What it's like to work with me
It's important that you and I have a good rapport. This page details what you can expect when working with me, what you get for your money, and how my process works.
Who I work with
We need to address the elephant in the room. Not everyone is going to use a travel advisor. I am just not a good fit for some people, and that's okay. There are some types of travelers that don't jive well with using a travel advisor. Feel free to close the window now, with no hard feelings, if this describes you:
You're probably a Ravenclaw. You're like me and find joy in planning. The reason I love what I do is that I absolutely love planning. I love minutiae, I love research, I love learning, I love problem solving, I love binders and highlighters and knowing exactly what's going on. I get it. I'm still a good value for you because I have years of knowledge, training, and connections, but I certainly don't want to steal your joy. Live your best life, and I love getting postcards.
Closely related to the Planner. With rare occasion, I'll work with someone who hands me an already-finished plan for me to book. Otherwise, when you work with me you get a vacation without all that hassle. You pack your bags and you show up, and I handle all the rest of those logistics. Part of my value is in the preservation of your time. If I'm doing all the legwork on your vacation, you can put it in the back of your mind and be productive in the endeavors YOU need to pay attention to. If you want to Do It Yourself, that's AWESOME! Have a great time! There is a middle ground here- there is plenty of occasion for us to work together. Just ask for choices!
I'll say outright: you can get a vacation cheaper than what I can provide. Costco comes to mind. When you trust your vacation to me, it's not for the bottom line, it's for my value. In return for your money, I give you my time, my knowledge and expertise, and my advocacy. Once you've booked with Costco, Costco is done with you. They won't advise about visa requirements, or where to get gelato in the Piazza della Republica. They won't leap to your aid if your airport transfer isn't there. They just take your order. The old adage "you get what you pay for" is an old adage for a reason. If you really want to go to Santorini on a shoestring, be my guest.
You're going to use the detailed information I provide and book on your own. The travel industry is a commission-based business. I get paid by the suppliers when you book with me and travel. If you visit Disney's website and price your trip there, the price you see is the same price I get. The same is true for most suppliers I work with. I don't get paid to quote, and I don't get paid hourly. I am always happy to quote a vacation, but please understand that if your intention is to have me do the research and itinerary planning and then book on your own, you're taking my time without pay. If this is the sort of help you want, be up front about it, and we can discuss my research fee for exactly this purpose.
So why me?
You're overwhelmed by the choices out there.
You keep searching, and reading review after review, until all of the properties run together and you don't know what to choose and you're out of patience. Website after website, property after property. This one has breakfast but this one has an airport shuttle... Then once you've chosen your hotel it's time to move on to activities...
You don't have time.
If I had to rebuild my transmission it would take me a year. I'd have to first learn what a transmission does, watch a billion YouTube videos on the subject, probably make five or six trips to the library... but I don't do that. I call my mechanic. Why? I don't have the time to learn enough about transmissions to do it RIGHT. It's the same with travel.
You REALLY want to make the most of this trip.
Americans in particular get very little vacation time on average. Why spend it in a dump that had great reviews and photos from five years ago? Travel should be leisure, adventure, exploration- not stress and regret. The world isn't as big as you think, and some corners of it are truly spectacular.
You want someone in your corner.
I'm available 24 hours when you're traveling (and during business hours when you're not) to answer whatever questions you've got. Even if you think the questions are silly, I have the answers (or I know where to look them up, which is the same thing).
Why should you trust me?
We have so little vacation time. How do you know I'll do a good job?
I'm a member in good standing of the American Society of Travel Advisors.
I've been certified by the Special Needs Group as an advocate for travelers with unique challenges.
While not required by the industry, I chose to sit the exam provided by the Travel Leaders Group.
I'm an expert on the United States and what it has to offer.