A Day in the Life of a Travel Consultant
Working as a travel consultant is a varied and exciting job. No two days are the same as you speak to so many different people and talk about a wide variety of destinations, train journeys and holiday ideas. When planning a trip for a customer, there are many elements to work through and with so many places to visit it is great fun to help create an unforgettable trip.
This blog will give you an idea of what a day in the life of a travel consultant looks like. I will also share experiences of being a travel consultant and offer some tips and advice on what to consider when arranging your holiday with us.
A Day in the Life of a Travel Consultant – Monday
I like to get a head start on the day so I tend to log in around 08.30 and take a look through the emails that have come in over the weekend. I spend some time responding to those emails that need more urgent attention, whilst getting my schedule ready for the day.
Phone lines open. Time to get the headset on and get ready for the working day. I set out my work schedule so that I can work through the emails that have come in, as well as other actions I have diarised for the day around the calls.
New enquiry call. When a customer calls in to enquire about a new holiday, I take them through the process of gathering as much information as I can about the trip so that I can support in the best way possible. Whilst on the call, if the customer hasn’t booked with us before, I will take down contact information so that I can send a follow up quote once we have finished chatting.
For me, this is one of the best parts of the job. I really enjoy speaking to customers, especially if they are travelling for a special occasion such as a wedding anniversary or ‘big’ birthday. I’m looking to find out things like; where do you want to go? Are you interested in scenic journeys or would you prefer to get to your destination as quickly as possible? We chat through the purpose of the trip and I find out about what they want to do which gives me a chance to get to know the customer and suggest possible route options, excursions and great places to eat.
Tip: As a customer it is great for me if you call in with a rough idea of when you want to go away, this is so that I have some dates to work around and I can start to piece together train timetables, costings of hotels and activities to put into a quote. That being said, if you are just looking for some advice as to when the best time to travel to certain places is, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Once I have finished speaking to the customer it is time to get to work on their quote. As we have a number of ‘set’ itineraries on our website the quote is usually based around these. Once the main items are uploaded I then set about to make any changes to the itinerary based on my conversation with the customer.
These can be things like; different train journeys going to/from the main destination, upgrading rooms, adding in excursions or changing the travel from standard to first class. When the package is complete and all the elements are included, I finalise the documentation before sending it out to the customer.
Tip: We can create a completely bespoke itinerary for customers. So if there is something that you really want to do but you haven’t seen it on the website then please just drop us an email or give us a call.
Before I take some time for lunch, I check back in on my work schedule for the day and ensure that everyone I intended to go back to in the morning is complete and action any other those still outstanding.
13:00 – 14:00
Lunch break. It is important to me that I am up to date with current news and so take some time over my lunch to catch up on the news of the day. Just before I get back to work I check out my work list for the afternoon, as well as any emails, and prioritise the afternoon’s work flow.
A phone call and a booking. This for me is the best part about the job. Having taken a customer from enquiry to booking is a huge reward and it is always a great phone call to take. It is an exciting time for the customer as their holiday plans are being confirmed so I ensure that I run through the itinerary again, confirm the deposit amount and then take payment from them (customers can also pay by bank transfer if that’s easier). Once the payment has been taken I then set about confirming all the elements to the trip, before following up with the customer with their booking confirmation.
At any one point we have customers in various stages of the booking process. From quotation stage to travelling, each step of the way has tasks to complete. For example, I might be making amendments to existing quotes, or getting customer tickets ordered and passes ready. These, for the most part, are still a ‘hard-copy’ so I ensure that the delivery of these is in plenty of time for the customer’s travel date.
In addition, before a customer arrives at their hotel we will call ahead a day or so beforehand to ensure that everything is booked in as per our instructions. We are also on hand for customers travelling, so if they need help or have questions about something on their itinerary they can give us a call. My afternoon will usually consist of actioning a number of these tasks.
As the day draws to a close, I begin to look through the last actions of the day and make sure that everything on my list is near completion. I will work through any outstanding actions and follow up on any emails that have come in during the afternoon.
The phone lines close at 17:30 so I take the last few phone calls whilst getting my diary ready for the morning.
I hope that this gives you a bit of an insight into what a day in the life of a travel consultant looks like. I look forward to speaking to you in the future and helping you plan your next rail holiday.
Madeleine, Senior Travel Consultant