Passion for Travel Is Why I Am a Travel Advisor
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
For as long as I can remember I have loved traveling, whether it was for work or family vacations. To be frank, I enjoy the planning leading up to a trip almost as much as I enjoy the trip itself. My love of travel has rubbed off on my wife and two children, who have already shared lots of adventures with me.
I have loved every place I’ve visited, and I enjoy seeking new places to visit. With the exception of relaxing in my favorite destination, the Smoky Mountains, I believe there are so many wonderful places in this world to experience that I rarely visit the same place twice. Some of my favorite trips include: England; anniversary trips to Boston, Vermont, Maine, and California; and family trips to Disney World and aboard Disney Cruise Lines. Having taken multiple cruises with various cruise lines, this type of travel is perhaps my favorite.
With a background in technology and social media and the ability to be highly organized, I enjoy researching and planning trips. I have also worked in the hospitality industry as a project manager overseeing construction and renovation of hotels and the implementation of technology and other amenities in various branded properties, giving me a unique perspective when seeking accommodations for my clients.
A year ago a friend and one of our agency owners, Kim Sims, contacted me about joining her new travel agency, Magnolia Travel Group. She knew how much I enjoyed traveling, as well as planning and writing about my travels. She realized I would be a good fit. Never would I have imagined myself as a travel advisor. Yet, here we are a year later, and I have learned so much, built a large client base, met some really cool people, and sent clients around the world. Being a travel advisor has been such a fun adventure that has brought neat experiences around every corner.
So why should someone use a travel advisor when one can simply book their vacation online? Most people do not realize online services, whether you’re dealing with a computer or a live person on the other end, is a travel agent. So why not use a true travel advisor who is going to take the time to get to know you, understand your trip needs and build a professional relationship with you? A good advisor will be there with you from trip planning until the time you return home. He/she will help you if an issue arises during your trip. The more you use the same advisor, the more he/she will learn your likes/dislikes, your favorite hotel brand, airline seating choices, etc. Also, some suppliers will not work with anyone other than a travel advisor.
So how does a travel advisor make money? With Magnolia Travel Group we are a no-fee agency. That means we do not charge a fee for our services in most cases. There are some exceptions where a fee is necessary, given the complexity of the trip or if you are booking just air travel. Otherwise, the supplier (e.g., hotel chain, cruise line, tour operator, etc.) pays a commission to the travel advisor. This commission does not necessarily mean you are paying any more for your trip. Oftentimes, travel advisors will have access to special deals that the general traveler would not.
When working with a travel advisor, be open and up front with all of your travel expectations. Be prepared to tell the advisor where you want to go, what your budget is and the activities you are interested in. If you are just shopping around, please be honest with the advisor from the outset so they aren’t spending a lot of time that they won’t be paid for. Again, the advisor only gets paid when you book a trip with him/her.
One of the benefits I have working with an agency is that I have access to a lot of people who are very knowledgeable. Together, we complement one another. So if there is a destination I’m not completely certain about, I can work with one of my team members who provide valuable resources that help me plan that perfect vacation for you.
Contact me, and let’s plan your next vacation or business trip. You’ll love where we take you!
About Magnolia Travel Group: Magnolia Travel Group is a Madison-based travel agency. While we have travel advisors located throughout the southeast, the majority are located here in Mississippi. We have clients located all over the country.