Having just experienced my own African Adventure, I can tell you that planning your trip to this great continent is NOT for a newbie! Even if you are an experienced world traveler, venturing off into the unknown these days is über complicated!
In today’s world, you can get anything you want with a few clicks on your keyboard, but if your dream is to see Africa, you might want to forego the Internet and book your trip with someone who knows the continent.
Here are 10 reasons why using a travel agent who is familiar with African travel will give you a better trip experience.
There are 54 countries in Africa, and there are countless safari camps and lodges. You might think you can handle paying these camps and lodges, booking flights, setting up transfers and pickups to and from airports, but it’s very time-consuming, especially if you have never done it before. Leave the work to a travel advisor, who is familiar with the process and accustomed to doing it all. The ability of a professional travel advisor is truly underestimated until you try to do it yourself.
If you don’t know Africa, you are sure to be confused by all the logistics involved in the planning. It is so much easier to let the expert sort it all out. Activities and experiences are extremely seasonal in Africa due to the climate, terrain and animal migrations. Arriving at the wrong time because you overlooked the fine details could be devastating. And overlooking details, even if you’re an organized planner yourself, is very easy when there is a lot of information on the internet but most of it is not verified. Your travel advisor has direct access to the information source which cuts out the confusion and noise.
Whether you are traveling in high end luxury or perhaps a more conservative style, everyone likes to know they are getting value. Travel advisors are renowned for being able to secure perks, benefits and upgrades that you simply cannot get on your own. Not only does that make for an enjoyable trip but it also means that the trip investment itself is full of value.
Advisors have an expertise that comes from regularly booking safaris. It’s obvious but should still be said, for every one safari you might have booked, your travel advisor has done dozens, maybe even hundreds. Experience is the combination of training and practice. Let your travel advisor put that expertise to work for you.
If you are unfamiliar with the continent, you could make some mistakes when booking on your own that could lead to a disappointing trip. Every destination on the planet comes with its own unique planning quirks. Sometimes it is a local custom that must be adhered to, and other times it’s as simple but critical as time management when mapping out your itinerary.
Travel advisors have connections with other experts in the industry who help make your trip a lot smoother, whether it be a tour guide or someone to greet you when you get off the plane. Their network includes locals in destinations all the way to airline officials and tourism board members. If a travel advisor needs to get their hands on information, they can do it at the touch of a few keystrokes or phone calls.
When you are booking a trip on your own, it’s easy to forget essential details. But a travel advisor familiar with the regulations won’t let visa requirements, immunizations, attire, pandemic travel protocols, the type of electrical plugs you need, etc. slip. One random fact or detail to you, is standard and common to someone who plans travel for a living.
A travel advisor who is familiar with the various tour suppliers (hotels, resorts, tour and safari companies, etc.) will very easily know what type of insurance you will need. They will take into account everything from the value of your trip (what you paid), to medical evacuation and repatriation, medical treatment, unexpected circumstances, lost and damaged property, liability insurances and of course if you are traveling during or shortly after the pandemic, which policy will cover you for COVID-related expenses that you may incur. Your travel advisor will be able to anticipate any typical challenges related to travel in the region and ensure that you are adequately prepared.
You can fall back on your travel advisor if anything goes wrong. If you have ever booked a vacation online before with the big booking engines, I probably don’t have to remind you that if something does go wrong (knock on wood), the internet won’t be calling you back. You just don’t have that protection if you book on your own or online. Having a professional travel advisor who can advocate on your behalf from the other side of the world is critical.
It’s much simpler to get someone more knowledgeable about Africa to do all the work for you, so all you have to do is enjoy your trip! You can close down the 300 browser tabs open and spend your time thinking about your outfits and experiences ahead rather than worrying about the small print.
If you’re ready to get started planning your African Adventure with us, click HERE.
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