Nowadays we are really spoilt for choice when it comes to travel.  The world seems so accessible in terms of transport to get places, infrastructure to help us feel at home when we get there, online booking sites making it as simple as clicking a button to book a flight, secure a hotel room or choose a tour on the other side of the world, and travel “experts” giving advice online about where to eat, stay and visit.  It seems everyone is their own personal travel concierge. So does it mean that the travel agent, advisor or planner is dead? Apparently not, although they are taking on a different, more specialised, form.  The likes of Lonely Planet, Mr and Mrs Smith, Rough Guides and Frommer’s are still alive and well, and although the days of carting around a tome of a guidebook are numbered, technology has enabled certain online guides and apps to continue to thrive, if they are laser focused on their brand positioning, service offering and target market.

Two Australians, Julian Knights and Simon Westcott, have recently bought Luxe City Guides from founder Grant Thatcher and plan to take it to the next level of sophistication and refinement.

As Knights recently said in an interview in the Australian Financial Review Magazine (Summer 2015):

“For all the masses of information we have available, most people still want guidance from a trusted source.”

In the same article, Westacott added:

“People are realising for all the information, they actually just want three really good tips, not 20 so-so ones.”

That really sums it up – we still want the hordes of details and advice curated for our particular desires by someone we trust, or even know. Someone who resonates with our particular aesthetics, wants and needs and understands how to meet our expectations. This is where a Travel Curator/Planner/Advisor comes in, and has the potential to carve a niche in the over-populated world of travel information and advice. They may also book our travel, but the first step is understanding what we want, researching the options, then giving us great advice which will meet, or even exceed, our expectations.

So, are you the sort of person who needs a Travel Curator?  Well, here are 5 questions to ask yourself to find out:

  1. Are you time poor? – time equals money and if you are someone who runs your own business or has a high-pressure career, you understand that outsourcing the jobs you don’t have time to do frees you up to spend time on the more important aspects of life, like spending time with family and friends, or focusing on how to earn an income to support you in retirement. Even if you work in the home, you are no doubt busy and your time is still precious – why add the stress of travel planning to your already busy schedule?
  2. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of information and advice available? – We live in an information-loaded world, and deciphering the good from the bad can be overwhelming and frustrating. Which advice can you trust? Which booking website offers the best value for money? It’s a minefield out there.  Due to years of experience and an eye for quality and detail, a Travel Curator can select the best options to suit your needs and desires.
  3. Do you like making expensive mistakes? – so, your time is precious and you’re not sure if you are making the right decisions. Can you afford to risk your time and money on a costly and frustrating error?  I’m guessing not.  Let a Travel Planner navigate you to make the right decisions to suit your budget and your needs.
  4. Do you know what you like but don’t know how to make it happen? – you are selective and discerning because you are a seasoned traveller or just a wise soul.  But how do you ensure you make the right choices when travelling to a new destination?  Asking a trusted source is the only way; a Travel Curator will get to know your non-negotiables and negotiables and help you to select what will meet your expectations.
  5. Are you willing to pay for great advice?  – do you visit a doctor when you are sick, a lawyer when you need legal assistance, an accountant to help with your financial affairs, even a hairdresser to cut your hair?  So, you understand the value of paying someone who is an expert in their field to give you the service you want and expect.  A Travel Curator is no different….

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