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The seemingly endless pandemic has given us all a new appreciation for things we may have taken for granted. The ability to travel — to explore new places and enjoy new experiences — is certainly high on the list. Now that the world is opening up again, travelers are eager to book their vacations, plan their excursions, and go. It’s time to finally take that train trip across Canada. Or maybe you've always dreamed of exploring the Rocky Mountains in the Winter

But the world has changed since COVID-19 and so has the way we travel. New rules and regulations, as well as increased attention to health and safety, have made everyone more cautious about travel and more determined to minimize bumps. The best way to ensure an enjoyable vacation is to have a knowledgeable travel advisor on your side. Here are just a few of many reasons they make your entire trip — from booking the flights and train tickets, to arranging tours and excursions, and even the transfers back home — as smooth as possible. 

A travel advisor saves you planning time and effort

You could plan your vacation by scrolling through pages (and pages and pages) of accommodation and tour websites with their endless pop-up ads and email grabs. But that has never been an easy or reliable way to plan a vacation plan. As Angie Bosworth, vacation advisor at Fresh Tracks, points out, it’s tough and incredibly time consuming.

“Have you ever spent countless hours trying to research plans for a holiday?” she asks. “Hotel descriptions, rail schedules, tour options, how to get from A to B. Have you then gone on said holiday and found the hotel misrepresented the rooms, the tour company didn’t deliver, or you showed up for the wrong train?”

Travel advisors do all that research for you. They have the inside scoop on accommodation, tours, activities, and routes. Best of all, you get a personalized itinerary, so you can see and do everything you want without worrying about missing connections or being disappointed.

"Travel advisors know the details, the inside track, the things you would have never thought of,” Bosworth says. 

We take care of all the angles. We’ll even pick you up to take you to that train, so you don’t miss it.

A travel advisor ensures you get what you want, exactly as you want it

Hotel in Mont Tremblant

Everyone has comfort-level standards and expectations they want met when they travel. Whether you choose 3-star economy or 5-star luxury, nothing is more disappointing than arriving at a hotel to discover it isn’t “as advertised.” Travel advisors prevent that disappointment because they know the properties they recommend.

 “Travel advisors can ensure you get the right room at the right hotel in the right location,” says Natalie Nicholls, sales manager at Fresh Tracks Canada.

Travel advisors also know all the tours, activities and side trips, as well as the can’t-miss restaurants and shops, because they have been there themselves and can tell you exactly what to expect. If your trip is a special occasion, they will make sure it’s memorable. They can even plan trips for a group of your friends and family — the very people you may not have seen for months and months — and can take care of the logistics so the time you spend together is stress-free.

A travel advisor opens doors to adventures you hadn’t thought of before

Waves crash against the cruise boat on Lake Minnewanka.

Travel advisors are experts in local knowledge and can suggest activities that match your interests. They are also brilliantly creative when it comes to masterminding adventures that inspire excitement, whether you’re combining heli-skiing with golfing or museums with culinary tours, spas with wine tasting or wildlife viewing with a cruise.

“We can handpick tours with local expert guides catered to your needs and suggest places and experiences you wouldn’t have thought of,” says Nicholls. “And we are great at celebrating special occasions with thoughtful gestures and creative recommendations.”

 Your trip can be as rich as you’d like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. Just tell your travel advisor what you want or ask for suggestions, then let them work their magic.

A travel advisor saves you money and gets you the best for your budget

One of the greatest travel misconceptions is that having an advisor is more expensive than planning and booking everything on your own, online and step by step. That’s not true.

Not only do travel advisors have the inside scoop on the best accommodation and tours for any budget, but they can also access special rates and sales. Moreover, suppliers are more likely to accommodate a travel advisor’s request because of the volume they book — even when something is sold out to everyone else.

 "We get access to inventory for hotels in hard-to-book places not available to the public and blocked seats on the train — making it easier to book those popular dates that sell out,” says Nicholls.

A travel advisor provides calm reassurance 24/7

2 passport and vaccine record cards stacked on a table

The most reassuring function of a travel advisor is that they can deal with issues on the road and be your advocate if there are any problems. The help they provide might be as simple as explaining health requirements at your destination or for your return trip home. Or assist with a missed travel connection or sudden change in your plans. Or even offer tips on finding the best coffee.

"You have seven-day-week support with Fresh Tracks from the moment you book until the moment you get home,” says Nicholls. “We keep it stress free and seamless with all of the connections from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave.”

You have seven-day-a-week support with Fresh Tracks from the moment you book until the moment you get home.

That’s the kind of peace of mind that can only come from a real human being who can step in and help — and you won’t get that from a chatbot.

Carolyn Camilleri
A writer based in Toronto, Carolyn loves the discovery that comes from travel.