Why Using a Travel Specialist Is More Important Than Ever - Condé Nast Traveler

Why Using a Travel Specialist Is More Important Than Ever - Condé Nast Traveler

We’ve long looked to our network of trusted travel specialists to take us to the far corners of the earth. These are the pros who assemble many of the elaborate itineraries that appear in our magazine, and since the dawn of the pandemic, their up-to-the-minute insights on shifting safety protocols have made them even more essential. If you don’t rely on them yet, now is the time to start. Which is why the 2021 edition of Condé Nast Traveler‘s Top Travel Specialists comprises more members than ever before. Here, we give you all the reasons you need to book a trip with a travel specialist this year and share some of the best experiences our experts have ever put together—not just to show the scope and prowess of their work, but also to remind you of all the adventures ahead after a long year of staying close to home.

For the full list of Condé Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialists, please visit cntraveler.com/travel-specialists.

All the reasons you should use a travel specialist—now more than ever

1. They make things work, no matter what
“We keep our clients happy by helping them move or defer bookings without incurring cancellation fees while ensuring that our service providers—the camps, lodges, and hotels—don’t lose bookings so that they can keep their heads above water.” Anja Naude, Go2Africa

2. You trust someone to safeguard your financial future—why not your travel future?
“Our role is becoming similar to a financial planner in that we are part of the client’s team of advisers for their long-term plans. I have personally been referred by many financial planners and wealth advisers who understand the importance of a future travel portfolio or plan in retirement.” Estee Gubbay, Luxurist Travel

3. Because you don’t know everything
“It’s almost impossible to ask all the right questions. My job is to make sure the client understands how things will be different and to help them break through their assumptions about what they’ll encounter so they have a smooth trip. A travel specialist can get things done that you don’t even know need to be done.” Elaine Baran, Esprit Travel and Tours

4. Travel specialists don’t take no for an answer
“Through sheer tenacity, I was able to get a client refunded over $18,000 from a tour operator who was not giving refunds.” Alyse Cori, Travelwize

5. They make you a better traveler
COVID-19 will pass, but now we’re much more mindful of how we travel and can use this as an opportunity to use travel for good, rather than be reckless consumers.” James Jayasundera, Ampersand Travel

6. Travel specialists have the best tools at their disposal
“We know about health and safety protocols for each destination. Our tourism boards and partners have been in constant contact with updates, changes in safety regulations, and reassurance of care for our clients. Because we have ongoing personal relationships with our tourism partners, we can inspire our clients to explore the world again with confidence.” Adrienne Sasson, Rubinsohn Travel

7. Because travel looks entirely different now
“I expect there will be a growing interest in philanthropy and that vacations are likely to get longer as people want to enjoy slower travel—more time in less places. We’re able to tap our contacts to help parents navigate working and schooling remotely.” Melissa Matthews, Red Savannah

Our specialists on some of the most impressive trips they’ve ever planned

pSean Nelson of Oman Expeditions can plan camel treks through the desert.p

Sean Nelson of Oman Expeditions can plan camel treks through the desert.