30/11-08 23.10 : Maya Northen
What Could You Be Doing Instead?
According to a United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) survey, a one-week tour or vacation package takes an average of 18 hours to research, plan and arrange. For more complex or longer itineraries, the USTOA suggests it would take 22-23 hours with some take three to four times as long. At first glance, it may seem that all the online booking engines and travel sites make planning a vacation a breeze, requiring minimal time. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The vast amount of general travel information and booking service online can be overwhelming. How do travelers know which sites to trust and which not to? What hidden fees are added on just before clicking the purchase button that are not shown upfront? In fact, with all of the various tourism boards, accommodations and tour companies working to hard to promote themselves, it becomes difficult for travelers to determine which destination is the best fit for you? At a time when work hours and stress are accumulating and relaxation time is decreasing, taking the time to research and plan your trip may seem close to impossible, and the last thing a vacation should be is stressful!

This is where a travel planning company can save you a lot of valuable time. If you have 18 to 23 hours of free time, and not many people do these days, think about all the things that you could be doing – spending time with friends and loved ones, taking time for your favorite hobby, getting some much needed relaxation, and plenty of other enjoyable pastimes. So why would you use time to spend hours on the internet trying to navigate numerous travel sites when a travel professional can create a customized itinerary suited specifically to your interests, needs and preferences? Not only can travel planners create a customized itinerary, they can help undecided travelers determine the best destination fit, suggest unique activities and excursions, pre-book tickets for museums and events, find driving routes and train map and other detailed services.

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