The Pros and Cons of Tour Travelling

There are pros and cons to both taking a tour and to planning a trip on your own and being in control of your own destinations. I have done both and have enjoyed each one.

Pros of Tour Travelling:

– Everything is looked after for you, i.e.: your large pieces of luggage. You just have to look after your personal items and get where you’re supposed to be on time. When travelling on your own, you are in charge of all your luggage and it can be a lot of hard work depending on the type of travel and places you are going.

– Many of the meals are included. You don’t have to scout around or find suitable restaurants. For the meals not included, restaurants, or at least areas, will be recommended to you with suggestions of places to stay away from.

– You have a pretty good idea of what your trip is going to cost you. There will be extra costs but you can limit them because you know what they will be, i.e.: optional tours, the meals that are not included and of course, souvenir shopping and general spending money.

– You have many friendly (hopefully) travelling companions, especially if travelling on your own. And often there is the option of room sharing to cut down on the costs.

– When travelling in a group there can be a lot of laughter and camaraderie adding to the enjoyment of the trip. I definitely found this to be the case.

– Your various modes of transportation have been taken care of for you. You don’t need to find out train schedules and prices, metro stations and if in a foreign country, how to get along with a language unfamiliar to you. All will be taken care of for you.

– There are explanations and historical commentary about the areas you are travelling through. It’s always nice to get to know the area you are travelling in. Tour travel means you will know without having to search it out for yourself either before your trip or after.

– The included meals are usually quite good and almost always includes breakfast and many of the dinners.

– Besides the optional tours you can choose to take, being on a tour includes many interesting places you may not have been able to get to on your own or have known about. An example of this was when we were in the Outback of Australia and we went into the bush and had dinner; when we were able to try some bush food of the variety that the Aboriginals eat, and the opportunity to be able to try and throw a boomerang.

– During free time, you have the option of staying with your tour group or of exploring on your own. The choice is there to be able to do what you want.

The Cons of Tour Travelling:

– The destinations may not be exactly what you would have chosen on your own. Tours include certain areas, i.e.: you may go to a particular park, a certain area in the city or a factory that you may not have wished to do had you been on your own.

– The trip is generally more rushed than it may be if you were travelling on your own. You are more in control of your travel decisions if you have planned your own trip.

– You have the opportunity to change your mind about what you’re going to do on any given day and do something else. You are more able to be a free spirit.

– Your time is your own and your decision whether to spend the day relaxing on some wonderful beach you’ve just found or enjoying other experiences. When travelling with a tour group you don’t have this opportunity. You go where they go, when they go, or you get left behind.

– You can better make the decision about how you are going to spend your money. When travelling on your own, you may decide to stay at budget hotels or even hostels which is not done when travelling with a tour group. You may decide that by doing this, you’ll have extra money to be able to see more of the sights. This is also the case when travelling by train and public transportation versus flying or going on tour coach buses.

For myself, visits to different countries would determine which way I decide to travel. I think on a trip to African and going on safaris, or if going to Brazil, I would choose to join a tour group. But if I was going to visit Ireland and Scotland, I would rather plan my own trip, choosing my own places to stop and possibly rent a car for travelling. Any decision would have to be, by necessity, based also on whether it is a single person, a couple or a family and even the age of the travellers would need to be a consideration.

When I went to Europe with my daughter-in-law, we planned our own trip, staying in hostels and travelling on public transportation. It worked well for us. The only tour we signed up with was one to Pompeii. Both ways of travel, however, have their pros and cons and each must be evaluated on their own merits.

Just Win the Rat Race by Utilizing Travel Reservation Software

If you are running a business in the travel and tourism industry and handle every task manually, you may not win the race as you are most likely to be surrounded by countless competitors. With the fierce competition in the travel and tourism industry that is increasing with every passing day, travel agency owners need to provide alluring packages and deals to their customers if they wish to gain an edge over the rest and this is the reason utilizing innovative technology is simply indispensable for every business from this industry.

Travel reservation software is a perfect solution for travel agency owners to enhance their customer base. It is a specifically designed and developed solution aimed at cutting down the cost of process and reducing the efforts of travel agents, hotel managers and other travel professionals. With the help of such a solution, long working hours are no longer required to fulfil the various requisites of a travel business. This is because with such a solution, everything can now be easily managed online in no time.

Let’s discuss some of the importance benefits of this software, as it is beneficial in several different ways. To begin with, it has wide-ranging specifications and capabilities. If we talk from the point of view of the travel agents, they can utilize it to maintain and organize their client data, travel itineraries, as well as the current prices of the travel amenities, as all of the required information can be gathered in just with a few mouse clicks.

Furthermore, preparing itineraries can be a complicated task for travel professionals as they are required to manage a wide array of requirements. Therefore, it takes a great amount of time and sometimes when there is excessive work pressure, the itineraries may also become messed up. This advanced software works well for travel agents in creating intricate itineraries, as they can easily save the various details of the client itineraries in this software.

By utilizing a travel reservation software solution, itinerary can be made up-to-date and everything can be properly directed. Therefore, clients can happily look forward to the offered deal. Moreover, it assures quick and easy booking of travel tickets. In fact, this software helps in reducing confusions and miscommunication between the clients and travel agencies.

On a concluding note, it can be said that with exponential benefits of this wonderfully designed software, travel professionals can keep their regular clients happier and catch the attention of potential clients.

The Value a Travel Professional Adds

How does a travel professional add value to the travel experience?

A travel consultant can add “good value” to the travel experience by delivering excellent customer service. Wikipedia defines customer service as “the provision of service to customers before, during, and after a purchase.” Customer service involves a series of activities tailored to enhance the level of customer satisfaction, by giving the customer the feeling that the service or product has met their expectations.

So how does a travel professional do this? According to a survey by the I.B.M. Institute for Business Value, more than 2,000 travelers worldwide spend more than five hours to search and book travel online. Rather than dallying away in the time-consuming activity of planning on your own, a travel professional can help you gain more “value in time” and much less head spinning.

When it comes to booking travel, a common misconception of travelers today is that everything is cheaper on the Internet. What most travelers do not realize is that “cheaper” does not always mean good “value”. There are some who enjoy the activity of researching, but with all the information out there on the World Wide Web, how can you feel confident that you are getting the best value for your money? Ask a travel consultant. A travel professional is specialized in certain destinations, can share their own travel experiences, and offer invaluable insider advice.

Travel consultants understand the skepticism new clients may have about whether a travel professional can do any better or find opportunities that excite them. There was a time when they were booking their own travel online too. Travel professionals have working relationships with different suppliers and these connections are just another way their service adds value to the travel experience. They can suggest special experiences that you cannot easily get on your own. This value translates to lower prices, complimentary upgrades, bonus amenities when traveling and other good things down the line, even after booking.

The difference between using a travel professional versus booking on an online search engine is the value of personalized attention. A good travel professional is easily accessible before, during, and even after the booking process. When something goes wrong, you have someone to call who can get the problem resolved for you. Whereas if you simply click-and-book online, there is no one to call to help you; you are basically on your own. A travel consultant provides the security of an expert who you can depend on in case of any inconvenience or disaster.

A good travel professional has the ability to understand what is important to you, he/she listens, pays attention to the details, and anticipates what you want before you even know you want it. He/she can create a one-of-a-kind vacation plan for you based on your own wants and desires.

Although there is a small fee to use an expert, the service a good travel professional delivers is invaluable. As humans we want to feel special; to be taken care of; to feel “good”. A good travel professional connects with the emotional part of us that is excited to travel, and with their expertise, they can draft the vacation of your dreams and exceeding your expectations before, during, and after your trip.

Bon Voyage!

How to Get Started As a Travel Agent

There are many great perks to being a travel agent. Agents get discounts on lodging, transportation, and constant opportunities to see the world. But travel agents do more than get discounts – they help people. There are a few things people need to do before getting jobs in travel agencies.

Travel agents offer advice on travel, put together travel arrangements, research vacation spots, and confirm arrangements. Before people can be a travel agent, they need to determine the skills they need, take advantage of educational opportunities and professional resources, and consider specializing in a certain type of travel.

First and foremost, travel agents need a high school diploma or a GED, like most other career requirements. People need to take classes in travel planning. Having that extra, focused knowledge makes agents a better candidate when walking into an agency office. Community colleges, vocational schools, and industry associations supply these classes.

Agents need to focus their education on reservation systems, travel regulations both domestically and internationally, and marketing. Getting a degree in travel and tourism is the best way to ensure a travel agency job. Many colleges offer online classes to obtain this degree. If agents want to eventually open their own agency, business classes would be required as well.

Certain skills are needed to be a travel agent. A traveller’s personality must be developed. Being worldly, confident and a great networker make for a successful travel agent. Even if working for a parent company, agents need to convince clients they are being offered the best vacation they can possibly have.

Travel agents need to be adventurous. Agents need to be willing to scope out and analyze different, sometimes dangerous and exotic areas. Communication skills should be honed behind a desk by emailing and talking on the phone. Success rate for agents is usually based on how well they communicate.

Every person has a different ideal vacation. Agents need to make sure every single detail is above standard to ensure returning customers. Being organized is a must. There are dozens of itineraries agents have to deal with daily. Keeping things straight and meeting deadlines is imperative to success.

Making connections and networking may be the most important part of being a travel agent. Clients are needed to make commission and talking is the only way to achieve that. Be the go-to agent for all friends and family who need travel information and itinerary organization.

Agents must be well-travelled. Selling a product an agent is unfamiliar with will not lead to success. They need firsthand knowledge of the area to answer any questions clients have and to be able to sell the destination. Not only that, but actually visiting the area will make planning someone’s vacation much easier. Knowing a couple of foreign languages is also helpful.

Before starting a career as a travel agent, people need to familiarize themselves with the market and what they are getting into. Becoming a destination specialist makes an agent more appealing and personalized. Agents should choose a region that most appeals to them. Agents can choose a specific geographic location, type of travel like cruises or tour groups, or price-focused travel.

Agents can also specialize based off of client interests. They can become an expert in a certain kind of travel group. These types can be based off of hobbies, special interests, or lifestyles. Examples of lifestyles include seniors or vegetarians.

Travel agents need to decide on their work environment. There are many big name travel parent companies that offer agents a website they can call their own for a minimal fee. They train and support agents and provide their income.