Travel With Great Advice
There’s a saying that you never need something until you do. Today, that something is a travel advisor. Jolene Ogle explores the difference between an agent and an advisor and why are they so vital to a smooth travel experience.
Now I don’t know about you, but I am overcome with incredible envy when people talk about their travels – the spectacular sights, the interesting people and amazing food in exotic locations. So, I won’t bore you with stories about Africa and sipping cocktails while the sun sets over a nature conservancy bursting with an abundance of wildlife.
I won’t tell you about the luxurious glamping tents and guides who are also photographers and can teach you how to snap the perfect shot of the pride of lions. I won’t tell you how the meals cooked at the private conservancies are crafted from local produce and would rival any dish served in a Noosa restaurant. No, instead, let’s talk about travel advisors and how they are the new must-have addition to any travel adventure.
I remember travelling through central Europe before the days of smartphones and I became lost at night in a street somewhere in Brno, Czech Republic. I couldn’t look up Google Maps so I phoned my sister in Australia who was, luckily, working at her desk and was able to guide me back to my accommodation. She was a lifesaver and I made it home before the snow fell on that very cold night.
The support of my sister at that time was priceless. We all need someone we can call when things go awry in an exotic location and we need someone who is extremely knowledgeable about all things travel. Travel advisors are so much more than agents. If you pick a great travel advisor, you can call them anytime day or night and they too will guide you back to your warm and cosy accommodation.
Rachel Cleary is a professional, multi-award winning, Noosa-based travel advisor who specialises in luxury travel, soft adventure and small group tours to Africa and Scandinavia. She has been a travel advisor for five years and has a lifetime of experience providing high-end service within the travel and hospitality industry. In fact, she checked in the first-ever guest at the Sheraton Noosa!
A travel advisor is unique because they have an intimate knowledge of the places they recommend and book for clients. For Rachel, travelling to places such as Africa isn’t a tourist experience, it’s a life-changing experience.
“Africa gets within your soul. There is something that happens to you when you walk on that land,” she says. “It changes you forever and everyone who I take there says the same thing.”
It’s not unusual for Rachel to receive a call from a client while she is on safari.
“I once had a couple phone me to say they had missed their flight,” she recalls. “I had to rescue their $80,000 trip from the safari vehicle while surrounded by a pride of lions and sipping sundowners.
“Luckily, I’m a member of the invite-only Virtuoso club which means my clients and I get exclusive service and benefits. I was able to save their holiday with only minimal fees and without sacrificing any of the tours and
experiences they had booked.”
Rachel embodies a philosophy of slow travel, ensuring clients visit places that are luxurious while also being considerate of their local environment and culture. The private conservancies Rachel and her clients frequent in Africa are chosen because the money they generate assists their local community.
“It’s all about responsible travel and immersing yourself in the local environment,” she says. “I pride myself on matchmaking, connecting people with their perfect experience.”
And that is what sets a travel advisor apart; an advisor gets to know you, finds out what makes you tick and helps you plan the perfect travel experience.
As Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr says, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Is it time to stretch your mind amongst the wildlife in Africa?