What does a Travel Planner do?
A travel planner is an agent that organizes vacation and travel packages for clients. They perform various tasks during and following consultation with a client, such as setting an itinerary, booking flights, arranging for the rental of a car or recreational equipment, all with the focus on making the trip go as smoothly as possible. The main priority for a travel planner is coordinating various aspects of a trip. The job requires multi-tasking, scheduling, negotiating and other interpersonal communication skills.
For vacations, a travel planner must consult closely with their client. In many circumstances, clients who seek the assistance of a travel planner for their vacations do so because they want to purchase a total package rather than having to coordinate each aspect of their vacation themselves. For example, a travel planner will have to determine whether the client should fly, set sail, or head out by auto or rail. Generally clients are able to articulate their precise requirements during a consultation, but in numerous cases the travel planner must draw it out through a question-and-answer session.
Once the method of transit is arranged, a travel planner will then have to find the accommodations that best suit the client's needs. Though this may sound simple, but many clients are not certain what type of place they would like to stay in. Many different factors come into play in determining the most suitable accommodations for a client — price, location in the destination city, proximity to particular attractions or activities, level of luxury and aesthetic sensibility.
Travel planners usually arrange all of the things that their client will do on their vacation and ensure that no scheduling conflicts emerge. The planner will find the activities and excursions that best suit the tastes and interests of his clients, while ensuring that those activities fit within his client's budget. This requires that the trip planner become familiar with his or her clients and build a level of rapport with them, getting a sense of what they enjoy.
Trip planners are not confined to arranging vacations though. In many instances, they are hired to arrange business trips, which require a high level of coordination and competence. They may also be asked to organize corporate retreats, seminars and conventions, or just about anything else that requires the skills for coordinating travel itineraries for people.
@pastanaga - It depends on the kind of clients you cater to. If you are going for high end travel clients then they can be fairly stroppy. If you are dealing with business clients it's not as much of a chore, because they usually just need everything to be smooth, rather than better than perfect.
If it's a corporate retreat or something like that you probably wouldn't even be working with an individual client, so you don't have to cater to particular whims.
I don't even think you need to be particularly wealthy to work with a travel planner. You can get some who work with clients on a budget to find travel deals, basically like a travel agent who does a little bit more work.
@croydon - Not necessarily. This sounds like the kind of job that you could figure out through freelancing for a while, if you were the kind of person who could do it well without training.
I don't know if it would be all that great though. I think most of the people who need this kind of travel supervision would be pretty high maintenance.
This sounds like such an awesome job. It must be so much fun to figure out different aspects of a trip, particularly if your tastes run in the same direction as the client. You'd get to learn about different countries and cultures and would pick up tips for your own trips as well.
An international travel planner must get paid quite a lot as well, since it sounds like quite an intensive job. I'll bet that the better ones even get to work on staff with celebrities to make sure that they get from lace A to place B without mishaps. I wonder how you get a job like this. I suppose you'd have to work as a travel agent first and then work your way up.
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