Sunday, April 7, 2013
Solo Travel: Have You Found A Travel Agent to Work With?
I choose to travel solo and unless a solo traveler is wealthy I expect we all have budgets.
Each trip has a price and a trip has ‘value’ when it is a reasonable cost per day….no matter if it is a resort or a tour or if the cost of transportation, room, food total an amount that I find has a value.
Road trips are manageable n the USA, some city trips can remain within a budget but long distance, long term travel takes skill and planning. Cruises (and I dislike the connotation of the term) offer some of the best Values in travel.
Ship travel has proved to be reasonable IF you sail off season, IF you take the cabin at the bottom of the boat and often you may go to locations you are not really interest in.
I know there are room mate matching services but I do not CHOOSE to spend $5,000 or more for a trip and sleep with a stranger. Get real.
Now I am on my third ‘travel agent’ This year I was told to “search for a cruise myself on their web site”. So I have searched for days and priced over 250 sailings to find something that offers a VALUE for a country I want to visit.
I prefer to travel often and long and therefore must remain within a budget. But if I find an exciting location I will go over budget knowing I shall sacrifice another trip later in the year.
So the search for this trip has taken weeks of entire days on the computer.
Yes travel agents have programs that can search everything, but their goal is to find, sell, and go to the next one. Having been in commission sales I understand the need to ‘turn’ clients. So no agent has been willing to do the searches I need. Last year I was told they had to get off the phone I was asking too many questions. Apparently they have a quota system.
But what they do not realize is the business they are losing from not doing a GREAT job. As part of a very LARGE solo travel group, there are thousands of travelers who would travel if they could find a travel agent.
So, where to go in May? Russia, trans Atlantic, Oz? So many choices, so little travel assistance…… I know it will be a LONG trip and it will be EXCITING and I shall write about all the events, policies and difficulties a solo mature traveler may find.