Leaving it to the Professionals
June 29th, 2010 by Mike

I think I’m at the point in my life where I can figure out what I can do myself and where I need to turn to a professional. When it came time to install stainless steel tile in my kitchen, I turned to my friend Tom, who is a licensed contractor. And when it comes to my upcoming vacation, I totally turned to my friend Rick, who is a professional travel agent.

Sure, we’re in the days of Travelocity and Kayak, who can help you find the best published fares. But there is something those sites can’t give you, and that’s experience. If I’m going to San Francisco or DC or even London for a weekend, I can do that myself. But I’m planning a nine-day trip that spans multiple countries. Yeah, this needs a professional.

Could I figure all of this out myself? Absolutely. Could I find a better deal online? Maybe. But can I get those little nuggets of experience about connecting at Heathrow or Milan without intensive Google searches? Absolutely not. My friend Rick has been an absolute wealth of information, and that’s why I trust him. The thought of flying across the Atlantic in coach seemed a little repugnant to me, so I was wondering if it was worth a little more money to fly Virgin Atlantic’s Premium Economy class from Boston to London. Sure, there are tons of reviews online saying how great it is and how much it sucks. But those are just virtual people. I called on someone who has actually flown it and gave me feedback that I trust. That’s where this whole trip started.

In all my travels, both personal and professional, I’ve learned to trust my travel agents.

Several years ago, I was in Germany on vacation. This was before we had cell phones that worked in other countries. I got to Frankfurt without a hotel reservation, only to find there were no hotel rooms available in the city. None. I called Rick, from Germany, in tears. He asked for my credit card number and told me to call him back in 20 minutes. When I called him back, he had me booked in a train to Mains with hotel reservations for that night. That solidified my belief in the value of a travel agent.

So just what is this vacation all about? Well, at this point, I’m flying into Milan and then spending a few days in London at my friend Steve’s house. Those are definite. Everything else is subject to change. At the moment, I’m planning on spending a few days in Conegliano, Italy. That’s where they make Prosecco, which is my favorite wine. After that, a night in Salzburg and then a few days in the Champagne region of France before heading to London.

Am I excited about this? You have no idea.

One Response  
  • Darcie writes:
    June 30th, 20108:02 pmat

    Good for you!!! You should be excited!

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