5 Ways a Travel Agent Can Help You Now
Planning a vacation these days is not as easy as it used to be, pre-pandemic. Countries around the world have been continuously changing their guidelines and policies for visitors from the US. Some have even made an announcement and changed it a week later!
Below are 5 ways in which I have helped clients during these un-precedented times…
Designing Private Trips
More than ever, private trips are so important. Not only are you vacationing on an itinerary designed for you with private tours and activities, you also don’t have to worry about sharing space with strangers. And, if on a group trip or cruise, if anyone tests positive for COVID - your vacation is over! For example, a colleague recently sailed on a cruise around Iceland. The cruise line was performing random COVID tests. A passenger tested positive, was vaccinated and asymptomatic, and the cruise ended just a couple of days in.
Imagine you have planned a special celebratory trip or a long-awaited family vacation and it ends early because someone else tests positive. That would never happen when traveling on one of our private trips as you don’t need to worry about the health of 50 or thousands of other travelers.
Sadly, travel advisors have become very good at cancelling and re-scheduling trips. This has been part of our job since March 2020 when all client trips needed to be cancelled or postponed due to border closures. Imagine a 2-week European vacation with several hotels, airport transfers, trains, excursions, etc… Without the help of a travel advisor this could be an incredibly difficult task - to cancel every component and ensure you were not losing any funds.
I am happy to say none of our clients lost any money. They received refunds and/or credits for future travel.
I designed a long-awaited honeymoon for a lovely couple who is currently spending over 2 weeks in Hawaii. Due to an increase in COVID cases on the islands, some of their tours were moved to other days due to maximum capacity guidelines (this happened a couple of days before their trip). They had activities planned almost every single day. So, we reached out to several of the other tour providers to move excursions around to different days. This meant shifting and fitting pieces to the puzzle into their travel days to ensure they would still be able to enjoy all the activities we had originally planned (including a photo session on the beach!).
Without our help client would have been scrambling or simply may have missed out on some of the amazing activities they were so looking forward to experiencing.
Providing COVID Guidelines/Regulations
Every itinerary we design includes the guidelines / regulations at your destination. And before you travel we re-iterate all the steps you need to take in order to board your flight. Airlines do not have their own COVID regulations. They follow the guidelines of the country or state where you will be landing. This is super important to remember as, if you have a connecting flight, you will need to follow the guidelines in the country where you have a layover (even if only staying in the airport), as well as the guidelines at your final destination.
But no need to worry, we provide you with all those details!
Guidance on COVID Testing Before Returning to the US
As of January 2021, the US requires all Americans returning from another country to have a negative COVID test taken no more than 3 days before boarding their flight. Many of our hotel partners offer testing onsite or our local travel partners guide our clients as to the easiest way to get the test (to ensure results are back in time).
By continuing to work with our preferred partners around the world we feel our clients receive the best service and are taken care of every step of the way as they create the most treasured vacation memories.
These times have certainly made traveling a bit more complicated, but we have adapted and adjusted to this new normal. Our clients are still traveling safely and creating unforgettable memories.
Working with Distinct Vacations in reserving at any of our preferred properties, you may have access to flexible cancellation policies and special amenities (such as a spa credit, complimentary breakfast, and room upgrades).
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