A travel advisor, also known as a travel agent or travel consultant, works with clients individually to help them plan and book their vacations. He or she will plan all aspects of a trip including things like airfare, rental cars, hotels, and even additional activities that the clients might want to do, such as snorkeling in the Caribbean, for example. The travel advisor will act as a liaison between the client and the various travel companies, helping to book reservations, resolve any issues, and most importantly, find the best price. This person will collect a fee for these trip planning services, typically a percentage of the cost of the trip rather than a flat fee.
Once clients find a travel advisor they like, they may choose to work with that person again and again, for every trip they plan. This is why it is important for a travel agent to go above and beyond for each client, and develop a solid professional relationship. Clients will often recommend that their friends visit the same travel advisor as well, particularly if the agent offers discounts for recommendations or referrals. There are many ways travel agents can develop good relationships with customers, which is why it is very important that anyone who wants to follow this career path enjoy working with people.
Aside from simply booking the trip once the client has decided where he or she wants to go, the travel advisor will often make recommendations based on his or her unique knowledge. This might include the best times of year to visit a certain area, the most popular destinations, or areas that are more "off the beaten path" for people who want a more unique or adventurous vacation. Travel advisors will learn of sales and deals that might not be available to the general public, so it is always a good idea to check before booking any reservations.
After the trip has been planned and reservations made, the travel advisor is still there to answer questions, such as about visa requirements or currency exchange. He or she will also assist in making changes to the reservations if necessary, and may also suggest purchasing travel insurance to insure the cost of the vacation in case of unexpected changes such as illness. Once on the trip, the travel agent may be contacted if any problems with service arise that he or she is capable of resolving.