People who book their travel accommodations through established travel clubs do so for the additional benefits they provide. Member services, carefully selected homes, concierge services, destination hosts, and lovely locations are all things that help make trip-planning and vacations flawless and enjoyable – but there is something else that is invaluable during this process: technology. It’s something that may not be at the top of your mind when choosing with whom to book your travel, but perhaps it should be! And we’re not just talking about a good website, live availability, and an intuitive booking platform – we’re talking about technology that assists after your trip is booked – interactive travel planning software. Below are a few reasons why travelers are loving this technology.
It Saves Time
While many travel companies offer a concierge team who do pre-arrival travel planning (book activities, restaurant reservations, car rentals, etc. prior to arrival), this usually entails the traveler reaching out to a generic “concierge” email address and making specific requests via email. This process is often very time-consuming, comprised of multiple emails back and forth, perhaps multiple email threads, and a responsibility for the lead traveler to keep all the information organized on their side.
Alternatively, some companies designate a specific travel planner to the lead traveler as soon as their accommodations are booked and provide travelers with log-in details to a portal where they can access an interactive travel plan. When they log-in, they find a personalized note from their travel planner, and a daily itinerary outline with recommended local rental car agencies, activities and restaurants. In addition, travelers can accept or decline pre-arrival grocery service, enter their grocery list, and complete their travel party details and arrival time all in the online travel plan. As you can imagine, this saves considerable time in comparison to planning solely via email!
It Ensures Everyone is on the “Same Page”
As changes are made to the itinerary by the travel planner and traveler, both sides can see these changes and be on the same page – figuratively and literally. For example, the travel planner may suggest a restaurant for a Wednesday night, and the traveler could go into the online travel plan, and “move” the restaurant to the Friday night slot, along with a note saying “could you confirm reservation for Friday night at 7:00 p.m. instead?” As soon as the reservation is confirmed, the travel planner will go in and mark it from “tentative” to “confirmed” so it immediately appears when the traveler logs in, and no further communication is needed. In addition, the lead traveler may share the log-in details with their travel party so all travelers have the ability to review the itinerary and add their specific requests. This takes the burden off the lead traveler of having to coordinate everyone’s needs, and keeps everyone in the travel party on the same page.
It’s Flexible & Organized
Another great thing about interactive travel planning software is that it minimizes the issues associated with coordinating across time-zones and schedules. Both the travel planner and the traveler can work on the itinerary at times that suit them, without having to coordinate calls or emails at specific times. A traveler can work on the itinerary at 2:00 a.m. and the travel planner can see the requests as soon as they get online in the morning and begin confirming reservations, so when the traveler next logs in, they see the progress of their requests. It eliminates that dreaded “email that slipped through the cracks” or scrolling through the email thread to remember what has been done and what has not. Instead, all of the information is neatly compiled into an itinerary which, when complete, can be converted into a PDF and printed or emailed to anyone who wants a hard or soft copy for travel.
Interactive travel planning software brings joy back into the travel planning process! No longer does planning a glorious vacation need to be tedious or overly time-consuming. Interactive software, matched with travel experts who are familiar with your travel destination, create an exciting and enjoyable experience that makes the pre-travel anticipation sweet.