There are so many levels of service in our industry, and the way in which you deliver travel documents to your clients can be considered service as well as branding.
In the November 27 Hot Tip Tuesday, we provided you with some technical tips specifically on what to include in your clients’ itineraries; we even included a sample template for you. But we were curious about how you and your peers deliver these detailed itineraries to your clients.
So, we asked, and you answered!
What tools do you use to put together and send out client itineraries? What additional information do you include with the itineraries? What tips do you have that you would like to share with your fellow travel professionals? Here are some of your comments-
Edwina Wilson Divins, of Vallarta Joy Luxury Vacation Rentals, www.vallartajoy.com said she adds these items to her itineraries:
- Global weather
- Travel advisory from the U.S. State Department or the Embassy/Consulate of the countries to be visited
- Uber or other transportation availability or subway/train sites
- Local customs and phrases
- Tipping customs
- Global Entry description and reminders (such as, “Did you know…When returning to the U.S., after claiming your luggage, you can skip the long lines by checking in with the Global Entry kiosks and using the specially designated GE lines?”)
- Airline club availability and other options (e.g., for Platinum AMEX, Diner’s Club, or Priority Pass members)
Cathy Lowe, of Bout Time Travel, http://20036494.travsearch.com/and Facebook.com/bouttimetravel/, said she uses a tool called MyTravelCRM to format her travel documents; she then simply uses Google email to deliver them to her clients.
Alisha Banks, of Wishful Journeys, Facebook.com/wishfuljourneys, says Travefy gives full itineraries of bookings that she makes. For example, airline itineraries will upload automatically, or users can input the information (like hotels, tours, restaurants) themselves.
Alisha also recommends using airline apps, such as Southwest Airlines and Go Hawaii. In addition, she is investigating the use of various hotel apps, some of which allow guests to check in and use keyless entries.
Terry Benson, of Terry’s Travel & Tours LLC, TerryTravelTours.com, creates travel docs using various Microsoft products and sends them electronically unless the clients request a mailed copy. Terry recommends that clients leave a summarized itinerary with family or a trusted friend and suggests adding the following entries to itineraries:
- Tour operator(s)
- Fun facts on the destinations
- Packing list and packing tips
- International tipping information
- Suggested travel apps to download before departure
- Reminder to pack passports for international travelers
- Restaurant recommendations
Finally, Terry includes in the travel document package any relevant excursion vouchers and a checklist of things to do prior to departure.
Loretta Lamberth of Take Time to Travel, lorettataketimetotravelga.com, says she often uses travel vouchers or document packets from suppliers. But, primarily, she uses an itinerary template she created herself on Word, with bullet points for each daily activity, along with separate notes and suggestions to enhance her clients’ knowledge or free time. Regarding her delivery of documents for her clients, she recommends sending a nice report—with a custom cover page and spiral binding—that includes the itinerary and all necessary travel documents at their fingertips. She may deliver the docs in person or by mail.
Loretta recommends including:
- Notes, suggestions, and insights for each day or destination
- Local (very specific) maps
- “Ten Best” freebies suggestions
- Information on tipping and local customs
- Basic foreign language words to practice
Wow! These are all brilliant ideas! Thank you so much to all who responded and were willing to share their ideas with industry colleagues.
We at The Travel Institute appreciate and applaud all our students and members for everything you do every day! We look forward to continuing to bring you quality education. Together, we will raise the level of expertise and professionalism in our industry.