, give a local travel agent (hint: Fine Living Enthusiast) the opportunity to earn your business. Book your next vacation on Saturday, Nov. 26th with a small-business owner. And you just might be surprised to learn that It Won’t Cost You More!
Safe Travels!Tags: Small Business Saturday, Travel Agent