Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,
In my last blog, I mentioned charging fees for creating or helping to create an itinerary for your clients. In this blog, I want to focus on why you should (if you are not doing so yet) and how to do it.
Allow me to disclose that I have read many posts in different groups discouraging travel agents/advisors from putting together itineraries for RVs lovers and clients who prefer to drive to enjoy their vacation because the commission from the hotels would not justify the load of work being done by the agent.
It does require tremendous work and knowledge to put together the best itinerary for a family who wants to drive from one place to eventually arrive someplace else. Where do they stop for bathroom breaks? Which gas stations can they feel safe stopping at, and at the same time, find a place to eat? Which hotels along the route offer the best and safest amenities? What are the safest places to visit including parks, hiking places, and other activities based on interest and age of the clients?
That is a lot of work, and I am sure a smart client or prospective one would be thrilled to pay someone who knows what he/she is doing to put all that together. The same thing goes when a client comes with a budget of let’s say $5,000 and wants to go to 4 countries in Europe and wants a complete itinerary. Why should you work for free?
Don’t put your knowledge, time, and effort into creating an itinerary for a client, expecting to make commission only IF the client/prospective doesn’t change their minds or cancels to do something else. Who likes to work for free?
I have compared the work of a travel agent/advisor to that of a doctor or an attorney many times. For those who don’t believe I should use that comparison, let me give you another example so maybe you will feel better about charging for your work. Now that many schools around the country will be closed because of Covid, who will you trust to be home with your children? ANY adult or teenager, or a person who is better qualified to guide your kids with home schooling? I am sure that many young adults or adults with experience in math, English and teaching will be in great demand to watch kids and parents will pay for that – because it is worth it.
The same idea goes for a safe and fun vacation.
Don’t be afraid to charge for your time and knowledge. When you value yourself, clients and prospective ones will follow you!