Working with Travel Advisors & Planning Fees

What to Consider when Hiring a Travel Advisor

Travel Professional News says the COVID-19 caught many travel advisors working hour after hour with zero pay. That was no exception here at DWD. I quickly realized that not only did I deserve to be compensated for my time, but my clients deserved an advisor who valued her time, and in turn theirs! Travel advisor planning fees are here to stay, and that is good news for you! Keep reading to find out why.

I evaluated my services, the type of value I wanted to add, and the level of customer service I wanted to be able to provide my clients. Taking a look at the bigger picture allowed me to see that my business model no longer suited a world without planning fees.

I took more time to research, realizing that many “no fee agencies” only present resorts that pay the highest commission and gives the agent the best perks, and a very cookie cutter experience to the traveler. The clients needs aren’t taken into account, just the desire to make a sale. These type agencies, myself in the past included, needed to maximize their revenue as much as possible, so every person that walked through the door became a client, meaning agents are overloaded and clients are overlooked.

With research, self-reflection, and a solid business plan, I realized that if I didn’t charge a planning fee, I couldn’t give clients the time and attention they deserve.

I want all my clients to know, I work for them, not a resort or supplier that gives agents the biggest perks, but who will give my clients the best experience!

With the implementation of planning fees, clients get my individualized time and attention, access to my connections in the industry and destinations, my years of training and expertise, and so much more.

I’m not just an order taker like the travel agents of the 80s (I’m looking at you Jessica’s parents on Sleepless in Seattle), but I’m with you every step of the way.

So, what does my travel design fee include?
Planning is not limited to destination selection & booking. It also includes:

  • Resort + Destination Research
  • An initial proposal concept, with up to two revisions
  • Custom itinerary creation with in-depth destination knowledge
  • Logistical assistance and insight
  • Working with suppliers (questions & confirmations)
  • Destination & Resort training
  • Check and staying up to date on travel regulations
  • A comprehensive pre-travel email with travel tips and guidance
  • Analyzing the fine print
  • Travel documents prep
  • Pre-travel Q&A + Pre-travel wrap up call, if needed
  • During vacation support
  • Emergency in-travel assistance

So when considering who to hire for your next vacation, group trip, or destination wedding, take into consideration the details that go into planning, and the importance in working with a travel designer who values your time and hard earned money! A travel advisor who charges planning fees are an investment, but you’ll recoup the return ten fold!

Still have questions? Read more on our FAQs post.

Ready to plan a trip with DWD? Click here to get started!


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All the timelines, checklists, and answers to your burning ?s that you need to bring your dream destination wedding to life (without pulling your hair out in the process!):

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