In an effort to be more transparent, we want to take you behind the curtain and give you some insight into the phases that make up the process of planning your next adventure and how we work together as a team to plan a custom itinerary tailored to your current wants and desires. Lucky for you, there’s no beginning, middle or end to travel planning; it’s a continual cycle of dreaming, strategizing, planning, executing and sharing that renews itself with every trip that you take. And the beauty of it is that each step of the journey is filled with anticipation, excitement, and happy memories.
Let’s be honest, who isn’t dreaming of their next getaway? We are surrounded by signals that trigger our wanderlust; from the pictures your friend just posted on Instagram of their amazing trip to Japan to television shows that spark your interest in a new location to family discussions about where to spend your summer vacation, travel is always on our minds. The great part about this phase is that the sky’s the limit. When we dream, we dream big. One doesn’t worry about flight times or peak season crowds in this phase, it’s about imagining yourself being there, experiencing the treasures that particular destination has to offer and how wonderful it would be to share that with your travel companions. As travel advisors, we love this stage. We’ll get notes from clients with ideas that give us real insight into your travel dreams and how we can make those a reality.
We’ve all experienced at one time or another a fantastic partnering where a small gem of an idea is fleshed out into a brilliant plan of action way beyond what either party thought was possible at the start. That’s what happens when one of our travel advisors sits down with a client to take you from the dream phase to reality. You’ll often see a couple or a family in our office sharing their ideas, their travel history, their goals and expectations. It’s not uncommon for our clients to have a running travel bucket list and share new entries with us. It’s our job to listen without limitations, to make what may seem impossible, possible. We marry different travel styles and expectations so that all parties involved feel excited about the possibilities. If one companion has always dreamed of going to Africa but the other is concerned about wild animals, we are sure to address both needs. It’s our job and it’s what we love to do.
This is where the preverbal rubber meets the road. Our advisors take what we know about you and your travel desires and put it in to action. This is where we create, with your input, a truly tailor-made experience for you. It’s all the traditional components that go in to a trip; air travel, hotels, tours, dinner reservation but curated by you and your advisor. Love to go to Europe but hate tiny, boutique hotel rooms, we know the perfect place. Taking a mother-daughters trip to Paris and want to please both the shopping maven daughter and the art-lover daughter, we can design an experience that both will rave about. Our travel advisors not only know the perfect hotel; we know the perfect room in that hotel. We’ll present itinerary options and in concert with you, create the perfect experience you’ve been dreaming of.
Armed with your reservations and luggage, you are off on a journey. This is the phase where you create lasting memories that are beyond what money can buy. From meeting new people to experiencing a new culture up close and personal, to the special touches created by your advisor to surprise and delight you, you get to experience it all. And rest assured, we are with you every step of the way. We’ve confirmed reservations, checked weather schedules, requested upgrades all to ensure that your trip is as seamless as possible. And, in the event of an unfortunate problem, we offer the security of being a phone call away. We’ve assisted in everything from a lost passport to flight rescheduling to coming home early for a family emergency. When you are far away and something goes wrong, we are there for you.
Phase five is often the favorite phase of some of our advisors. A client has returned home from an incredible journey and after a week or two, connect to hear all about. Often over a cup of coffee, we get to hear about what excited them most, see pictures of their most cherished moments and receive much appreciated feedback about things that might work better next time. For an advisor, there’s nothing like experiencing a trip through their clients’ eyes. It offers immense gratification. And not surprisingly, this is often the beginning of a new cycle, returning to the dreaming phase. Having something on the horizon to dream about is the best kind of anticipation for those with wanderlust in their hearts.
Where are you in the travel planning process? Have you been dreaming of an exotic locale that seems just out of your grasp? Do you have questions about how to make your travel dream a reality? Whether you have a trusted advisor you already love at Lake Shore Travel or have never used the services of a professional travel advisor, contact us. It’s never too early to share your dreams or to start making them a reality. What’s on your 2018 bucket list?