Eager travelers are increasingly convinced that getting the right help when planning a vacation is priceless in today’s confusing travel atmosphere.
Andra E. of Indiana completed her first Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park getaway in July with Austin Adventures, a Montana-based boutique tour operator. Between the pandemic and a cancer diagnosis, her journey to the perfect vacation wasn’t easy. Austin Adventures sympathetically navigated multiple rebookings for her. The result? Her highly anticipated trip exceeded expectations.
“We were looking forward to not having to make all the decisions and arrangements while exploring a large and beautiful part of the country. What we got was a great trip with guides who were knowledgeable, personable, and thoughtful. They planned out the meals and activities; they truly handled every detail. We were completely spoiled! (The Austin Adventures) team has been nothing but kind, helpful, and accommodating.”
COVID-19 aftereffects rage on in the travel industry in the form of volatile border reopenings, record-setting crowd numbers in National Parks and worldwide iconic destinations, and availability shortages due to the soaring travel comeback.
But planning experts like Active Adventures and Austin Adventures, newly merged brands as of August 2021, are proving their worth by easing the stress of traveling in today’s era.
“Our numbers are definitely showing that travelers are anxious to get back out there,” said Dan Austin, Founder of Austin Adventures. “Between January and September, we’ve seen a 200% increase in travel inquiries compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. Bookings are also breaking records, up 130% over 2019.”
Active Adventures and Austin Adventures have covered all the bases of vacation planning and execution for over 60 collective years. In the last year, their time-tested expertise has proved priceless as more and more travelers turn to professionals for travel planning help.
Professionals and agents find partnering with a reliable tour operator just as valuable. Kristin Cless of Houlahan Travel concurs: “As Travel Professionals, we are extremely concerned about the safety of our clients when they are traveling. Working with Austin Adventures takes all the guesswork out of that process. We know the great lengths they go to ensure the safety and well-being of their clients and it is a huge weight off our shoulders.”
The menu of helpful services offered by tour operators and travel professionals is endless:
- They are travelers’ number one fans and advocates. Operators and professionals are there to clean up the pieces when previous vacation plans have been destroyed and they can provide an extra layer of protection when facing confusing rebooking and cancelation conditions. What they always want for travelers is a seamless, stress-free experience from start to finish!
- Operators and professionals alike serve as the eyes and ears on the ground at clients’ desired destinations. They are nimble navigators, in tune with the ever-changing environment, and they are vital insiders’ resources into border openings, restrictions, and inventory. When plans seem bleak, operators and professionals have a plan B, C, D, and are more ready to fill in last-minute requests.
- Years of operating and finding time-tested good practices result in genuine expertise on how safe travel really works. Whether there is a global pandemic or not, operators and professionals know what it takes to pull off a safe vacation.
- All logistics are handled and mapped out for groups of all traveler types: Families, adults, couples, and solo adventurers. Operators and professionals can round up all the details needed to plan high-end requests and distribute the information and paperwork needed for each traveler, making it easy to check those items off the planning list. Travelers who may have relied on their own independence when planning their getaways in the past are also increasingly recognizing the priceless value travel professionals and agents bring to the table. Having professionals and agents on their side amplifies travel planning security and confidence.
360 Magazine is excited to see so many travel options and to enjoy active adventures. The future of travel and all the requirements and planning that come along with it may continue to evolve, but help from travel professionals and tour operators is here to stay.