Travel

6 reasons a travel advisor is essential for planning travel in 2021

After a long pandemic, many Americans are excited to book trips for 2021 and 2022, but they face a changed travel landscape that's easier to navigate with the help of an advisor.

Change and cancellation policies are in flux, COVID testing requirements differ slightly between countries, and it's tricky to know what the best value is when so many companies are offering unprecedented deals. We look at these and other reasons that getting a travel advisor's assistance is more valuable than ever.

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1. They can handle the details so you don't have to

Traveling abroad can be a hassle in the best of times. Add in testing requirements both for entering foreign countries and for returning to the U.S., plus different rules for each country and varying policies from each travel provider, and the value of a travel advisor to sort it out becomes clear.

Travel advisors can also assist with more mundane things, like advising you on passport renewal requirements and recommendations for obtaining an International Driving Permit.

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2. They can help in unexpected circumstances

Travel advisorss act as the traveler's advocate if something goes wrong, such as cancellations or weather delays. For example, if your tour provider cancels your trip, it'll be your travel advisor going through the (potentially lengthy) process to get a refund or future credit, not you. And if something happens on the trip, you don't have to navigate the challenge of changing your itinerary and dealing with car rental, airlines, and tour companies directly to make all the pieces fit together.

A river cruise boat in Bangkok, Thailand.

3. They can help find the best deals & perks

One of the foremost reasons travelers turn to travel advisors is to stretch their dollars further. An advisor may be privy to deals that most people don't know about, and will have a better idea of the best times to travel, what a trip should cost, and which offers are actually deals.

That's especially true now, with many companies lowering prices and offering free perks to entice travelers to book soon. With capacity expected to be limited, these offers won't last forever. An advisor will be familiar with where to find them and which ones are the most valuable

RELATED CONTENT: 5 reasons why you should book travel now

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4. They can help take the hassle out of planning

Fun in the sun at a resort in Jamaica? Culinary adventures on a river cruise in Thailand? The modern traveler can choose from hundreds of destinations and many options for how to visit each one. A travel advisor can narrow the search by matching what you want with the available options.

They can also take the guesswork out of planning the logistics of traveling to a place you've never been before. That's even more important now that the U.S. is requiring all incoming travelers, including citizens returning from abroad, to provide a negative COVID test—your advisor can help you pick a resort that provides on-site or other testing options.

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5. They've been there & done that

Travel advisors are often well-traveled thanks to educational trips where they visit the destinations and sample the experiences that they recommend to travelers. That means an advisor may not merely know a lot about a destination—they may have been there, sometimes multiple times, and can make recommendations based on personal experience. See our guide to London and guide to Rhine river cruising for examples of the insights an advisor can offer.

Some advisors have also traveled during the current pandemic, allowing them to lend more specific insights. 

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6. They can help personalize your trip

No two travelers are perfectly alike, so no two trips should be either. If you have dietary needs, accessibility concerns, or other requirements, a travel advisor can help make your trip as smooth as possible. 

A travel advisor can also personalize a trip to your tastes. For example, if you've already been to Paris and don't need to see the usual sights this time around, an advisor can help put together an itinerary that goes beyond the obvious.

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AAA can help you navigate a changing travel world

Get a AAA travel advisor's help by calling our dedicated travel advisor phone line, submitting a request for assistance online, or finding a AAA branch near you.

1-877-425-7012

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