One mans’ meat …

What is your ideal holiday? Is it lazing by a pool with a cold Pina Colada in your hand or is it walking along a deserted palm-fringed beach with warm azure waters lapping at your feet? Or is it trekking the Inca Trail or tracking some wild animal in the South African bush? The fact of the matter is that there is no universal size (or type) that fits all! And that’s one of the great things about working as a travel agent as we get to delve into the psyche of strangers to reveal what they really, really want — and can hopefully afford.

The uncomfortable truth is that many people are creatures of habit and those habits tend to permeate every aspect of their lives and this extends to their choice of holiday types and holiday destinations. They go places and do things (or not) because that’s what they’ve always done. They are afraid of moving outside of their respective comfort zones because they have a fear of the unknown. Franklin D. Roosevelt famously stated in his inaugural presidential address that ‘the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself!’

The fear of change is quite irrational when you come to think of it. After all, we don’t wear the same clothes in the same combinations or even the same colours day in and day out. Even if we are unadventurous in our culinary tastes it is still unlikely that we eat beans on toast or stew or egg and chips every single day, no matter how much we might enjoy them. Change is good for changes sake. Variety is good. It is the ‘very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour’ as the once famous 18th century English poet William Cowper so eloquently put it!

Of course, there’s always the chance that you might not like something different but that’s the beauty of the detailed Q&A process that experienced travel consultants go through when they’re recommending new and different holiday destinations and experiences. By asking all the relevant questions and building up what one might call a proto-profile of their clients, travel agents compare those profiles against the database of products, properties, resorts, destinations and activities that they are either familiar with or have experienced themselves at first hand to proffer an informed opinion as to what their customers are likely to enjoy! Do they always get it right? Absolutely not, but then again, does a doctor always correctly diagnose an illness or a lawyer accurately predict the outcome of a supposedly ‘open and shut’ case?

The reality is that they get it right often enough that millions of travellers around the world value their objective advice, informed opinions and guidance whereas online, people tend to unwittingly reinforce their own unacknowledged prejudices and make decisions based not on suitability but on something as frivolous as price and nothing more.

There’s a big, amazing world out there just waiting to be explored by you. Go experience it!

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The art of getting a quote that is both competitive in price and relevant to your needs starts with gathering all the right information about what you want to do (or think you want to do!).